Child Life Practicum

The Child Life Program at Penn State Children's Hospital is pleased to offer a professional Child Life Practicum Program during the Summer for students wishing to pursue a career in the Child Life profession. The Practicum Program is designed to provide an introduction to Child Life through observations and project completions.

The practicum will be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays (8 hours per day) for 10 consecutive weeks (160 hours).  One student will be selected to complete the practicum which will be offered from May 18 through July 24, 2015.  Please be advised that Practicum hours cannot be used to satisfy the required internship hours to sit for the Child Life Certification. The deadline for applications is February 1, 2016. If you have any questions, please contact Practicum Co-Coordinators: Julie O'Neill ( or Carrie Myers (

In order to be considered for this practicum, you must:

  • be entering your junior or senior year of college, or have graduated with at least a Bachelor's (4-year) degree; GPA of 3.0 or higher required; AND
  • have completed at least three college level course in child development, child life, psychology, or a related field; AND 
  • have completed at least 50 hours volunteer or paid experience working with children.

In order to satisfy any required academic credit, please also return with your application any pertinent requirements as determined by your course of study (i.e. course outlines, syllabus, etc.). Deadlines are as listed below.

Practicum Session

Application Deadline

Offer Deadline

Acceptance Deadline

May 16 - July 22, 2016

February 1, 2016

By February 29, 2016

By March 7, 2016



You may handwrite (legibly) or type your application. Mail your complete application in one envelope. The complete application packet must be postmarked by February 2, 2015. Please include:

  • Practicum Application (including essay);
  • two reference letters in sealed envelopes (One letter must be from a person who has observed your work with children, and one letter from your academic advisor.); and
  • official transcript from each school attended (Include list of courses in which you are currently enrolled, if applicable.)

Mail to:

Penn State Children's Hospital
Child Life Program - Practicum
c/o Julie O'Neill and Carrie Myers
500 University Drive
Hershey, PA 17033

Upon review of your application, you will be notified by phone of your selection status, which may include scheduling an interview. Interviews will be conducted beginning February 16, 2015. A site interview is preferred if you live within 100 miles of Hershey, PA. However, a phone interview can be arranged if you live outside the 100 mile radius or are unable to attend a personal interview.

If you are accepted as a practicum student and are affiliated with a college or university, please note that prior to the start of your practicum, an affiliation agreement must be entered into between Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and your school. If a contract is failed to be negotiated, the practicum placement becomes void.

This is an unpaid practicum. Please also be advised that required clearances, housing, and transportation are the responsibility of the student.