Child Life Practicum

Child Life Practicums will be available in the fall and spring semesters and consist of working 12 hours a week over the course of 12 weeks totaling 144 hours. The practicum days of the week may be flexible to fit with both the student’s and supervisor’s schedule. The fall session will run from September through November, and the spring session will run from February through April. There is no summer program at this time.

Practicum Purpose

Our child life program is dedicated to providing educational opportunities for students interested in pursuing a career in child life. Students will develop core skills needed to prepare for a child life internship by observing clinical interventions and participating in developmental play within a hospital setting. Observations may include medical play, diagnosis teaching, surgical preparation, procedural support, sibling support, bereavement and psychosocial assessment while working within a multidisciplinary team.

Practicum Requirements & Application Process

  • All required documents must be sent together in one envelope.
  • Applicants must have completed 60 hours volunteering with children in a hospital or non-hospital setting. These hours must be verified by a supervisor on institution letterhead.
  • Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and ideally be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program for child life, child or human development, family systems, psychology or another closely related field. A copy of transcripts is required but does not have to be official.
  • Applicants must mail two signed and sealed letters of recommendation (one from the volunteer supervisor).
  • Applicants must print out a typed application and resume and mail them in with application packet.
  • There will be a $15 processing fee for applications. Checks can be made out to Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, with Child Life Practicum in the memo space. The check should be mailed in with the application packet.


Download the Child Life Practicum Application.

Please note, handwritten applications will not be reviewed.


  • Fall – May 5
  • Spring – September 5

Please contact Brittany Smith, MA, CCLS, at with any questions.