Child Life Internship

Child Life Internship Offers Hands-On Training in Child Life Services

The Child Life Department at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital offers a 16-week long child life internship three times a year beginning in January, May, and September. To ensure that students receive a well-rounded experience they will have the opportunity to learn from and shadow child life specialists in every area we currently have child life services.

Clinical Experience

Students typically have two long rotations mixed with shorter shadowing experiences. The two long rotations usually include both an outpatient rotation and an inpatient rotation. Students also will have weekly in-services on topics relevant to the child life profession. The clinical experience is combined with a student’s academic curriculum to help students develop insight and understanding into the issues facing hospitalized children and their families and the role of a child life specialist.

Students will have the opportunity to observe and work with certified child life specialists, child life assistants, art therapists, music therapists, our family resource librarian, and school teachers.

Internship Qualifications

Qualified internship applicants should meet the following criteria by the beginning of their internship:

  1. Complete 50 hours of volunteer or work experience with children in a pediatric hospital; these hours must be separate from hours required by the applicant’s university.
  2. Take the following required courses: The Hospitalized Child, Child Development, Child Psychology, Medical Terminology, and Anatomy and Physiology
  3. Highly recommended coursework includes courses titled: Death and Dying/Bereavement, Family Studies, and Cultural Diversity
  4. Complete a child life practicum consisting of at least 100 hours in a pediatric health care setting under the supervision of a certified child life specialist*
  5. Declare a major of Child Life, Child and Family Studies or Child Development, or have a concentration in Child Life-related coursework
  6. Is currently, and will continue to be enrolled in a university/college that has a current affiliation contract with University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center**

*Students are encouraged to have completed their practicum before applying for the internship, as the student committee has observed that students who have completed a practicum are better prepared for the selection process.

**Applicants should confirm with their university that it has a current affiliation contract with UH Cleveland Medical Center. Applicants will need to provide proof of their current personal medical coverage.

The Selection Process

Upon receipt of a completed UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital internship application (including the CLC Common Internship application, an essay, letters of reference and transcripts), applications are reviewed by the Rainbow Child Life Student Committee. Students will be contacted once their application has been accepted, but due to the volume of applications received, students are not guaranteed an interview by applying.

The Student Committee conducts two rounds of interviews. Students will be contacted if they are chosen to continue on in the selection process. Selection of interns for the clinical experience is based on resume, letters of recommendation, personal interview(s), application essay, and prioritization exercise.

All arrangements for transportation and housing are the responsibility of the student.

Apply for Internship

We are currently not accepting internship applications. Please check back for updates.

Contact Us

Thank you for your interest in our program. Erin Whipple, MA, CCLS, Student Program Coordinator, can be contacted with further questions at or 440-617-4847.

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