Students are required to complete 120 hours (3 credits) of internship experience working directly with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Most students complete the internship at one site over the course of one semester, but students can choose to spread their internship hours across sites and semesters. You can complete more than one internship.
You can complete your internship once you are a sophomore. It is generally recommended that you complete at least one of the required DDHS courses before you complete your internship (or at least during the same semester). You can complete the internship during the academic year as well as the winter and summer semesters. Internships are processed through the Psychological and Brain Sciences Department during the academic year and through the Continuing and Professional Education Department during the winter and summer semesters. Note, financial aid does not apply during the winter and summer months (unless you are completing 6 or more credits). Additional paperwork will be provided by the Field Experience Office for registration of internship credits during the winter and summer semesters.
Internships occur in a variety of agencies and sites, including residential programs, day service locations, early intervention programs, family support programs, schools, clinical service providers, and administrative offices. Interns engage in activities to support adults and/or children with intellectual and developmental disabilities at home, at work, or at school. These internship opportunities expose students to potential careers in the field of developmental disabilities. You are encouraged to select a site from a pre-approved list, however new sites can be approved by the program director.
The Developmental Disabilities and Human Services program has scholarship funds available to support students enrolled in the DDHS Program who are participating in summer internships for academic credit. Here’s how to apply:
- Log into the AcademicWorks scholarship platform (https://umass.academicworks.com) using your NetID and Password.
- Fill out the General Application and the applications for the school/college(s) you are majoring in. This will apply you to scholarships in your major or school or college automatically.
- Under “Other Recommended Opportunities” you will see the application for the “Developmental Disabilities and Human Service Endowment Award” Click on the red “apply” button and complete the questions in the application.
You may also be able to access the award through this direct link.