The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital offers a practicum program for students pursuing a career in child life who are currently enrolled in a master’s program. We accept applications for spring, summer, and fall sessions. Practicum students will complete a minimum of 120 hours for 10 weeks (approx. 12 hours a week).

Students are given opportunities that will familiarize them with the child life profession through observation and some hand-on experience in clinical settings. The student's clinical supervisor (a certified child life specialist) and other staff members in the program provide supervision, instruction, and guidance.

Criteria for Child Life Practicum Candidates

Due to the large amount of applications received, all applications must be received by the date listed on the second page of the application.

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

  • Students will be working towards a master's in child development, early childhood education, or related field. Students will have experience working with young children and/or infants. We do not have a practicum program for undergraduate students at this time.
  • Students must be enrolled in a program at the time of the practicum.
  • Students will have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0.
  • Students will have a minimum of 100 hours working/volunteering with hospitalized children.
  • Students will provide two letters of professional reference.

Requirements for Child Life Practicum Application Process

To submit an application, please observe the following steps:

1. View and download the application form (PDF).

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

  • A statement of aspiration (why are you pursuing child life, what is your personal philosophy, etc.)
  • Your resume
  • Official college transcripts (undergraduate and graduate), sealed by registrar
  • Two written professional references (one from an academic source)
    • All recommendation letters must be sent in a sealed envelope with the sender’s signature across the seal

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 practicum 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 acceptance to the program is made.