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Stream 1: Entry to Child Life Practice

Applicants will be required to meet the admission requirements of the School of Graduate Studies:

  • Degree Requirement: An Honours bachelor's degree or the international equivalent from an accredited university
  • GPA: B+ average (77-79%, equivalent to a McMaster 8.5 grade point average) in the final year of undergraduate study
  • English Language Requirements: Applicants whose native language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the use of the English language, as outlined in the Graduate Calendar. Similar to several other graduate programs, a minimum acceptable TOEFL (iBT) score  will be 92 overall with a minimum of 22 for reading 24 for speaking, 24 for listening and 22 for writing. Alternately an overall minimum IELTS score of 7.0 will be required.

For admission to the MSc in Child Life and Pediatric Psychosocial Care program, an applicant must also meet the criteria listed below to ensure the appropriate background and success of our learners.

For those applying to Stream 1 of this program, which provides the academic and clinical preparation to enter the field of child life, applicants will also be required to demonstrate the following:

  • Volunteer Work: A minimum of 100 hours of volunteer work in a child life program; this may include a hospital or community setting. The form below must be signed by a person who has a clinical background as a child life specialist who can confirm these hours. Those who have not fully completed these hours are still invited to apply. A conditional offer of admission can however only be offered before these hours have been completed. Admission will be contingent upon confirmation of these 100 hours being complete by August 15th in that year. Download a copy of the Volunteer Hours Form here.
  • Pre-requisite Courses: A minimum of two undergraduate courses in normative child development. This course work must cover growth and development from birth to 18 years of age as a requirement for child life specialist certification eligibility through the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP). For specific child development course requirements from the ACLP please click here.  A conditional offer of admission can only be made to those still completing this course work. Admission will be contingent upon confirmation of these courses being successfully completed by June 30th in that year. Download a copy of the confirmation of the 2 child development course here and email to childlife@mcmaster.ca. Submitted forms must be saved and sent in word format and not Adobe PDF; the committee needs to comment on the form within the document.
  • Interviews: Successful completion of the program’s multiple-mini-interviews.

Meeting the above minimum admissions requirements for does not guarantee admission. Limited space will be available, and the admission process is expected to be competitive.

Complete application requirements can be found ​here.

Upon completion of the MSc in Child Life and Pediatric Psychosocial Care, both streams of students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate comprehension of research methods and the ability to critically evaluate the validity of key assumptions and evidence
  • Demonstrate ability to apply theoretical knowledge and patient and family-centered care principles to diverse pediatric health and community settings
  • Apply concepts of pediatric psychosocial assessment incorporating child, family and healthcare variables
  • Utilize effective communication strategies and documentation of pediatric psychosocial assessment and interventions to advocate for the diverse needs of infants, children, youth and families
Stream 1 students will additionally be able to:
  • Integrate knowledge of ethical principles and professional responsibility in accordance with the standards of child life professional practice
  • Demonstrate capacity to assess and develop a plan of care for pediatric patients and families that is responsive to and inclusive of diverse needs
  • Illustrate scope of child life practice through clinical internships and clinical seminars

Stream 1 Full Time Students (24 months - 48 units) Sample Schedule

Year 1
Course Units
Sept - Dec
CLPPC 700 / Child Life Residency 1 (​Late August - Early September) 1.5
CLPPC 702 / The Child, Youth and Family in Healthcare 3
CLPPC 703 / E​ducational Research Methods in Health Science Education 3
Jan - April
CLPPC 706 / Pediatric Psychosocial Assessment 3
CLPPC 705 / Grief, Loss and Bereavement in Childhood and Adolescence 3
CLPPC 707 / Evaluating Evidence: An Approach to Critical Evaluation of the Literature 1.5
May - August
CLPPC 709 / The Vulnerable Child and Youth 3
CLPCC 708 / Child Life: Foundations of Play 3
CLPPC 712 / Professional Ethics 1.5
CLPPC 710 / Child Life Residency 2 (AUGUST) 1.5
Year 2
Sept - Dec
CLPPC 715 / Child Life Clinical Internship 1 6
CLPPC 718 / Clinical Skills Seminar I 1.5
Jan - April
CLPPC 716 / Child Life Clinical Internship 2 6
CLPPC 719 / Clinical Skills Seminar II 3
May - August
CLPPC 717 / Program Planning and Evaluation 3
CLPPC 713 /  Independent Masters Project 1.5

Required Online Modules


Online modules must also be taken by all graduate students; Students may not graduate or register in a subsequent academic term without having successfully completed these:
• SGS 101/ Academic Research Integrity and Ethics
• SGS 201/ Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities act (AODA)

The School of Graduate Studies SGS 101 and 201 courses must be completed in the Year 1 Fall term

