College of Arts and Sciences

Department of History

Public History Internships

A supervised internship is an integral part of the public history track. It affords students the opportunity to work as temporary employees, and it provides them with firsthand experience (in some cases compensated) in settings such as archives, museums, historical societies, and private historical research firms.

Students at WSU have been interns at local, state, regional, and national sites, including local historical societies, the National Park Service, the National Archives–Central Plains Region and Pacific Northwest Region, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Forest Service, the Historic American Engineering Record, the National Parks Conservation Association, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Experience Music Project in Bellevue, Washington, the Nevada State Parks System, as well as numerous private research firms or agencies. Most, though not all, travel to off-campus locations to serve internships.

Academic credit may be earned by registering for History 598: Internship. For each semester of credit, the student works 40 hours. Summer internships are common, but several students have enrolled in History 598: Internship for a full semester as on-site interns. At some point in their program all students must register for 3 hours of internship credit.

Internships provide students with practical insights into potential historical employment. Private sector institutional supervisors provide mentoring relationships, and they introduce students to the professional networks common to the public historian's work environment.

For each internship, a contract or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is drawn up that describes in detail the work to be performed, the time and credit involved, the compensation (if any), and the obligation of all parties: the student, the faculty advisor, and the internship supervisor.

Public History at WSU

The public history program at Washington State University was established in 1979 and offers both an M.A. and Ph.D. WSU's mission is to train graduate students to work on historical projects with a broad range of audiences and institutions, as well as prepare them for positions in museums, archives, and historic preservation.


A WICHE Program

The graduate program in history is a participant in the Western Regional Graduate Program of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). This makes high-quality graduate programs available to WICHE-state students at a reasonable cost. Through this program, residents of Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming are eligible to enroll at resident rates of tuition.

Department of History, PO Box 644030, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-4030
301 Wilson-Short Hall, Pullman Campus • 509-335-5139 • Fax 509-335-4171 • Contact Us