Department ofHistory




As noted, it is the Department’s internship head, Dr. Milligan, who registers you for LA 495 (History). Nevertheless the registration process—and putting into place the several required items outlined below—calls on you, the prospective intern, to take some needed initiative.

It is your job to take the initiative to find an internship site institution that is of interest to you, and can offer a substantive, academically and professionally appropriate internship experience. And it is your job to connect with the institution’s internship supervisor, and, in turn, secure his/her consent to serve as the site supervisor for your internship (made official with the supervisor writing an internship confirmation letter—more on that below).

During the last several years, the History Department has greatly assisted students in the search for internships by forging working relationships with a half-dozen or more local site institutions, all of which welcome Penn State History interns.

It makes sense for you to begin the internship registration process by meeting with Dr. Milligan, who can counsel you on the specifics regarding these site-institutions and help you walk through the overall process. [Note that the these local institutions do not “reserve” interns for Penn State students; and, in all cases, it is the institution’s decisionnot the History Department’s or Dr. Milligan’s, as to whether a particular student will be chosen (or not) for an internship.]

Part of Dr. Milligan’s job is to act as a facilitator, getting qualified students seeking internships to connect with various site supervisors. Dr. Milligan will “screen” the prospective intern to see if he /she is satisfactorily qualified and committed to the rigors, responsibilities of an LA 495 (History) internship. The screening process involves, in part, the student providing Dr. Milligan with a letter of recommendation from a PSU professor of the student’s choice.

Following your initial meeting with Dr. Milligan, FOUR ITEMS ARE REQUIRED to make sure your internship goes through. You submit two of them (a completed student information form and a page-long statement describing the nature of the intended internship & what you hope to learn from it); your internship site supervisor is responsible for submitting the third item; and, the fourth, involves confirmation from a member of the History Department faculty who has agreed to be your academic supervisor for the internship.

  1. COMPLETE THE STUDENT INFORMATION FORM. You can get a copy of this information form upon meeting with Dr. Milligan or emailing him requesting such a form.  Please promptly fill out his form, and send it back to Dr. Milligan.
  2. WRITE A 300 WORD PROPOSAL STATEMENT EXPLAINING WHY YOU WANT TO DO AN INTERNSHIP AND THE SPECIFIC NATURE OF THE INTERNSHIP & INTERN RESPONSIBILITIES THAT YOU AND YOUR INTERNSHIP SITE SUPERVISOR HAVE IN MIND. Note here that you will need to have had a substantive conversation with your internship site supervisor prior to your writing this proposal statement.
  3. A SIGNED INTERNSHIP CONFIRMATION LETTER from your internship site supervisor (on official institution letterhead) to be mailed / emailed directly to Dr. Milligan—which includes the following:
    —-your job description, & the site supervisor’s formal consent for the internship
    —the start and end dates of your proposed internship (these dates must coincide with the beginning and end dates of PSU’s fall/spring/summer academic terms)
    —-the weekly number of hours that you will be “on site” working at the site-institution
    —the contact information for your site supervisor
  4. GETTING A COMMITMENT FROM A FACULTY MEMBER IN THE HISTORY DEPARTMENT TO AGREE TO SERVE AS YOUR ACADEMIC SUPERVISOR FOR YOUR INTERNSHIP, and who will set the specific parameters for the academic component of the course. If the internship deals with United States History and/or is planned for the summer academic sessions, Dr. Milligan will gladly serve as your academic supervisor.

Note too that the College of the Liberal Arts internship office (Career Enrichment Network) urges you to apply for partial “enrichment” funding for (summer) LA 495 internship (see this CLA internship website for more details:

Academic Credit for Internships

Formal registration for the LA 495 must be done no later than 10 days into the academic term in which it will be taking place (late August / early September for fall term; mid-January for winter term; early / mid May for two summer sessions).

If you are unable to secure an LA 495 (History) internship, or want to consider other internships in the liberal arts, consult the College of the Liberal Arts internship web page: