Dual Internship in Child Life and Therapeutic Recreation

The Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy department offers a dual internship experience in both Child Life and Therapeutic Recreation.

Interns in the dual program must complete a minimum of 18 weeks to ensure adequate training time in each discipline. Interns rotate through two different areas of the Hospital during their experience. A variety of both inpatient and outpatient areas will be offered each semester for students to rotate through. Interns have the ability to give feedback about which areas in the Hospital are most interesting to them. Final placement decisions are made at the discretion of the student program coordinators.

Dual internships are offered once a year, during the spring (January – May). Upon completion of a dual internship, the intern will meet the eligibility requirements of an internship experience for both the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) and Child Life Council (CLC).


  • Dual Internship students must be college seniors or graduates with a major or concentration in therapeutic recreation.
  • Applicants must complete the Child Life Council course review and have a minimum of 10 approved courses completed prior to applying to the internship program. Information on coursework can be found on the NCTRC website and the CLC website. CLC can also review your transcript for you. Please refer to the dual internship packet checklist for a complete listing of prerequisites.
  • Applicants must have at least 100 hours of student or work experience with children individually or in group settings (such as camps, day cares, developmental centers, etc.).
  • Applicants must have a minimum of 100 hours experience in an established Therapeutic Recreation or Child Life Program working under the direct supervision of a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists or Certified Child Life Specialist in a healthcare or related setting. The 100 hours in a pediatric healthcare setting are a requirement. Additional hours in other settings should be included on your application.

Start/end dates

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 from program to program. For students who are affiliated with a university, start/end dates may vary based on semester calendars and graduation deadlines.


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.


To apply for a dual Child Life/Therapeutic Recreation internship, please download the Dual Child Life/Therapeutic Recreation internship application

The number of students accepted will vary from semester to semester due to the number of applicants and supervisor availability. Generally we accept one to two dual child life/therapeutic recreation interns.

An on-site interview is not required because the majority of our applicants are not from the local area; a phone interview is sufficient, although all applicants are welcome to come for an on-site tour and interview.

Contact us

For more information, please contact the Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy Department at 267-426-1340 or email childlifestudentprograms@email.chop.edu.

Reviewed on April 11, 2014