All history majors are encouraged to consider an internship (HIST 497). Internships give students the opportunity to apply the historical skills learned in the classroom and gain work experience. HIST 497 is also intended to help students prepare job application material and to learn how to market what they have learned in the classroom to future employers.
Internship FAQs for History Students
Yes. If you are an undergraduate history major, you can apply up to 4 units of internship credit toward the 40 units required for the history major. If you are an MA student, you can apply 2-4 units of internship credit toward your degree.
It is up to you to find an internship. Many students intern at organizations with which they have standing relationships or shared interests, like museums, schools, and government agencies. If you would like to do an internship but have no particular organization in mind, you should contact the History Department's internship coordinator or browse the possibilities at SSU Engage. Because finding an internship often takes several weeks, students are encouraged to begin this process well ahead of time.
Please note that as of Fall 2023, all internships must be pre-approved by SSU’s Center for Community Engagement. If an employer is listed in SSU Engage, an internship there is pre-approved. If an employer is not listed, the History Department’s internship coordinator or MA coordinator can work with CCE to have it approved. This often takes time, so it is necessary to start the search for internships before the semester of enrollment.
Yes. Because internships often inform future career decisions, they are almost always worthwhile experiences. But not all internships are appropriate for history credit. The History Department tries to be as flexible as possible when deciding what constitutes a history-related internship. If you have questions about the merits of a particular internship, please contact the internship coordinator.
No. As long as internships are history-related, they can be either paid or unpaid positions at for-profit or non-profit organizations.
It depends. If you are an undergraduate student, you must take the internship course (Hist 497) on a credit/no-credit basis. If you are an M.A. student, you must take the internship course (Hist 593) for a grade.
The History Department requires 45 hours of work for each unit of credit. Therefore, a student who enrolls in a 4-unit internship would be expected to perform 180 hours of work over the course of the semester, or 12 hours per week for 15 weeks.
You will be required to submit a letter from your on-site supervisor at the end of the semester verifying the number of hours you have worked. In addition, you will have to write a brief report, describing what you have done and how it informs the field of history. Depending on the specific circumstances of your internship, there may be additional requirements as well.
- Meet with the internship coordinator or the MA coordinator (for grad students) to verify that the internship employer is pre-approved by CCE.
- Complete a copy of SSU’s internship contract. After your on-site supervisor signs the contract, you should return it to the coordinator. The internship coordinator and department staff will get the final signatures and work to register your internship. Please note that the internship contract is configured to be form-fillable and to accept Adobe digital signatures. You will save yourself a great deal of time and heartache if you download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to fill out the form and ask your on-site supervisor to do the same. We highly recommend that you do not print, sign by hand, and re-scan forms that are meant to be fully digital.
- Congratulations! You are now an intern! Within a few weeks, you should see HIST 497 (BA students) or HIST 593 (MA students) on your SSU schedule.
Yes! If your internship is at a government agency or other non-profit organization, you are eligible to apply for the Donaldson Fellowship, which will provide up to $500.00 per unit of internship credit. This is a competitive award with a formal application. Please ask the internship coordinator how to apply. In addition, the School of Social Sciences has occasionally administered its own fellowship program to help student interns offset transportation costs. Please ask about the availability of funds.