Katzen Arts Center

American University
Washington, DC
View Arts Events

Graduate History Internships

Statement of Purpose

The primary purpose of an internship in Public History is to give students professional, hands-on experience in their chosen field and to help them make professional contacts. Students will propose a project in cooperation with a professional supervisor at an historic site, museum, cultural resource management firm, preservation group, government agency, non-profit, or consulting group. An internship is an opportunity to apply some of the research and interpretive skills learned in the classroom to a public setting.

Credit Hours

Students will received 3 credit hours from AU for 15 hours a week for 14 weeks worked during the fall and spring semesters and 15-40 hours a week during summer semester. For three credits, students need a minimum of 210 hours interned during the semester. Graduate students in public history are required to complete one 3-credit internship.

Contacts & Resources

Student Forms


Prior to Internship

  1. Meet with the Public History Director to discuss your internship search. Remember many internships have application deadlines months in advance of the start date. So start early!
  2. Consult AU Registrar' Internship & Independent Study guidelines and Career Center guidance for students and for employers.
  3. Complete an Internship Proposal Form and submit to the Public History Director.
  4. Once approved, you must register for the internship. Complete the AU Registrar Form for "Internship Registration" (which includes the required "Internship Consent and Release") and submit to Registrar, CC-ing the Public History Director and Kara Hendrickson

During Internship

  1. Meet with the Public History Director prior to the start of the semester to obtain a copy of the HIST 691 syllabus and set up a meeting schedule.
  2. In consultation with your intern supervisor and the Public History Director, develop a short reading list of books and articles to support your internship.
  3. Submit four reflection pieces that address questions posed by the Public History Director.
  4. Write final reflection essay critically evaluating internship experience.
  5. The AU Career Center will send an evaluation form directly to your internship supervisor. Remind your supervisor that the evaluation form must be returned to the Career Center in order for you to receive a final grade. Evaluations will be confidential unless your supervisor requests that it be shared with you.

Past Internships

Isaac Makos

During his internship with Colonial Michilimackinac Isaac Makos (MAPH ’20) worked as a costumed historical interpreter.

Sarah Fling

Sarah Fling (MAPH ’21) during her education internship with George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

Leah Baer

As a Park Guide for the South District of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, Leah Baer (MAPH ’21) had the opportunity to package artefacts for Arlington House at the Harper’s Ferry Center.