Upcoming Internship Opportunities

Internship applications for Spring 2020 are officially closed. Internship offers will be made by early November.

Summer 2020 internship opportunities will be posted and applications will open on November 19, 2019 at 12:00 PM EST.

Summer 2020 internship applications will be due February 3, 2020 at 2:00 PM EST. Please allow enough time for references to be submitted.

Before you begin applying, be sure to visit our "How to Apply" webpage so that your application is set up for success!

If you don't see an internship that sparks your interest, check out our General Application Pools for NMAH internships.


The museum offers incredible internship experiences in a variety of fields. These opportunities may change each internship season based on the availability of projects in order to ensure meaningful education experiences for all interns. Check out the information below to learn more about upcoming internship opportunities available at the National Museum of American History!

To get an idea about the types of internships we offer at NMAH, here are the Spring 2020 internships for which we actively recruited:

African American Social Justice History Internship

Archives Center Internship

Collections Management Internship, Underwood and Underwood Glass Plate Negatives Rehousing

Daily Programs Internship

Development, Fundraising, and Donor Relations Internship

Entertainment Collection Curatorial Internship

Exhibit Services Group Internship

Exhibition Design Internship

Finance & Procurement Internship

Graphic Design Internship

Objects Processing Internship

Office of Communications and Marketing/Public Affairs Internship

Program in Latino History and Civic Engagement Internship

Spark!Lab Internship

Special Events Internship

Visitor Experience Internship

Website Design & Management Internship

 

Questions about applying? Check out the How to Apply section of our NMAH internship website!


African American Social Justice Internship

This is internship focuses on African American collections is in the Division of Political & Military History. The intern’s work will contribute to major projects focused on managing current collections and building future collections in this field area. An intern will work directly with curators to: 1) critically assess, document, and categorize African American Political History collections and develop a new collecting plan for African American Social Justice history 2) expand collections through archival research and community collecting 3) assist with major grant writing. Interest in the history of race and racism, anti-colonial approaches to museums studies, and critical race and digital studies are encouraged. Advanced undergraduates and graduate students preferred.

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to expose the intern to curatorial practice, collections management strategies, and African American holdings at NMAH.

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Comfortably navigate the Mimsy-XG software through direct exposure to NMAH’s vast holdings and approaches to collections management.
  • Assist in developing a collecting plan for African American social justice history.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of research focused projects in African American political history under the guidance of their mentors.
  • Increase knowledge of anti-colonial approaches to museums and critical race and digital studies with their mentors.
  • Assist in writing for large scale grants.
  • Hone their research and professional skills.

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Receive training in Mimsy-XG software.
  • Help handle and appropriately classify objects in NMAH’s holdings and learn approaches to collections management.
  • Conduct advanced research on current collections and future collecting opportunities.
  • Assist in identifying and writing large scale grants.

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:

  • Interested in marginalized histories, social justice, collections management and/or cultural studies
  • The ability to work well in teams, balance multiple projects, and employ strong research skills
  • Advanced undergraduates and graduate studies (preferred)

Audience: This internship is specialized, for individuals who have experience in this field. This internship is intended for 2-3 interns.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. The anticipated length of this internship is 12 weeks to 1 year. This internship can be full time or part time.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: Internship stipends issued by the Smithsonian are not considered salary or meant as compensation, but are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during the term of their appointment. Interns awarded stipends who are U.S. residents for tax purposes are responsible for meeting their individual state and federal tax obligations and will receive a financial summary around March of the following year for the previous calendar year. Interns who are not U.S. residents for tax purposes will receive an IRS Form 1042-S and are likewise responsible for meeting any and all tax obligations. Smithsonian stipend awards vary depending on the program but may be benchmarked against the rate offered by many centrally funded programs of $650/week for a full-time internship. Stipends may be available for accepted interns whose complete applications are submitted on time. The amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. Additionally, stipended opportunities are available for a limited number of internships through the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI). The stipend distribution process takes 6 weeks from the time OFI receives an accepted intern's stipend paperwork, and stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship. Stipend payments are released on the 10th and 25th of each month, and the frequency of payments is decided by OFI depending on the stipend amount.


Archives Center Internship

During this internship, the intern’s primary duty will be to assist Archives Center reference staff in varied aspects of reference service, including: answering public inquiries by telephone, e-mail, and in person, performing background research as needed; taking charge of the reference room during brief absences of the regular staff, assisting researchers as needed, and assisting staff in paging and re-shelving collection materials.

Other duties as assigned may include scanning archival materials and assisting the Archives Center staff with archival processing. Intern(s) will perform collection processing and/or cataloging activities in collaboration with the Archives Center’s processing coordinator. Tasks include performing research in order to write introductory texts for finding aids, arranging and re-housing collection materials, and describing materials for finding aids. The intern will receive instruction in processing techniques, archival description, the use of ArchivesSpace for electronic cataloging, and collection care, and will gain experience in conducting varied types of research. Training provided. Attention to detail required.

There are no specific courses at this point that are needed, but interested applicants may want to consider volunteering in their college/university archives or local historical society to gain some exposure to the archival profession. There are many facets of archival work that include: building custom enclosures such as boxes and sink mats; processing collections (arranging and describing); digitizing photographs and other documents and managing digital assets; assisting researchers in our public reading room; creating EAD finding aids using ArchivesSpace; researching, designing, and preparing small exhibits. Digital asset interns at NMAH's Archives Center are trained to work with a variety of systems such as ArchivesSpace (collections management system) and Opentext (digital asset management system). Working knowledge of excel spreadsheets is useful, but training is provided for all aspects of an interns project.

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to teach interns the skills required in varied aspects of reference service and to learn from Archives Center reference staff.

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will:

  • Better understand how to analyze a reference inquiry
  • Better understand how to locate information using a variety of systems
  • Better interact with people and provide the excellent customer service
  • Learn how the Archives Center describes, arranges and catalogs archival collections.
  • Enhance my understanding of collection management tools such as ArchivesSpace.
  • Assist in the digitization and cataloging of collection materials.

