Mayo Clinic child life specialist working with child

Program description

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences offers a 640-hour internship in child life at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota. This internship meets the requirements for those students who wish to become a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS). For detailed information related to the internship experience, please see the curriculum section.

Child life interns are given opportunities to apply their academic learning to patient care interactions and guided to refine skills in establishing professional relationships, conducting patient assessments, preparing children for procedures and surgeries, facilitating coping skills, and supporting patient- and family-centered care.


See accreditation information for Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.


The site for this internship is Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys Campus, part of Mayo Clinic Hospital — Rochester. Interns work with the pediatric units and have exposure to inpatient and outpatient areas.

Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, includes an extensive outpatient complex, Mayo Clinic Hospital — Rochester, and substantial research and education facilities. This Mayo Clinic site is among the largest, most advanced medical centers in the world.

Graduation and certification

Students receive a degree from their college or university commensurate with their didactic and clinical training.

Students are responsible for scheduling their certification exams through the Association of Child Life Professionals. It is recommended that you schedule and sit for your exam after completion of necessary eligibility requirements. Many institutions require entry-level child life specialists to pass the certification exam within their first year of employment, if not before.


For the majority of your internship, your learning schedule includes eight-hour days, five days a week. While the regular workweek is usually 40 hours, additional projects, patient activities and homework are assigned. In addition, some weekend and evening hours are included in the schedule.

Class size

Each winter (January to April), Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences admits two students to its Child Life Specialist Internship. This ensures that trainees receive a comprehensive educational experience within a very small cohort.

Aug. 02, 2017