Upcoming Internship Opportunities

We will soon be launching our application for the Fall 2021 NMAH Internship Program.

  • The application will go live at 12 PM EST on Friday, May 14th. 
  • Fall 2021 applications will be due 12 PM EST on Wednesday, June 2nd, including all application materials and reference letters, so please plan accordingly.
  • Only complete and submitted applications will be reviewed.
  • Application review begins on June 2nd, and applicants should expect to hear back about their selection status within four-six weeks of June 2nd.
Depending on the status of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Fall 2021 internships may be virtual, in-person, or hybrid (part in-person, part virtual); details are included in the individual postings for each internship opportunity. Any in-person or hybrid experience may be converted to virtual or postponed to ensure the safety and health of our staff and interns.

For any other questions, please check out our NMAH Internship FAQ or OFI's FAQ. Thanks for your interest in 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.
Unless otherwise stated in a specific internship posting, community college students, undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply. We are currently not recruiting for high school interns.

For reference (while we wait for Fall 2021 internships to be posted),  here were our Summer 2021 internship offerings:

African American History and Material Culture Internship

American Food History Project Curatorial and Programming Internship

Asian American Pacific Islander Experiences - Undocumented Organizing Collecting Initiative’s Oral History Internship

Civic Learning and Deliberative Democracy Internship

Communications, Marketing, & Public Affairs Internship

Editorial Services Internship

Education and Impact Internship

Exhibition Design Internship

Program in Latino History and Culture Internship

Special Events Internship

 

Didn't find the internship you wanted? You can still submit an application through our General Application Pools for NMAH internships! Apply through our:

Office of Curatorial Affairs 

Office of Audiences Engagement 

Office of Building Renovation and Exhibition Services

Office of Management and Museum Services

 

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


African American History and Material Culture Internship

The History of African American Fundraising Collecting Initiative is excited to offer internships for advanced students in African American history to learn about collections assessment and gain practice experience in the museum field. The Initiative seeks to build a collection of objects exploring the history of African American fundraising for charitable and social justice purposes from around 1780 to present, along with a collection of oral histories with Black fundraisers active in the past several decades. Thoughtful collecting will depend on first evaluating NMAH holdings for relevant material; the Initiative has already identified a number of objects including: Fisk Jubilee Singers diorama; a Donor list for the Washington, DC, National Training School for Women and Girls established by Nannie Helen Burroughs; a poster for a North Carolina Baseball benefit game; and Pancaked ballet shoes worn by Misty Copeland. Additionally, the Initiative aims to engage the public through a variety of mediums in learning more about the history of African American fundraising and philanthropy.

Goal: Overall, this internship is a professional learning experiences that aims to deepen an intern’s understanding of African American history and material culture and to introduce an intern to collections work and the history of fundraising and philanthropy.

Status: Virtual

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

  • Understand the history of African American fundraising and philanthropy within the context of American fundraising history in general
  • Use a collections database in order to locate object information and collaborate with curators and collections managers to share, organize, and update data
  • Engage with internal and external audiences by synthesizing and articulating ideas from collections research through a variety of platforms, including social media posts, blogging, educational resources, and/or presentations

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

  • Creatively collaborate with curators and collections managers to conduct object research about African American fundraising and philanthropy history
  • Explore the complexity of researching African American history by conducting internal and external research regarding objects in the collection, including analyzing the history of museums and the construction of historical knowledge
  • Practice ethical collections database management skills
  • Collaborate with museum colleagues across the institution on a variety of projects, including attending virtual meetings, coordinating conversations, and participating in museum colloquiums and events

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

  • Working towards African American History degree, either with advanced undergraduate classes or graduate classes
  • Ability to work both independently and in a collaborative environment
  • Open-minded in learning new topics and skills
  • Some experience organizing and conducting research, academically or professionally

Audience: This internship is specialized, for individuals who have experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1 intern. Advanced undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply.

Timeline: This internship will take place in Summer 2021. This internship is expected to be between 30-40 hours a week. The anticipated length of this internship is 10 - 12 weeks; the length can be flexible.

