Internship Program with the Child Life Department

ACLP Accredited Internship Program

We are currently accepting applications for the Summer 2023 internship semester.

All inquiries regarding the internship program should be emailed to:

Please refer to the "How to Apply" section for all pertinent information regarding application submissions.


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 UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh 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 UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh) 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

Mike Shulock, MS, CCLS
Internship Coordination Team Member


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.


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

Child Life Internship Application Prerequisites

Please note that just because you meet all of the minimum requirements, does not mean you will be guaranteed an interview.

All materials to be enclosed with your application:

  1. Child Life Common Internship Application (PDF)
  2. Proof of affiliation with an academic program in order to establish a master agreement between the school and UPMC (i.e. Letter from academic advisor).
  3. Please provide us with 3 recommendation forms using the Child Life Internship Common Recommendation Form in the application. We require one form be from your Practicum Supervisor, one form from someone who has seen you work with children, and one form from a person who knows you well and is not related to you. All recommendation forms should be emailed by your reference person to Please refer to the "How to Apply" section for more detailed information regarding this.
  4. A current transcript (unofficial acceptable) from your current college/university demonstrating a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Do not send transcripts from schools you are no longer attending.
  5. ACLP Eligibility Assessment Report: In-progress coursework will be considered, however we require confirmation of successful completion by the first day of internship.
  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. Confirmation of a "Child Life Course In Progress" form will be considered.
  7. 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.
  8. Current resumé.
  9. Proof of at minimum 100 hours of experience with children in a healthcare setting. Practicum hours will count towards this. Practicums must be under the supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist. The "Confirmation of Child Life Practicum In-Progress" form will be considered.
  10. 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.).
  11. Proof of at minimum 100 hours experience with well children (i.e. summer camp, day care center, development center, etc.)

How to Apply

When submitting your application, you must have a separate attachment for each part of your application, and each attachment must be labeled in the following way:

  1. Full Name ACLP Common Application
  2. Full Name Resume
  3. Full Name Unofficial Transcript (current school only)
  4. Full Name ACLP Eligibility Assessment Report
  5. Full Name "In-Progress" form for ACLP Relevant Coursework (only if necessary)
  6. Full Name Child Life Course Verification Form
  7. Full Name Verification of Related Experiences (all sent together as one attachment, please)
  8. Full Name Letter from Advisor proving affiliation with college/university

ALL application materials must be emailed to:

In order for your application to be considered "Complete", all parts of the application must be emailed in ONE email only, and nothing extra is to be sent. If it is discovered that something is missing from your application submission, you will not be permitted to resubmit, therefore please double-check your attachments.

We only accept ACLP Common Recommendation forms and do not want any additional written letters from your references. Please have your references directly email their ACLP Common Recommendation forms to prior to the deadline. We would encourage you to reach out to your references to make sure they have sent a recommendation form on your behalf so that your application is not considered "incomplete". Please tell them to label their attachment as follows:

Candidate's Full Name ACLP Common Recommendation Form

Prerequisites After Acceptance into the Program

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. Students will also be required to have their Act 31: Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting.  (Proof of all clearances MUST be submitted to the Internship Coordinator before the start of the internship, including Act 73 fingerprinting,