HDFS 310 & 410 Field Education

Internships provide the kind of "real world" experience employers look for when hiring new employees. HDFS is affiliated with numerous human services organizations throughout western Oregon that have agreed to provide this invaluable training to future professionals. Through their internships, students earn college credit while shadowing an on-site supervisor - gradually assuming responsibility under close supervision.

Alongside the actual field experience in the workplace, interns also participate in a required seminar that meets every-other-week on the Corvallis campus. The seminar involves weekly readings and extensive online discussion and journaling to promote critical reflection in the learning process.

For more information or questions about the HDFS Internship Program contact:

Tasha Galardi, Ph.D.
HDFS Internship Coordinator


The Human Services Profession

According to the National Organization for Human Services,

"The field of Human Services is broadly defined, uniquely approaching the objective of meeting human needs through an interdisciplinary knowledge base, focusing on prevention as well as remediation of problems, and maintaining a commitment to improving the overall quality of life of service populations. The Human Services profession is one which promotes improved service delivery systems by addressing not only the quality of direct services, but also by seeking to improve accessibility, accountability, and coordination among professionals and agencies in service delivery."


Required applied courses for HDFS/Human Services


  To be taken in this order (each is a prerequisite of the next).


HDFS 262—Introduction to Human Services (3 Credits)

An exploration of the human services profession. Emphasis on prevention and early intervention concepts and programs. Development of internship search skills, including an introduction to a wide range of human services organizations. Restricted to students in HDFS or OSU Gerontology Program.


HDFS 310—Human Services Practicum (4 Credits)

Field experience to learn, primarily through observation, how to apply human service strategies and skills to helping individuals and families served by professional agencies and organizations. Supervision by agency and instructor. Requires 90 hours of work on-site. Accompanying seminar introduces basic theories and skills through readings, discussion, and reflective exercises. Students have the option to take this course, engaging with a different internship site each time, for a total of three terms (maximum 12 credits). PREREQS: HDFS 107 and restricted to students in HDFS or OSU Gerontology Program. Advanced Application and Learning Agreement required.


HDFS 462 - Professional Helping Skills (4 credits)

Exploration of collaborative, strengths-based methods to resolve individual, family, and community problems. Application of ethical standards to case study, with emphasis on the values of human dignity and social justice. Development of basic helping skills within an empowerment framework.PREREQS: HDFS 107 [C-] and HDFS 209 [P] and junior or senior standing.


HDFS 410—Human Services Internship (12 Credits)

Field experience to apply theory and empirical research to individual-, family-, and community-level interventions in professional settings. Focus is on analyzing needs of clients, developing goals, and designing and implementing plans of action. Application of human service ethics is emphasized. Supervision by agency and instructor. Requires 300 hours of work on-site. Required supplementary seminar includes both on campus and online components that support the internship through selected readings, peer interaction, structured reflection, and self-care practice.

This course can be taken as a “split option” across two consecutive terms in which students divide the on-site hours and the academic credits are divided in half (150 hours/6 credits each term). Students utilizing this option must complete all 300 hours with the same internship agency, and are required to participate in the equivalent of 1 credit of seminar per term.

PREREQS: HDFS 262, HDFS 310 and HDFS 462 and Senior Standing. Restricted to students in HDFS and OSU Gerontology Program. Advanced Application and Learning Agreement required.


What are the Benefits of Doing an Internship?