Course Listing

Core Courses Units Mode of Delivery
CLPCC 700 / Child Life Residency 1 1.5 In Class
CLPPC 707 / Evaluating Evidence: An Approach to Critical Evaluation of the literature 1.5 Online
CLPPC 712 / Professional Ethics 1.5 Online
CLPPC 703 /  Educational Research Methods in Health Sciences
Education
3 Online
CLPPC 713 / Independent Masters Project 3 Online
CLPPC 710 / Child Life Residency 2 1.5 In Class
CLPPC 708 / Child Life: Foundations of Play 3 Online
CLPPC 709 / The Vulnerable Child and Youth 3 Online
CLPPC 706 / Pediatric Psychosocial Assessment 3 Online
CLPPC 705 / Grief, Loss and Bereavement in Childhood and Adolescence 3 Online
CLPPC 717 / Program Planning and Evaluation 3 Online
CLPPC 702 / The Child, Youth and Family in Healthcare 3 Online
Clinical Education
CLPPC 715 / Child Life Clinical Internship 1 6 At internship site
CLPPC 716 / Child Life Clinical Internship 2 6 At internship site
CLPPC 718 / Clinical Skills Seminar I
*runs in conjunction with Child Life Internship 1
1.5 Online
CLPPC 719 / Clinical Skills Seminar II
*runs in conjunction with Child Life Internship 2
1.5 Online

Online modules must also be taken by all graduate students; Students may not graduate or register in a subsequent academic term without having successfully completed these:
• SGS 101/ Academic Research Integrity and Ethics
• SGS 201/ Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities act (AODA)

The School of Graduate Studies SGS 101 and 201 courses must be completed in the Year 1 Fall term

In addition to fulfilling the Masters in Child Life and Pediatric Psychosocial Care program's Admissions Requirements, please review the complete application checklist here. Download a copy of the Confidential Professional Reference here. Download a copy of the Volunteer Hours Form here. Please note the full hours of volunteer experience must be complete and verified on this form by August 15, 2019.

An online application is required to be filled out through the School of Graduate Studies at McMaster University. Please visit the "How to Apply" section of the School of Graduate Studies for more information.  When you are ready to begin the application process, click here

Every applicant will receive a MacID. This does not imply acceptance to the program, but is required to log into McMaster's Mosaic system. If you already have a MacID, please use this when applying.

To begin the online application process, you will need to select the stream you are applying to so you can be directed to the appropriate page. Some application components will be received through the online application portal, and others will be sent to our program directly by mail or email. Please refer to the application checklists above for instructions.

Please monitor Mosaic for updates regarding the status of your application. Our program will update your application checklist in Mosaic to confirm when components have been received.

Following successful submission of an online application, you will receive an email confirming that your application has been received by the department.

Please visit the McMaster University Tuition and Fees page for up to date information.  Scroll down the page and click on "Professional Based Programs" for fees related to our MSc program.

McMaster University pioneered the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format for use in the selection of medical school candidates beginning in 2002. The Child Life program at McMaster University, situated in the Division of Pediatrics within the Faculty of Health Sciences adopted the MMI format for our child life program candidate interviews beginning with the prospective students for the incoming class of 2014-2015.  Our traditional format for interviewing prior to this year involved single candidate interviews in a panel format (one interviewee with four interviewers present).

Given the high stakes involved in candidate selection, we use the MMI format to help assure a fair selection and interview process, not only to those that apply, but also for children and families for whom the profession serves. For this purpose, we feel the MMI interview provides a more accurate portrayal of a candidate's suitability for graduate education and for suitability to the child life profession and a career in health care.

Following application review, selected candidates will be invited to interview. Our MMI interview process allows us to interview a greater number of candidates (generally 30-40 applicants) and provides them with opportunities to respond to questions in a one-to-one environment (one interviewee and one interviewer per station).  Within our MMI format, candidates move to separate rooms or stations for a series of short independent interviews with a different interviewer in each station. At each station (usually lasting 8-10 minutes), the candidate discusses a scenario or responds to questions. The interviewer uses a standardized scoring form to rate candidates.

At the end of the MMI interview process, there will also be an opportunity to attend a general information session about our program in a group format (all candidates interviewing on that day are invited to attend).

  • Can I complete Stream 1 as a part time student?

  • Since this is an online program, how much time will I need to invest each week for my coursework?

  • I have many hours volunteering in a childcare setting (daycare) but not with a child life specialist; does that count?

  • I won’t be completing my volunteering hours before the application deadline, would you still accept my application?

  • I have attended more than one college/university; do I need to send all my transcripts?

  • Can I mail my reference letters/transcripts myself when I send in my other application material?

  • English is not my first language, what are the requirements?

  • I have a bachelor’s degree and I’m interested in the program, would I be accepted?

  • I have several courses in psychology. Will those count towards the required child development courses?

  • Can you recommend any specific courses to take as part of the undergraduate courses requirement?

  • What type of courses are you looking for the undergraduate courses requirement?

  • I am in high school and interested in child life, what program do you recommend I take in undergraduate studies?

  • Can you recommend some places where I can complete my volunteer placement?

  • Where can I find the tuition and fee information for this program?

  • What are the grade requirements for admission and do you review all grades or just the last two years of study?

  • Will you accept late references?

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