B.S. in Human Development and Family Science

Senior Internship

HDF 480 is the senior internship for HDF majors. HDF 481, taken concurrently, is the seminar that provides an opportunity for discussion and reflection of the internship experience.

HDF 480 Field Experiences in Common Agencies
(variable credit 6-12)
HDF 481 Field Experience in Seminar and Reflection (2 credits)

Please read all of the information below.


  • Senior standing (90+ credits)
  • Completion of all HDF core courses
  • Completion of two early field courses
  • HDF 381- completion of this 1 credit course
  • Completion of Senior Internship Registration paperwork

Senior Internship Paperwork Deadlines

  • For Fall semester internships: August 31
  • For Spring semester internship: December 31
  • For Summer session internship: Before class starts

Registration paperwork

After you have chosen your site, complete the Senior Internship Registration which is the google form. After your registration form is approved, you will be notified by email which will include permission numbers to enroll in HDF 480/HDF 481. The registration form includes writing learning outcomes, the duties and responsibilities of the intern, supervisor, and faculty liaison, daily work schedule and start/end date. If students would like to provide the site supervisor with a copy of the registration form, please email Phyllis Penhallow, pcpen@uri.edu 

How to find an internship

Students find their own internship.  Students take HDF 381 prior to HDF 480/481. HDF 381: Exploring Internships in Human Service Agencies is a 1 credit course which prepares students to identify goals and professional interests in human services to help find internships. The internship may be paid or unpaid. 

  • Complete HDF 381 (1 credit)
  • Search Handshake 
  • Speak with your academic advisors and professors
  • Search local human service agencies 
  • Visit URI’s Center for Career and Experiential Education (CCEE) Health & Health
    Administration Career Cluster page for additional resources
    1. Click the “Searching for a Job/Internship” tab. 
    2. Review module “Job & Internship Search Module” of how to search for jobs and internships
    3. Connect with  for Ashley Foley, Career Education Specialist for HDF at afoley@uri.edu
  • Do a general search for “Human Service Agencies in RI” to contact agencies directly.
    Cold calling is better than an email. Inquire about possible internships and/or volunteering. Often volunteering work can become internship work. Here is URI’s volunteer webpage:  https://volunteer.uri.edu/need/
  • LinkedIn: https://students.linkedin.com
  • Sample scripts for phone calls or emails can be found here:
    sample scripts

Requirements of site supervisor and agency

  • Site supervisor must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.
  • The site supervisor or the agency may not be related to you or your family.
  • The agency will assess whether or not you have the necessary background, seriousness of purpose, and overall maturity to successfully complete an internship at the agency. It may be helpful to research the agency prior to your interview.
  • Site will be approved by the HDF department before permission numbers are given for HDF 480 and HDF 481.

Credits and  Hours

HDF 480 Internship hours for variable credit

CreditsTotal HoursHours per WeekTotal Weeks
6 credits
208 14 15
7 credits
243 1615
8 credits
277 18 15
9 credits312 20 15
10 credits
347 23 15
11 credits
381 25 15
12 credits
416 2715
Plus 2 credits for HDF 481 the internship seminar

HDF 481 Seminar

Students are required to attend and participate in all HDF 481 seminars. Grades are based on attendance, participation, and fulfillment of written assignments.

Expectations for Student Intern, Agency Site Supervisor, and Internship Faculty Instructor

To achieve the goal of a significant and meaningful professional experience, the student intern, the agency site supervisor, and the internship faculty instructor signify their agreement with the following guidelines by signing the internship registration form.

  • Student intern will:
    • Complete the contracted number of hours during the academic term.
    • Fulfill or exceed the required fieldwork and academic components of the internship as outlined in the internship registration paperwork.
    • Follow procedures, policies and regulations of the sponsoring agency or organization in an ethical and responsible manner.
    • Attend and participate in the HDF 481 seminar and complete all requirements as outlined in the syllabus.
  • Agency site supervisor will:
    • Provide feedback to the intern regarding progress and meet with intern regularly.
    • Give the student intern meaningful duties and responsibilities that are in the best interest of the student’s educational and professional goals.
    • Meet and/or connect with the student’s internship faculty advisor if needed.
    • Assist students with learning outcomes and agency description, mission, and values.
    • Provide the student intern with a clear description of assigned responsibilities during the internship.
    • Designate a qualified agency staff member to serve as a site supervisor.
    • Provide the intern with a meaningful orientation to the agency’s services, organizational and operating practices.
    • Provide the intern with opportunities to become significantly involved in agency activities consistent with the goals outlined in the student’s internship learning report.
    • Complete both a mid semester and final evaluation of the intern’s performance
  • Internship faculty instructor will: 
    • Meet with the student intern on a regularly scheduled basis in a seminar setting (HDF 481) to discuss theoretical and practical aspects of the internship.
    • Meet with the student’s agency site supervisor if needed.
    • Assist students in clarifying goals, planning and offering guidance as needed through the internship process.
    • Identify and approve potential internship sites.
    • Following department policy and approval of the registration paperwork.
    • Monitor and supervise progress toward learning outcomes on the student’s learning plan table.
    • Assign a satisfactory or unsatisfactory grade for the internship (HDF 480) and a letter grade for the seminar (HDF 481).

Enrollment is contingent upon completion and approval of the registration form, with the signature of the agency site supervisor. Upon approval, permission numbers for HDF 480 and HDF 481 will be e-mailed by the internship faculty instructor allowing the student to enroll for internship credit.