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Work collaboratively and independently
  • Follow detailed instructions
  • Be flexible 
  • Answer public inquiries by telephone, e-mail, and in person
  • Perform background research as needed
  • Take charge of the reference room during brief absences of the regular staff, assisting researchers as needed, and assisting staff in paging and re-shelving collection materials

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:  

  • Attention to detail
  • Interest in working with researchers
  • Willingness to learn multiple collections management systems

Audience: This internship is generalized to provide individuals initial experience in this field. This internship is intended for up to 5 interns.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. This internship can be part time or full time.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: Internship stipends issued by the Smithsonian are not considered salary or meant as compensation, but are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during the term of their appointment. Interns awarded stipends who are U.S. residents for tax purposes are responsible for meeting their individual state and federal tax obligations and will receive a financial summary around March of the following year for the previous calendar year. Interns who are not U.S. residents for tax purposes will receive an IRS Form 1042-S and are likewise responsible for meeting any and all tax obligations. Smithsonian stipend awards vary depending on the program but may be benchmarked against the rate offered by many centrally funded programs of $650/week for a full-time internship. Stipends may be available for accepted interns whose complete applications are submitted on time. The amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. Additionally, stipended opportunities are available for a limited number of internships through the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI). The stipend distribution process takes 6 weeks from the time OFI receives an accepted intern's stipend paperwork, and stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship. Stipend payments are released on the 10th and 25th of each month, and the frequency of payments is decided by OFI depending on the stipend amount.


Collections Management Internship, Underwood and Underwood Glass Plate Negatives Rehousing

The Photographic History Collection contains more than 10,000 glass plate negatives from the Underwood and Underwood studios. During this internship, an intern will be introduced to the physical and intellectual care of photographic collections, specifically with glass plate negatives. There will be some cataloging, rehousing and object moves to consolidate the collection currently located in disparate cabinets.

Goal: Overall, this internship is a professional learning experiences that aims to introduce the intern to the hands-on principles of collections management as they specifically relate to photographic history collections. The intern will learn more about cataloging, rehousing and making collections accessible to the general public.

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Handle and appropriately classify photographic objects
  • Discuss best practices for how to store photographic collections
  • Use proper terminology regarding classification of photographic collections
  • Learn how museum staff make collections available and accessible to the general public

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Use the Museum’s collections management database to accurately describe photographic collection objects
  • Appropriately handle photographic collection objects
  • Rehouse photographic collections objects
  • The intern should be able to perform these tasks with minimal supervision after the introductory period

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:

  • Theoretical or classroom knowledge of collections management practices
  • Theoretical or classroom knowledge of handling and preservation of museum collection objects
  • Some background in photographic history is a plus

Audience: This internship specialized for individuals who already have some experience in this field, specifically a baseline proficiency in collections handling, as the intern will be learning to handle glassware, a particularly tricky material for object handling. This internship is intended for 1 intern.

Timeline: This internship will take place during Winter/Spring 2020 and can be full-time or part-time, minimum 16 hours per week. The internship will be 12-16 weeks, depending on if there are required hours for the intern’s program.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This internship does provide a $500 stipend to offset transportation costs. Additional stipends may be available for interns in need whose complete applications are submitted on time and who are accepted into the program. Internship stipends issued by the Smithsonian are not considered salary or meant as compensation, but are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during the term of their appointment. Interns awarded stipends who are U.S. residents for tax purposes are responsible for meeting their individual state and federal tax obligations and will receive a financial summary around March of the following year for the previous calendar year. Interns who are not U.S. residents for tax purposes will receive an IRS Form 1042-S and are likewise responsible for meeting any and all tax obligations. Smithsonian stipend awards vary depending on the program but may be benchmarked against the rate offered by many centrally funded programs of $650/week for a full-time internship. Stipends may be available for accepted interns whose complete applications are submitted on time. The amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. Additionally, stipended opportunities are available for a limited number of internships through the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI). The stipend distribution process takes 6 weeks from the time OFI receives an accepted intern's stipend paperwork, and stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship. Stipend payments are released on the 10th and 25th of each month, and the frequency of payments is decided by OFI depending on the stipend amount.


Daily Programs Internship

Daily Programs Interns learn the methods and practice of museum education by facilitating hands-on activities throughout the museum. Interns will learn a wide range of approaches to planning, delivering, and evaluating daily, public programs for visitors. Current programming uses topics in innovation, agricultural, business, food, household, and social history connected to museum exhibitions to engage our all-ages audience. Interns will collaborate with the Experience Design team (Office of Audience Engagement), dedicated to facilitating meaningful personal experiences, building relationships, and creating conversations with museum visitors. 

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to have interns learn the methods and practice of museum education by facilitating hands-on activities throughout the museum.

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Learn museum education principles and develop an introductory understanding of the role of public engagement in museums.
  • Learn a wide range of approaches to delivering and evaluating public programs for museum visitors.
  • Understand how public programs operate in a large museum

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Participate weekly discussion session with assigned readings, exhibit reviews, and presentations by museum staff that will introduce you to museum education theory and current best practices.
  • Bring what you’ve learned to a broad public audience by presenting programs and hands-on interactive experiences throughout the museum.
  • Work cooperatively with staff and intern cohort to present educational programs, engaging audiences through conversation and object-based learning
  • Research and develop additional program content with museum collections and education staff 
  • Assist with the upkeep of program equipment and spaces including set up, replenishing supplies, and operating procedures
  • Conduct evaluation projects and maintain documentation to support program continuity

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:

  • Possess enthusiasm for working in a public-facing, educational environment
  • Have strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Work independently and collaboratively in a team-oriented environment
  • Interest in history, education, or museums

Audience: This internship is generalized to provide individuals initial experience in this field. This internship is intended for more than 5 interns.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. This internship can be part time or full time.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Financial Information: Internship stipends issued by the Smithsonian are not considered salary or meant as compensation, but are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during the term of their appointment. Interns awarded stipends who are U.S. residents for tax purposes are responsible for meeting their individual state and federal tax obligations and will receive a financial summary around March of the following year for the previous calendar year. Interns who are not U.S. residents for tax purposes will receive an IRS Form 1042-S and are likewise responsible for meeting any and all tax obligations. Smithsonian stipend awards vary depending on the program but may be benchmarked against the rate offered by many centrally funded programs of $650/week for a full-time internship. Stipends may be available for accepted interns whose complete applications are submitted on time. The amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. Additionally, stipended opportunities are available for a limited number of internships through the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI). The stipend distribution process takes 6 weeks from the time OFI receives an accepted intern's stipend paperwork, and stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship. Stipend payments are released on the 10th and 25th of each month, and the frequency of payments is decided by OFI depending on the stipend amount.


