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The University of Chicago Medicine - Comer Children's Hospital

Child Life Student Programs

Student programs at Comer Children’s Hospital are offered to graduate students currently enrolled in a master's degree program in child life, child development, art therapy, or related fields. Students in our program are invited to join us in the pursuit of providing family-centered psychosocial care to children and families during their healthcare experience.

Child Life Practicum

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 accepted applications for spring, summer, and fall sessions. 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 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.
  • Students must be enrolled in a program at the time of the practicum.

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 pursing 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 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 Avenue, 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.

Child Life Graduate Internship

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 during both the academic year and the summer. The academic year internship begins in September and runs for eight months (20 hours a week). The summer internship is full-time (40 hours a week) for 16 weeks. A full time spring internship is also available (40 hours a week from January-May).

Students are given opportunities to develop skills in assessment and intervention, therapeutic play, and professionalism. The student's clinical supervisor (a certified child life specialist) and other staff members in the program provide instruction and guidance as well as regular opportunities for reflective supervision.

The internship program subscribes to the guidelines established by the Association of Child Life Professionals in both the hours of service required and in the content of the field experience.  Interns will complete a minimum of 600 hours during their internship.

Criteria for Child Life Internship Candidates

All applications must be received by the application deadline dates set forth by the Association of Child Life Professionals: Internship Deadline Dates. These dates will be followed for all internship timeline and offer dates as well. 

Before applying for internship 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 enrolled in a master’s program in child life, child development, early childhood education, or related field. We do not have an internship program from undergraduate students at this time.
  • Students will have extensive coursework in child development, including completion of ACLP online coursework.
  • Students will have at least 100 hours experience working with infants, well children, youth and/or families in a variety of settings.
  • Students will have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 for both undergraduate and graduate school.
  • Students will have a minimum of 100 hours working/volunteering with hospitalized children.
  • A completed child life practicum is highly preferred, but not required.
  • Students will provide three letters of professional reference, sealed and signed in envelope.
  • Students must be enrolled in a university program. (Student's university will be required to engage in a contractual relationship with Comer Children's Hospital.)

Child Life Internship Requirements and Expectations

1.     A complete orientation to the Child Life Program and Comer Children's Hospital including health screening (TB/blood test, and drug screen provided by University Health Clinic) and criminal background check (this must be completed in person on campus)

2.     Written goals and objectives for the internship experience

3.     Weekly meetings with student supervisor

4.     Internship case study and project for completion during placement and presentation to the child life staff

5.     Participation in evaluation following each rotation and to complete internship

Requirements for Child Life Internship Application Process

To apply for an internship, please provide documents, as ordered below, in a report folder:

 View and download the application form (PDF).

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

  • A cover letter
  • Your resume
  • Official college transcripts (undergraduate and graduate), sealed by registrar
  • Three written professional references (one from a CCLS)
    • 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 Avenue, Room K-135 
Chicago, IL 60637-1470

The student 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.

Art Therapy Graduate Internship

Comer Children's offers internships to graduate students working toward a master’s degree in art therapy. Internship opportunities are available during the academic year from September through May. Students will complete 24 hours of internship each week in three, eight hour days.

Students are given opportunities to build independent professional skills, strengthen therapeutic skills in both group and individual settings, and develop assessment and intervention skills. The student's clinical supervisor (a registered art therapist) provides supervision, instruction, and guidance.

Graduate students' hours will be determined according to school requirements and the child life program.

Criteria for Art Therapy Graduate Students

Before applying for an art therapy internship in the Child Life Program at Comer Children's Hospital, please review the following criteria to make certain that you qualify:

  • Our program is only for students in the second or third year of their master's degree in art therapy
  • Students will have coursework in art therapy and child development.
  • Students will have experience working with young children and/or infants.
  • Students will have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0.
  • A minimum of 100hrs of experience working/volunteering with hospitalized children is required.
  • Students will provide three letters of professional reference with at least one from an academic institution and one from a supervisor of direct work with children.
  • Students must be enrolled in a university program. (Student's university will be required to engage in a contractual relationship with Comer Children's.)

Requirements for Art Therapy Internship Application Process

  • Application deadline: Application must be postmarked by March 1st.
  • All materials must be received by this date for internship consideration.

To submit an application, please observe the following steps:

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

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

  • Your resume
  • Official college transcripts (undergraduate and graduate), sealed by registrar
  • Three written professional references
    • 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: Yasuko Yoshihara 
5721 S. Maryland Avenue, Room K-135 
Chicago, IL 60637-1470

Email application to:

Yasuko.Yoshihara@uchospitals.edu

(If application is emailed, references and transcripts must still be sent as described above in the mail and postmarked by the application deadline date)

The student coordinator will review your application and notify you of next steps.

Art Therapy Internship Requirements and Expectations

1.     A complete orientation to the Child Life Program and Comer Children's including health screening (TB and blood test, and drug screen provided by University Health Clinic) and criminal background check will be completed prior to the start of the internship.

You must be present at the hospital in Chicago to complete all of step 1. Students relocating for this internship should plan to arrive at least two weeks prior to internship to complete step 1

The following will be required of all graduate students during internship:

2.     Written goals and objectives for the internship experience

3.     Daily meetings with student supervisor

4.     Case study presentation to the child life staff including reflections from group experiences throughout internship

5.     Attendance at child life staff in-services

6.     Participation in a mid-term and final evaluation process

Housing Information

Dormitory housing is available through the International House at the University of Chicago. It is situated on the University of Chicago campus, within walking distance of Comer Children's. The house has fully furnished rooms, and is convenient to public transportation. For more information about housing, please contact the International House of Chicago's residence director at (773) 753-2270.