To best equip aspiring public historians to face a challenging job market, we encourage our students to volunteer, intern, and gain experience as leaders in projects and activities (whether or not these are history-related).  In addition to becoming excellent historians, these experiences allow them to develop excellent communication skills and to assemble a portfolio of evidence of these skills.  We encourage them to be proactive in developing a network of professional contacts and becoming informed about their prospects in the field.

The History Department encourages students to design internships that develop their particular academic interests and professional goals. By working on site with public historians and on campus with faculty advisors, students benefit from coordinated mentorship that links classroom and workplace experience. Most importantly, interns hone their applied research skills by completing a project designed to enhance historic interpretation at their internship site.

The Villanova History Department enjoys special partnerships with the following institutions in the region:

The Woodlands of Philadelphia
Lower Merion Conservancy in Gladwyn
Heritage Center at the Union League of Philadelphia 
Falmouth Heritage Renewal in Falmouth, Jamaica

In recent years, graduate students also have interned at the following:

Pennsbury Manor
Eisenhower National Historic Site
Valley Forge National Historical Park
Independence Seaport Museum
Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Aviation Museum
Chester County Historical Society
Franklin Institute
Philadelphia History Museum

Site work for the Public History Practicum – and applied research seminar – has taken students to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the National Archives at PhiladelphiaEastern State Penitentiary, and Independence Hall as well.

The three-credit, one-semester Internship in Public History provides students with an opportunity to advance their historical knowledge, skills and understanding while gaining practical experience at one of Philadelphia’s many historical sites.

Current and prospective students interested in interning at area institutions should contact Dr. Whitney Martinko at

Contact the Program Director

Judith Giesberg, Ph.D.
(610) 519-4668

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