Development, Fundraising, and Donor Relations Internship

The Development Office manages a robust philanthropy program that creates meaningful experiences for members and donors while raising funds to sustain core museum activities including exhibitions, education initiatives, public programs, conservation projects, capital projects, and more. The office is responsible for fundraising by identifying, securing, and stewarding financial support from individuals (trustees, major donors, and members) and institutions (foundations, government agencies, and corporations). The interns report to the Manager of Annual Giving, but will work closely with all development managers to learn different aspects of fundraising and development, while supporting the team in meeting its goals. Interns will learn about membership, major giving and personal philanthropy, assist with gift acknowledgements, special projects, and events, and help advance the process for individual and institutional donors and prospects.

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to educate the intern on what it means to work in development for a major museum.  They will learn how we cultivate donors and raise money for various projects.

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Prospect research techniques
  • Conduct a mail merge 
  • Cultivate donor stewardship

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Prospect identification, such as online research and creating in-depth donor profiles
  • Manage and process mailings for the Smithsonian Council for American History, a membership program for donors of $1,000 - $25,000, and the Director’s Fund for Annual Giving, a program for donor of $50-$500.
  • Assist with donor tours, donor meetings, membership/major gift events, Museum-wide events
  • Create and manage invitation and mailing lists for VIP events
  • Draft fundraising materials, such as proposals, blog posts, e-solicitations, or talking points for donor tours
  •  Assist with data processing and mailings

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:  

  • Interest in development 
  • Arts or nonprofit background
  • Experience working in an office 

Audience: This internship is specialized, for individuals who have experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1-2 interns.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. This internship can be part time or full time.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: Internship stipends issued by the Smithsonian are not considered salary or meant as compensation, but are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during the term of their appointment. Interns awarded stipends who are U.S. residents for tax purposes are responsible for meeting their individual state and federal tax obligations and will receive a financial summary around March of the following year for the previous calendar year. Interns who are not U.S. residents for tax purposes will receive an IRS Form 1042-S and are likewise responsible for meeting any and all tax obligations. Smithsonian stipend awards vary depending on the program but may be benchmarked against the rate offered by many centrally funded programs of $650/week for a full-time internship. Stipends may be available for accepted interns whose complete applications are submitted on time. The amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. Additionally, stipended opportunities are available for a limited number of internships through the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI). The stipend distribution process takes 6 weeks from the time OFI receives an accepted intern's stipend paperwork, and stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship. Stipend payments are released on the 10th and 25th of each month, and the frequency of payments is decided by OFI depending on the stipend amount.


Entertainment Collection Curatorial Internship

The intern will work with museum professionals in the Entertainment Collection at the National Museum of American History, learning how curators study, care for, and use one of the nation’s premiere collections of historical film, television, theater, comedy, and animation objects to interpret the history of the United States and its people. The intern will have opportunities to learn and practice diverse skills including object handling and cataloging, archival and object research, exhibition development, and publication and program development.

Goal: Overall, this internship is a professional learning experiences that aims to engage interns in learning and practicing professional skills required of a museum curator, including object handling and cataloging, research, exhibition development, and public service.

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Handle and catalog museum objects to Smithsonian standards
  • Write museum labels supported by rigorous research and an understanding of museum interpretation
  • Communicate well with museum professionals in a variety of settings including meetings

 Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Learn object handling and cataloging skills
  • Gain competency using MIMSY XG collections management software
  • Improve archival research skills
  • Increase knowledge of subject (history of American entertainment)
  • Experience book and exhibition development meetings

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:

  • Demonstrated interest in the history of American entertainment
  • Interest in learning curatorial research and object skills
  • Proficiency in written communication

Audience: This internship can be both generalized, to provide individuals initial experience in this field, and specialized, for individuals who have experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1 intern.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. The anticipated length of this internship is 8 - 12 weeks. This internship can be full time or part time, minimum of 16 hours per week.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: Internship stipends issued by the Smithsonian are not considered salary or meant as compensation, but are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during the term of their appointment. Interns awarded stipends who are U.S. residents for tax purposes are responsible for meeting their individual state and federal tax obligations and will receive a financial summary around March of the following year for the previous calendar year. Interns who are not U.S. residents for tax purposes will receive an IRS Form 1042-S and are likewise responsible for meeting any and all tax obligations. Smithsonian stipend awards vary depending on the program but may be benchmarked against the rate offered by many centrally funded programs of $650/week for a full-time internship. Stipends may be available for accepted interns whose complete applications are submitted on time. The amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. Additionally, stipended opportunities are available for a limited number of internships through the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI). The stipend distribution process takes 6 weeks from the time OFI receives an accepted intern's stipend paperwork, and stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship. Stipend payments are released on the 10th and 25th of each month, and the frequency of payments is decided by OFI depending on the stipend amount.


