American Studies Internships

What is an Internship?  An Internship in American Studies allows students to explore a potential career field and gain hands-on experience outside of the classroom.  It will enhance any resume, graduate school application, or law school application, regardless of the nature of the internship itself.  The internship is designed to enrich and complement students’ coursework and allow them to apply what they have learned in their American Studies classes. 

What about Course Credit?  Students enrolled in internships receive 3 units of upper-division elective credit (AMST 495) that is the equivalent of any other AMST class and counts toward the completion of the major, minor, or excess university elective units. Undergraduate internships are graded as Credit/No Credit; no letter grades are given. Paid internships can also qualify as academic internships.

Can Graduate Students Do Internships? Graduate students enrolled in internships receive 3 units of upper-division credit (AMST 595). Interested graduate students should consult with the Graduate Advisor to ensure AMST 595 fits with their study plan. Graduate Internships are graded with letter grades.

What are Internship Requirements?  Interns must complete a minimum of 120 hours at an internship site and perform agreed upon duties specific to that site. They must also meet periodically with the Internship Coordinator, give a brief presentation to AMST 350 students about their internship, and complete a reflective essay (3-5 pages) at the end of their internship. These requirements are the same for undergraduate and graduate interns.

How do I find Internships?  Students may intern at a wide range of sites on and off campus. On-campus options include organizations such as the African American Resource Center, Asian Pacific American Resource Center, Center for Oral and Public History, Chicana/o Resource Center, LGBT Queer Resource Center, Male Success Initiative, Project Rebound, Supplementary Instruction Leader, Titan Dreamers Resource Center, Titan Food Pantry, University Special Collections, and University Learning Center. For off-campus internships, students may choose from non-profit organizations, government agencies, media outlets, law firms, public and private schools, museums, libraries, cultural centers, and historical societies, among other possibilities. Please consult the American Studies Academic Internships Information CardPDF File for directions on how to locate and register for an internship through CSUF Center for Internships and Community Engagement (CICE).

To learn more, please email the American Studies Internship Coordinator at

Photograph of Joanna WallaceJoanna Wallace
Undergraduate AMST major
US Law Center, Fall 2019 

  “Initially starting my internship at the U.S. Law Center I was nervous and slightly intimidated about the environment I would be working in. My experiences at the firm quickly showed me the human element of law and how the immigration cases we worked on were with real people and families who were afraid and in need of help. My nervousness quickly went away, as I was able to connect with people, hear their stories, and learn how to assist them. The work I did was incredibly fulfilling and I am grateful to be able to say that the internship turned into a paid job, where I can continue to be a part of a team that does incredible work for others.”

Betzabeth Cabral
Undergraduate AMST major
Cordoba Corporation, Fall 2019

Photograph of Betzabeth Cabral

 “Interning with Cordoba Corporation allowed me the opportunity to enhance my skills in software, such as Microsoft Excel and PLS-CADD. I am now confident explaining my work to a room full of project directors. My time there exposed me to career paths I had not previously considered. I am happy to have the opportunity to work full time with Cordoba Corporation after such a positive internship experience!”


Alfonso Lagunas
MA candidate, American Studies
Academic Advisement Center, Fall 2019

 Photograph of Alfonso Lagunas“My main takeaway from interning at the Academic Advisement Center was realizing how much I truly care about student success. As someone who has struggled with achieving my own academic goals, I fully understand how students can sometimes feel lost. Towards the end of my internship, my supervisor encouraged me to consider being a retention specialist who helps students improve their GPA and reach graduation in a timely manner. I am applying for this and other counseling positions on campus because my experiences as an intern clarified for me just how much I want to help students succeed in a manner that they can see for themselves.” 

Brandon Ruiz
Undergraduate AMST major
Supplemental Instructor, Fall 2019

Photograph of Brandon Ruiz “As a Supplemental Instructor for AMST 201: Introduction to American Studies, I was able to express my love of American Studies with fellow students, while also getting to know them on a personal level. This internship helped me improve my communication skills and gave me a chance to explore my interest in teaching. Throughout the semester, I got to know the students and came to view those who attended my SI sessions with empathy and care. The students had a great impact on me. I’m grateful to have had this opportunity and I’ll look back at this internship as one of the best decisions I ever made within my academic career.”

Katherine Morales
MA candidate, American Studies
Laura’s House, Fall 2019

 Photograph of Katherine Morales“Interning in the legal department at Laura’s House allowed me to advocate for survivors of intimate partner violence, and assist them in navigating the legal realm. My background in American Studies prepared me extensively for this position as I worked with people from a variety of backgrounds and identities, each with their own story. From conducting client intakes, to providing court support and explaining legal documents, the most rewarding aspect of this experience was the connection I developed with a client. I know now that in my future endeavors I will be happiest in a profession that helps others, as well as empowers them.”