Department ofHistory




Are you interested in gaining hands-on experience with the many tasks and challenges involved in professional museum work?  Or in doing public history taking advantage of archival materials housed in various nearby central Pennsylvania historical institutions (or, likewise, at your hometown historical society)?  Or in being a part of a long-term research project on local Civil War veterans and their lives carried out by the folks at the Juniata County Historical Society?  Or in interning with Penn State’s All-Sports Museum, and making scholarly use of the University Archives in Pattee Library’s Special Collections to bring to life a particularly revealing episode in the school’s sports history?

The above is a sampling of the kinds of internships that Penn State History Majors and Minors have experienced over the last several years in taking the LA 495 (HISTORY) internship course.  LA 495 internships provide you with a great opportunity:   to enhance your learning of history and to further develop your research, writing, and critical thinking skills outside of the classroom; to garner valuable real-world job experience; and to assist you with your post-graduation plans by enabling you to “try out” a history major-related career.

During the past several years, Penn State’s Department of History, in conjunction with the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts, has made it much easier for you to fashion an internship, and incorporate it into the History Major.  And we urge our History Majors and Minors (and other Penn State undergraduates with liberal arts majors) to seek to take advantage of this opportunity.

Designated as LA 495 (History), the internship course allows you to combine weekly service work at an off-campus institution site (such as a museum or historical society) with a 20-25 page academic, primary source / archival source-based research paper supervised by a faculty member of the History Department.  In satisfactorily passing this course with a “C” grade or higher, you will garner three credits, which counts towards History 400-level credit requirements for the History Major or Minor. The Department’s expectation is that you will be devoting around 10-12 hours a week on average to this course (of which 7-8 hours a week should on site).

Please note that, following your successful completion of the internship course, you should meet with Ben Whitesell, the History Department’s Academic Advisor, to double-check that your three 400-level History credits are duly recorded (Ben Whitesell’s email is: ; office number:  814-863-4121).

The duration LA 495 (History) course must coincide with the time-frame of the relevant academic term at Penn State University (fall, spring, or (both) summer session terms). No retroactive academic credit will be given for internships done in the past.  Be mindful too that Penn State students cannot register themselves for LA 495 (History); only the Head of the History Department’s intern program (Dr. Milligan) can register students for LA 495 (History).

For any questions, concerns you have about LA 495 (History) internships—and to help you begin the process for taking this course—contact Dr. Milligan.  His office is #204 in the Weaver Building on the University Park campus; email:

For general information and helpful advice on internships in the liberal arts beyond the History Department’s LA 495 (History), consult Penn State’s College of the Liberal Arts internship web page:

The Career Enrichment Network can also serve as a resource for internship credits, the search, and career development for all College of the Liberal Arts students. To contact the Career Enrichment Network please use or 814-865-1070.

Career Coaching appointments can be scheduled through Nittany Lion Careers.

The documents provided below will assist you in learning more about the specifics of these internships: