Child Life Student Programs: An Overview

Child life student training opportunities are available to expose and educate individuals to the child life profession. These experiences are offered three times a year, beginning in January, May and September. Qualified students should submit a completed application and be available for an on-site interview. Students for whom an on-site interview is not feasible due to distance may participate in a phone interview.

Application is not a guarantee of acceptance, and not all applicants are invited to interview.

After an application is reviewed, the prospective student will receive a notification if he/she will be moving forward to the interview phase of the application process. Candidates who participate in the interview process will be notified of any potential internship opportunities according to the notification standards and timeline set by the Child Life Council.

The Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy department provides students with quality supervision and education during placement, and as such, only accepts a limited number of students per semester.

Types of student training

Child life practicum experience

120-hour experience designed to introduce individuals to the Child Life Specialist profession. See child life practicum.

Child life internship experience

640-hour comprehensive experience for individuals who desire to be eligible to sit for the Child Life Specialist certification examination (by the Child Life Council). See child life internship.

Dual child life/therapeutic recreation Internship

720-hour experience for those individuals planning to be eligible to sit for both the Child Life Specialist certification examination (through the Child Life Council) and Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists examination (through the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification). See dual child life/therapeutic recreation internship.

Additional information about the Child Life Student Programs

  • The Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy department provides student education free of charge.
  • None of the student experiences is paid.
  • Start/end dates depend on several variables, including Hospital orientation dates and the length of the student experience. Check with the student program coordinator for the program you are interested in for more specific information on the flexibility of start/end dates, as they will vary as well from program to program.
    • For dual program: For students who are affiliated with a university, start/end dates may vary based on semester calendars and graduation deadlines.
  • The number of students accepted varies from semester to semester due to the number of applicants and supervisor availability. Generally we accept two to four child life students, four creative arts therapy students (art/music therapy) and one dual child life/therapeutic recreation student.
  • The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia does not provide housing for students. However, rooms and apartments are available for rent from Sansom Place Guest Accommodations through The University of Pennsylvania, located adjacent to The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Students who are accepted to the student program who contact Sansom Place Guest Accommodations for housing must notify the staff at Sansom Place that they are CHOP-Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy department students.

Contact us

For more information about professional education in the Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy Department at 267-426-1340 or e-mail

Reviewed on April 11, 2014