Education and Skill Requirements

To be considered for a child life Internship, bachelor-level students must have senior status at the time of the internship. We also offer graduate (master-level) and independent internships (for students who have completed their Bachelor degree). Internship candidates should major in a child-related field, such as child life, child development, early childhood education, family and human development, early childhood education, special education, or recreation therapy.

Interns are also expected to have and to further develop the following clinical skills:

  • strong knowledge of behavior and child development;
  • leadership skills;
  • excellent communication skills;
  • knowledge and understanding of group dynamics;
  • ability to organize, follow through, and work independently; and
  • ability to provide opportunities for developmentally appropriate and therapeutic play and intervention to children of every age.

Personal qualities should include:

  • Sensitivity;
  • Ability to listen and work closely with adults and children;
  • Self-awareness;
  • Creativity;
  • Spontaneity;
  • Independence;
  • Flexibility;
  • Dependability;
  • A strong work ethic;
  • Energetic; and
  • A sense of humor.

Interns are asked to complete specific readings from books and articles related to child life. It is best to complete some of these readings before the internship, although reading sources are available in the child life office and may be borrowed during the internship. Upon acceptance, interns will be sent a detailed handbook that lists these readings and many other details about the program.