Child Life Practicum Program

For those interested in becoming a certified child life specialist, a practicum is an observation experience open to those individuals preparing for a Child Life internship. A practicum provides the student an opportunity to become familiar with Child Life services and children's reactions to hospitalization. Observation experiences and assignments encourage the development of communication skills with individuals and groups, provide a supportive environment to integrate theory with clinical practice and enhance the student's experience with planning and implementing therapeutic activities. To learn more about the Child Life Council Certification process and appropriate areas of study, go to

Please see below for information about the application process, eligibility, and helpful resources.


All student programming has currently been suspended at Children’s. Please continue to check our website for updates.


All student programming has currently been suspended at Children’s. Please continue to check our website for updates.


To be eligible for this program, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Practicum applicants are required to have completed a core curriculum with a minimum of junior level college coursework (i.e., completed at least 60 hours), including child development, theories of child development, etc.
  • Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale for completed college level coursework.
  • Applicants must have completed a total of 100 hours of verifiable fieldwork experience with children in a structured environment (i.e., child development center, daycare, preschool, camp, etc.). Volunteer experience with hospitalized children is encouraged.
  • Applicants must be able to commit to 175-180 hours of observation in the hospital over the course of one semester (Spring session is on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Summer session is full time for five weeks.). Students are expected to be available for child life practicum during regular business hours. Certain individual rotations may require a practicum student to work some evenings/weekends.


Pre-practicum Responsibilities

Complete the health screen form

Required Textbook

The Handbook of Child Life: A Guide for Pediatric Psychosocial Care
Edited by Richard H. Thompson, Ph.D.
©2009 Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Ltd. Springfield, Illinois

Tours and Information Sessions for Child Life Students

Tours have temporarily been suspended. Please continue to check our website for updates on future tours.

Email Amy Hood if you have any questions.