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Comer Children's offers internships to students pursuing/enrolled in a master’s degree in child life, child development or a related field. Two kinds of internship opportunities are available throughout the year. The academic year internship begins in September and runs for approximately 30 weeks (20 hours a week). Additionally, we offer a fall, winter/spring or summer internship that is full-time (40 hours a week) for 15 weeks.  All internships require an additional week-long orientation provided prior to the beginning of 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 is accredited by the Association of Child Life Professionals 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

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 are 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 students, unaffiliated students, or students who have completed their coursework and will not have academic advising as part of their internship requirement.
  • Students will have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 for graduate school.
  • A completed child life practicum is recommended at the time of application.

Requirements for Child Life Internship Application Process

Beginning with the fall 2023 internship session, we will only be accepting the ACLP Internship Readiness Common Application. Applicants must follow all requirements outlined by the ACLP. 
As part of the application process, please complete the following:

  1. Download your completed application from the ACLP site.
  2. Complete our RedCap Survey using the following link:
  3. Upload all materials including the common application and your current resume/CV. 

NOTE: The RedCap Survey link will remain open until 11:59pm CST.

The internship selection committee will review your application and notify you of the status. Our interview process includes two steps. You will be provided more information prior to each step if you are selected to move forward during the interview process.

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.