Exhibit Services Group Internship

Have you ever wondered how a museum’s exhibit can be so engaging and look so professional every day? At NMAH, we are a large museum with a diverse collection in galleries ranging in age from 54 years to less than 1 year and with sizes ranging from 800 to 8,000 square feet. Because of this, we have a unique challenge in presenting our collection to the public on a daily basis. The sheer number of annual visitors requires a more thorough and focused effort on the daily and long term needs of maintenance and collections care of the objects on display. This is why the Exhibits Services Group at NMAH is so important. The Exhibits Services Group is a small, interdisciplinary group that oversees all of the daily requirements needed to make sure our exhibits are creating the best visitor experience while also contributing to special fabrication needs and art handling support for conservation. Although cleaning, painting, and lighting make up the basic task elements of our typical day, project planning and interdepartmental relationship building are the two of the most important responsibilities and skills of the Exhibits Services Group, even though this might not be obvious in our basic job description. With over 350 personnel in one building, there exists a tremendous opportunity to collaborate with every aspect of the museum field, including with our Exhibits Design, Exhibits Production and Graphics, Collections Care, and Conservation teams. The intern will be provided opportunities to become acquainted with and work with several other departments.

Goal: Overall, this internship is a professional learning experiences that aims to introduce the intern not only to Museum Exhibits specifically but the interdisciplinary collaborations within the museum as a whole. This internship is referred to as a “ Museum Primer “ for those interested in entering the Museum profession but perhaps are still unsure what precise field they may want to enter.

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will:

  • Gain a better understanding of the exhibition planning and development process through shadowing and participation in team-based collaboration
  • Build interdepartmental relationships through collaborating with other departments in the museum who contribute to the creation and success of an exhibition, including exhibits design, exhibits production, conservation, and collections care teams
  • Contribute to exhibit maintenance through prioritizing specific tasks related to visitor experience
  • Understand the vital role that museum exhibitions plays in promoting the educational priorities of the museum

 Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Assist with daily gallery maintenance of the third floor and other galleries as needed. This includes vacuuming and glass cleaning as well as painting and lighting.
  • Assist with Project Planning, supply organization, inter-department communications and collaborations.
  • Assist with exhibit component repair.
  • Assist with design of displays and interactives.
  • Assist with “Casting and Molding” in sculptural aspects of displays.

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:

  • Applicant does not need prior exhibits experience
  • Applicant does not need prior fabrication experience
  • Applicant may be High School, Undergraduate or Post-Graduate.
  • Applicant should have some basic knowledge of organizational skills

Audience: This internship is generalized to provide individuals initial experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1 intern.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. This internship can be part time or full time, minimum of 16 hours per week. The typical length of an internship is between 8-12 weeks.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This internship does provide a $2,000 stipend to defray some cost of living during the internship. Additional stipends may be available for interns in need whose complete applications are submitted on time and who are accepted into the program. Internship stipends issued by the Smithsonian are not considered salary or meant as compensation, but are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during the term of their appointment. Interns awarded stipends who are U.S. residents for tax purposes are responsible for meeting their individual state and federal tax obligations and will receive a financial summary around March of the following year for the previous calendar year. Interns who are not U.S. residents for tax purposes will receive an IRS Form 1042-S and are likewise responsible for meeting any and all tax obligations. Smithsonian stipend awards vary depending on the program but may be benchmarked against the rate offered by many centrally funded programs of $650/week for a full-time internship. Stipends may be available for accepted interns whose complete applications are submitted on time. The amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. Additionally, stipended opportunities are available for a limited number of internships through the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI). The stipend distribution process takes 6 weeks from the time OFI receives an accepted intern's stipend paperwork, and stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship. Stipend payments are released on the 10th and 25th of each month, and the frequency of payments is decided by OFI depending on the stipend amount.


Exhibition Design Internship

Do you have a desire to gain experience with visual and experiential storytelling through museum exhibitions? The NMAH Exhibition Design Internship will provide you with real-world experience in the development and design of object-based, interpretive exhibitions. Develop your 3-D and graphic design skills, practice your design critique and presentation skills, work directly with professional exhibition designers, and expand your portfolio of design projects through museum exhibitions. If you have questions or would like to learn more about the internship, feel free to contact Nigel Briggs, NMAH designer and internship coordinator for the design studio. 

**Please note: as part of your SOLAA application to this position, please provide either a link or a PDF to your portfolio!**

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to provide student with real-world experience in the Exhibition Development and Design the museum context.

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Understand the exhibition development and design process for interpretive, object-based exhibitions.
  • Use Vectorworks for exhibition concept design and detailing
  • Create and present verbal and visual exhibition design concept presentations
  • Prepare exhibition design production packages

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Use Vectorworks for Exhibition Design modeling and detailing
  • Use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign for exhibition graphic design
  • Participate in weekly creative critiques about exhibition design
  • Attend exhibition project meetings and present exhibition design concepts

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:

  • Experience with Vectorworks and other 3-D CAD software
  • Experience with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign
  • A desire to gain experience with visual and experiential storytelling through museum exhibitions

Audience: This internship can be both generalized, to provide individuals initial experience in this field, and specialized, for individuals who have experience in this field. This internship is intended for 3-4 interns. Past interns have had some background in the following fields: industrial design, theater, merchandising, architecture, interior design, exhibition design, and/or museum studies.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. This internship can be part time or full time.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This internship does provide a $2,000 stipend to defray some cost of living during the internship. Additional stipends may be available for interns in need whose complete applications are submitted on time and who are accepted into the program. Internship stipends issued by the Smithsonian are not considered salary or meant as compensation, but are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during the term of their appointment. Interns awarded stipends who are U.S. residents for tax purposes are responsible for meeting their individual state and federal tax obligations and will receive a financial summary around March of the following year for the previous calendar year. Interns who are not U.S. residents for tax purposes will receive an IRS Form 1042-S and are likewise responsible for meeting any and all tax obligations. Smithsonian stipend awards vary depending on the program but may be benchmarked against the rate offered by many centrally funded programs of $650/week for a full-time internship. Stipends may be available for accepted interns whose complete applications are submitted on time. The amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. Additionally, stipended opportunities are available for a limited number of internships through the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI). The stipend distribution process takes 6 weeks from the time OFI receives an accepted intern's stipend paperwork, and stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship. Stipend payments are released on the 10th and 25th of each month, and the frequency of payments is decided by OFI depending on the stipend amount.


