Finding internships for history majors doesn’t have to be a slog. Although most internships are unpaid, they can still be worthwhile as a means to improve your skills, your resume, and your professional network.
Check out these opportunities to get your career started in history. Some of these are paid, too!
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Best internships for history majors
American Civil Liberties Union: As of writing, the ACLU has 20 open internships, most of them legal positions. You can also find a few in communications and advocacy.
American Antiquarian Society: The AAS normally offers around 6 internships, and some of them are publicized on its website (like its cataloging internship). The best course of action is probably to follow the page’s instructions by emailing Kristen Balash, whose email is on the Internships page. Remember that applications are usually due well before the end of the previous term!
American Folk Art Museum: Also based in New York, the AFA Museum offers multiple internships for college students, graduate students, and “emerging professionals” (recent grads). These internships span 1 semester or an entire year.
Amnesty International: You’ll find quite a few internships available through Amnesty International alongside a handful of full-time jobs as well. The organization’s approach makes use of research and advocacy as two major pillars of its operating framework, which makes these ideal internships for history majors.
Asia Society and Museum: The Asia Society Museum offers internships in New York, Washington D.C., and northern California. Fill out the application form (available for download as a PDF), and then email it to the Assistant Director of Human Resources, Kraig Kehrer, whose email is listed on the page.
Bronx Oral History Project: Contact the team about an internship through the link provided for history majors and you might just find yourself collecting and preserving interviews. You might be able to contact the team through it’s Fordham page, or you can try contacting them through the Bronx County Historical Society.
Bronx Museum of the Arts: This organization has three separate internships in marketing and communications, gallery coordination, and community outreach. You can download PDFs for each of the three positions in the link provider.
Brooklyn Children’s Museum: The BCM does offer internships, but even if they are filled you can apply for one of their part-time jobs. About half of their open roles are meant for after-school education, which means you can probably work here in the late afternoons even if you’re still a student.
Children’s Museum of Manhattan: You can find the Jobs & Internships section detailed at the bottom of the About page. It also has several part-time entry-level positions once in a while, including museum educators.
City of Chicago: Here you’ll find a wide range of internships that span from housing to law enforcement and everything in between. It’s not just for history-related positions but you can certainly find something that matches your skills.
Metropolitan Museum: The Met has a large selection of internships for history majors, and many of them are paid. These include 10-week programs in the summer and fall, 9-month and 12-month programs, as well as a conservatorship program for graduate students. You can also check out the high school internships here.
Colonial Williamsburg: This location offers both internships and fellowships. Some of the internships may even earn you a college credit, if your school approves it. Note that fellowships need to cover the American Revolution, the Early Republic, or the ideas and concepts surrounding America’s founding fathers.
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Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum: The Cooper-Hewitt Museum is affiliated with the Smithsonian, and it offers three annual internships. They are for conservation, curating, and graphic design. The first two options are excellent internships for history majors.
U.S. Department of State: If you’re interested in applying your history degree to international relations, then this is the place to land an internship. It has four separate internship programs—yes, programs—that span foreign services, federal service, and dedicated student programs. There are fellowship programs and other student programs as well.
D.C. Internships: Here you’ll find internships dedicated to students in the Washington, D.C. area in the spring, fall, and summer semesters.Leadership and international affairs are available in the fall and spring, but the summer programs boast a wider range of programs that include journalism, public policy, business and government relations, and even a virtual program.
Dia Art: Being a center for the arts, this is more for art history majors, but you can find several open positions and internships here, including archivists, curators, gallery attendants, and exhibition technicians.
El Museo del Barrio: New York’s premiere institution for all things hispanic has two streams of internships: the art intern program at the Studio Institute, and those offered through the CUNY Cultural Corps.
Monona Terrace: Monona Terrace offers the George A. Nelson Student Internship, which is paid. The position is for community relations, which involves outreach and event promotion, as well as a healthy dose of social media management.
Frick Collection: Art history majors may have a leg up on this internship, but the Frick Collection houses more than just paintings. It also houses ceramics, furniture, clocks, and even textiles—all things that a history major could bring to the internship.
