Family and Child: Child Life


Family and Child Major

Students in child life typically have room to declare two concentrations (like a double major) within the Family and Child Major:

Our concentration in child life prepares you to pursue a career assisting pediatric youth and their families in health care and community settings. Child life students learn to apply child development and family practices to meet the needs of children from infancy to adolescence. Our coursework aligns with the curricular requirements of the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP), the certifying organization for the profession. Mentored by a Certified Child Life Specialist, students practice skills in labs that simulate a hospital room. Simulation labs provide in-depth experience to prepare for an internship. Once certified by ACLP, you will be qualified to attend to the psychosocial needs of youth and families in stressful situations. Faculty and Certified Child Life Specialists serve on the BSU Child Life Advisory Board to guide and support the program.

Program Benefits

  • Quality Faculty: Our instructors have real-world experience in family and child. Read their bios.
  • Hands-on Experience: Our coursework includes hands-on experience in the Mitchell Early Childhood and Family Center and hospital room simulation labs.
  • Real-World Applications: Our programs offer real-world applications and immersive learning projects that make finding a job after graduation much easier.
  • Living Learning Community: As a freshman, you’ll live in North West Hall with other Early Childhood, Youth, and Family Studies students. Our Living-Learning Community will allow you to get to know your classmates and connect with our campus through team-building activities that promote higher academic achievement. Learn more.

Student Objectives

  • Understand theories in family and child and be able to apply them in practice
  • Understand and critically evaluate the research process and key content knowledge in child life and translate research findings and key content knowledge into practice
  • Understand and demonstrate professional behavior
  • Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills for child life, including the use of technology when appropriate
  • Understand the influence of the broader social, cultural and historical context on children, families, and relationships and apply these to practice in the child life field

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Take the Next Step

If you’d like to learn more about our Child Life concentration, complete our online form. Or one of the best ways to get a true feel for Ball State is to see it for yourself, so schedule a visit today! And if you’re ready to apply, review our admission requirements and complete our online application.

Have Questions?

Contact the Department of Early Childhood, Youth, and Family Studies so we can help.


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