Child Life and Family Studies Dual Degree Program
René T. Assetta Guilbeau '94
"Small classes, great professors who actually answered questions and knew my name, as well as wonderful friends who all shared my passion for kids."
• Use play, emotional support, and teaching to reduce stress
• Wheelock was the first college to offer a child life program and remains a national leader
• Instructors provide intensive on-site supervision during clinical internships
Children undergoing medical treatment have unique developmental, emotional, social, and educational needs, as do their families. Child life specialists are specially trained members of health care teams who focus on addressing these needs. They work in a variety of settings, such as pediatric inpatient and outpatient units, emergency rooms, and intensive care.
Through this program, you'll develop expertise in helping children and families cope with acute and chronic illness, medical procedures, and grief and loss. You'll learn how the use of play, emotional support, and teaching can help reduce the stress of hospitalization, illness, and health care procedures in your patients.
Wheelock's unique program leads to both a bachelor's and a master's degree. Your bachelor's will be in an arts and sciences major (American Studies, the Arts, Communications & Media Literacy, Psychology & Human Development, the Humanities, Political Science & Global Studies, Juvenile Justice & Youth Advocacy, or Math/Science), and your master's will be in Child Life.
This program requires a dual application process: First, to Wheelock's undergraduate program, and later, to the Child Life graduate program in your sophomore year.
- See a full Course List for the Child Life and Family Studies Dual Degree program.
- Meet the Child Life and Family Studies faculty members.
The program prepares you for the national examination to become a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS). Wheelock graduates enjoy outstanding success in passing the exam, which qualifies you to practice in every U.S. state and internationally.
Career OpportunitiesGraduates of Wheelock's Child Life program are in high demand for exciting and challenging positions in healthcare institutions across the United States.
You'll complete more than 600 certified internship hours. Potential internship sites include:
- Boston Children's Hospital
- Boston Medical Center
- Hasbro Children's Hospital
- Massachusetts General Hospital for Children
- Newton Wellesley Hospital
- Child Life Administration and Program Development
- Child Life Methods and Materials
- Clinical Issues in Child Life
- Human Biology or Human Diseases
- The Meaning and Development of Play