It's How Medicine Should Be®

Font Size:

-A +A

Translate

French German Italian Portuguese Russian

Child Life Internship

As a child life specialist, you will be helping children and their families deal with the challenges of serious illnesses and hospitalization. Before you become a certified child life specialist, an internship at Rush will help you develop and improve the skills you need to succeed in the child life field.

The child life program at Rush focuses on meeting the individual needs of patients and their families. The child life team provides services to children throughout the medical center seven days a week.

Child life internship

The Child Life and Creative Arts Program at Rush offers child life internships three times a year. The child life internships at Rush ...

  • Follow the child life curriculum outlined by the Child Life Council
  • Are full-time (40 hours per week), unpaid positions
  • Are 14 weeks or longer (depending on your school schedule)
  • Begin in January, May/June and September each year

Requirements to apply

We are only able to interview applicants who meet the general prerequisites and criteria below:

Education status

  • College senior
  • College graduate
  • Master’s degree candidate

School/work experience

  • Core curriculum classes or degree in child life, child development or a closely related field
  • Student or work experience with children in group settings, including health care environments
  • Knowledge of psychosocial issues related to illness or hospitalization
  • Grade point average of a B or better in major field of study

Apply for a child life internship

To apply for the child life internship at Rush, we require the following:

Please mail your application and additional materials:

Shira Miller, MS, CCLS
Rush University Medical Center
1653 W. Congress Pkwy.
Child Life Services, Room 599 Jones
Chicago, IL 60612

Application deadlines

The deadlines for your application and additional materials are as follows:

  • Winter (January): Sept. 5
  • Summer (May/June): Jan. 5
  • Fall (September): May 5

Applying to the program does not guarantee admission.

After you apply 

  • Once we receive all of the materials, we will review them thoroughly.
  • It takes us a minimum of two weeks to process applications.
  • We will accept late applications only if space allows it.
  • If you qualify, we will contact you by telephone to schedule an interview.

Why choose Rush for your child life internship

As a child life intern at Rush, you will have an opportunity to work with each of the child life specialists and shadow other members of our team. Being a child life intern at Rush will help you gain experience with following:

  • Culturally and socioeconomically diverse patient population
  • Patients with a broad range of pediatric diagnoses
  • Many areas of the medical center, including general pediatrics, the pediatric intensive care unit, the neonatal intensive care unit, radiology, the emergency department and the dialysis unit
  • Innovative child life programs, including Snow City Arts, Open Heart Magic, animal-assisted therapy and therapeutic humor.

Child life practicum

In addition to child life internships, Rush also offers child life practicums. The child life practicum gives students interested in pursuing a career in child life an opportunity to gain more insight into the field. The practicum is one day per week (8 hours). During this time, you will have opportunities to do the following:

  • Shadow child life specialists
  • Participate in designing and implementing therapeutic activities
  • Observe procedural preparation and support
  • Interact with children and families (in the playroom and bedside)
  • Engage in daily interactions with the multidisciplinary team

Apply for a child life practicum

The Child Life and Creative Arts Program at Rush offers child life practicums three times per year, beginning in January, May-June and September. Application deadlines are the same as those for the internship (see dates above).

To apply for a child life practicum, please submit the following:

  • Resume
  • Official transcripts (both undergraduate and graduate, if applicable)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A 300- to 500-word essay describing how the work of a child life specialist contributes to the health care experience of children and families

Please mail your application materials:

Shira Miller, MS, CCLS
Rush University Medical Center
1653 W. Congress Pkwy.
Child Life Services, Room 599 Jones
Chicago, IL 60612