Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy

Child Life Practicum

Practicum experience is intended to introduce the student to the field of child life, as well as the variety of experiences facing children and adolescents in the healthcare setting. This type of training is highly recommended for those students who are considering a career as a child life specialist.

A child life specialist will supervise the student as he or she participates in individual and group activities with children and families. The student will also have the opportunity to observe certified child life specialists in their work with patients, families and the interdisciplinary team. Students are placed in two areas of the hospital for their practicum experience.

Practicum students are required to:

For additional information about the practicum experience, download the practicum application, which includes the Practicum Job Description and Application.

Practicum application
Practicum application

Frequently asked questions

Are the start/end dates flexible?

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 Spring 2015, the session dates are Jan. 5, 2015 through April 10, 2015. For the Summer 2015 session, the dates are May 18, 2015 through Aug. 21, 2015. For Fall 2015, the session dates are Aug. 31, 2015 through Dec. 4, 2015. Please contact the Student Programs Coordinator with any questions regarding the start and end dates.

How many practicum students do you accept at a time?

The number of students accepted varies from semester to semester due to the number of applicants and supervisor availability. Generally, we accept one to three child life practicum students per semester.

Do I need to get my bachelor’s degree in child life to do a practicum in child life or to be a child life specialist?

No, you do not need a bachelor’s degree in child life at this time. Many child life staff have their degrees in Child Development, Human Development and Family Studies, Psychology, etc. It is important for applicants to have applicable coursework relating to child development, family studies, etc. More information about the Child Life Council's course recommendations and changes regarding academic preparations can be found at their website

What major should I pursue to be a Child Life Specialist?

Information on career planning can be found on the Child Life Council website.

Do you accept practicum students that are not currently enrolled in/affiliated with a college or university?

Yes. If you have completed at least your junior year of undergraduate work, you are eligible to apply for our practicum experience.

Contact us

For more information about professional education in the Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy Department, please call 267-426-1340 or email childlifestudentprograms@email.chop.edu.

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