Finance & Procurement Internship

The Finance & Procurement Internship at NMAH is a professional learning experience for anyone interested in learning more about the skills needed in the finance and procurement field, especially in a museum setting. The internship will be mentored by staff within the Financial Office, which provides advice and assistance to the management and staff of the Museum, monitors and controls expenditures of funds, prepares annual budgets, and conducts reviews and analysis to ensure that Smithsonian and Museum financial policy is implemented properly.

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to help to develop financial and procurement management skills.

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Develop budget and financial obligation and expense charts
  • Closeout purchase orders and contracts that have zero balances and those with remaining funds to be de-obligated
  • Collaborate and communicate with other units to implement new procedures for the procurement and finance office, a business communications liaison between the United States government and a private contractor and other outside sources

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Analyze reports and communicate results and reports
  • Review invoices and identify discrepancies to resolve and take corrective actions
  • Interact and communicate professionally with museum staff

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:

  • Interest in problem solving and creating innovative solutions to organizational challenges
  • Attention to detail
  • Some experience in an office setting, preferred

Audience: This internship generalized to provide individuals initial experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1-2 interns.

Timeline: This internship will last for twelve weeks and can be full-time or part-time.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This internship does provide a stipend to offset living costs. The stipend is $7,800 ($650/week) for a full-time internship and is pro-rated accordingly for a part-time internship. Internship stipends issued by the Smithsonian are not considered salary or meant as compensation, but are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during the term of their appointment. Interns awarded stipends who are U.S. residents for tax purposes are responsible for meeting their individual state and federal tax obligations and will receive a financial summary around March of the following year for the previous calendar year. Interns who are not U.S. residents for tax purposes will receive an IRS Form 1042-S and are likewise responsible for meeting any and all tax obligations. Smithsonian stipend awards vary depending on the program but may be benchmarked against the rate offered by many centrally funded programs of $650/week for a full-time internship. Stipends may be available for accepted interns whose complete applications are submitted on time. The amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. Additionally, stipended opportunities are available for a limited number of internships through the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI). The stipend distribution process takes 6 weeks from the time OFI receives an accepted intern's stipend paperwork, and stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship. Stipend payments are released on the 10th and 25th of each month, and the frequency of payments is decided by OFI depending on the stipend amount.


Graphic Design Internship

Do you have a desire to gain experience with graphic design for museum applications such as wayfinding, environmental graphics, and exhibition graphics?  The NMAH Graphic Design Internship will provide you with real-world experience in the application of graphic design within the museum environment. Develop graphic design skills, practice your design critique and presentation skills, work directly with professional exhibition designers, and expand your portfolio of design projects through museum exhibitions. If you have questions or would like to learn more about the internship, feel free to contact Nigel Briggs, NMAH designer and internship coordinator for the design studio. 

**Please note: as part of your SOLAA application to this position, please provide either a link or a PDF to your portfolio!**

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to provide students with real-world experience in the graphic design in the museum context.

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Understand Graphic Design for Environmental Graphics inside and outside of the museum building
  • Understand implementation of a museum-wide graphic identity
  • Understand graphic design for wayfinding and building signage
  • Understand the use of typography and graphic design for museum exhibitions
  • Prepare graphic design production packages

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Work with existing Graphic Identity Style Guide to produce museum wayfinding and building signage
  • Work with exhibitions project teams to develop exhibition graphics such as labels, environmental graphics and exhibition-specific graphic identities
  • Attend exhibition project meetings and present exhibition design concepts

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:

  • Experience with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign
  • A desire to gain experience with visual and experiential storytelling through museum exhibitions

Audience: This internship can be both generalized, to provide individuals initial experience in this field, and specialized, for individuals who have experience in this field. This internship is intended for 3-4 interns. Past interns have had some background in the following fields: graphic design, visual communication, and/or museum studies.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. This internship can be part time or full time.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This internship does provide a $2,000 stipend to defray some cost of living during the internship. Additional stipends may be available for interns in need whose complete applications are submitted on time and who are accepted into the program. Internship stipends issued by the Smithsonian are not considered salary or meant as compensation, but are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during the term of their appointment. Interns awarded stipends who are U.S. residents for tax purposes are responsible for meeting their individual state and federal tax obligations and will receive a financial summary around March of the following year for the previous calendar year. Interns who are not U.S. residents for tax purposes will receive an IRS Form 1042-S and are likewise responsible for meeting any and all tax obligations. Smithsonian stipend awards vary depending on the program but may be benchmarked against the rate offered by many centrally funded programs of $650/week for a full-time internship. Stipends may be available for accepted interns whose complete applications are submitted on time. The amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. Additionally, stipended opportunities are available for a limited number of internships through the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI). The stipend distribution process takes 6 weeks from the time OFI receives an accepted intern's stipend paperwork, and stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship. Stipend payments are released on the 10th and 25th of each month, and the frequency of payments is decided by OFI depending on the stipend amount.


Objects Processing Internship

The Objects Processing internship is a learning experience, hosted by the Objects Processing Facility within the Collections Management Services team at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. During the internship, interns will learn about and practice the skills involved in shipping, receiving, handling, and caring for museum objects.

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to provide experience in basic museum registration methods.

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Handle museum objects
  • Perform condition reports and photography of objects
  • Correctly and safely unpack, track and do basic packing of museum objects

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Process museum objects
  • Care for incoming museum objects
  • Release museum objects to the curatorial divisions

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:

  • Some museum object handling experience
  • Digital photograph experience

Audience: This internship can be generalized to provide individuals initial experience in this field, or specialized, for individuals who have experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1-2 interns.

