The Faculty of Arts Internship Handbook is designed to outline the steps to take to ensure your success as an intern. It contains the administrative guidelines and the forms you are required to submit as part of your internship. Applicable to all Arts students receiving academic credit, recognition on the McGill Co-Curricular Record or a Faculty of Arts Internship Award.
- Define your interests
- Build your research skills
- Put yourself out there
- Apply for awards
- Do research!
Define your interests
Follow your curiosity: the best research begins with an interesting question.
- What topics have interested you from class?
- What would you like to know more about?
- What else has been written on these topics?
Build on your strengths: take account of your academic skills.
- What types of assignments have you done best on?
- How can you sharpen the tools you have?
- What skills do you want to gain?
Build your research skills
The McGill Library provides essential services, programs and resources to support the research of McGill students and faculty. The Library offers:
- Workshops and classes linked to curriculum and assignments to help develop and build vital research skills,
- Liaision librarians which are designated resource people for every field of study at McGill,
- Online subject guides to most disciplinary areas,
- Thousands of e-journals, e-books, and print resources on all topics,
- Citation management software to use in organizing references, formatting bibliographies and avoiding plagiarism, with training in its use; and
- computers and help in all branch libraries, plus online assistance.
McGill, and student groups on campus, offer a number of services designed to help students develop their academic and presentations skills:
- The McGill Writing Centre offers workshops and credit-courses aimed at developing strong writing skills for native and non-native English speakers.
- McGill's Toastmaster's Club is the student branch of the international organization with the mission of improving ordinary people's public-speaking abilities - essential skills for research presentation
- The Arts Undergraduate Society, as well as some departmental associations offer essay-writing help and tutoring services for specific classes
Put yourself out there
Talk to professors
Every professor and graduate student is involved in an ongoing research project. Take the time to find out more about the exciting research that is happening right here on campus. Most departments list professors and their research interests.
Before approaching professors:
- Learn about their research by visiting their websites, understanding their research interests and reading abstracts of their recent publications
- Define the purpose of your meeting: To learn more about the professor’s research? To ask about research assistance opportunities?
- Be prepared to discuss your interests and ask relevant questions
- It can be helpful to have your CV and transcripts handy
- Plan to speak to professors during their office hours or set up an appointment by e-mail
- Be polite and professional in your e-mails
- When you introduce yourself, discuss your interests, qualifications, and expectations.
Take time to speak to other people in your department to learn about ongoing research:
- Teaching assistants;
- Departmental advisors;
- Other students in your classes and conferences;
- Your departmental student association representatives;
- Arts Undergraduate Society
Keep a keen eye on what’s happening on campus. Throughout the year there are countless opportunities to learn more about research being done in the Faculty of Arts and to meet the people involved. Watch out for:
- Graduate student presentations
- Lunch-hour speakers series
- Departmental wine & cheese or meet & greet events
- Special lectures and conferences being held at McGill
- The Annual Faculty of Arts Undergraduate Research Event
Apply for awards
- ARIA: Faculty of Arts Undergraduate Research Internship Awards
- Open to returning undergraduate McGill Faculty of Arts students with a confirmed supervising professor.
- FRSQ USRA: Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec: Undergraduate Student Research Awards
- For Canadian citizens or permanent residents registered in an undergraduate program offering specialization in health sciences (including social sciences).
- The Canada-China Scholars' Exchange Program
- Open to Canadian academics, students and professionals who wish to study and/or do research in subject areas related to China at participating Chinese institutions. Scholarships are available for studies and research, for a combination of studies and language studies or for language studies only.
Register for a research-oriented course
- Independent studies courses: many departments offer reading courses or independent study courses which are designed to give students a chance to pursue their interests under the supervision of a professor
- Honours seminars: Usually open to honours students in their final year
- Thesis courses: Usually open to honours students in their final year
- Speak to your departmental advisors for more information
Participate in field studies and study abroad opportunities
McGill offers many field-study programs offered through the Faculty of Science, but open to Arts students:
- Panama Field Study Semester
- Africa Field Study Semester
- Barbados Field Study Semester
- Barbados Interdisciplinary Tropical Studies, BITS
Take part in an internship
Internships are a great way to use your research and writing skills in a professional setting. Learn more about internships for Faculty of Arts students here.
McGill's Scholarships and Student Aid Office runs a Work Study program that provides on-campus part-time employment to qualified students.
Acceptance to the program is based primarily on financial need.
Some Work Study positions are research positions. (There are also clerical, library, technical, and general positions.)
Some professors do not know about the Work Study program. If you are eligible for Work Study funding, tell professors when you are talking to them about potential research opportunities. This may make it easier for the professor to hire you.
Find out more about this program and see the available positions on the Work Study website.