Patient girl and child life specialist playing dress-up in pediatric hospital room

About the Children’s Child Life Practicum Program

The Child Life Practicum Program is designed as an introductory experience for individuals interested in becoming a Certified Child Life Specialist and who have academic training in the fields of child life, child development, psychology or a related discipline. The Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Child Life Practicum is offered two times each year in the winter/spring and summer.

Our practicum program is part time for 15 weeks, totaling appropriately 180 hours. Students will rotate through two primary units in our hospital system and experience a variety of learning opportunities such as observational experiences, supervised participation, and intentional assignments. Students will gain experience introducing child life services, developing communication skills with children in a group and individual setting, and planning and implementing normative and therapeutic activities.

For additional information about the certification process, coursework requirements, internship, eligibility for certification, and career planning, please visit the Association of Child Life Professionals website.


To be eligible for this program, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Applicant must have completed a core curriculum with a minimum of junior level college coursework (at least 60 hours). Academic training must be in the fields of child life, child development, psychology or a related discipline.
  • Earned a GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale for completed college level coursework.
  • Completion of a minimum of 100 hours of experience working with children in a structures environment (e.g., child development center, daycare, preschool camp, etc.) Volunteer experience with hospitalized children is encouraged.
  • Children’s accepts both affiliated and unaffiliated students.

Applicants must be able to commit to two 6-hour shifts per week over the course of 15 weeks (a minimum of 180 hours). Students are expected to be available during regular business hours. Certain individual rotations may require a practicum student to work some evenings/weekends. Schedules vary depending on supervisor schedules.

How to Apply

To apply for the Child Life Practicum, complete this application and email your completed application to Please include your name and session you are applying for in the subject line.

(Example: Jane Doe – Summer 2023)

All applications must be received by the deadline at 11:59pm to be considered. Please note, application is not a guarantee of interview or acceptance. A limited number of students will be accepted each semester. The number of students accepted varies each semester due to the number of applicants and supervisor availability.

Practicum Session Dates

  • Summer 2023 Semester: May 8 – August 18
  • Winter/Spring 2024 Semester: January 8 – April 19

Please note: Children's will not be offering a practicum experience during Summer 2024 or Fall 2024. Our program will resume for the Winter/Spring 2025 session.

Hospital Tour

Our Child Life team hosts quarterly informational tours for aspiring child life professionals. These tours take place at one of our main campuses on the first Tuesday of February, May, August and November.

Please email us at to register.

Contact Us

Please reach out to with any questions regarding our student programs.

Providing life-affirming and life-strengthening care

Our child life specialists help children cope with hospital life and their illnesses by giving them a chance to play and interact.