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Careers and Internships in Human Development and Family Studies B.S.

Careers and Internships in Human Development and Family Studies B.S.

The nation's elderly population is growing rapidly, families are changing in ways previously unknown, and our knowledge of child development is greater than ever before. Because of these trends, the demand for HD FS graduates is strong. According to the Occupational Handbook published by the U.S. Department of Labor, social and human service assistants is one of the 30 fastest-growing occupations for the years 2006-2016. Also on this list are marriage and family therapists, mental health counselors, mental health and substance abuse social workers, substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, and home health aides. The HD FS degree helps to prepare individuals for these employment opportunities and many more.

To view the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, visit the Web site at

The Pennsylvania State Civil Service Web site is a very good site to learn about salaries, search jobs and careers, and find job opportunities. You can also find out about times and dates of state civil service exams, and how to make an appointment to take the exam. Lastly, you can learn where employment opportunities are most readily available in the local and surrounding areas.

Pennsylvania State Civil Service

Potential job titles for graduates

  • Counseling or administrative positions in hospitals and community mental health centers, facilities for the mentally retarded and developmentally disabled, and public welfare offices.
  • Working in agencies providing adult or child day care, group meals, or crisis intervention.
  • Counseling and supervisory positions in group homes and halfway houses, women's resource centers, human relations programs, clinics, and private psychiatric hospitals, and more.
  • Working for employers in the development of personnel policies and employee assistance programs in business and industry.
  • Working as an entrepreneur, self-employed as a child-care provider or other work-settings.
  • Serving the local, state, and federal government as a police officer, legislative aide, project manager, or administrator.
  • Administrative positions in non-profit and for-profit organizations, serving as a fiscal officer, overseeing strategic planning, and raising funds.
  • Teaching in prevention programs, community education centers, after school settings, and (after pursuing credentials) in public and private school systems.
  • Working as career counselors, job placement specialists, job developers, and employment specialists at Universities, government employment programs, and community centers.
  • Counseling and administrative positions in drug and alcohol treatment centers, outpatient clinics, prevention programs, and government drug and alcohol treatment service centers.

Internship Requirements

Students enrolled in HD FS, must complete an academic internship prior to graduation. All 4-year degree students are required to complete 480 hours at an approved internship while enrolled in HD FS 495A. 

Over the course of the academic year, students explore various theories of leadership and team dynamics, as well as the process of program and project evaluation. Students also clarify their professional area of interest as they develop a comprehensive portfolio and participate in the career development process.

The internship program consists of three courses. These courses are:

HD FS 490: Introduction to Internship Experience (2 credits).

HD FS 490 is the first in the series of internship courses and must be taken at least one semester before your internship. HD FS 490 is offered in the fall semester. The primary goal of this course is to prepare you for a successful undergraduate internship in your professional area of interest. In this course you will develop your resume, learn job search techniques, research possible internship sites, and develop and complete an internship agreement. This document is an agreement between you, a suitable internship agency or organization, and the University. Students also develop a project to implement at the internship site during the practicum experience in the following semester. Students must complete HD FS 490 with a minimum grade of "C" and have the instructor's approval before you can continue with the internship program.

HD FS 495B: Human Services Seminar (3 credits).

HD FS 495B is taken the semester following HD FS 490 (its prerequisite) and concurrently with HD FS 495A. This course focuses on presentations and discussion of contemporary human issues by students and visiting professionals.

HD FS 495A: Internship: Assignments: Professional Practicum in Human Services (6-9 credits).

Prerequisite: HD FS 490 (taken the semester prior to HD FS 495A)
This course involves 480 hours in an agency (360 hours if the student has completed HD FS 395).