Timeline: This internship will take place in Winter/Spring 2020. This internship is part time.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: Internship stipends issued by the Smithsonian are not considered salary or meant as compensation, but are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during the term of their appointment. Interns awarded stipends who are U.S. residents for tax purposes are responsible for meeting their individual state and federal tax obligations and will receive a financial summary around March of the following year for the previous calendar year. Interns who are not U.S. residents for tax purposes will receive an IRS Form 1042-S and are likewise responsible for meeting any and all tax obligations. Smithsonian stipend awards vary depending on the program but may be benchmarked against the rate offered by many centrally funded programs of $650/week for a full-time internship. Stipends may be available for accepted interns whose complete applications are submitted on time. The amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. Additionally, stipended opportunities are available for a limited number of internships through the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI). The stipend distribution process takes 6 weeks from the time OFI receives an accepted intern's stipend paperwork, and stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship. Stipend payments are released on the 10th and 25th of each month, and the frequency of payments is decided by OFI depending on the stipend amount.


Office of Communications and Marketing/Public Affairs Internship

The National Museum of American History Office of Communications and Marketing ensures that museum maintains a positive relationship with the community and members of the press. Daily activities include responding to all incoming media queries; develops strategies for effective proactive information about museum activities; coordinates documentary film crews, approves outside media releases by agencies/donors, approves advertisements promoting exhibitions and public programs and handles any crisis issues. Among the events that communications and marketing stages are press previews, press conferences, exhibition dedication ceremonies, donation ceremonies (usually involving objects and sometimes celebrity donors) and press luncheons. Coming up we will be preparing for donations, exhibition openings, and doing a lot of filming at the museum. We are a small office with four full time employees and so we rely heavily on interns who generally have projects of their own to promote start to finish. For example, if a notable musician is willing to donate something to the museum, an intern might be asked to research and create a background on the musician and object being donated, speak with curators at the museum, work with the special events office on the donation ceremony schedule, and caption the pictures taken at the event. In addition, interns assist the office with daily operations: researching and responding to media and public inquiries, compiling media clips, researching and writing calendar submissions, media advisories and releases and some other things that come up. Our office relies on interns to assist with daily operations like: researching and responding to media and public queries, compiling media clips, writing media advisories and press releases, and researching and writing calendar submissions. Interns are given the opportunity to come up with ideas on how the Museum can continue to remain one of the most visited museums in the world. The office also facilitates all interviews with the director and curators and is responsible for coordinating and scheduling all media, documentary and commercial film crews. An internship in the Office of Communications and Marketing is not only a great opportunity for anyone with an interest in those areas, but also those interested in event planning, public affairs, and museum studies. During the internship you will learn how to write and cite according to AP stylebook, how to draft and create media advisories, press releases and event show flows, and how to effectively communicate with the public and media. Your writing will become concise as you raise awareness for museum exhibitions and events. Due to the nature of the work, interns will explore much of the museum as they research for media releases and advisories. Working in our office rewards interns with professional skills in a friendly environment that promotes creative ideas and fosters professional growth.

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to propose creative ideas and contribute to the Office of Communications and Marketing. The intern will gain insight into the inner workings and aspects of the Office of Communications and Marketing in the National Museum of American History. When the internship is completed, the intern will have and understanding about the field of public relations and ideally be prepared for to seek a position in the communications field.   Interns will develop verbal, written, and professional skills and understand what makes compelling news.

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will:

  • Gain experience working in an active communications and marketing office and learn how to promote the Smithsonian and its work to the public and media
  • Improve writing skills through a variety of communication mediums (press materials, marketing materials and web content)
  • Learn what makes a story news worthy and how to tailor stories to relevant news outlets

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Research and respond to media and public inquiries
  • Compile media clips
  • Draft and edit media advisories and press releases
  • Research and write calendar submissions
  • Attend special events
  • Draft statements
  • Oversee film and news crews

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:  

  • Enthusiastic about communications and marketing with excellent research and writing skills
  • Professional demeanor, organizational and communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and complete assigned tasks within identified timeframes

Audience: This internship is generalized to provide individuals initial experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1-2 interns.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. This internship can be part time or full time.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: Internship stipends issued by the Smithsonian are not considered salary or meant as compensation, but are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during the term of their appointment. Interns awarded stipends who are U.S. residents for tax purposes are responsible for meeting their individual state and federal tax obligations and will receive a financial summary around March of the following year for the previous calendar year. Interns who are not U.S. residents for tax purposes will receive an IRS Form 1042-S and are likewise responsible for meeting any and all tax obligations. Smithsonian stipend awards vary depending on the program but may be benchmarked against the rate offered by many centrally funded programs of $650/week for a full-time internship. Stipends may be available for accepted interns whose complete applications are submitted on time. The amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. Additionally, stipended opportunities are available for a limited number of internships through the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI). The stipend distribution process takes 6 weeks from the time OFI receives an accepted intern's stipend paperwork, and stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship. Stipend payments are released on the 10th and 25th of each month, and the frequency of payments is decided by OFI depending on the stipend amount.


Program in Latino History and Civic Engagement Internship

During this internship, interns will learn through participating in multiple projects about Latino history and civic engagement, maximizing the opportunity to acquire new skills and make a greater contribution. One project is the “Interactive Cart on Latino Immigration,” through which interns will facilitate conversations with the public about the objects in the carts, make connection to the visitors own family immigration experiences and facilitate learning about the rich diversity of immigrant communities. Another project is the Civic Engagement project, through which interns will assist in producing proposals to support naturalization ceremonies, citizenship seminars, and create new teaching resources for new citizens as well as plan and produce voter registration drives in the museum and compile voter registration resources. Interns will be under the supervision of Magdalena Mieri in the Office of Audience Engagement at the National Museum of American History. 

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to teach interns how to increase awareness of Latino history and improve citizenship participation.