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 opportunity provides a guaranteed stipend of $7,000, pro-rated for part-time. Additionally, upon selection, interns will have the opportunity to apply for additional funding based on financial need; the amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of museum funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. 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. If an intern is awarded a stipend, stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


American Food History Project Curatorial and Programming Internship

The American Food History Project team has created two opportunities for virtual internships in 2021. These internships will provide work experiences with curators, historians, and program staff to (1) conduct research on objects and topics relating to food history; catalog and help prepare for deposit recently collected objects, archival materials, and oral histories for the Smithsonian collections (2) develop multidisciplinary public programs related to food history including, but not limited to, “Cooking Up History” and food-related panels and roundtables. Some of these programs will take place during the internship, while others may take place afterwards. For the latter, the intern will help plan the events, but is not expected or required to participate in them.

The theme for our 2021 public programming around food history is under development. Our programs regularly engage the public in exploring the role of food in American history and culture, with particular emphasis recently on the history of community activism, food justice, culinary traditions, food policy, and other realms shaping and impacting our contemporary food systems. They also spark connections to broader themes and topics in American history, from labor to the environment, from immigration to race, from changing gender roles to advertising, from innovation to community traditions, and from economic history to transportation.

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to provide interns with an opportunity to work with a museum team to manage collections and develop food history public programming that draws upon Smithsonian resources. The project is grounded in research, museum collections, content development, and the planning of food history public programs ranging from panel discussions to cooking demonstrations.

Status: Virtual

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

  • Create object records and write descriptive language for newly acquired objects in the NMAH Collection.
  • Prepare oral histories by transcribing recordings and inputting meta data into digital records, necessary steps required for depositing materials into the Archives Center.
  • Conduct research on behalf of writing projects that may include blogposts, articles, or books.
  • Work effectively with a range of museum professionals on collaborative and highly visible public programs.
  • Write interpretive text using historical and cultural sources for public audiences on diverse multi-media platforms including the museum’s website.

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

  • Draft records for newly acquired objects including object descriptions that can then be uploaded to the digital catalog.
  • Transcribe oral histories and input meta data into digital records before depositing oral histories into the Archives Center.
  • Contribute meaningfully to discussions related to each public program’s theme, write descriptions that will share food history content with the public, and contribute to and compile food programming bibliographies.
  • Research, identify, and communicate with potential guest speakers who are subject experts in food related fields.
  • Co-create the American Food History Project’s public programming schedule including panel discussions, Deep-Dish Dialogues, Conversation Circles, and Cooking Up History programs.
  • Collect and help manage digital assets for marketing and outreach for public programs.
  • Help update existing American Food History project and Food History Weekend websites, specifically visual and written content.
  • Collaborate with museum colleagues across the institution on a variety of projects, including attending virtual meetings, coordinating conversations, and participating in museum colloquiums and events

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

  • Demonstrated interest in cultural American studies such as African American studies, Asian American studies, and/or Latinx studies through academic, professional, or personal experiences.
  • Undergraduate or graduate-level coursework, including at community college, or equivalent professional experience in the discipline of history, folklore, anthropology, ethnic studies, or a related field.
  • Proven writing skills for a general audience.

Audience: This internship is specialized, for individuals who have experience in this field, and is intended for 2-3 interns. Candidates from communities typically underrepresented in the fields of food history and museum studies are highly encouraged to apply.

Timeline: This internship will take place in Summer and/or Fall 2021, lasting 10 weeks. This internship is expected to be 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: Through special funding raised during the project’s 2020 Food History Weekend, this internship provides a stipend of $3,500 for a 20-hour a week internship that lasts 10 weeks. Additionally, upon selection, interns will have the opportunity to apply for additional funding based on financial need; the amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of museum funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. 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. If an intern is awarded a stipend, stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


Asian American Pacific Islander Experiences - Undocumented Organizing Collecting Initiative’s Oral History Internship

Undocumented Organizing Collecting Initiative is a three-year project tracing the emergence of undocumented youth activism over the past twenty years by recording, analyzing, and interpreting political strategies via the collection of oral histories and objects. The Project engages in community-based collecting efforts in six key geographical locations to capture the progression of this multifaceted social and political movement led by undocumented people in the United States, many of whom remain undocumented today. The project is leading new practices at NMAH by centering community voices and collaborating with participants. Because of undocumented American precarious status, the project works to ensure that the participants have control over their oral history at every stage of the process.

