The Independent Learning Experience
in History

The Independent Learning Experience (ILE) requirement may be fulfilled in several ways, among them through independent research, study abroad or an internship

Independent Research

In addition to the extensive research skills acquired through standard coursework, many history majors may undertake independent research under a faculty mentor. They may do so during the regular semester, by signing up for History 400 (independent research) or History 491/492 (honors research), or by participating in the UC Summer Fellows Program. Our most ambitious student researchers strive for three semesters of independent research, enough to be considered for distinguished honors.

Study Abroad

Many history majors choose to study abroad in order to fulfill their ILE. Approximately 200 Ursinus students study abroad each year, both in programs designed and run by the college and in programs sponsored by other institutions or consortiums. Ursinus students have studied abroad on every continent except Antarctica--in Europe, Asia, Africa, Central and South America.


History majors have undertaken a wide array of internships, a reflection of the diverse career possibilities for history majors.  Some have been paid; some unpaid.  Some have involved state- or nation-wide competition; others have been completely student-initiated.  The duties of interns have also been varied, but in each case interns have been able to “shadow” their on-site supervisors, to learn the ropes of the different enterprises, and to process what they have learned from the experience.  Students who have undertaken internships for academic credit have either compiled portfolios of work done during the internship or completed a related independent research project.  These internships have invariably been rewarding experiences, leading to personal growth, valuable work experience, “resume-worthy” credentials, a leg up in graduate school admissions, and, sometimes, job offers.

Some of the places Ursinus history students have completed internships include:

  • Archives:
    • Friedrich Ebert Foundation and Museum
      Heidelberg, Germany
    • ChesterCounty Historical Society
      West Chester, PA
    • Pottstown Historical Society
      Pottstown, PA
    • Skippack Historical Society (in planning)
      Skippack, PA
    • Trappe Historical Society
      Trappe, PA
    • Ukrainian Cultural Center
      Philadelphia, PA
    • United States Navy – Washington Navy Yard Archives
      Washington, DC
  • Art museums:
    • BermanMuseum of Art
      Collegeville PA
    • PhiladelphiaMuseum of Art
      Philadelphia, PA
  • Politics/government and law:
    • Chester County District Justice Administration
      West Chester, PA
    • Finnegan Foundation Internship in State Government
      Harrisburg, PA
    • Harold E. Viletto Law Associates
      Philadelphia, PA
    • MontgomeryCounty Planning Commission  
      Norristown, PA
    • MontgomeryCounty Democratic Committee
      Norristown, PA
  • Public history/historic sites/history museums:
    • Custer Battlefield National Monument
      Crow Agency, MT
    • Daniel Boone Homestead
      Amity, PA
    • GraemePark
      Horsham, PA
    • HagleyMuseum and Eleutherian Mills
      Wilmington, DE
    • Historic Deerfield
      Deerfield, MA
    • KalmarNykelMuseum and New Sweden Center
      Ridley Park, PA
    • Muhlenberg House
      Trappe, PA
    • Museum of African-American History
      Philadelphia, PA
    • National Maritime Museum
      Philadelphia, PA
    • Pennsbury Manor
      Pennsbury, PA
    • Pennsylvania Museum
      Harrisburg, PA
    • Pennsylvania State Marker Program
      Harrisburg, PA
    • Pennypacker Mills
    • Peter Wentz Farmstead
      Worcestor, PA
    • Pottsgrove Manor
      Pottstown, PA\
    • Valley Forge National Historic Park
      Valley Forge, PA
    • Washington’s Crossing State Park
      Washington’s Crossing, PA
  • Other:
    • Girl Scouts of America
      Valley Forge, PA
    • St. Elizabeth Elementary School
      Wilmington, DE