As juniors, history and political science students may also choose to earn major credit for semester-long internships in local government offices, with law firms, or at a historic site, museum or archive. Regular posting include the Medal of Honor Museum at Patriot’s Point, The Old Exchange Building and Provost’s Dungeon in addition to Charlestowne Landing State Historic Site. Undergraduate political science majors have also interned with political campaigns or on the local staff of state and federal elected officials. Students often find that seizing the opportunity to enter their prospective field as an intern pays off in the form of a paid position at the internship site after graduation.
The university’s Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI) not only encourages students to pursue the internship experience, it also adds new opportunities for learning outside the classroom. This may take the form of participation in a course with an out-of-the-classroom setting (such as “Plantations and the American South”), an away-from-the-desk component (“The Holocaust in History and Theatre”), spending a semester in Washington DC thanks to a partnership with USC-Columbia, or studying at an institution overseas.
For those students who prefer a more familiar setting, there are two regular on-campus extra-curricular programs sponsored by the department during the Fall and Spring terms. Students and faculty participate in bimonthly “Movie Night” screenings of feature films with a connection to either politics or history followed by discussions of the film’s content, message and impact. On alternate weeks, Friday midday “Roundtable” gatherings bring students and faculty together at the campus coffee shop to discuss current events, influential ideas and all manner of trivia. On campus symposia also introduce students to topics of local history or allow them to benefit from the experiences of visiting professionals.