Application Components

Students are encouraged to begin the application process early to provide sufficient time for completion in order to meet the January 15th deadline. Applications are not reviewed on a rolling basis. Following the January 15th application deadline, all completed applications are forwarded to the Graduate School Admissions Committee for the MSCL program. Applications with missing information or documents may not be reviewed. 

Required Application Components:

  • Coursework
    • At least one course in infant, child, and adolescent development (0-18 years of age) 
    • 15 credit hours related to the following areas (5 additional 3-credit classes)
      • multicultural child and family issues
      • childhood medical conditions
      • health communication
      • medical terminology
      • developmental psychology
      • health psychology and/or child life theory
    • Additional course recommendations:
      • medical ethics
      • anatomy and physiology
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with minimum GPA of 2.75 overall

  • Recommended GPA of at least 3.0 in the final 60 hours of undergraduate coursework and/or a GPA of 3.0 in a major related to child life (family studies, psychology, sociology, therapeutic recreation, etc.)

    • A degree in a related major is recommended but not required provided that the applicant has completed the necessary prerequisite coursework requirements.
  • Transcripts from All Academic Institutions 
    • Unofficial transcripts will be accepted for the application but official transcript are required upon admittance
  • Official GRE Scores
    • Recommended minimum at or above the 50th percentile for Verbal and Quantitative scores and a 4 or above on the analytical writing section
    • We do not view the GRE as a cause for elimination. The most important component is the analytical writing section as it is the most relevant to our program
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
    • 2 must be from academic sources that can speak to your academic performance (ex: professors for college-level coursework)
    • Note: In the online portal application, applicants are asked to provide the names and email addresses of their recommenders. Upon saving this section, the graduate school automatically sends emails to the recommenders with further instructions on how to submit references. Requests for recommendations can be sent out before the entire application is completed and/or submitted. We suggest providing at least several weeks for recommenders to complete this process in order to submit prior to the January 15th application deadline. It is always a good idea for applicants to notify recommenders to watch for this email. Forms are submitted via a secure online portal. Please do not email letters of recommendation or mail them to the college or program director.
  • Volunteer and Work Experience
    • A minimum of 100 hours of documented formal volunteer experience with children and adolescents is required for admission into the program. It is preferred that a portion of these hours are obtained in a hospital setting, but hours may also be obtained in other settings such as camps or schools. All 100 hours do not need to be completed in one setting. Students may combine experiences from multiple organizations to meet the minimum requirement. Any additional volunteer hours beyond the minimum are encouraged and may be included in the application.
    • A personal resume highlighting the applicant's background and experiences
      • Compile volunteer experience forms & personal resume into a single PDF for submission.
  • Personal Statement
    • Why the applicant is interested in the field of child life
    • How the applicant has prepared for graduate study in child life
    • Career goals
  • TOEFL scores if your primary language is not English
    • at least 20 in writing; 23 in speaking; 17 in listening; and 21 in reading

Following the initial review of all completed applications, we will extend interview invitations to select applicants. Should you have any questions at any point in the process, please contact us.

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