Internship Program (HIST 467)

Getting started with the History Internship Program

The History Department at Cal Poly offers internship opportunities so that students may “learn by doing” and explore the many ways that History majors put their degrees to work.  Through these internships, students gain valuable work experience in a professional setting while developing crucial academic and professional skills such as research and analysis, written and verbal communication, and working productively with diverse teams. Many alumni of the Cal Poly History Department Internship Program have gone on to graduate study or careers in public history, the legal profession, museums or other non-profits.

The Nuts & Bolts

Students in the Cal Poly History Department Internship Program receive course credit via HIST 467: History Internship. This course is typically taken for four or six units per quarter, depending on the number of hours the intern works each week at the internship site. HIST 467 is repeatable for up to 12 units, meaning that students have the option to pursue multiple internships for course credit over the course of their time at Cal Poly.

The Sites

Cal Poly History students pursue a wide variety of projects through their internships. Interns working a local history museum or historic site might help develop exhibit, conserve rare items, give tours to the public, or develop educational materials for school field trips. We also have students work in the D.A.’s office, plan Holocaust Remembrance Day, and conduct oral histories.

Beginning the application process: 

  • It is ESSENTIAL that you begin the process of applying for the internship program early so that you are able to complete 10 full weeks of work at the internship site.  Therefore, you must contact the internship coordinator by the end of week 7 of the previous quarter.  (For internships in the Fall quarter, this means contacting the coordinator by the end of week 7 of the previous Spring quarter.)
  • An initial application will consist of a resume, a list of completed history courses noting professor and grade, the names of two faculty recommenders, and a 250 word essay explaining your interest in the program and how it fits with your education and professional goals.  Please turn a hard copy of your application into the department office, to be placed the internship coordinator’s mailbox.
  • Applications will be evaluated by the faculty coordinators and supervisor at the internship site availability of internship positions and quality of application.
  • If a student is awarded an internship position, he/she is responsible for transportation to/from the site.
  • These are the application guidelines for internships that receive course credit.  Students make take internships for course credit during the Fall, Winter, and Spring Quarters.  Students may participate in internships independently on a voluntary basis at any time without course credit.   

For more information please contact: Dr. Molly Loberg.

Featured Internship

"History Department junior, Sam Smith, created the storymap website Living by the Sea and the video Whaling on the Central Coast as part of his California State Parks internship in Fall 2020. Both projects document Central Coast citizens’ reliance on the ocean and help the public to visualize this history in new and innovative ways through a vibrant mix of maps, archival documents, personal anecdotes, historic photographs, and illustrations of the natural world."  


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