The Department of Human Development and Family Studies offers several internships that allow students to apply knowledge from their academic studies in a supervised environment, while gaining experience that is directly relevant to their career goals. Some specializations require an internship, while others offer an optional internship experience.
Students in the Child Development concentration may apply for the department’s Early Childhood Education Teaching Preparation Program, a highly-structured program with limited enrollment.
Students in all concentrations may choose to complete the department’s Family Internship, which is a full-academic-year experience.
Students should apply during their junior year - for senior year internships. Applications for the Human Development and Family Studies internships are available on the undergraduate forms page. Assistance with internships is also available through UNH Career and Professional Success.
Early Childhood Education Teacher Preparation Program
The Early Childhood Education Teacher Preparation program prepares students for a career in teaching young children. Course work for this program is designed to maximize in-classroom mentorship and to provide a broad range of exposure from birth to 3rd Grade. This internship program within the Child Development Concentration in the Human Development and Family Studies Department is approved by the New Hampshire State Board of Education (NH Credentialing Endorsement: Early Childhood Education (N-3), EIS Code 1866, Admin Rule #507.18). Reciprocity of the certification with other states varies, so students interested in teaching in other states should contact each state directly.
This program requires 76 credits of pre-approved departmental and supporting course work. Requirements and instructions for the application process for this program are detailed below. Students who wish to be considered for the program must indicate their interest at the time of application to the major so that an appropriate plan of study can be arranged.
Family Internship Program
The Family Internship Program introduces students to careers in human services through placements in the Seacoast Region of New Hampshire. During this year-long internship experience, students engage in 16 hours per week of supervised fieldwork at one of the designated internship sites (see application materials below). By working alongside professionals in after school programs, non-profits, and other local agencies, students will have opportunities to hone their professional skills and focus on their goals for their future careers. All HDFS juniors in the Lifespan Development and Family Support concentrations are eligible to apply do complete a Family Internship during their senior year. Requirements and instructions for the application process are detailed below.
The Family Internship Program introduces students to careers in human services through placements in the Seacoast Region of New Hampshire. During this year-long internship experience, students engage in 16 hours per week of supervised field work at one of the designated internship sites (see application materials below). By working alongside professionals in after school programs, non-profits, and other local agencies, students will have opportunities to hone their professional skills and focus their goals for their future careers. Program requirements and instructions for the application process are detailed below.
Juniors in the Family Support or Lifespan Development concentrations may apply to participate in the Family Internship Program during their senior year. Applications are due by March 1 each year. By mid-March, 10-15 students are selected to participate in the program. Group and individual meetings with the faculty coordinator are held in April to help students identify their top site choices. Students then interview at 1-2 sites to identify a mutually beneficial fit. Final placements are made based on the student’s preferences, the site supervisor’s assessment of fit, and the available space at each site. In order to participate in the program, students must be accepted for placement at one of the approved internship sites.
Successful applicants to the Family Internship Program generally have an overall GPA of at least 3.0 and a departmental GPA of 3.2 or above. They tend to have strong recommendations that speak to their professionalism and maturity. Successful students are also able to articulate a set of professional goals that would be served by completing field work.
Internships are not required for graduation.
Students in the Family Internship spend 16 hours per week at their sites for the fall and spring semesters. Internships follow the UNH calendar, so students are not responsible for being at their sites when classes are not in session. Students work closely with a faculty coordinator at UNH
who assists with placement and provides support, and they also have a designated site supervisor who provides guidance and feedback at the site.
Students work with their site supervisors to set a schedule for their internship hours each semester. Some sites require students to do two long days, while others are more conducive to several shorter days. Sites may require students to be available in the evenings to gain the maximum benefit of the internship experience.
Students are responsible for obtaining any screenings or paperwork that are required to work at their selected sites (e.g., fingerprinting). Students are also responsible for providing their own transportation to and from their internship sites.
Prior to beginning the internship, students must have completed 20 credits of HDFS course work including HDFS 525: Human Development and HDFS 545: Intimate Relationships and Families. Students must also take HDFS 760: Family Programs and Policies unless they receive a waiver
from the faculty coordinator. HDFS 760 may be taken simultaneously with the internship during students’ senior year.
The internship itself is composed of two courses:
- HDFS 782 provides students with academic credit for the hours they spend doing fieldwork.
Students are enrolled in 6 credits each semester (12 credits total). HDFS 782 is graded as a yearlong course as credit/no credit. Students do not receive a letter grade for their completion of HDFS 782.
- HDFS 792 is a seminar course that accompanies the internship experience. This biweekly seminar focuses on issues of concern to family internship students including ethics, boundaries, self-care, and professional skills. Students will be enrolled in HDFS 792 for 2 credits each semester (4 credits total). The course is taught by the faculty coordinator for the internship program.
Students in the internship program may not take an overload (more than 16 credits). Consequently, students should plan to take no more than 2 courses in addition to HDFS 782 and 792 each semester.
HDFS 782 and 792 count as supporting courses in the major, so students who complete an internship only need one other 4-credit supporting course to satisfy that component of the degree requirements.