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Human Development and Family Science Careers



ahrm internship

Field studies or internships are an essential part of the preparation for your career. By participating in a field study, you apply the theory and knowledge you have learned in the classroom through hands-on experience in a professional setting. While working under the guidance of an experienced professional, you get a unique opportunity to learn about yourself, your clients, your organizations, and your environment. Site supervisors act as role models, providing direction so that you can both observe and participate in the work of the organization.

Enrollment Requirements

  • Have at least Junior standing
  • Have a minimum of a 2.0 GPA
  • Have successfully completed HD 1004, HD 2004, HD 2335, HD 2336
  • Attend announced field study information meeting the semester before field study is anticipated
  • Register for 3 or 6 field study credits
  • Complete the field study enrollment form within the specified deadline a semester before the field study is to be done

Completion Requirements

  • Complete 6 credits (288 hours)
  • Credits may be earned through a single-semester placement of 6 credits or two-semester placements each with a minimum of 3 credits.
  • Students splitting their field studies over more than one semester may continue at the same placement or at two different placements.
  • Field studies are graded on the A-F scale.

Grades are awarded based on the:

  • Quality of academic assignments returned to the Field Studies Coordinator
  • Evaluation by the field study site supervisor
  • Attendance at classes led by the Field Studies Coordinator
  • Appropriate documentation of time spent in the placement
  • Undergraduate Field Study Handbook

Past Field Study Placements

These are just a few of the nearly 100 placements available around VT or in other localities. See the Bulletin Boards outside of 401B Wallace for lists of approved sites.


We focus on undergraduate education that offers you context of different families, communities, and cultures. Graduates of our programs are employed in healthcare, non-profits, and education. 

HDFS job titles

The interdisciplinary nature of a degree in human development provides students with a range of career opportunities that can be tailored to an individual's personal interests, strengths, and long term career goals.

Career and Professional Development at Virginia Tech offers a variety of services including career exploration, job searching, resume analysis, and interview training.

Other career-related resources include:

  • Obtain part-time, summer, internship, or volunteer experience in areas of interest.
  • Obtain certification for specialized areas of interest.
  • A Bachelor's degree is sufficient for entry-level positions.
  • Advanced degrees are essential for clinical and therapeutic counseling positions.
  • A Master's degree or Ph.D. is often necessary for administrative and supervisory positions.
  • A Ph.D. is required for college teaching and advanced research positions.
  • Additional specialized training qualifies individuals for higher-paying positions and positions of greater responsibility. 
  • Family and child welfare
  • Childcare programs
  • Child protective services
  • After school programs
  • Domestic court liaison
  • Adoption services
  • Juvenile justice system
  • Community, human service, and religious organizations
  • Health care settings and long-term care institutions
  • Federal, state, and local government agencies
  • Retirement communities
  • Information and referral services for older adults and their families
  • Professional organizations
  • Life-long learning programs
  • Caseworker
  • Drug/Alcohol counseling
  • Health and wellness programs
  • Recreations programs
  • Respite services
  • Crisis care and referral
  • Elementary and Special Education Teachers, various public schools
  • Child Care Center Director
  • Social Worker, Department of Social Services
  • Special Agent, FBI
  • Program Staff, Girls Incorporated
  • Forensic interviewer, Child Advocacy Center
  • Lead Teacher, Head Start Program
  • Assistant Director and Curriculum Specialist, after school child care organization
  • Office Manager, financial planning firm for senior adults approaching retirement
  • Career Center Specialist, Chantilly High School in Fairfax County
  • Home Visitor, abuse and neglect prevention with first-time parents
  • Co-facilitator, Creating Lasting Family Connections
  • Facilitator of substance abuse and sexual violence abuse prevention programs in high school
  • Case manager, New River Valley Community Services Board

Department Career Advisor
Alexis Henderson