Child Life Practicum

The Child Life department at Children's Hospital Los Angeles offers a 10-week 160-hour practicum experience for undergraduate and graduate students. Practicum students must be willing to be on site for two 8-hour shifts a week for 10 weeks.

This pre-internship experience is intended to prepare students for the Child Life Internship. Our practicum is a primarily observational opportunity that provides a hands-on pre-internship experience, and is built in accordance with the ACLP’s Pre-Internship Modules.


  • Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) child life practicum students may be affiliated with a university at the undergraduate and graduate level, but this is not required.
  • International applicants must be actively affiliated with a U.S. University.
  • Per CHLA policy, all students must comply with CHLA required health clearance and background check.
  • Practicum candidates must have:
    • Completion of one child life focused course taught by a Certified Child Life Specialist prior to start date.
    • Three of the following courses must be in progress at time of application or completed, 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 with volunteer or work experience with well or hospitalized children/families preferred.

Submitting Your Application

Application Considerations

  • Stipends, housing, and/or relocation fees are not provided.
  • Interviews will be conducted virtually.
  • If chosen, the practicum student(s) will be required to:
    • Complete weekly assignments that consist of: Reflective Journals, Self-Care Assessments, Play Interventions, Personal Behavior Self-Assessments of Anti-Bias Behavior, and Self-Care Reflections.
    • Observe and debrief child life interventions, both clinical and therapeutic.
    • Plan and implement developmentally appropriate play opportunities independently.

Application Deadlines

Spring Term

Application deadline: October 18
Practicum begins (approximately): Last week of January

Summer Term

Application deadline: February 21
Practicum begins (approximately): 1st week of June

Fall Term

Application deadline: May 15
Practicum begins (approximately): Last week of August