Gilder Lehrman Institute: Here you’ll find two internship cycles—one in the summer semester and one during the academic year. These are generally meant for undergraduates, but they do take on graduate students once in a while, too. The internships cover curator responsibilities, digital programs, education, and marketing.
Guggenheim Museum: These internships are specifically for undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing careers in museums. Generally these internships happen in the spring term, although you can also find a remote college workshop program for the summer term.
History News Network: This is one of the few organizations that combine history with modern media, focusing on publishing stories online. As a result, these are highly relevant internships for history majors—even though the official position titles include social media, editor, and news.There are 5 internships listed, which is quite generous for a publishing organization.
Institute for Humane Studies: You won’t always find internships here, but there are a lot of entry-level jobs that cover similar duties as internships. Those can include operations coordinators, academic relations specialists, and social media specialists. The IHS also has some interesting career resources for graduate students.
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John F. Kennedy Library and Museum: This is an excellent place to find internships for history majors, offering positions in archives processing, archives digitization, and archives reference. There are also roles for entry-level and mid-level professionals.
Kansas Historical Society: KHS offers mostly unpaid internships, but they are highly relevant to history grads (unsurprisingly). It can connect you with placements in the Kansas Museum of History, the state archives, the public information office, and its cultural resources division.
City of Madison: Madison has four internship programs: Affirmative Action Student Professionals in Residence, the Law Student Internship Program, the Madison Public LIbrary, and the Wanda Fullmore Youth Internship Program. There are also a host of volunteer opportunities listed here if you need to get your foot in the door another way.
Merchant’s House Museum: Here you’ll find semester-long academic internships that cover decorative arts, textiles and costumes, architecture, education, and museum administration. All interns get to be involved in the day-to-day operations of the museum to gain practical experience.
Mount Vernon Hotel Museum: MVHM offers 4-week internships for both high school students and history majors to do things like manage social media accounts, researching 19th-century artifacts, exploring New York’s history, and getting an education in museum management.
Museum of the City of New York: The MCNY offers internships during academic semesters in digital projects, marketing and communications, and even information technology. The first two are good programs for history students, and you can find a number of relevant jobs.
Museum of the Moving Image: If you want to try your hand at a hybrid history-film internship, then check out the MMI program. It runs over the winter/spring academic term. You’ll spend time learning about museums and exhibits, but you’ll pick up knowledge about classic films as well.
Metropolitan Museum of Art: At the MoMA you can find internships that generally run along the semester system. The positions cover development and special events, performance and live programming, exhibitions and program production, and curatorial responsibilities.
NASA History Division: NASA takes on two interns at a time for paid positions (one graduate and one undergraduate). You’ll spend your time here documenting NASA’s achievements and studying aerospace history, communicating those to the public through online media like blog posts and social media management.
National History Council: The NHC doesn’t offer its own internships—it lists history-related jobs and internships from around the United States. These can include programs like the Mellon Scholars Program, the Washington State Historical Society, the American Conservation Experience, and even the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
National Museum of the American Indian: Here you can find internships in Maryland, Washington D.C., and New York—as well as some opportunities for virtual internships. It claims to accept roughly 25% of applicants, which is actually promising. The internships for history majors run for 10 weeks, and some of them even provide stipends.
National Park Service: This isn’t just for environmental preservation. The NPS also covers the preservation of historic locations, buildings, and monuments. The best internships for history majors here are with the Society of Architectural Historians, Historically Black Colleges and Universities Program, Historic Sites and Structures Documentation Program, the Latino Heritage Internship Program, the National Council for Preservation Education, and the Urban Archeology Corps.
New England Museum Association: NEMA can connect you with history internships across the north-east, including Boston, Ticonderoga, Cambridge, Arlington, and others. It divides internships into paid and unpaid, and there are a solid number of paid opportunities.
New York Public Library: The NYPL does offer a few internships, though you have to navigate to an off-site job board to find them (search for “intern” here). You’ll find positions about things like media preservation and public impact.
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Ohio History: Ohio History offers at least two internships, including the Collections Management Intern and the Collections Support Intern. These are generally made available to the students of Columbus State Community College and Ohio State University.
Peabody Essex Museum: PEM offers at least five internships that touch on history. These include development, education and civic engagement, private events, digital library management, and digital asset management (including photography).
