HDFS 470: Preprofessional Internship

An internship is an educational experience, somewhat like a practicum, only with an advanced set of expectations. Jobs are performed for pay, while volunteer work is generally done to help. The internship is a self-motivated learning experience for graduating seniors who have completed the majority of their departmental coursework. Each student must complete a minimum of 3 credits of HDFS 470 for graduation requirements.

The internship experience is a bridge between your undergraduate classes in Human Development and Family Studies and your post-university life. It will help you gain new skills and experience. An intern gains the opportunity to learn how the program or agency operates, and in turn gains valuable experience that can be included on their resume when searching for a permanent position.

HDFS Internship Site List


Mandatory HDFS 470 Internship Orientations

Thursday, April 12, 2018
4:00 - 5:15 pm

Wednesday, April 18, 2018
9:15 - 10:30 am 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
8:00 - 9:15 am 

Monday, April 30, 2018
5:15 - 6:30 pm

Mandatory HDFS 231 Practicum Orientations

Thursday, April 12, 2018
5:30 - 6:30 pm

Wednesday, April 18, 2018
8:00 - 9:00 am

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
9:30 - 10:30 am

Monday, April 30, 2018
4:00 - 5:00 pm

Enrolling in HDFS 470

Permission will be given for this course during advisement appointments only. Though you should see an advisor each semester, be sure to make an appointment prior to enrolling in your final semester of courses.

Student Testimonials


Sarah ConteSarah Conte
Renown Children's Hospital - Child Life Specialist

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"For my internship, I got to interact with all kinds of children and families.  I was able to learn from 3 different child life specialists who showed me multiple ways to approach child life.  I learned techniques for distraction, play and bedside assistance.  When I would see a change in a child's demeanor as a result of something that we did together were the most satisfying experiences.  My advice to a brand new intern would be to not be afraid. Walking into a sick child's room can be intimidating and taking initiative can be even more so.  I think that the reference letter that I received from my supervisor will definitely help me in the future to secure a post grad internship and possibly a job."

 Jessica SpyrowJessica Spyrow
The Eddy House YOUth Resource Center

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"I interned at the YOUth Resource Center, a branch off of an organization known as The Eddy House. .  This experience gives you realizations that are far beyond what you imagine.  I did not learn a whole lot of clerical or business work but what I did learn was how important it is to be a decent human being.  The youth here aren't used to the rules we have in place at the center, the kindness we display, the eagerness we show in wanting to engage with them, or the help we find for them among our community.  I learned to expect the unexpected, that it's okay to be the first to engage with others, sometimes no matter how hard you try to help, the youth just aren't interested in helping themselves, and to show compassion and caring in any and all situations.  Some of my days were filled with LOUD music and countless movies.  Other days were filled with unwelcome guests and police officers.  There were many laughs and just as many tears.  I will hold onto the stories and memories my whole life."

 Alex Corona Alex Corona
Northern Nevada Hopes

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"I interned at The Northern Nevada HOPES community center. I was located in the Syringe Service program where "Change Point" provided people with sterile syringes, hygiene kits and free HIV and hepatitis C testing.  The non-profit organization was a place of helping people who didn't have much and that has always held a place in my heart of the type of career I would choose for myself. Helping others when they want to be helped themselves. Getting to know people who just need to talk to others around them, and giving them your attention and support in their own goals that they want to accomplish."


Prerequisites for Enrollment/Site Placement

  1. You must be in the LAST semester of your senior year
  2. You must have completed your practicum hours
  3. Each site has a variety of requirements that may include: GPA, fingerprinting, background checks, interviews, and/or volunteer orientations

Internship Sites

Though it is preferred that you intern with one of our current placement sites, your internship can be completed with nearly any organization you wish to work with, as long as it relates to one or more of the family life education content areas:

  1. Families and Individuals in Societal Contexts
  2. Internal Dynamics of Families
  3. Human Growth and Development across the Lifespan
  4. Human Sexuality
  5. Interpersonal Relationships
  6. Family Resource Management
  7. Parent Education and Guidance
  8. Family Law and Public Policy
  9. Professional Ethics and Practice
  10. Family Life Education Methodology

You will work directly with your internship coordinator to select the site that is best for you with the goal in mind that we want to connect you to a pre-professional experience related to your career goals. The internship coordinator is here to help you every step of the way.

Hours Requirement

For each credit hour of HDFS 470 enrollment, 45 field hours are required. For example:

  • 3 credits of HDFS 470 = 135 total required field hours (averaging 9 hours per week)
  • 4 credits of HDFS 470 = 180 total required field hours (averaging 12 hours per week)

HDFS 470 Completion Results

Upon completion of their internship, students will be able to:

  • Evaluate potential career choices and further define career goals.
  • Apply professional interview techniques and resume writing skills.
  • Identify, assess, and develop personal and professional strengths, and areas in need of professional development.
  • Utilize communication and interpersonal skills, academic knowledge, and professionalism to identify and resolve problems or conflicts that occur in a professional setting.
  • Recognize certain situations, behavior, interactions, and developmental responses during the internship that relate to knowledge gained in the classroom.