Training | Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy | UC Davis Children’s Hospital


The UC Davis Child Life Department offers practicum and internship opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career as a child life specialist. Each student program is designed to provide a foundation for students to learn about the psychosocial needs of children in the health care environment.

Please review our program and application information below, and if you have any further questions, please email

*Student Projects (University and High School): Unfortunately, due to staffing and patient privacy concerns we do not provide opportunities for staff interviews or job shadowing.  If you have interest or project information needs, please review the following resources: Child Life Specialist FAQs, the UC Davis Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy home page or the Association for Child Life Professional web page at

The UC Davis Child Life program offers a 16-week, 640-hour clinical internship, under the direct supervision of experienced child life specialists. The internship curriculum is based on standards set by the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP). Students in the internship program will undergo training in preparation for their future careers and certification examinations.

Interns gain hands-on training in child life programming, medical play, surgical and procedural preparation, stress point coping, charting, planning and implementing therapeutic interventions, bereavement support, and sibling interventions. In addition, interns will have the opportunity to participate in multidisciplinary rounds, in-service training, and classes with the Center for Nursing Education when available.          

We offer placements ONLY during the fall and winter/spring cycles.                                

Internship application, offer and acceptance dates

ACLP recommends common internship application deadlines in order to make the process as equitable as possible for prospective interns. There are several important dates each internship cycle – for these timelines, please refer to the ACLP Internship Information page.

Application process

Email your completed ACLP’s Internship Readiness Common Application to the UC Davis Child Life Internship Committee at to be considered for an interview

Important information

ACLP Resources:

The ACLP has created resources to help guide the application process.


  • Once the applicant pool is narrowed down, we will reach out to the candidates selected to be interviewed. At that time, we may request a professional reference with whom we can contact.
  • Group interviews will be scheduled virtually to meet the deadlines of the ACLP


  • University affiliated and non-university affiliated applications are accepted.
  • The UC Davis Child Life Internship is an unpaid educational opportunity.
  • Although interns are responsible for the costs related to transportation and housing, the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department will cover parking fees at no cost to the intern.

Due to the changes set forth by the ACLP in relation to internship readiness, our child life practicum program will be on hold while we update the curriculum.  Please check back November 2024.

The UC Davis Child Life program offers a 120-hour practicum program for undergraduate and graduate students, who have not yet completed a child life internship. This experience is intended to serve as an introductory experience for individuals interested in pursuing a career in child life. Through experiential learning and observation of child life specialists, child life practicum students begin to increase their knowledge of evidence-based, developmentally appropriate interventions. Practicum standards set forth by ACLP are followed and students will receive close supervision from experienced child life specialists throughout their rotations.

Requirements to apply:

  • Have completed a minimum of 50 hours volunteering within a pediatric hospital setting (preferably under CCLS supervision)
  • Have completed at least one class in typical child development with a passing grade
  • Have a minimum of 100 hours experience working with children (paid or volunteer) in group or individual settings
  • Ability to commit to a 120-hour practicum program

Application process

To be considered for an interview for the summer of 2023, applicants who meet the necessary requirements must email their completed application in PDF format to the UC Davis Child Life practicum committee at by January 27, 2023.

A completed application includes:

Interview information

  • Interviews are typically scheduled within 2-4 weeks from the application due date.

The Art Therapy Internship is open to graduate students who are actively attending an approved or accredited program by the American Art Therapy Association. The Internship program will meet the supervision and direct client contact requirements identified by the Intern’s education program. The Art Therapy Intern will be supervised by a board-certified, registered art therapist and will work closely with the entire Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy team.

After orienting to the inpatient units, the Intern will be assigned a specific caseload and conduct art therapy groups on various units. Under supervision, the Intern will provide individual and group art therapy to patients, family members, and caregivers. When clinically indicated, the Intern will conduct formal art therapy assessments and document the outcomes in the electronic medical record, along with daily and weekly case notes. The Intern will have the opportunity to collaborate with different treatment modalities and gear the content of the internship towards his or her individual interests.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Letter of approval from Art Therapy program director stating student’s eligibility for internship
  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • All official university/college transcripts

Program Contact: Jennifer Miller, M.A., ATR-BC |

This training program is on hold.

UC Davis Children’s Hospital is proud to be an American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) national roster internship site. The music therapy internship follows completion of a bachelor’s or equivalency degree in music therapy and fulfills the 1200-hour requirement of clinical hours before sitting for the national board certification exam. 

Eligibility requirements:

  • Completion of music therapy program (bachelor’s, equivalency or master’s) from an AMTA accredited program
  • Proficiency on piano, guitar and voice  
  • Preferred but not required - interest in pursuing music therapy in medical settings after internship