The intern’s main tasks will fall under two categories:

  • Indexing and incorporating a historical Asian American Pacific Islander analysis
  • Utilizing the oral histories to compose digital storytelling opportunities for the project’s forthcoming website.

In order to compile, analyze, and create an accessible archive for both public and researchers, oral histories are transcribed and an indexed. Indexing incorporates an abstract, notable quotes, time stamps, and historical analysis of the recordings. Intern will listen to the recordings already at hand (projected 10 at the start of internship), index, and conclude findings to project team. At the same time, intern will listen to the oral histories and create potential digital storytelling opportunities to be featured in the project’s forthcoming website.

Goal: Overall, this internship serves as an introduction into oral history documentation, learning archival processes, and creating storytelling components for project’s website.

Status: Virtual

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

  • Understand the intentional steps of creating accessible material out of an oral history recording
  • Develop communication skills to present summarization and important key takeaways of a raw oral history recording
  • Broaden critical thinking skills by absorbing data, seeing themes and creating key questions about the participant’s life.
  • Develop storytelling and narrative components for accessible use • Meaningfully participate in a team-based work environment

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

  • Work with project’s oral historian on indexing’s best practices
  • Research and create short timeline of Asian American and Pacific Islander political history in the United States
  • Incorporate historical analysis into each oral history index • Assist mentor with drafting stories and narratives from the oral histories
  • Correspond and collaborate with project team
  • Research effective digital presentations of oral histories

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

  • Familiarity and interest in oral history process
  • Interest in project’s content (historical and contemporary political activism, youth led, immigration, Asian American studies).
  • Demonstrated high interest in storytelling centered on Asian American and Pacific Islander experiences.
  • Excellent researching skills and presenting findings in a cohesive manner.
  • Effective communicator in speaking and writing.
  • Ability to work in a team setting-both in tight deadlines and phased projects.

Audience: This internship is intended to be generalized to provide individuals initial experience in this field. This internship is intended for 2-3 intern. Community college students, undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply. This internship's ideal audience is for people who:

  • Demonstrate high interest in collecting initiative's content, especially with youth activism, immigration, Asian American studies, and/ or social movements
  • Demonstrate previous experience or interest in working with oral histories or any audio/visual recorded material.
  • Demonstrate previous experience in creative storytelling projects.

Timeline: This internship will take place Summer 2021 for 12 weeks. This internship will be full time (approximately 40 hours a 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: This opportunity provides a guaranteed stipend of $6,000 for a 40 hours per week internship schedule. Additionally, upon selection, interns will have the opportunity to apply for additional funding based on financial need; the amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of museum funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. 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. If an intern is awarded a stipend, stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


Civic Learning and Deliberative Democracy Internship

The intern will work closely with curatorial and audience engagement staff at the National Museum of American History to support the development “historic decisions” deliberation guides.  These guides are developed in partnership with the Kettering Foundation with the goal of fostering civic engagement dispositions and deliberative discussion skills among middle and high school students. The intern will conduct research, identify primary sources, and assist with testing and prototyping to help the museum develop and publish at least two of these guides. The intern’s research will focus on two areas: (1) struggles for educational equity in the 1960s and 1970s, and (2) Japanese American Incarceration during World War II.  These topics will serve as the basis for the two new deliberation guides. The intern’s primary work will be conducting research related to the setting and deliberative question of each guide, which will be determined in collaboration with the project team. The intern will receive guidance on how to write shape their research into a brief that supports deliberation practice. Intern suggestions and input about stories, objects, new directions, and intellectual areas of focus within this the museum’s deliberative framework are most welcome. Research can be independent or highly guided, depending on the intern’s experience and desire for capacity-building and mentorship. As part of the project team, the intern will engage with education and curatorial staff, as well as K-12 students and teachers.   