Smithsonian Institute: Scroll down this linked page—the formatting is quite bad. The Smithsonian has quite a wide range of internship programs for history majors for you to check out. Seriously, there are a few dozen listed here at least. No institution is better suited to the discipline, right?
United States Capitol Historical Society: The USCHS offers internships over three sessions: spring, summer, and fall. There are four positions in total, covering communications, development, research, and marketing.
Internships for history majors in California
If you need to find history-related internships and volunteer positions specifically in California then check out this list instead of Googling at random.
- American Military Museum
- Automobile Driving Museum
- Autry Museum of the American West (check the off-site job board here)
- Banning Residence Museum
- Battleship USS Iowa Museum
- California African American Museum
- California Heritage Museum
- Chinese American Museum
- Culver City Historical Society
- Deane Dana Nature Center
- Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum
- Drum Barracks Civil War Museum
- El Segundo Museum of Art
- Flight Path Museum at LAX
- Fowler Museum
- Getty Center
- Grammy Museum
- Hammer Museum
- Hawthorne Historical Society
- Heritage Square Museum
- Hermosa Beach Historical Society
- Historical Society of Long Beach
- Huntington Library
- International Printing Museum
- Italian American Museum of Los Angeles
- Japan America Society of Southern California
- Japanese American National Museum (also check out their entry-level jobs)
- Kuruvunga Springs Cultural Center and Museum
- La Brea Tar Pits (also check out their jobs)
- Lomita Railroad Museum
- Long Beach Museum of Art
- Los Angeles County Arts Commission
- Los Angeles County Museum of Art
- Los Angeles County Fire Museum
- Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society
- Los Angeles Maritime Museum
- Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust
- Marina del Rey Historical Society
- Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum
- Museum of Latin American Art
- Museum of Social Justice
- Museum of Tolerance
- Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
- Paley Center for Media
- Petersen Automotive Museum (also see their open jobs)
- Pico Rivera Historical Museum
- Rancho Los Cerritos
- S.S. Lane Victory
- Santa Monica History Museum
- The Broad
- Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum
- Torrance Art Museum
- Torrance Historical Society
- Wells Fargo History Museum
- Wende Museum
- Whittier Historical Society
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There are other internship and volunteer programs around the United States that might still be worthwhile, even if they aren’t specifically about history or related fields. You can check them out here if you want to try something new.
Brooklyn Botanic Gardens: You can find openings for jobs and internships here for a wide range of roles. They aren’t just about gardening—you can find jobs and internships for staff writing, managing youth programs, and instructors.
Cambia Health: This organization isn’t intended for history majors, but you can find internships here covering communications, administration, and program coordination—roles that match the skills of history majors, if not their subject matter.
Disney: Disney has internships available in New York, Orlando, Seattle, Los Angeles, The Bay Area, and even Bristol (in the U.S.). History majors might want to focus on roles in business support, customer service, marketing, and operations. You can also sign up for email notifications about internship opportunities, which is a nice touch.
Environment America: These internships aren’t about history, but you can certainly learn to put your skills to work by supporting the environment. Organizing and communicating the need for environmental preservation is one of the biggest challenges of the green movement, after all.
International Center for Photography: The ICP does offer internships, but they aren’t really for history majors. There are five of them, covering community partnerships, education, human resources, library sciences, and other full-time positions.
Major League Baseball: You won’t find history-specific internships in MLB, but the organization does provide a number of internships in other fields, like public relations, broadcasting, human resources, and operations.
Proctor and Gamble: These internships aren’t for history grads in particular, but there are plenty of opportunities in general. Just select your region and search for “intern” to see what’s available.
Vote Smart: Voting is better suited to political science grads, but getting involved is still a great fit for history grads as well. Interns at Voter Smart gain experience in election monitoring, reviewing biographical information for candidates, conducting legislative research, and helping to draft public statements.
Student Conservation Association: These internships are best suited to disciplines with a background in biology or ecology, but you’ll still find positions covering education, outreach, trail improvement. If you’re thinking of getting into the preservation and/or heritage space then give the SCA a chance!
Those are the big internship opportunities for history majors. Happy hunting, folks!