History Internship Program


HST 493 is the field internship course for History and History Education majors. The internship enables students to earn course credit for career-based experiential learning. Placements must be approved by the History Internship Coordinator. Placements may include educational institutions, digital history, public agencies, law, non-profits, museums, libraries, archives, historic sites, political campaigns, or private businesses. Domestic or international placements may be included.

Course Objectives

HST 493 is an active-learning course in which students will apply their academic skills and knowledge to the workplace as part of their baccalaureate degree program.

Student learning objectives are as follows:

  • Develop career goals and objectives within a mentored academic environment
  • Apply research, analytical, communication, and digital skills learned in the classroom to real-world problem-solving
  • Acquire new applied concepts and skills in a professional environment

Internship Application


The Department of History internship program provides the opportunity for undergraduate majors to apply the knowledge, skills, and competencies developed within the curriculum to real world problem-solving. The History bachelor’s program is global in focus, emphasizing analytical thinking; qualitative, digital, and quantitative research skills; oral and written communication; and the ability to practice and promote responsible civic engagement in a diverse social and cultural environment. The internship program facilitates student participation in applied learning related to student career objectives. The program is open to all students, including those seeking careers in education, public history, government, law, non-profits, and business. Participation is by application subject to the approval of the Department.

The internship program forms an important component of a student’s transition from college to professional life:

  • History majors following a traditional track into public service fields—education, public history, government, non-profits, law—must develop strong people skills [team work, communication, cultural and social literacy, ethical judgment] that are best learned through experience.
  • The job market for History majors is changing from traditional tracks; History majors have the skills that are called for by a range of employers—analytical thinking, oral and written communication, cultural literacy—and will benefit from internships that enable them to translate their academic learning into practical on-the-job applications.
  • Among our graduating seniors, 40% do not pursue a graduate education; this group of students benefits greatly from opportunities for hands-on learning.
  • Applied learning opportunities have been demonstrated to enhance student learning across the curriculum.

Internship Details

  • Work with the History Internship Coordinator to find the right organization for you and to arrange for History internship credit
    • The department has some pre-arranged organizations with whom we work and can place students
    • We can also entertain other options with appropriate prior arrangements
  • Flexible schedules
  • Fall and Spring internships are typically 10 hours per week
  • Summer internships can be full or part-time
  • Internships are either paid or for HST 493 credit (not both)

Benefits of History Internships

  • Learn practical applications of Historical methods and content
  • Receive History credit for your internship
  • Gain valuable academic and professional experience
  • Find networking opportunities for your future career
  • Be involved in interesting projects and programs, not just clerical work

 Application Deadlines

  • Fall Internships: Apply by July 1st
  • Spring Internships: Apply by November 1st
  • Summer Internships: Apply by March 1st

 Approval Process

  • Students who wish to apply for HST 493 must meet with their academic advisor to request approval to enroll in the course for a specific number of credits (the advisor will confirm the student qualifies for the field experience—e.g., GPA and other restrictions)
  • Student secures an internship placement (the student may consult the internship/service learning portion of the History web site or consult with the Department’s Internship Coordinator)
  • Student completes and submits the Department’s internship application; application must include a written explanation of how the field placement will enhance the student’s major course of study
  • The student meets with the Department IC; if the IC approves the academic objectives for field placement, the student must have the field site supervisor fill out a site placement agreement form; student submits the completed form to the IC for final approval of the application
  • Students must complete and submit all HST 493 assignments to the IC to receive a grade and course credit for the field placement

For more information or to set up an in-person meeting, contact Dani Willcutt, Department Internship Coordinator, hst.internship@msu.edu.

Past projects completed by our students include websites created by Katherine Dru Emrich and Catharine Anne Neely.