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Who must complete an internship?

All historic preservation majors are required to complete an internship in order to qualify for the bachelor of science in historic preservation.

When will I do my internship?

Most students complete the internship during the summer between their junior and senior years. But other timetables are acceptable. Before starting an internship, students must complete the following courses: HP100, HP200, and either HP405, HP410 or HP420 AND the appropriate problems course (HP407, HP417, HP425 or HP450).

In other words, before beginning an internship, students must have completed a 400-level sequence in either archives, historic sites or museums.

How much credit do I receive for my internship?

Undergraduate internships are worth nine hours of credit toward the degree.

How do I enroll for my internship?

Historic preservation internships are listed as courses numbered HP500-501-502. You must obtain permission to enroll from the internship coordinator.

What must I do to receive a grade and credit for my internship?

Each internship must involve at least 400 hours of work at an appropriate facility. The work done must be sufficiently varied and challenging to provide a significant learning experience. Students should inform the internship coordinator of the plan of work. The internship coordinator must make contact with the supervisor of the work, in order to insure that internships are a valuable experience for the student.

In order to receive a grade for the internship, students must complete the following:

        a concise daily journal of activities during the internship

        a five-page typewritten report on a special project involving significant research or a professional level of activity*

        a 30-minute oral presentation on the intern's experiences (to be presented to an audience of historic preservation students) OR a twenty-page paper describing the internship experience

* The student and the internship coordinator should agree in advance on a special project.

Where can I do my internship?

Students should take the initiative in arranging an internship at a museum, archival facility, historic site, or historical agency. In the past students have completed internships at the National Trust for Historic Preservation (Washington, D.C.), Gettysburg National Battlefield (Pennsylvania), Vicksburg National Military Park (Mississippi), The Navy Museum (Washington, D.C.), the New Jersey SHPO (Trenton), Conner Prairie (Indiana), Ft. Davidson State Historic Site (MO), Ft. Larned National Historic Site (Kansas), the Eugene Field House and Toy Museum (St. Louis), Jefferson Barracks County Park (St. Louis County), the National Park Service Historic Preservation Training Center (Frederick, Maryland), the National Archives (Denver Regional Office), Oshkosh Public Museum (Wisconsin), the Missouri Historical Society, the Missouri Department of Transportation, the Missouri State Archives, the Missouri State Museum, the Missouri State Historic Preservation Office, the Idaho State Historic Preservation Office, Old Town Cape and the City of Cape Girardeau, and many other historical agencies.

Students have made the following comments on the internship experience:

"A SHPO is an excellent opportunity to use skills learned in class and to learn a great deal -- and not just about what you are doing, but what others are doing." -- Sara Andre, 1999, NJSHPO

"Words cannot express the wonderful experiences I had during this internship. The knowledge gained is invaluable." -- Andrew Halter, 1999, MoSHPO

The Southeast Missouri State University Historic Preservation Program has on-going arrangements for internships with the following facilities:

Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Van Buren, MO

The National Park Service preserves both natural and cultural resources in this beautiful corridor along the Jacks Fork and Current rivers in southern Missouri. Interns have opportunities to work in preservation of historic buildings, curation of museum collections, and the processing of archives. Housing and a stipend are generally offered.

Andersonville Carter National Historic Site, GA

The National Park Service preserves and interprets the prisoner of war camp at Andersonville and the Carter Home at Plains, Georgia. The new national prisoner of war museum opened recently. A stipend is offered. Housing is arranged.

Blue Ridge Parkway (National Park Service), Asheville, NC

The National Park Service preserves and interprets cultural and natural resources along this scenic highway through mountains and valleys in North Carolina and Virginia. Under the supervision of the Curator, interns learn NPS museum methods and participate in day-to-day activities in the curatorial office. Housing is provided, and some expenses are covered. The intern must have a vehicle.

Felix Valle House State Historic Site, Ste. Genevieve, MO

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources owns, preserves, and administers several historic properties in Ste. Genevieve. Interns offer interpretive tours and programs. A stipend is provided through Les Amis, the Friends, of the site.

The internship coordinator maintains files on these and other facilities. Set your sights high. Explore the possibilities. Opportunities abound.

How do I apply for an internship?

The first step is to write a letter of interest to the agency offering the internship. You may also write letters to agencies, asking if they offer internships. In these letters, identify yourself, explain your intentions, and briefly state your qualifications. You may enclose a resume, or you may offer to send a resume later.

Prepare a resume that highlights your field experience, academic training, and special interest in preservation. If you need assistance, ask an instructor or the internship coordinator. You may also ask for assistance from the office of Career Services on campus.

If the agency expresses interest in your application, submit all forms and materials they request. Make telephone contact with someone in the agency. Inform the internship coordinator of your progress. When negotiations become serious, the coordinator will contact the agency to explain our internship program.

Please be sure to be courteous and businesslike in dealing with the agency. When in doubt, talk to the coordinator.

Will I be paid for my internship?

Many students receive stipends, wages, or some sort of financial support from the facilities at which they do their internship. Arrangements must be made directly with the facility.

Paid internships in historic preservation are also available through the following program:

National Council for Preservation Education (NCPE)

NCPE offers a variety of internships on a competitive basis every year. Students must apply for these internships. You may obtain application forms and information from the internship coordinator.

Is there anything else I should know?

While engaged in the internship, the student should maintain a cheerfully professional attitude. Interns should report to work promptly, fulfill all assignments to the best of their ability, discuss problems with supervisors and co-workers in a calm and constructive manner, and contact the internship coordinator if problems become serious. Whether paid or unpaid, an internship is a job. Interns should honor all commitments to the facilities that employ them.

The internship coordinator will be more than happy to assist in submitting applications, preparing resumes, and setting up internships. Please feel free to call Dr. Steven Hoffman at 651-2808, or email him at shoffman@semo.edu.


Dr. James Ermatinger, Chair / Department of History  
- 2003 Southeast Missouri State University