Goal: Overall, this internship is a professional learning experience that aims to help an undergraduate or graduate student learn about museum practices, critical analysis of texts and objects, as well as how to use visual and material culture to encourage deliberation and civic participation.  The intern will cultivate critical thinking skills about visual and material culture, engage in significant research, and synthesize large amounts of data into digestible chunks of information.  They will end the internship with a deeper understanding about what it means to work in a large museum like NMAH and to serve K-12 audiences across the nation.

Status: Virtual

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

  • Learn about historic deliberations and civic engagement programming 
  • Learn how to use museum resources to support civic education 
  • Participate in the production of educational materials 

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

  • Conduct research
  • Identify primary sources
  • Assist with conducting test forums/resource prototyping 

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

  • Strong research skills
  • Good communication skills.
  • Ideally a history or English major
  • Experience working with K-12 audiences a plus

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 intern. Community college students who intend to pursue an undergraduate degree, undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply.

Timeline: This internship will take place during Summer 2021. This internship is expected to be 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 opportunity provides a guaranteed stipend of $8,000 for a 40 hours per week internship schedule. Additionally, upon selection, interns will interns will have the opportunity to apply for a stipend based on financial need; the amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of museum funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. 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. If an intern is awarded a stipend, stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


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.

Status: Virtual, in-person, or hybrid, depending on the intern's preference and our museum staffing capacity due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic 

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. Community college students, undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply.

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 opportunity does not guarantee a stipend. However, upon selection, interns will have the opportunity to apply for a stipend based on financial need; the amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of museum funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. 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. If an intern is awarded a stipend, stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


Editorial Services Internship

With museum labels, educational guides, blog posts, and more, on topics like popular culture, migration, and women’s history (just to name a few), the editorial output of the National Museum of American History is extensive and varied—and so too is the work of the Editorial Services office. Gain skills and practice in structural editing, stylistic editing, copy editing, proofreading, and fact checking, and learn about editorial management at one of the Smithsonian’s largest museums.

Goal: Overall, this internship is a professional learning experience that aims to teach the many editorial skills that are used in working for a Smithsonian museum and offer an intern the opportunity to practice those varied skills with the guidance of an experienced professional editor.

Status: Virtual

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

  • Learn the different core editorial skills and additional skills (as defined by Editors Canada), including the tasks associated with practicing each skill and the challenges and benefits of using each skill on projects;
  • Practice the core editorial skills and some of the additional skills on projects in development at NMAH;
  • Learn what NMAH values in creating writing for its audiences and why.

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

  • Practice shaping NMAH writing to better align it with museum standards and better suit it to its audiences;
  • Receive feedback regularly as assignments are delivered and reviewed;
  • Have opportunity to ask NMAH editor Leslie Poster any and all questions regarding assignments;
  • Participate in regular hourlong meeting each week with NMAH editor Leslie Poster for discussion;
  • Attend at least one meeting of Smithsonian Editors;
  • Attend at least one training hosted for NMAH staff by NMAH editor Leslie Poster;
  • Attend intra and interdepartmental meetings to see how museum editors coordinate and collaborate with other functional groups within the museum;
  • Receive career counseling and résumé guidance based on current industry hiring needs.

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant has a demonstrated interest in issues surrounding inclusive language and/or language justice.

Audience: This internship is specialized, for individuals who have some experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1 intern. Upper undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and folks with equivalent professionals are encouraged to apply.

Timeline: This internship will take place during Summer 2021. This internship is expected to be part 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 with additional financial need whose complete applications are submitted on time and who are accepted into the program; the amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of museum funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. 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. If an intern is awarded a stipend, stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


Education and Impact Internship

As an Education and Impact Intern, you will have an opportunity to help local and national students, teachers and families connect to and use history in a meaningful way through the NMAH collections. The internship will introduce you to museum education best practices and provide plenty of opportunities to develop your skills and techniques necessary to work with teachers and PK – 12 students.

