Admission Requirements & Deadlines

Get the details on how to apply to the Child Life, Administration & Family Collaboration (M.S.) program.

Application Deadline

Fall admission only — application deadline: January 15 

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree in family studies, family science, health science, human services, human development, psychology, sociology or another related discipline, obtained at a regionally accredited college or university*. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for full admission or a 2.75 for conditional admission.

Admission Materials

Applicants must submit the following materials:

  • A Towson University graduate school application with required fee
  • Official transcripts from every college or university attended
  • Two letters of recommendation: one from a professor of the applicant and one from someone who has supervised the applicant working with children. Email addresses of recommenders must be entered on application.
  • Coursework Verification Form (PDF)

Applicants must submit a Coursework Verification Form showing the completion of the following courses with a grade of “C” or higher:

  • Biological Sciences (one course)
  • English Composition (minimum of one upper-division course)
  • Human Development across the Lifespan (one lower-division course)
  • Infant and/or Child Development and Adolescent Development Coursework (two courses — six upper-division credits)
  • Research Methods (one upper-division course)
  • Four (4) upper level courses from any of the following content areas of death and dying, education, expressive therapies, psychology, or sociology

Volunteer/Work/Practicum Experience Verification Form (PDF)

Applicants must have a minimum of 100 hours of volunteer, child life practicum or paid work experience (example, child life assistant) with children with special health care needs in a child life department under the direct supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist. Applicants with volunteer hours beyond the minimum will be viewed more favorably.

Applicants must submit a completed Volunteer/Practicum/Work Experience Verification Form (PDF) for each institution at which you volunteered or worked in the child life department under the direct supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist.

Candidates Applying for Fall 2022:
During these unprecedented times we recognize that obtaining the required 100 hours of child life service has been very challenging. We strongly encourage candidates who meet other application requirements to apply for the fall 2022 cohort even if you have not been able to complete your service hours. Please email Lisa Martinelli Beasley, Graduate Program Director, at for more information.

Application Essay

Applicants must write an essay not exceeding three double-spaced, 12 point font, 1 inch margin typed pages. The essay should answer the following questions:

  1. Briefly describe ways in which the work of a child life specialist contributes to the health care experience of a child and his/her family.
  2. How did you become interested in the field of child life?
  3. Provide a specific example of a time that you used play to meet the developmental needs of a child in a health care setting.
  4. Explain the relevance of research to Child Life. How do you see research informing your role?


The highest ranking applicants will be required to interview with the faculty of the Child Life, Administration and Family Collaboration program. Invitations to interview will be made in February. Interviews will take place in March.


Applicants who are already certified child life specialists may complete Form B to request a competency in lieu of coursework review for any of the courses noted above. This review would include documentation that verifies the individual's mastery of the course content. Successful requests for competency in lieu of coursework should include a didactic (Re: workshops, professional development and/or related undergraduate coursework) preparation and professional practice.

*See Exceptions to Policy in Graduate Admissions.

Non-immigrant international students: See additional admission information in International Graduate Admissions.

**PLEASE NOTE: GRE scores are NOT required for admission.**

How to Apply 

  • Complete the Towson University online Graduate Application.
  • International graduate students may have additional admission and application requirements. See information about how to apply.