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George and Ann RichardsCivil War Era Center

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Undergraduate Summer Internships

Undergraduate Summer Internships

The Richards Center is deeply committed to undergraduate education, especially introducing Penn State students to the history major and supporting professional development opportunities for students interested in working in the field.


Thanks to the generosity of Larry and Lynne Brown, the Richards Center sends Penn State undergraduate students to intern with the National Park Service each summer where they get hands-on experience in public history. From working in interpretive operations and designing programs for park visitors to learning about archival and museum management, undergraduate interns develop a variety of skills that are widely applicable to work in public history, education, and beyond. To track their experience, all interns maintain a journal throughout the summer, recounting their experiences and reflecting on what they have learned from the internship.

The Internships

Do you have an interest in preserving U.S. history and sharing it with the public? Do you want to put your knowledge of history to good use this summer? 

The Richards Civil War Era Center at Penn State invites applications from qualified Penn State undergraduate students for four paid positions at the National Park Service’s Gettysburg National Military Park during the summer of 2023. The internships provide students with hands-on public history and archeology work experience. These noncredit internships come with a $3,500 stipend and free housing at the national parks. 

Gettysburg National Military Park

Interpretive operations: The interpretive operations intern designs historical presentations for the public and puts on programs for park visitors that interpret the history of the town, the battle, and their broader historical significance, highlighting the experiences of civilians and soldiers alike. This intern also periodically designs and participates in living history programs that educate the public on life in the nineteenth century. 

Museum services: The museum services intern will learn the fundamental skills of archival and museum management. Interns help to install museum exhibits and to inventory and conserve the park’s vast historical collections. These collections include diaries and letter collections from soldiers and civilians, as well as material objects, such as flags, banners, uniforms, weapons, paintings, and prints, among other items.

Cultural resource history: The cultural resource history intern will work primarily with the physical resources of Gettysburg National Military Park. Since 1999, Gettysburg was subject to an aggressive treatment and management program to rehabilitate the battlefield landscape. The intern will contribute to historical research in support of this program. The research will involve primary and secondary sources in local archives. Document examples include cultural landscape reports, historic structure reports, and background material for compliance documentation. The selected intern will have the opportunity to participate in applied history projects and discussions with other park staff— including the management team, regional office staff, as well as staff from the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office. Some fieldwork on the battlefield may be required.  

Archeological intern: The archeological intern will assist the park archeologist in the excavation and identification of archeological sites within the park. The intern will also assist in the care and curation of archeological collections and the development and presentation of archeological findings through public programs and written reports. The intern will develop practical skills through planning and conducting archeological research—including field methods, collections management, satellite mapping, archeological documentation, and archival research. The work will provide real-world experiences alongside practicing professionals. Interested candidates should be aware that fieldwork occurs outdoors in various environmental conditions and summer temperature extremes. Successful candidates must be able to bend, kneel, and lift at least twenty pounds. Office work, including archival research and collections care and curation will be sedentary in nature. The candidate should have a current driver’s license in good standing (e.g. no suspended license) and have the ability to drive a four-wheel drive pickup.

Application Process

Each year, Richards Center interns play a crucial role in the National Park Service’s mission to preserve U.S. history and help visitors make sense of the nation’s past. If you would like the opportunity to support this mission and gain valuable skills in historical interpretation, communication, research, preservation, and public education, we encourage you to apply by following the directions below. 

Applicants must have at least a 3.0 grade-point average at Penn State University Park and have not graduated by the time of the internship. Applicants should submit a one-page statement of interest detailing why they would like to work at Gettysburg National Military Park and how they think the experience will further their education. In this statement, applicants should also specify which internship(s) they are most interested in.

Applicants must also provide a résumé, one letter of recommendation from a faculty member (email is acceptable), and an unofficial transcript (it is not necessary to provide a certified official Penn State transcript). Statements of interest and transcripts must be received by Monday, February 6, 2023. Letters of recommendation can follow. 

Direct all application materials to Emma Teitelman, associate director of the Richards Center, at For more information, visit the Richards Center website or contact Dr. Teitelman directly. 

Funding is made possible through the generous support of Larry and Lynne Brown, Matthew Isham, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.