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


Upcoming Events

Loading events...


  • Old House, New Discoveries Event
    April 24th at 5:30 p.m. Come peek into the rarely seen service spaces in The Woodlands mansion and learn about the ordinary people who worked beneath the stairs. Graduate students from the Department of History at Villanova University will share new research on the Woodlands mansion.

  • On Friday, April 4, Villanova University will host its 25th annual Elizabeth Cady Stanton Conference. The conference highlights research from a variety of disciplines, all connected by a focus on gender/women. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend. Click on the link below for further information:
  • Dr. Chris Haas has published the essay "Geopolitics and Georgian Identity in Late Antiquity: the Dangerous World of Vakhtang Gorgasali" in Georgian Christian Thought and Its Cultural Context: Memorial Volume for the 125th Anniversary of Shalva Nutsubidze (1888-1969), edited by Tamar Nutsubidze, Cornelia B. Horn, and Basil Lourié (Leiden: Brill Publications, 2014), pp, 29-44. 
  • Professor Bernard Reilly’s review of Miriam Shadis, Berenguela of Castile (1180-1246) and Political Women in the High Middle Ages (2009) has been published in Speculum 88 (2013), 338-339.
  • In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the National Constitution Center presents a conversation with scholars Ted Widmer, Sean Wilentz, Judith Giesberg, and Adam Goodheart of the popular New York Times "Disunion" blog on Monday, June 17, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. more
  • Lynne Ann Hartnett, Ph.D., assistant professor and director of Russian area studies, was interviewed on CBS Channel 3 News regarding the situation in Chechnya as part of the media reaction to the Boston Marathon bombings.