There are a variety of internship and volunteer opportunities offered through Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS). Interning or serving as a volunteer at a local social service agency or school, in a hospital or after-school youth program, or at another site with children, adults, and/or families allows you to explore career options and gives you an opportunity to build skills and experience outside of the classroom. This page contains links and information about some of the exciting in-the-field opportunities available to HDFS students.

Practicum in Human Development & Family Studies

Each fall semester, HDFS 450 (Practicum in HDFS) offers as many as 25 junior, senior, and graduate HDFS students a variety of supervised internship and related professional development experiences in Champaign-Urbana human service agencies and organizations. Each placement is structured to assure students learn and grow professionally with mentoring from both faculty and on-site supervisors.

  • HDFS 450 practicum is one way to satisfy the HDFS undergraduate program's requirement for an "applied" course. Up to six hours of credit in HDFS 450 may be counted toward the 126 hours required for the B.S. degree.
  • Students begin the placement process for their HDFS 450 practicum experiences at an organizing meeting early in the spring semester preceding the practicum. Learn more about the process and the kinds of experiences available: HDFS 450 course information
  • For more information about HDFS 450 for the upcoming Fall semester, contact Dr. Aaron Ebata.

The Autism Program Internship

The Autism Program (TAP) is a community-focused program of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies and the Department of Special Education at the University of Illinois. Their Resource Room is housed in the Family Resiliency Center (located in Doris Kelley Christopher Hall) and provides a place where families and professionals can find information or preview materials that might be helpful to them. 

TAP typically has 6 – 10 graduate and undergraduate internship positions available each semester for credit (HDFS 294 for undergraduates and HCD 598 for graduate students). Interns must have second semester Sophomore, Junior or Senior status. Applications for the internship are submitted the preceding semester. Students who meet the classification criteria and are interested in learning more about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and want experience working with children and families are encouraged to apply to intern with TAP: visit to learn more.

Volunteer Experiences

Volunteer work at a human services agency or organization can be rewarding in many ways. Whether it's helping at a drop-in day care center, working with families in a homeless shelter, helping patients in a hospital, or some other activity, you can gain valuable experience, relevant items to add to your resume, and useful references and contacts for future job searches - and you'll feel good for helping the community! The Champaign-Urbana area is large enough to have a wealth of volunteer opportunities available that can fit with a typical student schedule - from a few hours one day a week to an hour or two several days.

Here is a list of places our students frequently give some of their time.


ACES Student Development and Career Services

For the most up-to-date job interview and placement information in the College of ACES, as well as help with resumes, interview skills and other job/internship search topics, visit the Student Development and Career Services website.