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Comer Children's offers internships to students pursuing a master’s degree in child life, child development or a related field. Internship opportunities are available throughout the academic year and in the summer. The academic year internship begins in September and runs for 30 weeks (20 hours a week). Additionally, we offer a fall, spring or summer internships that is full-time (40 hours a week) for 15 weeks.  All internships require an additional week-long orientation provided prior to the first rotation.

Students are given opportunities to develop skills in assessment, intervention, therapeutic play, professionalism, trauma-informed care, and cultural competence. The student's internship coordinator, rotation supervisors and other staff members in the program provide instruction and guidance as well as weekly opportunities for reflective supervision.

Our internship program was accredited by the Association of Child Life Professionals in in 2018 and adheres to all requirements related to accreditation. Interns will complete a minimum of 600 hours during their internship.

Criteria for Child Life Internship Candidates

Due to the large amount of applications received, all applications must be postmarked by the application deadline dates set forth by the Association of Child Life Professionals: Internship Deadline Dates

Before applying for internship placement in the Child Life and Family Education Program at Comer Children's Hospital, please review the following criteria to make certain that you qualify: 

  • Students will be enrolled in a master’s program in child life, child development, early childhood education, or related field. The academic institution the student attends will be required to engage in a contractual relationship with Comer Children's Hospital.
  • We do not offer an internship program for undergraduate or unaffiliated students.
  • Students will have completed their ACLP eligibility assessment and all required courses: Please utilize the Course In-Progress form as needed.
  • Students will have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 for both undergraduate and graduate school.
  • Students will have at least 100 hours experience working with well infants, children, youth and/or families.
  • Students will have a minimum of 100 hours working/volunteering with infants, children, youth, and families in healthcare settings.
  • Students will have a minimum of 100 hour working with infants, children, youth, and families in stressful settings.
  • A completed child life practicum is required at the time of application. At the time of application, the student’s practicum cannot be in progress at Comer Children’s Hospital.
  • Students will provide three letters of professional reference along with the ACLP recommendation form– each letter and form must be sealed in an envelope with recommender’s signature over the seal.
  • Students must include unofficial transcripts in their initial application packet. If selected for in-person interview, the candidate must then provide official transcripts.

Requirements for Child Life Internship Application Process

To apply for an internship, please provide documents, as ordered below:

View and download the application form (PDF)

Complete the application form, print and mail it along with a copy of:

  • A cover letter
  • CLC Eligibility Assessment (complete course in-progress pages as needed)
  • Your resume
  • Unofficial transcripts (undergraduate and graduate) with application. If you are selected for an in-person interview, official transcripts will be required at that time.
  • Three written professional references and recommendation forms.
    • All recommendation letters/forms must be sent in a sealed envelope with the sender’s signature across the seal

    • One reference must be a CCLS

Send to:
The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital
Child Life and Family Education, MC 8008
Attn: Aimee Karas
5721 S. Maryland Ave., Room K-135
Chicago, IL 60637-1470

The internship coordinator will review your application and notify you of the status of your application. A phone interview and in-person interview is required before any decision regarding offer to the program is made.

Child Life Internship Requirements and Expectations

  • Compliance with onboarding process including health screening (TB/blood test, and drug screen provided by UChicago Occupational Medicine) and criminal background check (health screening must be completed in person on the medical center campus).
  • Completion of orientation to the Child Life Program and Comer Children's Hospital.
  • Written goals and objectives for the internship experience
  • Weekly reflective supervision with internship coordinator and rotation supervisor.
  • Weekly readings and assignments completed in a timely manner throughout internship.
  • Internship case study and project completed and each presented to the child life staff
  • Participation in evaluation throughout process, including after each rotation and at conclusion of internship.