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will:

  • Learn how a museum operates, including its many functions.
  • Learn how to do research using museum collections
  • Further critical thinking skills

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Learn and facilitate the museum’s “Interactive Cart on Latino Immigration,” which involves interacting and connecting with the public
  • Produce proposals to support civic engagement
  • Behave professionally 
  • Communicate clearly and participate in meetings
  • Produce good work

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:  

  • Bilingual skills English/Spanish
  • Pursuing or received a BA or BS in history, cultural anthropology, Spanish, English
  • Self-motivated

Audience: This internship is generalized to provide individuals initial experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1-2 interns.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. This internship can be part time or full time.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: Internship stipends issued by the Smithsonian are not considered salary or meant as compensation, but are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during the term of their appointment. Interns awarded stipends who are U.S. residents for tax purposes are responsible for meeting their individual state and federal tax obligations and will receive a financial summary around March of the following year for the previous calendar year. Interns who are not U.S. residents for tax purposes will receive an IRS Form 1042-S and are likewise responsible for meeting any and all tax obligations. Smithsonian stipend awards vary depending on the program but may be benchmarked against the rate offered by many centrally funded programs of $650/week for a full-time internship. Stipends may be available for accepted interns whose complete applications are submitted on time. The amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. Additionally, stipended opportunities are available for a limited number of internships through the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI). The stipend distribution process takes 6 weeks from the time OFI receives an accepted intern's stipend paperwork, and stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship. Stipend payments are released on the 10th and 25th of each month, and the frequency of payments is decided by OFI depending on the stipend amount.


Spark!Lab Internship

The Draper Spark!Lab is an interactive space for kids (and adults) to explore the process of invention! Spark!Lab is part of the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American History (NMAH). Interns in the Spark!Lab will learn the methods and practice of museum education by facilitating inquiry-based activities in Spark!Lab. Interns will also learn a wide range of approaches to developing and evaluating programs for museum visitors. Interns will be integral to the Spark!Lab team and will learn alongside staff and volunteer docents. Through their learning experiences, Spark!Lab interns will build relationships with thousands of visitors and spark conversation in order to engage them in the invention process. 

Interns will also have the opportunity to visit and learn about other education spaces across the Smithsonian, will be invited to participated in Lemelson Center team meetings, public programs, and other events, and will hae opportunities to engage with fellow interns and staff of the Office of Audience Engagement and the National Museum of American History.

Applicants of all academic backgrounds are welcome to apply.

Goal: Overall, during this internship, the Spark!Lab Interns will learn under the guidance of the Lemelson Center’s Museum Program Specialist to assess and enhance the visitor experience in Spark!Lab and develop inquiry based facilitation best practices for informal learning spaces.

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will:

  • Learn the methods and practice of museum education by applying inquiry-based interpersonal facilitation strategies to hands-on invention activities in Spark!Lab and practice collaborative, social learning
  • Learn first-hand how hands-on activity space operate in a large museum and develop the behind-the-scenes expertise needed to create programs for museum visitors
  • Learn to assess and evaluate activities and to identify waysto improve the overall Spark!Lab experience

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Facilitate hands-on invention activities and experiences with visitors on the museum floor, particularly with children ages 6-12 and their families
  • Help staff implement new techniques, tips, and strategies (as mentioned above) by testing them on the floor and actively facilitating visitor experiences
  • Record reflective feedback and critique the "pilot methods" of activities, tweaking them and changing them to find efficient and effective methods
  • Develop an individual Spark!Lab project, which could include drafting ideas and strategies to improve volunteer engagement, researching and developing a new hands-on activity, creating an activity facilitation guide, developing and conducting an evaluation on an existing activity, or developing a special program to take place in Spark!Lab

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:  

  • Experience working with the public or in customer service/visitor services
  • Passion to education and inspiring learning in others
  • Enthusiasm for working in a public-facing, education environment

Audience: This internship is generalized to provide individuals initial experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1-2 interns.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. This internship can be part time or full time.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This internship does provide a $500 stipend to offset transportation costs. Additional stipends may be available for interns in need whose complete applications are submitted on time and who are accepted into the program. Internship stipends issued by the Smithsonian are not considered salary or meant as compensation, but are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during the term of their appointment. Interns awarded stipends who are U.S. residents for tax purposes are responsible for meeting their individual state and federal tax obligations and will receive a financial summary around March of the following year for the previous calendar year. Interns who are not U.S. residents for tax purposes will receive an IRS Form 1042-S and are likewise responsible for meeting any and all tax obligations. Smithsonian stipend awards vary depending on the program but may be benchmarked against the rate offered by many centrally funded programs of $650/week for a full-time internship. Stipends may be available for accepted interns whose complete applications are submitted on time. The amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. Additionally, stipended opportunities are available for a limited number of internships through the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI). The stipend distribution process takes 6 weeks from the time OFI receives an accepted intern's stipend paperwork, and stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship. Stipend payments are released on the 10th and 25th of each month, and the frequency of payments is decided by OFI depending on the stipend amount.


Special Events Internship

The Office of Special Events plans and coordinates over 100 events each year including: exhibition openings, press conferences, donation ceremonies, staff receptions, donor cultivation events, and corporate dinners and receptions. Additionally, the museum is able to host social events including weddings, mitzvahs, birthdays, etc. The office is characterized by a busy but proactive environment that strives to forward the goals of the Smithsonian Institution by connecting with the community and public at large. We offer an unparalleled opportunity for students/individuals interested in event planning and coordinating to delve into the museum environment and gain hands-on skills from a highly esteemed workplace. Our interns are given a great deal of responsibility and permitted the chance to develop their writing skills, interact with museum officials, work with caterers and vendors, and staff numerous special events. As an intern, you will be exposed to the nuances of protocol and frequently accompany staff members for on-site visits with potential donors and walk-throughs with clients and vendors.

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to assist students in developing the skills necessary to plan and execute events.

