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Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego offers a child life internship in the Spring each year (please note we do not offer a Fall or Summer rotation). The program is designed to prepare an individual to sit for the child life certification exam and to pursue a career as a child life specialist.

This program has the opportunity to provide an intern with the following experiences: educating patients (and/or their siblings) about their illness or condition; preparing and supporting patients for procedures; planning and implementing therapeutic and recreational activities for patients in the playroom and at the bedside; supervising volunteers; attending patient rounds; and identifying the roles of various multidisciplinary team members. During this internship, the intern will have the opportunity to learn about the psychosocial needs of the different age groups and complete a series of modules on a variety of topics such as preparation, distraction, medical play, documentation, bereavement and family-centered care. Rady Children’s provides comprehensive care in all pediatric specialties and is also a Level I Trauma Center. Learn more about Rady Children’s Information about certification process, coursework and eligibility requirements for certification along with career planning information can be found at the Association of Child Life Professionals website.

Internship Schedule

Our Child Life Internship follows the Association of Child Life Professionals internship guidelines and offers two six-week rotations and three one-week mini rotations. The intern will gain experience in various hospital units throughout their internship. Our child life internship is a 15-week, 600 hour full- time program that begins in January and is completed in April.




  • Required: Experience working with children in a healthcare setting and working with children outside of the healthcare settings.
  • Highly recommended: Completion of a child life practicum (minimum 100 hours) under the supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist.


    • The applicant must have completed at least a bachelor’s-level degree by the start date of the internship. Unaffiliated applicants will be accepted. Applicants who are currently enrolled in a master’s program will only be accepted if they are from one of the following hospital affiliated universities:

      • University of La Verne
      • Azusa Pacific University
      • Point Loma Nazarene University
      • Loma Linda University
      • San Diego State University

Eligibility Assessment:

  • Applicants must meet the educational requirements of the ACLP. We do not accept courses in progress. Courses need to be completed prior to applying. Click here for more information.


  • Copy of unofficial transcripts from all attended institutions must be included in the common application.

Application Information

Please submit application via email to as a PDF attachment.

Internship Session Application deadline Initial offer date Acceptance date Second offer date
Winter/Spring Sept. 6 Oct. 8 Oct. 9 Oct.10

Additional Information and Helpful Links

Frequently Asked Questions

How many applicants do you accept?

We accept one applicant per session.

Will paper submissions be accepted?

No, we only accept applications emailed to us. 

Do you follow the ACLP recommended application deadlines?

Yes, Rady Children’s Child Life Coordinators follow the ACLP’s recommended application deadlines and process which includes acceptance and offer dates. 

Contact Information

We thank you for your interest in the Rady Children’s Child Life Internship Program and we look forward to receiving your application.
For more information about the Child Life Internship, please contact