The Child Life Program at Penn State Children's Hospital provides direct patient care to approximately 72 inpatient pediatric beds, 42 NICU beds and several outpatient areas that serve pediatric patients.

Our internship offers over 600 hours of clinical time (40 hours per week over 16 weeks) during the spring and fall semesters only. We do not currently offer a summer internship.  No more than two interns will be selected for each semester and each intern will complete three rotations in different areas of the hospital.  Interns may have the opportunity to rotate in the following areas:  Surgery, Acute care, Inpatient Hematology/Oncology, Pediatric Intensive Care/Intermediate Care, Outpatient Hematology/Oncology clinic, NICU, and the Emergency Department.

At this time, we are unable to support Recreation Therapy students for internships or practicum experiences.

Requirements for Internship Applicants

To be considered for the internship, the following criteria must be met: 

  1. Senior college level student, graduate student or a non-affiliated applicant with or in pursuit of a degree in one of the following fields:
  • Child Life
  • Child/Family/Human Development 
  • Degrees in Early Childhood Education, Behavioral or Child Psychology, Recreational Therapy, and Music Therapy may also be considered if appropriate course work has been completed.

NOTE: Non-affiliated applicants are required to sign a "Letter of Agreement" and purchase liability insurance.  Verification of liability insurance will be required.

 2.   "Passed" status on the CLC Eligibility Assessment for all academic requirements (10 Academic courses and all six               Child Life Course Topics)

 3.    Minimum GPA 3.0

 4.    One hundred hours of volunteer or work experience with children in the hospital setting (Practicum hours would               apply)

 5.    One hundred hours of volunteer or work experience with children in other settings such as day care, summer                   camps, etc.

***Volunteer hours must be completed by time of application***

 6.    An onsite interview is required to be considered for the internship

For additional information or questions regarding the application process please contact the Child Life Internship Coordinator.

Application Process

1. Common Child Life Internship Application

Note: Application must be typed and must include the Child Life Council Eligibility Assessment and official transcript


2. Penn State Children's Hospital Supplemental Application

Download Application for the Child Life Intern Program

3. Verification of volunteer hours in a hospital setting

4. Resume & Cover Letter

5. Two reference letters

References should be written paragraph style addressing your knowledge and skills relating to your work with children and professionals.

  • 1 recommendation from a supervisor who has directly observed your work with children in a healthcare setting (Preferably from a CCLS)
  • 1 recommendation from a supervisor who has directly observed your work with children in other professional settings

Mail all application materials in ONE packet to:

Penn State Children's Hospital
Child Life Internship Program, MC CH03
500 University Drive
PO Box 850
Hershey PA 17033 

Internship Offer and Acceptance Dates


Anticipated Start Date

Application Packet
 Must Be Received  by:

Initial Offer Dates

Acceptance Dates


 September 5


 Second Tuesday


Second Wednesday


March 15


First Tuesday


First Wednesday


*Per changes made by Child Life Council in August 2015