Internship Program with the Child Life Department

ACLP Accredited Internship Program

We are currently accepting applications for the Summer 2021 semester. Please note that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we cannot guarantee that the semester will begin on-time.

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

Child Life Internship Coordinator
Child Life Department
UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
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 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

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. All recommendation forms should be in a signed/sealed envelope and returned to the applicant to include in their application. Please only submit the recommendation forms, and do not include any additional written letters of recommendation.
    • One recommendation form should be filled out by your practicum coordinator or supervisor.
    • One recommendation form should be filled out by someone who has supervised you, and observed you working with children.
    • One recommendation form may be filled out by a person who knows you well (non-related).
  4. Transcript (unofficial acceptable) from college/university demonstrating a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  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 do not count towards this.
  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.).
  12. 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 "Confirmation of Child Life Practicum In-Progress" form will be considered.

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,