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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Illinois Sesquicentennial College of ACES
Department of Human Development and Family Studies
Give to Human Development and Family Studies

HDFS 450

Course Objectives

HDFS 450 is a supervised learning experience related to Human Development and Family Studies offered in conjunction with appropriate community agencies or institutions. HDFS 450 is designed to provide:

  1. professional-level experience in a human service agency that corresponds with a student's career interest;
  2. an opportunity for students to use theory, content and skills from a sequence of University courses in a professional setting;
  3. an opportunity for students to further develop appropriate professional-level skills.


Students must be HDFS majors in good standing, junior, senior or graduate level. Consent from the HDFS 450 instructor must be obtained. HDFS 450 is not available to students on probation. Some practicums require specific course work or practical experience. Consult your advisor and the HDFS 450 instructor early in your college career to prepare for these practicums.

Credit Hours

  • 1. Flexible registration, 4 - 6 credit hours. The amount of credit to be received for HDFS 450 is negotiated with a student's advisor and department supervisor.
  • 2. For all placements, students work between 12.5 and 20 hours per week during the 16 weeks of a semester and receive 4 - 6 hours of credit:
    • 4 hours credit - 12.5 hours of work & 1.75 hrs seminar per week = 228 hours total
    • 5 hours credit - 15 hours of work & 1.75 hrs seminar per week = 268 hours total
    • 6 hours credit - 17.5-20 hours of work & 1.75 hrs seminar per week = 308-348 hours total
  • 3. The minimum number of work hours per week for an HDFS 450 Practicum is 12.5 hours.
  • 4. Only 4 credit hours of HDFS 450 may be applied to the total required for a graduate degree in Human and Community Development.
  • 5. At the undergraduate level, up to 6 hours of HDFS 450 credit may be applied to the total of HDFS course credits required for graduation.

On-Site Work Hours

Students work varying numbers of hours per week depending on the requirements of their site placements. The number of work hours per week is specified on the learning plan signed by the student, site supervisor and course instructor before the student begins work.

Securing a Site Placement

  1. A student initiates being placed at a site by talking with his or her advisor and the HDFS 450 course instructor or TA about interest in HDFS 450 and about possible beneficial placements. This initial discussion should take place before pre-registration time for the semester you want to take HDFS 450. Interested students must attend the HDFS 450 Information Meeting, scheduled in each spring semester. Contact Sharon Monday for the current Information Meeting schedule.
  2. Schedule an interview with HDFS 450 instructor Sharon Monday or with the HDFS 450 graduate assistant. Interview dates will be announced at the Information Meeting (typically early April for Fall placements). Submit your resume, cover letter and two career goals via email to the course instructor Sharon Monday at least two days in advance of your interview appointment. Your resume must be approved by Sharon before you schedule your site interview. The Career Service Center is available to review your resume and cover letter – go to to find drop-in hours and locations.
  3. After selecting one or two placements with the HDFS 450 instructor, you'll receive permission to call the agency to find out more details about the placement and schedule a formal interview with site supervisor(s) where he or she is particularly interested in working. You should submit a cover letter and resume in advance of the interview and be prepared to describe the skills and knowledge that make you a suitable practicum student for the agency. Please be sure to inform Sharon of the date you are interviewing before the interview takes place, and then arrange to meet with the course instructor after the interview to discuss placement.
  4. Click here to see a Directory / Description of Agencies where you may intern.