The Catholic University of America

Art Related Internships in the DC Area

Smithsonian Institution: Katzenberger Art History Internship Program

The Katzenberger Foundation Art History Internship Program is a need-based program supporting internships for undergraduates in research and collections projects at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. The program is generously funded by the Katzenberger Foundation and administered by the Office of Fellowships and Internships. Six internships are offered each summer and located in Washington, DC, at the Smithsonian’s art museums and archives. Applicants must meet these eligibility requirements: open only to US citizens; must be enrolled as undergraduate juniors, seniors, or equivalent, in a degree granting program at an accredited institution; must be declared as an art history major, concentration, or related discipline; must qualify for federal student aid. A final summary report is required upon completion of the internship.
Office of Fellowships and Internships
Smithsonian Institution
470 L’Enfant Plaza, Suite 7102, MRC 902
PO Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012
Phone: (202) 633-7070

Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Each year a number of undergraduate and graduate internships are available at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Internships are offered during the summer, fall, and winter semesters.
Requirements: Applicants should have 15 semester hours of art history, arts management, or equivalent academic preparation for their chosen department. It is highly recommended applicants have a grade point average of 3.25 for undergraduates and 3.5 for graduate students. A specialization in modern and contemporary art history is helpful, but not required.
Credit: The Museum does not award college credit, but many U.S. colleges and universities will recognize academic work performed while interning at the Museum. Contact your academic advisor for instructions on how to receive credit.
Stipend: Most HMSG internships are unpaid volunteer positions. Some funded internships are available on a competitive basis through the Office of Fellowships. (202-633-7070)
Applying: Please apply using the Smithsonian online application system . Paper applications will not be considered. Application must include Internship Program application form (available online), academic transcripts (unofficial are acceptable), Personal essay (use this to tell us how the internship will advance your academic/career goals), Two letters of reference
Deadlines: Spring (January – May) Deadline: October 15th
Summer (June – August) Deadline: February 1st
Fall (September – December) Deadline: July 1st


Museum Conservation Institute(MCI)

Research Internships and Fellowships of varying length are available for undergraduate and graduate students in the appropriate disciplines.
Term: Minimum of 3 months
Applications:   Considered year-round
Stipend:   Yes*
Contact:  Internship/Fellowship Coordinator; Museum Conservation Institute, Smithsonian Institution 4210 Silver Hill Road; Suitland, MD 20746
Phone:  (301)238-1236
*Financial assistance is sometimes available on a very limited basis.
*All other positions are offered to students enrolled in graduate conservation training programs or those with equivalent education

National Museum of African Art

Internships are offered to students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs and to individuals interested in exploring museum professions. Internship opportunities are available in the following departments: administration, conservation, curatorial, development, education, exhibits, photographic archives, public affairs, and registration. Candidates must have a background in art history, anthropology, museum studies, or a related discipline. Specific training in African art or other aspects of African culture is desirable, particularly in the Education and Curatorial Departments. Under the supervision of a staff member, an intern works for a minimum of 10 weeks, 20 hours per week.
Stipend:    No stipend or credit
Contact: Frank Esposito, Intern Coordinator , National Museum of African Art, MRC 708 PO Box 37012, Washington, DC 20013-7012             
Applying: Please apply using the Smithsonian online application system at . Application includes Internship program application form (available online), Academic transcripts (unofficial are acceptable), Personal essay (use this to tell us how the internship will advance your academic/career goals), Two letters of reference  
American Art Museum
The Summer Program: The American Art Museum's summer internship program is designed for college juniors, seniors, or recent college graduates with little previous museum experience. (Graduate students will be considered on an individual basis.) Students' career objectives are matched to the activities of one department or office for eight weeks. This short term summer program does not provide the overview of museum operations that is provided by the two-semester Advanced Level Program.
Stipends: No stipends are currently available for this program
Requirements: Students should be entering or have completed their junior year in college at the time of application and have little or no previous museum experience. Graduate students will be considered for this program on an individual basis.
Application: a statement of purpose expressing personal career goals in the museum field, what skills he or she hopes to acquire, and why the Smithsonian American Art Museum has been chosen as a learning center, a resume of relevant education and work experience, three letters of recommendation (academic and/or professional), transcripts from all schools attended above high school level.

