Internships and Summer Opportunities

Internships give students hands on experience in an occupational field through monitored work or service.  Along with volunteer work, summer service projects, research, summer jobs, and study abroad, they provide invaluable experiential learning and tools for career development.  

Internships may be paid or unpaid, for the summer or a semester, part of a large established program or crafted by or for an individual.  We encourage American Studies majors to pursue experiential learning opportunities, and build those experiences into senior seminar and senior thesis research projects.  Our majors have participated in an astounding array of internships over the years, working with curators at the Newberry, Huntington, Hesburgh, Clinton, and Smithsonian libraries, advertising and marketing firms in Chicago, the National Park Service, media organizations from WNDU to ESPN, the South Bend Mayor’s Office, and the U.S. government.


Finding a Summer Experience:

Students wanting to develop a research project of their own should seek the help of a faculty member and apply for a UROP or American Dream grant through the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts.  International research projects are eligible for support from various campus institutions. 

Look for summer service projects through the Center for Social Concerns.
Irish internships are available through the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies.
Want to learn a foreign language? Apply for a language immersion program!
Students find internships, jobs, and volunteer opportunities in a variety of ways, including:
1) The career center and its resources including GoIrish, UCAN,, and GoingGobal 
2) Networking with faculty, family, friends, and alums  
3) Contacting employers directly.  
To get started go online, visit the American Studies Association website, meet with Anita Rees, join the Notre Dame Alumni Network and American Studies at Notre Dame LinkedIn groups , and brainstorm with friends, family, and your professors.
The Department of American Studies has established contacts at institutions where our majors have interned recently, including the National Museum of American History, the Newberry Library, and our own Hesburgh Special Collections.  See the links below but also talk to Professor Coleman and Anita Rees to take full advantage of those contacts.
Internships at Libraries, Museums, and Parks
We also have a special Notre Dame American Studies Internship at the Huntington Library
Students interested in publishing should look here for a list of University presses and publishing houses offering internships throughout the year. 

Funding a Summer Experience:

If your summer internship or research project is unpaid, there are a few pots of money available to help cover expenses.  Be sure you understand the application process, apply for all the grants that fit, and don’t be afraid to ask questions along the way.  

If you are pursuing a research project, or if you have an internship that involves research, you can seek funding through the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts.  Their Undergraduate Research Opportunity (UROP) grants are good; their American Dream grants are especially well suited for American Studies majors.  
Are you going abroad or looking at transnational issues?  If your internship/project resonates with the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, or the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, apply for their funds as well.
If you have an internship that is more about professional development and trying on a career, you should seek funding from the career center

Getting Credit for a Summer Experience:

If you are not earning a wage or salary for summer work, you may earn college credit for it.  A few internships require that you earn credit precisely because they aren’t going to pay you.  If that is the case, you can earn internship credits either through the College of Arts and Letters or through the Department of American Studies.  Any credits earned will count only as electives.