Student Opportunities



The Institute's goal is not only to save historical sources related to the Second World War, but also ensure they are available to students, scholars, journalists, and the general public.  Anyone can use our collections, the only requirements are that you make an appointment in advance and agree to some basic rules of conduct when handling documents.  Drawing on the Institute’s collections allows you to examine one-of-a-kind historical documents and artifacts and care must taken to preserve them for future generations.  For instance, you must not take any notes in pen, as only pencils or laptops are allowed at the Institute. 

How can you find out what we have at the Institute?  We have begun cataloguing our holdings in Archon and this online database can be accessed through our Website at:  Regrettably, only a small fraction of our collections have been placed in this database, so if you are interested in learning more about what we have on a specific topic, please send an e-mail to the Institute Archivist, Mike Kasper, at describing your research interests and he will search our internal database for you.


Are you interested in studying one aspect of World War II in greater depth and no courses are currently being offered?  A Directed Independent Study (DIS) offers an undergraduate the chance to craft an individualized course.  The requirements for a DIS are determined by mutual agreement by a professor and a student.  Professor Piehler has supervised a number of Directed Individual Study (DIS) that have allowed students to learn more about the Second World War as well as work with the Institute’s extensive collection of documents and artifacts.   If you would like to learn more about a DIS, please contact Professor Piehler at to set up an appointment to meet with him.


Undergraduates in the honors program have the opportunity to serve as research assistants in the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program.   For more information on the UROP program and specific details about Institute-sponsored projects, please visit:


If you are an history major who meets the requirements for “Honors in the Major.” also known as Honors Thesis, Professor G. Kurt  Piehler would like to speak with you about serving as your potential thesis director.   For those interested in writing a thesis focusing on World War II or related topics, Professor Piehler will work with you to come up with a good thesis topic. He will guide you in determining what resources at the Institute on World War II, Strozier Library, and elsewhere, are necessary to research and write it.  The Institute has over 6000 individual collections to draw upon that a scholar or student has never read the vast majority.   Among the theses Professor Piehler has supervised or served as reader, include:

  • The Life and Times of Mayor Frank Hague of Jersey City
  • American Food Relief in Occupied Germany in World War II
  • The Experiences of American GIs during the Occupation of Japan in World War II
  • New Jersey College for Women and the Second World War
  • The Church of Latter Day Saints and American Politics
  • The American GI in World War II

 Professor Piehler is especially interested in encouraging students to undertake projects focusing on:

  • Florida College for Women in World War II (Florida State University)
  •  Social history of military aviators
  • American occupation of Germany
  • Race relations in Florida during World War II
  • Gender and the armed forces
  • Defending America’s Shores: The Coast Guard in World War II
  • Miami during the Second World War

To learn more about the admissions to honors in the major program, visit:   If you are interested in working with Professor Piehler on an honors thesis, please e-mail him at to set up an appointment to meet with him.