Female Robert F. Smith intern measures flat artifact.
Photo by Benjamin G. Sullivan for the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Internships provide guided learning experiences consisting of hands-on training, mentoring, attendance at educational events, and cultivation of contacts for the next generation of researchers, scholars, curators, and other museum, library, preservation, and heritage professionals – individuals who will assume the mantle of identifying, documenting, curating, and digitizing treasured artifacts that reflect African American history and culture.

Intern Benefits

  • $600 per week stipend to defray living expenses during the tenure of the appointment
  • Additional need-based housing and transportation stipends of $150 per week are available. Students qualify by selecting their need to pay rent during their term on the application.
  • Flexible start and end dates
  • Structured mentorship opportunities both within the Museum and with outside professionals
  • A calendar of professional development seminars catered to the needs of historically underrepresented individuals in the cultural sector
  • Paid registration and travel to attend the Association of African American Museums annual conference 
  • Academic credit (not required)

Intern Eligibility

  • Undergraduate students (must have completed at least one year of study)
  • Graduate students
  • Recent graduates (up to 2 years out of school)
  • Career-changers in the cultural field less than 2 years
  • Applications from individuals who have had prior internships or fellowships with any unit of the Smithsonian Institution will not be considered.

Strongest consideration will be given to applicants with no more than 1-2 prior related work experiences. 


  • Internships are 12 weeks in the summer
  • 35-40 hours per week

Opportunities for Individuals and Organizations

Sign up for our e-mail list to be notified when opportunities open.

Have questions about the Robert F. Smith Internship Program?

Public History Fellowship for HBCU graduates

The Museum also offers a fellowship program for more advanced applicants. Learn about the Robert F. Smith Applied Public History Fellowship for HBCU graduates.

More internship opportunities at the Museum

Learn about the current openings and application process for additional internships onsite at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Alumni Testimonials

 "My experience with this internship has been incredible. It has boosted my confidence and shown me that I do have what it takes to make it in this increasingly more competitive field. For the first time I feel that if I and other people of color are welcome in the field that we are going to do great things and that means the world to me."

-Britni W.
2018 Stagville State Historic Site Intern

"I never felt like an intern during my time here; I felt like a member of the team."

-Adia C.
2019 National Museum of African American History and Culture Intern

"With this internship I never felt alone or in the dark about any opportunities whether it was for jobs or academic advice. It also taught me the importance of the different ways we can preserve African American history in the United States...This whole experience was a huge eye opener."

-Gabby C.
2021 Bethune-Cookman University Intern

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