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Summarize the necessary steps to execute an event at NMAH
  • Produce documentation and memoranda for events
  • Develop problem solving and time management skills

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Assist in the coordination and execution of receptions, dinners, conferences, donation ceremonies, and other special events at the Museum
  • Manage the museum-wide special events and conference room calendar
  • Interact and communicate with museum staff, vendors, event attendees, and members of the public

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:  

  • Junior, Senior, or Graduate Student
  • Communication skills, both oral and written
  • Availability to work events including nights and some weekends

Audience: This internship can both be generalized to provide individuals initial experience in this field and specialized for individuals who already have experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1-2 interns.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. This internship can be part time or full time.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This internship does provide a stipend of $325 per week in additional to a $500 stipend to offset transportation costs. Additional stipends may be available for interns in need whose complete applications are submitted on time and who are accepted into the program. Internship stipends issued by the Smithsonian are not considered salary or meant as compensation, but are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during the term of their appointment. Interns awarded stipends who are U.S. residents for tax purposes are responsible for meeting their individual state and federal tax obligations and will receive a financial summary around March of the following year for the previous calendar year. Interns who are not U.S. residents for tax purposes will receive an IRS Form 1042-S and are likewise responsible for meeting any and all tax obligations. Smithsonian stipend awards vary depending on the program but may be benchmarked against the rate offered by many centrally funded programs of $650/week for a full-time internship. Stipends may be available for accepted interns whose complete applications are submitted on time. The amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. Additionally, stipended opportunities are available for a limited number of internships through the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI). The stipend distribution process takes 6 weeks from the time OFI receives an accepted intern's stipend paperwork, and stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship. Stipend payments are released on the 10th and 25th of each month, and the frequency of payments is decided by OFI depending on the stipend amount.


Visitor Experience Internship

The Visitor Experience intern will learn how to develop, conduct, and evaluate data for audience research. The intern will assist staff with developing an evaluation program for peak season crowds. The intern will assist staff with collecting, coding, and analyzing data. The intern will also write evaluation reports with recommendations on how to improve the visitor experience at the National Museum of American History.

Goal: Overall, this internship is a professional learning experiences that aims to teach interns the methods and practice of audience evaluation through researching, developing, and conducting visitor studies.

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Learn how museums evaluate the visitor experience
  • How to develop audience research projects
  • Learn different evaluation methods
  • How Visitor Experience departments operate in large museums

 Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Check and respond to email in a timely manner
  • Provide project updates on or before deadlines
  • Research best practices for working with the public
  • Attend appropriate trainings for working with the public
  • Attend team meetings to collaborate within the department
  • Set research goals and develop survey methods to achieve them
  • Collect, analyze and report out on survey data.

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:

  • Work independently and collaboratively
  • Comfortable working with the public
  • Experience with qualitative and quantitative research a plus
  • Communication skills

Audience: This internship can be both generalized, to provide individuals initial experience in this field, and specialized, for individuals who have experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1 intern.

Timeline: This internship will take place during Winter/Spring 2020 and can be full-time or part-time, minimum 16 hours per week. The internship is anticipated to be 12 weeks.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This internship will provide a stipend to help defray cost of living; the amount will be determined once funding is finalized. Additional stipends may be available for interns in need whose complete applications are submitted on time and who are accepted into the program. Internship stipends issued by the Smithsonian are not considered salary or meant as compensation, but are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during the term of their appointment. Interns awarded stipends who are U.S. residents for tax purposes are responsible for meeting their individual state and federal tax obligations and will receive a financial summary around March of the following year for the previous calendar year. Interns who are not U.S. residents for tax purposes will receive an IRS Form 1042-S and are likewise responsible for meeting any and all tax obligations. Smithsonian stipend awards vary depending on the program but may be benchmarked against the rate offered by many centrally funded programs of $650/week for a full-time internship. Stipends may be available for accepted interns whose complete applications are submitted on time. The amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. Additionally, stipended opportunities are available for a limited number of internships through the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI). The stipend distribution process takes 6 weeks from the time OFI receives an accepted intern's stipend paperwork, and stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship. Stipend payments are released on the 10th and 25th of each month, and the frequency of payments is decided by OFI depending on the stipend amount.


Website Design & Management Internship

This intern will have a key role in working with Digital Experience staff to create and maintain informational pages on the museum's website, develop online exhibitions and other microsites, assist with measurement and evaluation, and other tasks. This is an excellent opportunity for students to enhance skills in web design and digital outreach within the context of museums, education, and world-class history. 

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to provide experience with the Digital Experience team to create and maintain content on the NMAH website.

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Learn how website content supports the Museum mission and partners with other aspects of public education and outreach
  • Increase competency in website design, accessibility, and user experience practices
  • Produce user-centered web products that meet the high quality standards of the Smithsonian Institution

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Attend team meetings and learn how to implement website projects at various project stages
  • Build and edit website pages
  • Review website content  for accuracy in collaboration with museum staff

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:

  • Basic proficiency in Drupal, Wordpress, or other content management system
  • Knowledge of HTML/CSS and/or other web design experience
  • Good writing and editing skills, with attention to detail

Audience: This internship specialized for individuals who already have experience in this field, specifically a baseline proficiency in the tools of web design. This internship is intended for 1-2 interns.

Timeline: This internship will take place during Winter/Spring 2020 and can be full-time or part-time.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: Internship stipends issued by the Smithsonian are not considered salary or meant as compensation, but are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during the term of their appointment. Interns awarded stipends who are U.S. residents for tax purposes are responsible for meeting their individual state and federal tax obligations and will receive a financial summary around March of the following year for the previous calendar year. Interns who are not U.S. residents for tax purposes will receive an IRS Form 1042-S and are likewise responsible for meeting any and all tax obligations. Smithsonian stipend awards vary depending on the program but may be benchmarked against the rate offered by many centrally funded programs of $650/week for a full-time internship. Stipends may be available for accepted interns whose complete applications are submitted on time. The amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. Additionally, stipended opportunities are available for a limited number of internships through the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI). The stipend distribution process takes 6 weeks from the time OFI receives an accepted intern's stipend paperwork, and stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship. Stipend payments are released on the 10th and 25th of each month, and the frequency of payments is decided by OFI depending on the stipend amount.


Didn’t find what you’re looking for? You can check out the General Application Pools for NMAH internships!

Additionally, if you’re interested in internship opportunities at other museums and research centers at the Smithsonian, please visit the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships.