Each student must complete a 12 week full-time internship in the summer term. Host institutions can include museums, archives, TV, film or documentary companies, historical and genealogical societies, heritage, museum and research consulting firms, or government departments such as Parks Canada or Library and Archives Canada.
We are an approved Public Service Commission co-operative program, facilitating the hiring of students by federal government agencies for work terms. More Information
Internships are your opportunity to:
- work and learn under the mentorship of experienced public history professionals
- apply theory to real-life public history work settings
- continue practicing skills taught during the year or learn a new transferable skill
- explore the broad field of public history
- network with other public history professional
- build your portfolio and increase your success in the job market after graduation
Location, Location, Location
We encourage our students to choose an institution and location that best suits their career goals and interests. There is much flexibility in the design and terms of the internship: it may consist of one full-time placement or two shorter or part-time positions under different hosts; one major project or a number of smaller tasks; work with an individual or a small or large institution; and it may be served locally or elsewhere.
In the past, our interns have worked across Canada, from Newfoundland to the Yukon, and everywhere in between. They have also worked internationally, at institutions such as the Centre for New Media and History at George Mason University in Virginia, and the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. The Internship Coordinator will assist students in securing internships, but finding one appropriate to an individual student's situation and needs will be the student's responsibility.
This is a full-credit course in which students will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis. In order to receive a Pass, a student must meet several criteria over the term of the course in addition to completing the equivalent of twelve weeks full-time work in the field of public history. These are: a work plan, a positive evaluation from the student's site supervisor, and a final report.
Whether your internship is paid or unpaid, each student receives a portion of their Western Graduate Research Scholarship during the summer. The Robert Cochrane Lambton County Fellowship provides support for internships relating to the history of oil in Lambton County and is usually hosted by museums in that area. The United Empire Scholarship for Local History provides financial support for research on local history in south-western Ontario, which may be relevant to some internships. Students serveing an international internship can apply for a Global Opportunities Award. Students returning to Western are eligible to apply for the RBC Student Community Service Project Grant.