Our Services

Child Life Internship Program

Any applications or correspondence to the Child Life Department should be addressed to:

Child Life Internship Coordinator
Child Life Department, Main Hospital Room 1266
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
One Children's Hospital Drive
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224


Child life student internship placements are assigned according to the three-semester calendar cycle. Application forms for each semester must be received in accordance to the Child Life Council’s recommended internship application and offer dates:

Fall: May 5
Winter/Spring: September 5
Summer: January 5

Internships are offered to currently enrolled bachelor’s- or master’s-level students each semester whose career focus is to become a Child Life Specialist.

For legal purposes, applicants must be affiliated with an academic program. Examples of this are being enrolled as a degree seeking or non-degree seeking student.

This internship is designed around competencies for child life specialists endorsed by the Child Life Council Inc. It provides students with an on-site, clinical training experience in an inpatient pediatric hospital and/or outpatient clinic setting.

The Child Life Internship offered at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC is a very competitive program, accepting applicants from various universities. The program has limited positions available, therefore placements are not guaranteed. After review of the applications, qualified candidates will be interviewed prior to any internship offers.

Students interested in internship opportunities (considered “externship” at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC) within the Child Life Department should send the internship application packet to the Child Life Department before the scheduled deadline. Please contact the Child Life internship coordinators with any additional questions:

Beth Moneck, MS, CCLS 

Mike Shulock, MS, CCLS 

Child Life Internship Program Prerequisites
Internship Application



Student placements are supervised by qualified certified child life specialists. Weekly supervision meetings are supplemented by several professional in-services. Attendance of lectures, seminars, rounds, conferences, and relevant meetings is mandatory. Interns are required to complete multiple assignments and projects. The internship experience meets the qualifications of the Child Life Certifying Committee for eligibility to sit for the certification exam.



Placements are unpaid and scheduled for 40 hours a week for 16 weeks. Typical work hours are Monday–Friday from 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. with appropriate break times. Some unit placements require earlier morning hours. Emergency Department placements require evening and weekend hours.


Child Life Internship Program Prerequisites

All materials to be enclosed with your application:
  1. Child Life Common Internship Application(PDF)
  2. Two original letters of reference. 
  3. Official transcript from college/university demonstrating 3.0 or higher GPA with a minimum of 10 completed courses relating to the field of child life. (Course content as required to sit for the Child Life Council Certification Exam. Please refer to the Child Life Council for appropriate courses: www.childlife.org).
  4. Child Life Council Course Review Summary (please contact the child life council for more information regarding course review).
  5. Completion of coursework through junior year of a bachelor’s degree program in child life, child development, counseling, education, expressive therapies, psychology, or recreational therapy.
  6. Current resumé.
  7. Proof of at minimum 75 hours of experience children in a health care setting (i.e. hospital, camps for children challenged with illness, bereavement center, centers for medically fragile children, etc.)
  8. Proof of at minimum 25 hours' experience with well children (i.e. summer camp, day care center, development center, etc.)
  9. 9. Proof of current enrollment or completion of Child Life Practicum Program under the supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist.
The following are prerequisites after acceptance into the program and are to be completed before the first day:
  1. Required readings PRIOR to the start of the internship:
    • Gaynard, L., Wolfer, J., Goldberger, J., Thompson, R., Redburn, L., & Laidley, L. (1990), Psychosocial Care of Children in Hospitals: A Clinical Practice Manual. Bethesda, MD: Association for the Care of Children’s Health.
    • Thompson, R.H. (ed.) 2009. The Handbook of Child Life: A guide for pediatric psychosocial care. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, LTD.
  2. A signed contract of agreement for internship participation between UPMC and college/university
  3. An advisor's plan for communicating with the Child Life Internship Coordinators during the internship period, i.e. observations, conferences, correspondence  
  4. A copy of the evaluation forms required by the intern’s academic program  
  5. List of special assignments or project requirements from the intern’s academic program
  6. Documentation of valid CPR certification by the American Red Cross (or can be obtained soon after beginning internship at Children’s Hospital) 
  7.  Health Requirements:
    • Students must be in good health before beginning the internship. 
    • A health screening (with a recent PPD reading) is required of all students prior to the beginning of their placement.
  8. Security Clearances: Students MUST comply with the Pennsylvania Acts 33, 34, and 73 requirements (Child Abuse, Criminal Background, and FBI clearances). This paperwork can be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. (Proof of all clearances MUST be submitted to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC HR before start of internship.)


Last Update
April 18, 2013
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Last Update
April 18, 2013