Child life specialist internship

Child life interns can expect to have a diverse and fulfilling experience at Children’s Minnesota. Our 16-week, 640-hour internship program is accredited by the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP), meeting specific training measures on all aspects of child life practice. Upon successful completion of this internship, candidates will be eligible to sit for the Child Life Certification Exam through the Child Life Certification Commission (CLCC) and will be prepared to practice as an entry level child life specialist.

Learn more about the internship program, requirements and application process below.

ACLP Accredited internship program
  • This is a paid, full time (40 hours per week) position. Weekly schedules are determined based on each intern’s clinical rotations.
  • Clinical rotations will provide exposure and training to child life work on multiple campuses within the Children’s Minnesota system, primarily on the Minneapolis and St. Paul hospital campuses.

Interns will:

  • Receive feedback and supervision from certified child life specialists and other health care professionals.
  • Collaborate with a multidisciplinary medical team in rounds, care conferences, support groups, and committees.
  • Be an active participant at special events, educational presentations and meetings.
  • Complete and present a case study of their choice from one of their patient experiences within the different rotations at Children’s Minnesota.
  • Participate in professional development in-services.
  • Experience a facilitated child life school visit.
  • Have opportunities for site visits to other child life programs.
  • Participate in interviews with other multi-disciplinary team members.

Qualified internship candidates

  • Children’s Minnesota child life interns may be affiliated with a university at the undergraduate or graduate level, but this is not required.
    • We are able to host unaffiliated interns.
  • Interested candidates should review the Association of Child Life Professional’s website and be familiar with the field of child life
  • Before applying, internship candidates must have:
    • Previously engaged with children in both health care and non-health care settings (minimum of 100 hours in each setting)
    • Previously participated in experiences with children during which children are functioning in their typical environment
    • Previously participated in experiences with children during which children are functioning under stress
    • Solid understanding of child development through coursework and experience
    • Completed the academic coursework portion of the ACLP eligibility assessment or be enrolled in an ACLP endorsed academic program with coursework in progress. This includes child life coursework identified in the ACLP required applied areas of study.

Children’s Minnesota follows all ACLP recommendations regarding application deadlines and internship placement offer and acceptance dates.

The Children’s Minnesota child life department hosts a total of four child life interns annually.

  • 2 interns during a fall session (August – December)
  • 2 interns during a winter/spring session (January – May)

Our internship program utilizes the ACLP online internship readiness application. We follow the ACLP schedule for application deadlines, offer dates and acceptance dates. Please follow all steps below to be considered for a child life internship at Children’s Minnesota. A detailed guide is available via the ACLP with additional step-by-step information on this process.

To apply:

  • Complete the Internship Readiness Common Application found at
    • Users must create an account to be able to complete the application.
    • Select the Internship Readiness Common Application tile and complete all prompted steps that appear on the dashboard.
    • Once the application is complete, candidates should download the completed application as a ZIP file.
    • Email the ZIP file as an attachment to: [email protected]
      • The ZIP files downloaded as part of the ACLP Internship Readiness Common Application process are the only components that will be reviewed by the child life internship committee. No additional documentation will be required or reviewed for a candidate’s initial application (no letters of recommendation, resumes, etc.).

Applications received after the deadline will not be reviewed.

  • When the internship application deadline closes, each complete application is reviewed and considered by a child life internship committee. Many applications are received each application cycle so this review process seeks to find the best possible matches between potential interns and the child life program staff.
  • Based on this application review, candidates will be contacted if they are selected for an interview.
    • Interviews will be conducted virtually for candidates that move on in the consideration process. These interviews are 1 hour in length and scheduling is coordinated between the candidate and a member of the child life internship committee.
    • Candidates may be asked at this step in the process to provide additional information in support of their application. These may include: references, course descriptions, etc.
  • Offers for internship placement will be made according to the established ACLP offer dates.
  • Children’s Minnesota child life interns are onboarded into a temporary employment role. Additional requirements prior to start date include (but are not limited to):
    • Criminal Background check and current DHS background check.
    • Employee Health Screening in person which includes review of medical history, immunization verification, and 9 panel urine drug screen to ensure individual health and safety.

Learn more about the child life department, roles, and our current team members.

Child life informational sessions and interviews

We offer child life informational sessions several times a year. This is an opportunity to learn from and connect with a Certified Child Life Specialist. One-on-one informational interviews are available based on staff availability. Find out more.

Music therapy internships

Children’s Minnesota offers a six-month, full-time music therapy internship. Interns receive feedback and supervision from board-certified music therapists and other health care professionals. They participate in both individual and group music therapy sessions. Find out more.