Master's in Child Life

Concordia University Ann Arbor is building on its existing leading role in the growing and innovative child life specialist field, launching a Master of Arts in child life in July 2019.

This advanced degree offering will complement students with undergraduate areas of study such as child psychology, family studies, child development, family life education, education, recreational therapy, or developmental psychology where they’ve learned to proactively support children and their families.

“The child life profession is growing, continuing its work in the hospital setting but now also expanding into doctors’ offices, dentists’ offices, hospice programs, funeral homes, school districts, and private practices,” said Jennifer Fieten, MA, CCLS, who leads the child life program at CUAA. “As more continue to become aware of our profession, training, skills, and the benefits of the psychosocial support that we provide children and families, the demand will continue to rise.”

Learn more about Child Life Specialists through School of Education’s Q & A with Program Coordinator Jennifer Fieten

Child life specialists help children to understand and manage experiences of illness, hospitalization, trauma, and other difficult and unexpected life circumstances that can be surrounded by feelings of fear or apprehension.

Understanding emotions of fear, confusion, or loneliness—with the help of a professional—allows children to avoid lasting negative effects on their development and well-being.

Interested in applying for the Master of Arts in child life at Concordia University Ann Arbor? Click here for program overview, requirements, and admissions information and deadlines.

The program is formatted to allow CUAA undergraduate family life education students the ability to complete the degree requirements in one and a half years. Applicants without affiliation to CUAA will be required up to 45 credit hours, dependent upon transcript review.

The master’s in child life will be offered in a blended format of both online and face-to-face instruction, each eight weeks in length. Students will deepen their understanding of child development, and the processes of supporting children and families during medical interventions, crises, or hospitalization in developmentally appropriate and trauma-informed ways.

Learn more about how CUAA is preparing child life specialists who employ evidence-based methods in integrative health care settings by visiting

— Rachel Thoms served on Concordia University's Strategic Communications team from 2015-2022. Any inquiries about this story can be sent to

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