Child life internship

The Child Life Program at Dell Children’s Medical Center provides internship opportunities for students seeking a degree in child life.

Toddler playing with blocks.

Child life internship at Dell Children's

Dell Children’s Medical Center Child Life Internship Program is designed to support career training for those who are currently seeking an undergraduate or graduate degree in child life, child development, or a related field. Throughout the semester, students will earn a minimum of 600 hours over the course of 16 weeks. Our goal is to provide interns with opportunities to expand their knowledge of child life and child development, enhance their therapeutic play skills, develop their ability to provide education and procedural preparation and support and strengthen their assessment, intervention, and evaluation skills. Our internship is accredited by the Association of Child Life Professionals.

The internship program is unpaid and does not guarantee future employment. Housing, transportation, meals and medical insurance are the responsibility of the intern. All child life students are required to be affiliated with a college or university and complete the internship for course credit. At this time, the Dell Children’s Medical Center child life department is only accepting applications for our practicum and internship programs from students who are affiliated with the colleges and universities listed below. Internship offers are contingent on securing an affiliation agreement between Dell Children’s and the applicant’s college or university. Students must complete a criminal background check, have a current TB test, and other vaccination requirements in accordance with hospital policies.

Find out more about child life at Dell Children’s.

How to apply

To apply for the Dell Children’s Medical Center Child Life Internship Program, visit the ACLP Application Portal and submit requirements for the Internship Readiness Common Application. You can find information and detailed instructions on completing the application here.

The application components you will complete include:

  • Completion of the application
  • Uploading unofficial transcripts from all universities.
  • Uploading the eligibility assessment

Once the online application is complete, you may download the application and submit it via email to Please state the internship session (Spring or Fall) with the year in the subject of the email. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

The ACLP Internship Readiness Common Application PDF is the only application component that is needed or will be reviewed. No additional documentation will be required or reviewed for a candidate’s initial submission (no letters of recommendation, cover letters, resumes, etc.)

Dell Children’s Medical Center child life department is only allowed to accept applications for our practicum and internship programs from students who are affiliated with the following colleges and universities:

  • Baylor University
  • Texas A&M University Health Sciences Center
  • Texas State University
  • The University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Iowa
  • Texas Woman’s University
  • Texas Christian University
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Eastern Washington University
  • Ohio University
  • University of Central Oklahoma
  • University of Georgia

Application deadlines

Internships are offered two times a year. Applications must be received by the application deadline or they will not be considered. Deadlines are set in accordance with the Association of Child Life Professionals internship scheduling guidelines.

Spring internships (January start date)

Application deadline: September 7th
Offer deadline: Second Tuesday of October
Acceptance deadline: The following Wednesday

Fall internships (August start date)

Application deadline: March 15th
Offer deadline: First Tuesday of May
Acceptance deadline: The following Wednesday

Internship overview

The internship experience includes a two-week orientation, two six-week clinical rotations and a two-week mini-rotation. Interns will also complete site visits to learn about other Child Life programs in the area.

Interns will be supervised by certified child life specialists. During the internship, students will:

  • Observe and gain experience in assessing the needs of patients and families as well as documenting interventions in the medical chart.
  • Plan and implement developmentally appropriate activities and therapeutic play sessions in group and individual settings.
  • Observe and gain experience in providing patient and family support through coping interventions, developmentally appropriate education and preparation, emotional support and interactions that facilitate emotional expression.
  • An average of 20 educational in-services facilitated by certified child life specialists and other psychosocial staff covering a variety of topics applicable to child life practice and profession.
  • Participate in multidisciplinary meetings and rounds, special hospital events, and support groups.
  • Complete assignments including weekly readings and journals, case presentations, and a major project.
  • Have a multitude of opportunities for verbal and written evaluation, feedback and support.

Contact us

Dell Children’s Medical Center
Child Life Department
4900 Mueller Blvd.
Austin, TX 78723

Child Life Internship Coordinator

Child life internship