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Frequently Asked Questions

This page is designed to answer some of the most commonly asked questions by students interested in applying to our program.  If you have any additional questions, please contact us.

When are applications due?

Applications are accepted from September 1- January 15.  Applications received after the January 15 deadline will not be considered.  To apply, please visit the graduate school web page.

What are the application requirements?

Application requirements, including prerequisite coursework can be found here.

How many students do you accept?

Each year, we accept of cohort of approximately 10 students.  This is necessary due to our model of close mentorship and to meet the academic and professional readiness needs of our students.

When can I begin the program?

Students are only accepted for admittance each fall semester.  Students cannot begin the program in the spring.  This is because of the program's cohort model, where students enter the program in the fall and progress through the two-year program as a group.

Can I enter the program as a part time student?

No, the child life program is a full time, on campus program.  Students will not be allowed to complete the program on a part time basis.  Classes can be scheduled for morning, afternoon, or evening timeslots.  With the exception of the internship capstone class, no online classes are offered.

What is the timeline of the program?

The program will take 2 years to complete and includes one required summer session between the first and second year.  All students complete a 100+ hour practicum with the child life department at the Medical University of South Carolina throughout the first year and the summer.  The last semester of the program consists of a 600-hour off site internship coupled with an online capstone class.

Do I have to have a specific major to apply to your program?

No, students from all different undergraduate majors are eligible to apply to our program.  However, there are specific prerequisites.  Admission to the program requires the completion of at least one course in infant, child, and adolescent development and 15 credit hours (5 additional classes) in courses related to multicultural child and family issues, childhood medical conditions, health communication, developmental psychology, health psychology, and/or child life theory.  Additionally, it is recommended that potential students complete courses in medical ethics, anatomy, and physiology.  Acceptance into the program requires successful completion of 100 documented volunteer hours working closely with children or specifically with child life.  Click here to download the official volunteer experience report.

What types of classes do you count toward the prerequisite requirements?

You can find a list of approved classes offered at College of Charleston.  Please note that the admissions committee reserves all rights to accept or reject coursework not pre approved by the program director.

What types of experiences can I count toward the 100 hours of required volunteer experience?

All volunteer experiences must be unpaid and involve direct hands on work with children and/ or their families.  Experiences to consider include: volunteering with a hospital based child life department, volunteering at day or overnight camps serving children with various medical conditions or those that specialize in bereavement, volunteering at a development center, and/or with traditional day or overnight camp populations.  Here are a list of opportunities, if you are interested in volunteer experiences in the Lowcountry (area surrounding Charleston).  You do not need 100 hours from the same organization and can combine experiences from multiple organizations to meet the minimum 100 hours of volunteer experience.

Will I be able to complete my internship in Charleston?

Most likely, your internship will not be in Charleston.  Students in our program are required to apply to least 15 internship programs, which necessitates applying to programs outside of Charleston and outside of South Carolina.  Although you may choose to apply to the internship program at the Medical University of South Carolina, we encourage diversity in training and like to see our students complete their internships outside of Charleston.  Please note that due to personal preference and fit, the competitive nature of internships, and because each site typically takes 2 interns, there is high likelihood that you will need to relocate for internship. 

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