Graduate History Internship: HIST 794

History 794 offers graduate students the opportunity to work in the field of applied history through a semester-long internship. Internships are usually unpaid, but can also be paid. Most internships are organized with institutions external to George Mason University, but relevant on-campus opportunities (e.g., at the Roy Rozenzweig Center of History and New Media or GMU Special Collections) are also eligible. The goal of the graduate internship program is to give students hands-on experience working as professional historians. Graduate students are encouraged to seek out internship opportunities related to their general field of intellectual or professional interest. 

For more information about History 794, students should contact the Internship Director Prof. Samuel Huneke at


Three hours of applied history in appropriate area and 12 hours in major field or permission of Internship Director. Students are responsible for contacting the Internship Director Prof. Samuel Huneke at The department must approve all internship placements to insure their suitability to the student’s program.

Required Credit Hours

All students in the applied history path are required to complete 3 or 6 hours of internship. If the 3-credit internship was selected, then the other 3 credits would be taken in applied history coursework.The 6-hour internship can be taken over two semesters (3 credits per semester) or completed in a single term (6 credits for that semester).

Areas of Work

An intern may work in one of the five areas of concentration in the Applied History path:

  • Archives and Records Management
  • Editing
  • Museum Work
  • Historic Preservation
  • New Media and Information Technology

On-Site Hour and Day Requirements

On-site hour and day requirements will vary, depending on the requirements of the agency involved.

For 3 credits, a minimum of 150 hours of work at the site will be required (or 10 hours of work per week during a 15-week semester).

For 6 credits, a minimum of 300 hours of work at the site will be required (or 20 hours of work per week during a 15-week semester).

Internship Supervision

Each intern will have an on-site supervisor who will be responsible for planning the student’s program and evaluating his/her progress, with the approval of the Internship Director. At the beginning of the internship, the Internship Director will approve the type of work to be carried out during the internship. This agreement will be formalized in a contract.

On-Site Responsibilities

The actual work carried out by the student at the agency will vary accordingly to the particular circumstances of the student and agency.In general, however, students should become involved in some aspect of the day-to-day operation of the agency in order to gain an understanding of the value of the work done in the agency, the problems encountered, and the techniques and approaches used to carry out the work.The student will be involved in more than “routine’ tasks; his or her assignment will require the use of historical skills gained in previous graduate courses.

Written Assignments and Assessment

The writing assignments for History 794 students can vary depending on the type of internship obtained. If the internship involves a good deal of writing assignments such as exhibit catalogs or reports on museum collections, the student can submit these written projects from the internship to the Internship Director to aid in the assessment of the final grade. If there are not distinct writing assignments as a part of the internship, History 794 students should keep a weekly log of their hours and a journal that includes a brief summary of the work completed. All History 794 students will be expected to submit a mid-semester report on the internship to the Internship Director as well as a final report/portfolio of work completed at the end of the semester and a "Hands-On History" profile. The Internship Director sets the exact deadlines for these reports each semester.

Course grade is Based On

The Internship Director determines the final grade based upon the written evaluation of the intern’s site supervisor and evaluation of the Midterm Progress Report, the Final Report/Portfolio, and the “Hands-On History” Profile.