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Child Life Practicum

Program Information

The focus of the Child Life Practicum program is to provide students the opportunity to shadow child life specialists in their daily work, apply child development and family theories to clinical practice, and implement therapeutic activities with patients and families. The Child Life Practicum consists of 150 hours over the period of 11 weeks, and includes rotations in 2 separate units. We are dedicated to providing students with high quality education, training, and experiences that are necessary to be ready for a Child Life Internship. Consequently, our program is competitive and requires us to carefully consider the education and experience of candidates. Submission of an application does not guarantee placement at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio as our program receives many applications for a limited number of spots. We strongly recommend candidates apply to practicums with a variety of organizations.

Once accepted into the program, students must provide verification of one TB test, MMR vaccinations (measles, mumps, and rubella) and a current flu shot before the practicum begins.

Download the Application here. Questions concerning the application process and practicum experience can be emailed to

Requirements to Apply

  1. Applicants must have achieved at least a college-level junior status or higher.
  2. Must have a 3.0 grade point average in the applicant’s declared major.
  3. Applicants must have completed at least three of the required college-level courses for ACLP eligibility prior to the start of practicum.  These courses include a course in play, a course in child development, and a course taught by a Certified Child Life Specialist.
  4. Applicants must have at least 50 hours of work or volunteer experience with either a child life department or with children with special needs. These hours must be fully documented in your application.
  5. Two references are required. At least one reference must be from someone who has directly observed your work with children.  

You can download the reference form here

Applications must be post-marked or emailed with the application in PDF form according to the following deadlines:

Fall Session

Application Deadline: March 29
Initial Offer Date: Third Tuesday of May
Initial Acceptance Date: Third Wednesday of May 

Spring Session

Application Deadline: September 19th 
Initial Offer Date: Fourth Tuesday of October
Initial Acceptance Date: Fourth Wednesday of October

Summer Session

Application Deadline: January 19th
Initial Offer Date: Fourth Tuesday of February
Initial Acceptance Date: Fourth Wednesday of February

Application Review and Interview Information

Once all applications are received, the student programming team will meet to review applications using a scoring matrix and extend offers to interview. The Child Life Practicum selection process utilizes the Multiple Mini Interview format. For applicants that are granted an interview, applicants will have a choice between two dates and two time slots with which to be interviewed. The applicants will be interviewed by up to three people on a one-on-one basis for 15 minute time period each. In between each interviewer’s time with the candidates, the applicants will have a five-minute break to transition to the next station. At the end of the interviews, all the applicants of that time frame will join together with the Child Life Practicum coordinator to get information about our program and be able to ask questions about the Practicum. If possible, we ask that the applicants be available to come in person for the interviews; if this is not possible, a phone interview would be optional. Further questions and correspondence about the new interviewing process will be answered when the applicants are granted an interview.

Application Checklist

*Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered.

Completed Application

  • Download the reference form here.
  • Resume
  • Proof of 50 hours or more of volunteer experience with either a child life department or with children with special needs.
  • Two signed and sealed reference forms
  • Unofficial college transcripts with a minimum of 3.0 GPA

Applicants may submit by one of three routes:

Mail: Child Life Practicum Coordinator
c/o Child Life Department The Children's Hospital of San Antonio
333 N. Santa Rosa Street
San Antonio, Texas 78207-3108
Fax: 210-704-2454