Child Life (Minor)

Child Life (Minor)
Children at the Child Study and Development Center

What is child life?

In the child life minor, you’ll learn to promote the well-being of children and adolescents and their families facing acute, chronic or life-threatening illnesses and traumatic injuries. The interdisciplinary curriculum lets you explore developmental perspectives on infancy, early childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. You can combine the minor with a major in areas such as healthcare, human development and family studies, education or social work, preparing you for a variety of in-demand careers.

Why study child life at UNH?

As a major public research university, UNH emphasizes hands-on experience and research opportunities. Students in the child life minor have multiple opportunities to put theory into practice through internships at the Child Study and Development Center. Any currently enrolled UNH student can complete the child life minor. A minor in child life can qualify you for entry-level positions in the field.

Potential careers

  • Child life assistant
  • Child life volunteer coordinator
  • Child and family support specialist
  • Family intervention case manager
  • Parent educator

Curriculum & Requirements

The department of Human Development and Family Studies offers a minor in Child Life. The minor introduces undergraduate students to the Child Life profession, which works with children, adolescents, and families facing challenges associated with hospitalization, medical procedures, illness, and disability.  You will gain insight on how to support children and their families to effectively cope with the stress and anxiety of hospitalization using developmental play and normalized activities in their environment.

For students who wish to go on to become Child Life Specialists, the full list of UNH approved courses by the Association of Child Life Professionals  can be found under HDFS Undergraduate Forms.  Click here to read more about ACLE certification.

The Child Life minor may also be taken by HDFS students.

Required Courses
HDFS 565Introduction to Child Life 24
or SW 565 Introduction to Child Life
HDFS 623Developmental Perspectives on Infancy and Early Childhood 34
Select three courses from the following:12
HDFS 590
Learning Through Play
HDFS 624
Developmental Perspectives on Adolescence and Early Adulthood
HDFS 635
Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Settings
HDFS 641
Parenting Across the Life Span 2
HDFS 697
Special Topics (Child Life Design and Programing) 2
HDFS 684
Curriculum for Young Children
HDFS 707
Practicum 1
HDFS 709
Child Development Internship 2
NURS 535
Death and Dying 2

Internship under the supervision of a CCLS. Contingent on approval from instructor and securing an internship site.


Approved Child Life Certification course.  These courses meet  the Association of Child Life Professionals requirements to sit for the Exam.  Note: Course work is only part of the ACLP requirements.  Please visit the ACLP Site by clicking here for complete information.

Explore Program Details

Child Life Minor Requirements 
     (The above requirements indicate courses approved to count towards
       the ACLP Certification requirements)

ACLP Certification Requirements

What you need to know to become a Certified Child Life Specialist

Take the Next Step

student posing in doorway on campus
Thompson Hall
student at Career Event