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The History Department supports many opportunities for professional development. Internships provide an excellent way to put the skills of the historian to work in the world and gain hands-on job experience. Our History majors have won competitive summer internships at places like the New-York Historical Society, the Museum of the City of New York, and Strawberry Bank Museum. They also have earned term-time course credit by interning at sites like Valley Forge National Historical Park and Casemate Publishers.

Many internship opportunities enable students to develop professional experience that combines interests in different fields of study. The Smithsonian and Pennsylvania’s Keystone Summer Internship offer large slates of interdisciplinary opportunities for undergraduates. Many history-minded institutions, like the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, offer internships in non-profit development and public relations. The History Department’s own Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest offers a year-long fellowship focused on communication.

Students also might choose to explore career paths or graduate school options at summer institutes. Programs at the Gilder Lehrman Institute and the Library Company of Philadelphia offer experience in archival work. Or students might hone leadership skills at George Washington’s Mount Vernon or learn about museum curation at Historic Deerfield.


Villanova’s History majors benefit from a large network of undergraduate and graduate alumni that work in a wide array of professional fields, from business to teaching to law to advertising. A number of department graduates continue to work in history-related careers at places like Fort Ticonderoga, the Museum of the American Revolution, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, the Constitution Center, and historic preservation consulting firms. Many alums are eager to help place current Villanova students in internships or arrange shadowing opportunities for career exploration.

History department faculty can help students develop applications for competitive programs. Students interested in discussing history-related internships or summer programs should contact Dr. Whitney Martinko.

Internships provide students with opportunities to explore careers, acquire professional experience, and prepare for post-graduate employment. Students can earn credit through their major or minor for relevant work experience. Students also can earn elective credit for work experience that is meaningful but that might not align with the History and Art History disciplines. Learn more and how to apply to receive academic credit on the OUS Web site.

The benefits of completing an internship are numerous and include:

  • Gaining an understanding of an industry’s standards and challenges.
  • Exploring personal and professional interests and strengths, and determining where these align.
  • Determining the elements of an organization’s culture and a student’s fit within it.
  • Networking, building relationships, and developing professional contacts.
  • Developing professional writing and presentation skills.
  • Prioritizing time and responsibilities, and managing projects.
  • Testing aspirations and goals in the workplace.
  • Setting new aspirations and goals based on the internship experience.

Internships and Careers Readiness

Experiential learning opportunities help students build career readiness skills while they make important decisions related to their career direction. An academic major is simply one facet of a student’s life. There are many other factors that contribute to career exploration and management.

Overwhelmingly, employers care more about students’ career readiness skills, and seek to hire students as interns and entry-level candidates who possess such skills and also can articulate them clearly.

Learn more here.


Students interested in discussing history-related internships or summer programs should contact Dr. Whitney Martinko. History students interested in learning more about professional internships in other fields, or who wish to earn course credit for internships, should contact Ms. Kathryn Szumanski.