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Gaining Hands-on Experience

Even though HDFS 490 helps you with the details of making arrangements for your internship, it is important to be thinking about the internship prior to HDFS 490. If possible, try to volunteer at an agency before your internship or try to get a summer job in a related field. Then you will be ready to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What kinds of people or families do I want to help?
  • What kinds of problems am I interested in resolving?
  • What type of agency or organization do I want to work for during my internship?
  • What kind of professional experience do I want?
  • How will this internship experience fit into my short-term plans after I earn my degree?
  • Do I want to do my internship in a particular geographical area?


It is possible to choose internship agencies or organizations from among those previously used by the department or you may identify new sites. Although most students will complete their internships in agencies within Pennsylvania and surrounding states, you may request approval for completing your internship anywhere within the United States. Under special circumstances, the Department may also approve internship sites abroad.

More Information on the Internship Program can be found in frequently asked questions.