Internship Program with the Child Life Department

Any applications (PDF) 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
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 Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP)’s recommended internship application and offer dates:

View the Internship Deadlines.

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 throughout the duration of the internship session. Proof of this affiliation is required when applying (i.e. Letter from academic advisor).

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

The Child Life Internship program at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC  has been accredited by the ACLP. We offer a very competitive program, accepting applicants from various universities. There are a limited amount of positions, therefore placements are not guaranteed. Applicants who have completed their Practicum experience at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC will not be considered for an Internship. 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 individuals below with any additional questions:

Lindsay Bromberg, MS, CCLS, CIMI
Child Life Internship Coordinator
Email: Lindsay Bromberg

Mike Shulock, MS, CCLS
Internship Coordination Team Member
Email: Michael Shulock

Erika Parsons, MS, CCLS
Internship Coordination Team Member
Email: Erika Parsons

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Student placements are supervised by Certified Child Life Specialists who meet the requirements of the ACLP and who utilize the ACLP Clinical Internship Curriculum. 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.

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Placements are unpaid and scheduled for 40 hours a week for 16 weeks.

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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. Proof of affiliation with an academic program order to establish a master agreement between the school and UPMC (i.e. Letter from academic advisor).
  4. Transcript (unofficial acceptable) from college/university demonstrating 3.0 or higher GPA. 
  5. Successful completion of child life coursework inclusive of the 6 applied areas of study, as required by the ACLP. (For more information, see
  6. Proof of completion of a course taught by a Certified Child Life specialist (CCLS). We require that your course instructor fill out the Child Life Course Verification Form.
  7. A report demonstrating completion of the academic coursework portion of the ACLP Eligibility Assessment.
  8. Completion of coursework through junior year of a bachelor’s degree program in child life or related department/program accepted by the ACLP to sit for the Child Life Certification Exam.
  9. Current resumé.
  10. Proof of at minimum 100 hours of experience with children in a healthcare setting. Practicum hours do not count towards this.
  11. Proof of at minimum 100 hours working with children/youth/families in stressful situations (i.e. camps for children challenged with illness, bereavement center, centers for medically challenged children, etc.)
  12. Proof of at minimum 100 hours experience with well children (i.e. summer camp, day care center, development center, etc.).
  13. Proof of completion of a Child Life Practicum Program with a minimum of 100 hours, and 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 master 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 Heart Association (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 documentation of:
      • Two-Step PPD/TB reading
      • Annual Influenza Vaccine (Flu Shot)
      • Bloodwork titers for Measles, Mumps, and Rubella
      • 2 doses of Varicella Vaccine or Varicella Bloodwork Titer or Documentation by Physician for history of disease
      • Hepatitis B Vaccines series
  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 Human Services. (Proof of all clearances MUST be submitted to the Internship Coordinator before the start of the internship, including Act 73 fingerprinting,

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