How Can I Complete an Internship in American Studies?

As Director of American Studies, the question I am asked most frequently is “Are there any internships available in American Studies.” The follow up is: “If so, how do I go about getting one?”

American studies does offer an internship course on a case-by-case basis under the designation AMST 4990 Internship in Am Studies. Students can take up to 3 credit hours of 4990 per semester and 6 hours total during their tenure at OSU. The trick is that second question: How do I go about getting an internship?

The first step is to go to the “Internships” page of this website and look through the options listed there. We have some semi-regular relationships with organizations like the Tulsa Historical Society, the Guthrie Green, and the Tulsa Public Defender’s Office, or you can find a list of institutions and ideas for places to target. It is the student’s responsibility to identify and secure the internship; we are here to assist you and make sure you receive credit for your work. Start by calling the institution you are interested in to see if they need interns. Be professional, courteous, and clear about why you want to complete an internship at that institution or organization. What are your goals? What skills are you trying to learn or hone? What services or added-value can you bring to them as an intern?

Once you have identified a possible sponsor, arrange a meeting with the would-be supervisor, download the Intern Agreement form and bring it with you to the meeting. Ideally, you and your supervisor will hash out the details of the internship at that meeting, including working hours, responsibilities and expectations. Don’t worry, the Intern Agreement walks you through the process. Then, bring the Agreement to me (Dr. Takacs), and I will work with your advisor to get a section of AMST4990 set up for you, according to your specifications (1, 2 or 3 credit hours, as needed). Evaluation for the internship consists of a 5-10 page Work Report, a self-evaluation, and a supervisor evaluation.

Complete details can be found in the Internship Guide. Or, you can always email me. Internships are a great way to apply the research, writing, and critical thinking skills you’ve learned in your American Studies courses, and sometimes they even turn into careers, as AMST grad Debbye Scroggins, now a lawyer, can attest! 

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