Internship & Applied History


Department Programs

The Department of History offers several programs to connect our students with their community, improve their writing skills, and support their educational goals both financially and academically.

Internship Program/Applied History

The student internship program places History Majors and California Studies Minors in pre-professional positions in public, commercial, and advocacy institutions. This hands-on experience allows you to earn 3 units of credit in a directed program of applied field study while acquiring pertinent skills and knowledge in your field of interest. In the past 5 years, we have placed over 100 students in positons at 70 different institutions.

See where our interns have been placed

How an Internship can Benefit you now and in the Future...

  • It can provide you with an opportunity to apply knowledge of your field in a pre-professional position.

  • You will establish professional contacts and recommendations facilitating your career objectives.

  • With the guidance of a professional, you will learn how institutions and programs in your field of interest work, and develop an ability to assess their strengths and weaknesses.

  • You can help strengthen the ties of service and communication between the university and the community.

What is Required to complete the Internship Program?

  • You must have attained upper division or graduate standing with at least a 3.0 average. A demonstration of writing and analytical skills is also required.

  • You will work 120 hours at the host institution during the semester. Transportation will be your responsibility. At the conclusion of the internship, you will submit an assessment paper on your experience.

  • To complete the course satisfactorily, you must meet the expectations of both the host institution’s supervisor and the History Department Internship Coordinator.

If you are interested in pursuing an internship, please contact the History Department office at 818-677-3566 and ask to schedule an appointment with our Internship Coordinator, Dr. Jessica Kim.

The Whitsett Program

Who is W.P. Whitsett?

W.P. Whitsett had a long career in the fields of mining, irrigation, and real estate. "To each he brought enduring energy, faith, optimism, and impressive competence," concluded Professor Baur. In 1905 Whitsett moved to southern California and in 1911 he became the enthusiastic founder of Van Nuys describing valley land as "among the richest and best in California, but to the inexperienced eye those acres looked like a wasteland", Baur noted. "There were no nearby roads, light fixtures, water pipes, gas, or telephone facilities." Whitsett, however, pushed ahead with the sale of land sites, the organization of Van Nuys, the introduction of agricultural advances, banking, and water from the Owens Valley. Whitsett served on the board of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and as the first chairman of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California from 1930 to 1947. He led the successful effort to bring Colorado river water to Los Angeles which facilitated the post-World War II expansion of southern California.

Establishment of the Endowment and Chair

In November, 1986 the W.P. Whitsett Foundation and California State University, Northridge, established the W.P. Whitsett Endowment at CSUN to honor Mr. Whitsett. The Whitsett Foundation's gift was intended to honor the memory of W.P. Whitsett and his pioneering role in San Fernando Valley history. Whitsett's three granddaughters--Mrs. Myrtle Harris, Mrs. Eleanore Robinson and Mrs. Sarah Ann Siegel--and family friends, Mrs. Mary Jane Petit and Mrs. Sara Baur--have generously supported the department's efforts to implement the different parts of the endowment starting with the late Dr. John Baur's published essay on W.P. Whitsett.

The establishment of the W.P. Whitsett Chair in California History in 1994 completed the implementation of the endowment. This is the first endowed chair at CSUN and one of the first in the entire California State University system. Professor Gloria Ricci Lothrop accepted the position in June 1994 and joined the department for the 1994-1995 academic year. Professor Lothrop taught at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona since 1970. She has a distinguished record of accomplishments in teaching California history, in promoting California studies, and in publications in this field. Two of her recent articles include "Boom of the 80's Revisited" and "Hispanas and the Land: Female Land Ownership in Early Alta California" in the Southern California Quarterly. Her most recent book is Los Angeles Profiles: A Tribute to the Ethnic Diversity of Los Angeles (1994). Professor Lothrop retired from CSUN in 2002.In Fall of 2005, Professor Josh Sides became the second Whitsett Professor.

Whitsett Lectures and Seminars

The W.P. Whisett California Lecture Series was started in 1987 to focus on topics related to the history, the development, and the future prospects of California. The lecture series encourages an interdisciplinary approach to subjects related to California

Click here to see a list of past lectures

Since 2005, the History Department at CSUN has hosted the annual W.P. Whitsett Graduate Seminar in California History, which showcases the strongest graduate work in a one-day seminar moderated by top scholars in fields related to California History. We seek submissions from graduate students at any stage of completion of the doctorate (including MA students) and those with PhDs still seeking full-time employment. The best papers will receive special consideration for publication in California History.

Michael Patterson Writing Center

The Michael Patterson HISTORY DEPARTMENT WRITING CENTER is open for appointments. Our friendly tutors are eager to help with your history writing assignment.

Need assistance organizing your paper, clarifying your thesis statement, refining your argument, proofreading your prose, citing sources, or formatting a bibliography? We can help with that! We love to read drafts! Perhaps you just don’t know where to begin? DON’T PANIC!

We can help with brainstorming, outlining, deciphering paper prompts, and time management.

Book an hour long session with one of our HISTORY writing tutors. Call the History Office at 818-677-3566, or stop by 610 Sierra Tower (History Office).

Not a fan of planning ahead? We have walk-in hours on Thursday afternoons! All you need to do is show up at the writing center, and we’ll take it from there.

Annual Scholarships and Awards

Through the generosity of donors, the History Department is very pleased to be able to give out a number of scholarships and awards to outstanding students every spring. Applicants must have declared a major in History, or be enrolled in the M.A. program. In Spring 2013 the Department awarded students over $50,000 worth of scholarships and awards.

Students may apply for the following scholarships and awards each Spring. Information and deadlines will be posted by February 1.

Click here to see a list of available scholarships
Teaching Credential/The Social Science Subject Matter Program/SSSMP waiver

The Social Science Subject Matter Program (SSSMP) is available to current and former CSUN students who are interested in pursuing a credential to teach social studies at the high school level in the California public school system. This program offers students an alternative to passing the California Subject Exam for Teachers (CSET), and it consists of a sequence of fifteen courses, many of which overlap with the history major and general education requirements. Once a student has successfully completed the program, he or she will have demonstrated subject matter competency in the social sciences. To learn more about the program requirements and how best to complete them, please call the history department office (818-677-3566) and ask to schedule an appointment with the SSSMP adviser, Dr. Patricia Juarez-Dappe. detailed listing of courses and requirements is available for download (.pdf).