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Internships

Students studying History or a related field can earn course credit toward their degrees by completing an internship.  Internships allow students to gain hands-on experience in a museum, archives, or similar historical institution. Many EMU History students have used internships to apply what they learned in the classroom and to prepare for employment after graduation. In recent years, EMU History students have interned at the Yankee Air Museum, the Michigan Women’s Historical Center and Hall of Fame, the Oakland County Pioneer and Historical Society, Applewood: The Charles Mott Estate, the Holocaust Memorial Center, the EMU Archives, and the Ypsilanti Historical Society.  

All queries about internships should be directed to the EMU History Internship Coordinator Dr. John McCurdy.

Prerequisites for Students

To enroll in an internship, a student must meet the following criteria:

  • Undergraduate Students
      • Be an EMU student in good standing
      • Be a Junior or Senior
      • Have declared a major or minor in History or a related field
      • Have completed HIST 300W
      • Have completed 12 credit-hours of HIST courses at EMU
  • Graduate Students
      • Be an EMU student in good standing
      • Be enrolled in the Master of Arts in History or the Master of Arts in Social Science program
      • Have taken HIST 505
      • Have completed twelve credit hours of graduate-level HIST classes at EMU

Students unsure about their standing, rank, major, or number of credits are strongly encouraged to consult with an Undergraduate Advisor or the Graduate Coordinator

Requirements for an Internship

A student who successfully completes a History internship will earn three credit hours in HIST 489L4 (undergraduate) or HIST 689 (graduate). As such, the student is expected to work at a level commensurate with an advanced-level History course. Specifically, a Student Intern is expected to accomplish the following:

  • Work 150 hours for the museum, archives, or other historical institution
  • Regularly report hours worked and activities completed
  • Submit a final paper (see below)
  • Submit an evaluation from his or her supervisor at the museum, archives, or other historical institution

All paperwork (reports, final paper, and supervisor’s evaluation) must be submitted to the EMU History Internship Coordinator. All requirements must be completed by the last day of the semester in which the student is enrolled in an internship. Students who do no complete all requirements will receive no credit for HIST 489L4 or HIST 689.  Students completing an internship will receive a grade of “Credit” instead of a letter grade.  Students are restricted to three credit hours of internship.        

HIST 489L4 and HIST 689 will count as elective courses in the History Major, MA in History, and MA in Social Science. Students completing degrees in related fields should contact an Undergraduate Advisor to discuss how the internship might apply to their graduation requirements.

Students are also encouraged to pair their internship with academic work in the form of an independent study or senior seminar. For more information about how this might work, students should contact the EMU History Internship Coordinator.

Arranging an Internship

A student who meets the prerequisites for an internship and who is committed to completing all of the requirements should begin planning the semester before he or she expect to begin the internship.  Specifically, the student should:

  • Contact Professor John McCurdy, the EMU History Internship Coordinator.
  • Locate a museum, archive, or other historical institution where he or she would like to intern.  The Internship Coordinator can help the student with this search, although students are expected to be proactive in their search for an internship. 
  • Interview with the museum, archive, or other historical institution. The student should prepare a resume for the interview, highlighting experience and goals.
  • Complete an EMU History Internship Contract. This document must be signed by the intern and the intern’s supervisor and submitted to the EMU History Internship Coordinator. 
  • Register for HIST 489L4 or HIST 689.  

All of these steps must be completed by the first day of class in the semester which the internship is to take place. 

Final Paper Guidelines

At the end of the internship, the Student Intern must write a final paper that summarizes and reflects his or her experience.  Specifically, the paper should:

  • Be between four and eight pages long (1000 to 2000 words)
  • Detail the student’s activities in the internship
  • Connect the internship to lessons or materials learned in the EMU History course
  • Include examples of the student’s work such as images of displays constructed or addresses to websites built

The final paper is due to the EMU History Internship Coordinator by the last day of the semester in which the student is enrolled in HIST 489L4 or HIST 689.

Some Recent EMU History Interns

Richard Elsom, MA in HistoryRichard Elsom

Richard interned at the Yankee Air Museum in Ypsilanti in 2015-16. During his internship, he interviewed World War II veterans and helped them tell their stories. Richard used the experience to land a job at the National Archives in Denver. 

“Before my internship I was lost. I loved history, but wasn’t optimistic about my chances of landing a history related job after school. Interning at the Yankee Air Museum introduced me to the field of public history, was a surprising amount of fun, and it provided me with practical experience that made me competitive in the job market and helped me start a great career with the National Archives.”—Richard Elsom

 

Carly Scarborough

Carly Scarbrough, BS in History

Carly interned at the Michigan Women’s Historical Center and Hall of Fame in Lansing. During her internship, she learned how a museum works from the inside, especially how to give tours and work with the public.

“My internship at the Michigan Women's Historical Center and Hall of Fame was amazing! I met some wonderful people and had a lot of fun, all while gaining valuable hands on experience and earning school credit. I was able to get a sense of what the museum field is really like and now I know it’s right for me.”—Carly Scarbrough 

 

Rasheed Atwater, BS in History and African American StudiesRasheed Atwater

Rasheed interned at the Parkridge Community Center in Ypsilanti where he taught “practical history.” Drawing on the stories of Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. DuBois, and Marcus Garvey, he used African-American history to reach out to local youth to help them prepare for college.

“At Parkridge I was able to use the discipline of history as a tool to motivate students and get them excited about learning. Having the ability to work with youth in my community and share with them my love for history was fulfilling. The internship with Parkridge helped me look at History from a new lens.”—Rasheed Atwater

 

 

Lacey Opdycke, BA in History and Political ScienceLacey Opdycke

Lacey interned at Applewood: The Charles Stewart Mott Estate in Flint. She organized educational events, researched textiles, and even wrote a script for a new house tour.

“As an intern you gain hands on experience in the field that can help push you to the top when it comes to applying for jobs. During my internship at a historic home, I was able to work with historic artifacts, give tours, and teach people all while working on basic skills such as research and public speaking. If you are thinking about interning, I highly recommend and encourage you do so! You won't regret it and you will meet so many amazing people to add to your network.”—Lacey Opdycke