How to Apply
To apply for an internship at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, you will need to register for an account with the Smithsonian online academic appointments system (SOLAA).
Each internship cycle (spring, summer, and fall) has its own application deadline.
Spring Cycle (January – May): October 1
Summer Cycle (June – August): March 1
Fall Cycle (September – December: July 1
First, register for an account in SOLAA.
Then, after logging in to your new account in SOLAA, you will need to Start Your Application.
Once you Start Your Application, the screen below will appear. Click the Program Type dropdown menu and select Internship.
After you’re selected Internship as your Program Type, you will go to the Office/Museum/Research Center dropdown menu and select National Museum of American History.
After selecting National Museum of American History, you will see the following screen. Please find the internship that says National Museum of American History (NMAH) Internship Program and click the green button that says Apply Now.
Once you click Apply Now, the following screen will pop up, and you select Continue Application.
After selecting Continue Application, be sure to check your Applicant & Program Information to make sure your profile is accurate. Then, please read the Special Instructions to ensure that you are on track to a successful application submission before beginning to fill out the requested information, including Personal Info, Current Affiliation, and Academic History. You can keep track of your progress and save your application as you go by using the progress bar at the top of the screen.
Once you get to Program Choices, select the internship project for which you are applying. Remember that you can submit multiple applications, each with a different project choice.
For Application Materials, you are require to upload:
- A current CV or resume
- A personal essay, between 500-to-1,250 words, addressing the following three questions:
- How have your past academic history, your present academic endeavors, and/or other relevant experiences outside of academia prepared you for this internship?
- What do you hope to learn through this internship, and how would the internship would relate to your academic and career goals?
- What about this internship project in particular interests you and made you want to apply for this internship?
- An unofficial transcript--or other materials when transcripts are not issued--from all academic institutions you have listed on your application. If transcripts or other materials are not in English, the applicant should provide translations.
When uploading these materials, please keep in mind that SOLAA supported file extensions include: .doc, .docx, .pdf, .rtf, .txt, .xls, .xlsx, .gif, .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .bmp, .tif & .tiff
Also, please note that your application may be considered deficient if you do not include all of the documents requested. (If necessary, you may make other arrangements with the program coordinator to submit specific materials outside the system.)
Additionally, to keep unneeded personally identifiable information (PII) out of the application we request that you remove any unrequested PII, such as your social security number, from any of your application materials. We do not require official academic transcripts and if your transcript includes your social security number and/or date of birth we request that you redact this information before uploading it to the SOLAA system.
When you get to the References section, you will be required to submit the reference details for two references, including their last name, first name, and email address. Once this information is submitted, please click the envelope icon for each reference in order to trigger SOLAA to send an email to your reference. You may submit your application before your references have been received by SOLAA. You can also keep track of whether your reference has been submitted yet by checking the "Completed" section of the reference form.
Next, you’ll be asked to answer Additional Questions before finally Submitting Your Application! Please be sure to have your application completed with the correct uploaded materials and accurate information before submitting as you cannot edit a submitted application.
If you are interested in more than one internship choice, that's great! You are encouraged to apply for any project choice that interests you, and SOLAA makes that process easy. In order to apply to multiple internship projects, you can “copy” your initial application in SOLAA and change the relevant information, including your project choice and your personal essay, before submitting again.
Each application should be focused on one internship project choice!
- Please do not submit your application until all necessary components are completed and uploaded (i.e. transcripts, personal essay, resume). Once submitted, you cannot upload or change anything within the application.
- An unofficial or official transcript can be uploaded by first scanning the document and saving it as a .pdf or .jpeg. Please do not mail the transcript separately.
- For your references, please make sure that you click the “send email” option. This triggers the system to email your references with instructions for uploading their reference letter. Please advise your reference of this in advance!
- You are encouraged to apply for any project choice that interests you; to make this easier, we recommend that you to “copy” your initial application in SOLAA and change the relevant information, including your project choice and your personal essay, before submitting again.
Qualifications vary depending upon the project, but most are for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students. Student status, however, is not a prerequisite. Opportunities are generally not available for high school students. Please read about our Upcoming Internship Opportunities and General Application Pools at NMAH before selecting projects on your application.
The Museum does not award college credit, but many U.S. colleges and universities will recognize academic work performed while interning at the Museum. Contact your academic advisor for instructions on how to receive credit.
Most NMAH internships are unpaid positions. Some funded internships are available on a competitive basis through the Office of Fellowships and Internships.
If you have any questions about the application process, please email us via our contact form. If you have questions concerning the SOLAA application, please go to the Help section on the SOLAA website.