Beyond the Classroom

Study Abroad

Studying abroad provides HDFS students the chance to expand their knowledge of children and families in other countries and cultures. Through a study abroad program you can experience studying, living and working with people in other cultures while earning credits towards your degree.


Internships provide students with hands-on opportunities to use the knowledge and skills gained in the classroom in professional work settings. The department coordinates a formal internship program for students in the Developmental and Family Science and Human Services majors. Internships through this program are semester-long experiences (fall, spring, or summer) that are based in a variety of agency settings (community centers, government agencies, healthcare facilities, etc.). Internship placements are tailored to meet students’ professional interests as well as to promote learning outcomes in the areas of knowledge of the field, skill development, and professional behavior. Internship placements are arranged through a preparatory course (HDFS 45400) based on student, agency, and department agreement. Beginning fall 2020, students who chose to major in Human Services may elect to add the Addiction Studies Concentration which requires a specialized internship. For more information, see the Addiction Studies Concentration web page.

For more information, please visit the HDFS Internship Program web page here.

In addition to the departmental internship program, HDFS-related internships are offered through Purdue Extension. These internships offer high quality experiences open to any HDFS major.

Student Teaching

In collaboration with the Office of Clinical Practice in the College of Education, practicum and student teaching experiences are planned for students in Early Childhood Education and Exceptional Needs and Family and Consumer Sciences Education to support the development of their professional teaching skills. Placement options include public and private schools as well as appropriate community agencies including accredited early childhood programs and Head Start. Placements are aligned to the program curriculum as well as student interest.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Becoming involved in a research project allows students to gain hands on experience developing new understandings of human development and family studies. Look over the research opportunities in Human Development and Family Studies that are available for students to participate in for research credit.

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