Child Life Practicum

The Child Life Department at Children's Hospital Los Angeles offers a 10 week 160-200 hour practicum experience for undergraduate and graduate students for the Spring, Summer and Fall semesters.

Application Considerations

  • While we are accepting students applying from any geographic location, we are unfortunately unable to provide support for housing/living expenses. Practicum students must be willing to be on site for two 8-hour shifts a week for 10 weeks. Totaling 160 physical hours onsite with the option to complete a final project for an additional 40 hours. Please consider these factors when applying to our program.
  • Beginning Summer 2022, we will begin to accept both affiliated and independent students at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • If chosen, the practicum student(s) will be required to:
    • Complete weekly assignments that consist of: developmental assessments, therapeutic play interventions, clinical observations, medical play assignments and weekly journals.
    • Observe and debrief child life interventions, both clinical and therapeutic.
    • Plan and implement developmentally appropriate play opportunities independently.

If you have applied to our program before, please review the updated prerequisites and requirements below.

Interviews will be conducted virtually.

Our practicum is largely observational and conducted in accordance with the recommended standards set forth by the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP). This practicum is intended to prepare students for the Child Life Internship. Please click here for the ACLP’s Recommended Standards.

  • Prerequisites
  • Application Requirements
  • Application Deadlines
  • Submitting Your Application
  • One child life focused course taught by a Certified Child Life Specialist
  • Three of the following courses, based off the ACLP eligibility Requirements for Internship:
    • 2 child development courses
    • Family Systems Course
    • Play Course
    • Loss/Bereavement or Death/Dying Course
    • Research Course
  • Applicants must meet at least one of the following:
    • 100 hours volunteer or work experience with ill children (preferred)
    • 200 hours volunteer or work experience with well children in a non-medical setting

All applications must include the following to be considered:

  • Completed CHLA Child Life Practicum Application
  • Two letters of recommendation, on official letterhead that have been written within the last year.
    • One from the supervisor responsible for overseeing your experience with children
    • One from a professional of your choice.
    • The letters of recommendation must be sent by the references directly to Any letters of recommendation submitted by the applicant and not sent directly by the reference will not be considered.

Fall Term

Application deadline: April 15
Practicum begins (appoximately): Last week of August or 1st week of September

Spring Term

Application deadline: October 15
Practicum begins (appoximately): Last week of January or 1st week February

Summer Term

Application deadline: February 15
Practicum begins (appoximately): 1st week of June

  • All application materials must be present in order to be considered.
  • All applicants that submit their completed application will receive a courtesy notice within 72 business hours. If you do not receive a notice, please email to verify application receipt.
  • Please email all completed materials to: