Practicum in Human Development
(HDEV 475)

HDEV 475 is a required course within the human development curriculum.

A practicum (similar to an internship) is a learning experience that allows you to integrate academic learning in the University with real world activities. It can be a valuable experience and an exciting part of your academic career.

As the capstone course in the human development curriculum, HDEV 475 is designed to support student learning in a practicum setting. It is based on the belief that reflecting, discussing and questioning one's work is an important component of professional development.

  • The practicum in the community gives you a hands-on opportunity to put into practice the theories and skills you have been learning throughout your undergraduate career.
  • The practicum in the classroom gives you the chance to talk and write about how practical experience both meshes and diverges from what is purported in literature. You will have the opportunity to learn not only through your own experience, but also through your classmates' experiences.


HDEV 200, HDEV 300 and HDEV 400 (the last prerequisite applies if you were admitted after fall 2013) must be satisfactorily completed before you can register for HDEV 475.


To qualify for HDEV 475, all the following criteria must be met:

  • You must be matriculated in the Human Development Department
  • You must have satisfactorily completed the course prerequisites (HDEV 200, HDEV 300 and HDEV 400 [the last prerequisite applies if you were admitted after fall 2013])
  • The practicum must be related to your career goals
  • You should have sufficient background to undertake the practicum and learn from the experience
  • The practicum must be unpaid; credit will not be granted for a paid work experience
  • The practicum must be performed in an established business, agency or other appropriate organization
  • The practicum site must not be owned in whole or in part by any of your relatives

To apply for a practicum

Submit a completed HDEV 475 Practicum Coversheet (81kb PDF) and an acceptable practicum proposal to the Human Development Office (UDC-407) or an HDEV academic advisor. Your coversheet must be signed by the person who will be your field supervisor at the practicum site. Preparation of the proposal requires thought and consideration, so planning should begin well before the registration period for the semester in which HDEV 475 will be taken.

The practicum proposal

You will design the practicum and define its objectives in conjunction with a field supervisor, and you will submit the resulting proposal to the Human Development Office for approval by an HDEV academic advisor and the department chair.

The objectives you set will involve, in a broad sense, the application of academic theories and concepts to your work experience and a critical analysis of your findings. (In the classroom portion of the practicum you will receive a syllabus describing the academic components of the course.)

The typed proposal must include the following:

  • The learning objectives for the practicum that are specific to your educational goals statement and plan of study
  • Your academic/experiential preparation for undertaking the practicum
  • The activities you will perform during the practicum and how you will be supervised, including a job description if available
  • Any appropriate agency literature

Return the completed practicum coversheet (you must have your field supervisor sign this before you may turn it in) and practicum proposal to the Human Development Office (UDC-407) or an HDEV academic advisor. A copy of the coversheet and proposal will be placed in your academic file.

Proposal deadline

No proposals will be considered after the second class.

Registering for the practicum

You cannot register for HDEV 475. An HDEV academic advisor will register you for HDEV 475 once your coversheet and proposal have been approved by the department chair.

Attendance and time commitment

You must attend all class periods and complete all assigned academic components in addition to completing 100 hours (7-10 hours per week) at your approved practicum work site.


HDEV 475 is graded with the normal grading option (letter grades A-F). Pass/fail is not an option for the practicum.

Practicum instructor

The practicum instructor serves as the on-campus coordinator and instructor of the HDEV 475 class. The instructor will review and approve the practicum proposal, maintain contact with the field supervisor to ensure the proposal is implemented properly and submit your final grade to the Registrar's Office.

Field supervisor

The field supervisor serves as your direct supervisor during the practicum and is responsible for providing a mid-semester evaluation and a final evaluation on your activities and performance to the practicum instructor for use in grading.

Practicum site selection

You are responsible for locating your practicum site. A directory of sites and contact persons is available in the Peer Advising Office, UDC-450. Also, review the finding a practicum or internship site webpage.

Discuss the duties and responsibilities of the practicum with the person who will be your field supervisor; outline those duties in writing. That written outline will become part of your practicum proposal.

Remember, you must complete 100 hours (7-10 hours per week) of work at your approved practicum site.

Important forms and links

Last Updated: 9/6/16