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.

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.



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.

Academic Credit

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.

Internship Sessions

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.

Application Deadlines

  • Summer Internships: March 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.

Background Investigation

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
  • Resume
  • 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

Program Events

Can I apply to more than one internship and/or fellowship?

Yes, applicants can submit one application and may apply for up to a maximum of three internship positions within their application. Incomplete applications and applications without selected positions may not be considered.

How does the general internship pool work?

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis through the Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI) as opportunities become available. Please know that if an internship does not become available that fits your interests and timeframe, you will not be contacted. If you have a specific interest, you are encouraged to apply for that specific internship as well.

How competitive are Smithsonian internships and fellowships?

Smithsonian internships and fellowships are very competitive; the Smithsonian receives thousands of applications each year—but don’t let that discourage you from applying. We work to make sure Smithsonian internships are prestigious, but not exclusive.

How long should it take to find out if I received an internship or fellowship?

How long until you receive a response depends on a lot of things: which internship you applied for, the time of year, as well as how many other applicants there are. As a result, it is difficult to say how long it will take to receive a response. However, applicants can anticipate receiving an update on their application status either way 3 to 4 weeks after the application deadline via SOLAA.

Is housing provided?

No, housing is not provided. However, the Office of Fellowships and Internships has created a D.C. Metro Area Housing Guide to help hired applicants navigate their relocation to Washington, D.C.

Are internships paid?

Some internships offer stipends while others do not. Those that offer stipends will state so in the details within the description. Funding is also made available on a competitive basis from the Office of Fellowships and Internships.

Can international students apply to an internship and/or fellowship?

Yes, international students are eligible for internships and/or fellowships. The Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI) has provided a FAQ section on their website for international applicants. International applicants can also direct questions and inquiries to The Office of International Relations (OIR).

Who do I address my cover letter?

Applications are sometime reviewed by multiple individuals so using generic addresses such as “Selection Committee” or “Intern Manager” will suffice.

Intern at NMAAHC

You must apply for all Smithsonian internships through the Smithsonian online academic appointment system.