Goal: Overall, this internship is a professional learning experiences that aims to provide aspiring museum education professionals with experience in developing lesson plans, online resources, museum programs and field trip experiences as well as examine the power of museums in supporting PK-12 cross-curricular education.

Status: Virtual

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

  • Engage diverse audiences
  • Implement best practices for museum education
  • Identify the processes behind the implementation of programming
  • Connect teachers, students and families to museum objects in relevant, engaging and educational ways
  • Develop object-based museum experiences, lesson plans, online resources and other materials for teachers, students and families.

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

  • Design new interactive elements and educational materials for museum educators to incorporate into teacher professional development workshops and direct-to-student programming and resources
  • Prepare materials to be used in professional development workshops, events, and other programs conducted by the K-12 education team
  • Creatively and collaboratively with the K-12 education team develop concepts for new resources and programs for teachers and students.

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

  • In the process of obtaining an undergraduate or graduate degree in Museum Studies, Museum Education, Art History, History, Education, or another related field
  • Experiences in formal and informal education settings a plus, but not required
  • Ability to work both independently and in a collaborative environment
  • Open-minded in learning new topics and skills.

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 intern. Community college students who intend to pursue an undergraduate degree, undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply.

Timeline: This internship will take place every internship season--spring, summer, or fall. This internship may be full-time or part-time (minimum 16 hours/week) depending on the intern’s and mentor’s needs and schedule. The anticipated length of this internship is 10 - 12 weeks; the length can be flexible.

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 opportunity does not guarantee a stipend. However, upon selection, interns will have the opportunity to apply for a stipend based on financial need; the amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of museum funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. 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. If an intern is awarded a stipend, stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


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 your portfolio! This can be added to your SOLAA application in a number of ways: (1) you can upload a PDF of your work as a "Resume" document if it's not too big a file size, (2) you can add a link to your online portfolio on your actual resume, or (3) you can upload a Word doc as a "Resume" document with just a link to a Dropbox or Google Drive folder et to "share with anyone with a link."**

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

Status: Virtual, in-person, or hybrid, depending on the intern's preference and our museum staffing capacity due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic 

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. Community college students, undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply.

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 opportunity provides a guaranteed stipend of $2,000. Additionally, upon selection, interns will have the opportunity to apply for additional funding based on financial need upon selection, interns will have the opportunity to apply for a stipend based on financial need; the amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of museum funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. 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. If an intern is awarded a stipend, stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


Program in Latino History and Culture Internship

During this internship, interns will learn the ins and outs of planning and developing public engagement created with and for the Latinx communities, including programming, websites, and exhibitions. Interns will be mentored by Magdalena Mieri, Director of the Program in Latino History within the Office of Audience Engagement at the National Museum of American History.

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to introduce students to the specifics of creating a culturally specific program within a mainstream museum.

Status: Virtual, in-person, or hybrid, depending on the intern's preference and our museum staffing capacity due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

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

  • Develop and understanding of museum public engagement practices
  • Contribute ideas based on lived experience to specific Museum programs
  • Practice professional skills in a team setting

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

  • Actively participate in meetings
  • Meet project and program deadlines
  • Produce well written information

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

  • Bilingual (English/Spanish)
  • Excellent communication and people skills
  • Self-motivated
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Working towards an undergraduate degree in history, anthropology, journalism
  • Knowledge of web platforms

Audience: This internship is specialized for individuals who already have some experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1 intern. Community college students, undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. This internship can be part time or full time, depending on intern’s and mentor’s schedule and needs.

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 opportunity provides a guaranteed stipend of $2,000. Additionally, upon selection, interns will have the opportunity to apply for additional funding based on financial need upon selection, interns will have the opportunity to apply for a stipend based on financial need; the amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of museum funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. 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. If an intern is awarded a stipend, stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


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.

Status: Virtual, in-person, or hybrid, depending on the intern's preference and our museum staffing capacity due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic 

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. Undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply.

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 opportunity does not guarantee a stipend. However, upon selection, interns will have the opportunity to apply for a stipend based on financial need; the amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of museum funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. 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. If an intern is awarded a stipend, stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


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.