Student Opportunities

The Institute on World War II and the Human Experience depends on Undergraduate and Graduate students to process collections, create finding aids, perform administrative tasks, and help further the goal of making our holdings of invaluable artifacts available to researchers and scholars around the world. Our collections are open to researchers of all levels, and we are proud to support research projects, honors theses, and internships that promote the study of the Second World War and provide hands on experience in archival, public relations, administrative, and editorial fields to Undergraduate students.

Many of the Institute’s student researchers work to modernize our catalogs, creating finding aids that are available through FSU’s Special Collections and on WorldCat to reach scholars, students, and researchers across the world. To see their work, please visit our Archival Finding Aid Database.



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.  Dr. Piehler has supervised a number of projects 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.  

The Institute has a limited number of positions for Undergraduate interns and Directed Independent Studies, but if you would like to be considered for future semesters, please contact the Institute’s Director, Dr. Kurt Piehler, at



The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program provides first and second year students at FSU with positions working closely with graduate students and professors as research assistants. Many undergraduate interns at the Institute began in the UROP Program and continued to Directed Independent Studies, Honors Theses, and Assistant to the Director positions.

For more information on the UROP program and specific details about Institute-sponsored projects, please visit:



The Institute on World War II and the Human Experience has over 7,000 individual collections of invaluable primary sources from the Second World War, and provides unique opportunities for undergraduate research. Dr. Piehler has supervised and served as reader for many theses, including:

  • 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

Dr. 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

To learn more about research opportunities at the Institute, please contact Dr. Piehler at