Internships & Fellowships
Internships at the National Museum of African American History and Culture offer college and graduate students and recent graduates opportunities to work closely with professionals and scholars in the museum field. The museum provides a dynamic learning environment and access to supportive mentors that help interns reach their educational and professional goals. Interns can gain practical museum skills and program development experience in a variety of positions from education to collections to public relations. In addition to the general internship program, the National Museum of African American History and Culture also offers opportunities through its Robert F. Smith Internship Program.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture will offer available internships as either virtual (online and remote) or hybrid (virtual with the opportunity for 1-2 days onsite a week as scheduled) experiences to meet current health and safety guidelines set forth by the Smithsonian Institution.
All academic appointees (interns and fellows) must be fully vaccinated for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) with a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized (or, for international remote interns, a WHO-recommended) COVID-19 vaccine or have an approved Reasonable Accomodation granting an exemption from vaccine requirements. Please see additional information regarding reasonable accomodations.
Students who are currently enrolled in an academic program, as well as individuals who have recently completed studies.
- A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or its equivalent is generally expected (with withdrawals and incompletes explained).
- Ability to work a minimum of twenty hours per week. Paid and unpaid internships are available.
Funding is available on a competitive basis from the Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI). For more information, please visit the Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internship (OFI) website.
The Smithsonian Institution welcomes the opportunity to work cooperatively with schools seeking to grant academic credit for internships. Applicants are encouraged to initiate arrangements for credit with their college or university. The Smithsonian does not grant academic credit.
Internships occur during the summer (May-August), fall (September-December), and spring (January-April) from 10 to 15 weeks. Start dates and duration are flexible and arranged in coordination with the mentor.
- Summer Internships: February 15
- Fall Internships: July 15
- Spring Internships: October 15
Applicants interested in combining an internship at NMAAHC with a paid internship or award through the Minority Internship Program, Native American Internship Program, or James E. Webb Internship for Minority Undergraduate Juniors, Seniors, and Graduate Students in Business and Public Administration must submit an application by the deadline for these programs. Information for these opportunities can be found on the Office of Fellowship and Internships (OFI) website.
Internships are available in either full-time or part-time positions from 10 to 15 weeks throughout the year with the possibility for extension. Specific start and end dates and hours will be determined by the intern mentor and the intern.
Perks & Benefits
NMAAHC interns receive the following benefits during their internship:
- Professional development workshops and trainings
- Weekly seminars with NMAAHC staff
- Discounts at Smithsonian museums and facilities
- Tours of the NMAAHC and other Smithsonian facilities
- Intern social events
- Access to Smithsonian Libraries
- Networking events
- Volunteer opportunities
- Social activities in Washington, DC
Internships will take place at the National Museum of African American History and Culture or the office space at Capital Gallery, 600 Maryland Avenue SW, accessible by Metro Yellow/Green & Blue/Orange/Silver Lines.
An internship appointment is conditional, subject to your successful completion of a pre-appointment background investigation for a non-critical, sensitive position.
How to Apply
When applying via SOLAA, please mention the specific opportunity that interests you in your application essay. Some internships offer stipends, those that offer stipends will state it within the details in the available opportunities.
Please apply using the Smithsonian online application system. Paper applications will not be considered.
Please be aware that complete applications must include the following:
- Internship program application form
- Academic transcripts (unofficial transcripts are acceptable)
- Personal essay mentioning opportunities that interest you (use this to tell us how the internship will advance your academic/career goals)
- Two letters of reference
Intern at NMAAHC
You must apply for all Smithsonian internships through the Smithsonian online academic appointment system.