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Smithsonian Internship

Every year, the Whitworth History Department has several openings for majors (history, international studies/history, history/social studies, American studies) to spend Jan Term at the Smithsonian, in Washington, D.C. This program runs in conjunction with the Whitworth Honors Program. The rules for application and the financial support given to students vary slightly between the two programs. If you do not meet history department eligibility, you are welcome to apply through the honors program instead.

First, just like the honors program, the history department requires that you apply for Jan Term in D.C. through the off-campus programs online system. This normally opens in mid-February and closes the first Friday in March. You will request online recommendations for that application. Please do not get a fellow student to do the personal recommendation. You need a professor, a staff member, a pastor or boss from a summer job – not a relative or close friend.

Then, you need to turn in a résumé and letter of interest. The deadline for these is the Monday prior to the off-campus programs deadline. For example, if off-campus programs closes applications on Friday, March 3, you must submit these documents to Honors Program Assistant Karly Bosma (kbosma@whitworth.edu) before 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27. Both the résumé and the letter should be crafted to show how your academic career has prepared you for the experience at the Smithsonian.

Finally, in order to write this letter intelligently, you need to speak first with a history professor. During this process, the history department will select students for the history openings, as opposed to the honors seats. To be competitive, you must have worked with Dale Soden on an internship and must have a good recommendation from your internship supervisor. You can certainly use an internship arranged by someone other than Dale, but you need to have talked with Dale about it and to have it accepted for use in this application.

You can't apply for the history seats without talking with one of us. We will tell you whether you are eligible for a history opening or if you should do a general application through honors. To be eligible, you need at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA, a successful internship cleared by Dale Soden, and an approval from a history professor in conjunction with the department chair. You must be a junior or senior during your Jan Term at the Smithsonian.

Successful history applicants can expect to have their Smithsonian administration fee covered by the Whitworth provost's office. Housing will not be provided or paid for, although we can recommend places to look for housing. The honors program offers homestays, and, in some cases, may be able to offer some of those to history students. The best way to get housing is to be both a history major and an honors student. Talk with your advisor about how to make that happen.

For all questions about the history seats, contact Professor of History Corliss Slack (cslack@whitworth.edu or 509.777.4366). For the honors program in general, please contact Doug Sugano, professor of English and director of Honors, at dsugano@whitworth.edu.