Summer Internship Opportunities 2020-21

Internship coordinator for 2020-21: Prof. Nina Lerman

The History Department has established a summer internship program to provide an opportunity for its students selected to gain first-hand experience working as an historian with primary materials and to gain exposure to an area of our discipline that we do not currently offer, the field of public history. Compensation will be $4,107; interns then earn academic credit through the fall course Hist 470. The selection procedures and requirements are outlined below.

Students should talk with the Coordinator and then independently generate proposals for an internship that meets the criteria noted below.


  1. Preliminary conversation with Prof Lerman: gather ideas about where you want to be and what kinds of historical work you’d be interested in—and talk to faculty in your field of interest if it’s not US history—and make an appointment to discuss your options. We should talk before the end of March, 2021.
  2. Application to the History Department: Required materials consist of

    1. First, a cover letter indicating the applicant’s intention to be a candidate for an internship.
    2. Second, applicants must provide a letter from the proposed supervisor indicating their willingness to have the student as an intern and outlining the work to be undertaken.
    3. Third, applicants need to include a two page statement of why they want to hold this internship and how it fits with their career plans.
    4. Finally, applicants must include a current resume and a copy of their “academic evaluation” (not a transcript).

    All materials must be submitted by email to the Internship Coordinatorby April 16, 2021.

  3. The department will review the applications by the end of April, 2021. Candidates may be interviewed. The criteria for selection will be academic record, prior experience, motivation, career objectives, and ability to do an excellent job in the work associated with the internship. The department may give priority to students who have not yet held an internship through the History Department.
  4. Successful applicants will register for the class Hist 470 (with the Internship Coordinator) for the following fall semester.

Requirements of the Position

  1. The students will complete any background reading assigned by the supervisor prior to the beginning of an internship. Any reading assigned by the supervisor will not count towards the hours of the internship.
  2. The holder of an internship will establish a regular schedule of work with their supervisor for 300 hours between June and August. Compensation will come from the History Department.
  3. The holder of the internship should be working as a historian (see below).
  4. The students will carry out all of their assignments in a timely and professional manner.
  5. A final paper (described below) must be submitted to the Internship Coordinator by September 15. The grade for History 470 will be determined by the quality of the work performed during the internship, the evaluation of the supervisor, and the final paper.


Students need to seek out their own internship opportunity. The central component of any proposed internship must be that the student will be allowed to work as an historian. This means evaluating primary materials and being actively involved in the creation of whatever the organization is working on, or some comparable experience. We will not fund positions where one is used mainly as a secretary, to run errands, or to perform other such tasks.

Possible places one might seek opportunities include: State Historical Societies, Research Institutions such as the Huntington Library, Historical Museums, National Parks, Archives, or Journals. This is by no means an exhaustive list! It is advised that applicants talk to department faculty in their interest areas (as appropriate), as well as meeting with the Internship Coordinator, before contacting any specific organization.


A final paper must be submitted to the Internship Coordinator by September 15, 2021. The paper will be 10-15 pages plus notes and bibliography, and all materials produced during the internship need to be included as appendices (or, in some cases, links to web pages worked on; confirm with coordinator!). In the paper the holder of the internship will address the internship in relation to what they learned in History 299, what their assignments were, how they went about completing them (including the research methodologies involved), what problems they encountered, how they solved those problems, and what, as young historians, they learned about doing history. The grade for History 470 will be determined by the quality of the work performed during the internship, the evaluation of the supervisor, and the final paper.