National Gallery of Art


National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery offers internships to undergraduate and graduate students and to individuals not affiliated with academic programs who have research or museum career interests. The availability of internships depends upon departmental projects and staff needs, as well as the background, skills, and interests of the applicant. Qualifications vary depending upon the project, but most are for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students. Please read the specific intern positions above before selecting projects on your application.
Eligibility: Various departments at the National Portrait Gallery sponsor interns throughout the year. Intern projects are based on interests and needs of the department, and are agreed upon by the mutual consent of the intern candidate and his or her supervisor.
Departments: Office of the Associate Director, Office of Collections Information and Research, Conservation Department, Office of Design and Production, Graphic Design Staff, Lighting Design Staff, Office of External Affairs, Office of Development, Office of Public Affairs, Office of Education, Intern and Docent Programs, Public Programs, Teacher Programs, Youth and Family Programs, Office of Exhibitions, Office of the Registrar, Department of History, Charles Willson Peale Family Papers, Library, New Media and Publications, Web and Social Media, Photographic Services, Publications, Department of Painting and Sculpture, Department of Photographs, Department of Prints and Drawings
Stipend: Most NPG internships are unpaid volunteer positions. Some funded internships are available on a competitive basis through the Office of Fellowships (202-633-7070). No college credit.

The Smithsonian Associates (TSA)

Complementing Smithsonian research, exhibitions, and collections, TSA offers a curriculum consisting of hundreds of courses, lectures, tours, performances, seminars, and other activities. TSA interns are offered opportunities to learn about various aspects of educational programming for both adults and children, while contributing extensively to one of the world's great cultural institutions. More information can be found at:
Educational Programs include: Development, Discovery Theater, Online Marketing, eMarketing & Customer Research, National Education Outreach, Performing Arts, Public Affairs, Studio Arts. Descriptions of each can be found here:
Summer Camp: Support the team by assisting with the daily running of the 7-week camp program, supervising campers and assistants, up-keep of rosters and paperwork, parent communication, and supply organization and procurement.
Terms: Fall: September-December; Winter/Spring: January-May; Summer: June-August
Stipend:   Internships at TSA are unpaid. 
Credit:   College or university credit may be awarded by the student's sponsoring institution through advance agreement with student's college/university and TSA.
Deadlines:  Fall: July 1; Winter/Spring: November 1; Summer: March 15
Contact:    Meg Smolinski, The Smithsonian Associates             
Phone:                (202) 633-8641

Smithsonian Center For Education And Museum Studies (SCEMS)

The mission of the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies (SCEMS) is to interpret the collective knowledge of the Smithsonian and serve as a gateway to the Institution's education resources. Through research, publishing, and staff development programs for the education and museum communities, the Center promotes the understanding and use of museums.
As the central office of education, SCEMS is well-positioned to give interns a broad overview of the Smithsonian Institution, introductions to the wide variety of work that museum and education professionals here are involved in, and an opportunity to participate in a deeper level with special projects. Acceptance into the program is competitive. SCEMS accepts about 10 interns yearly in the following 4 areas:
New Media and Online Conferences
Audience Research and Evaluation
Heritage Month Programs
Professional Development Programs
Qualifications will vary depending upon the project, but most are for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students. Student status, however, is not a prerequisite. Detailed information about available projects can be found at Applications for a SCEMS internship must be made 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 are acceptable),Personal essay, Two letters of reference
Term:  Flexible; some weekend or evening programs; minimum length of 6 weeks with at least 20-hour work weeks
Stipend: No
Deadlines: Rolling, but will be reviewed after the following dates: Fall (October - December) July 15th; Spring (January - May) October 15th; Summer (June - September) February 1st
Contact:  Tracie Spinale, Internship Manager              

Archives of American Art (AAA)

The Archives of American Art collects the personal papers of American artists, art dealers, critics, and others concerned with American art. Internships are available to undergraduates and graduate students who have a background in art history, American studies, or American history and are looking for the opportunity to conduct research in primary sources, process archival collections, prepare written descriptions of collection contents, and assist with registrarial duties.
Term: Variable, ten weeks or more
Deadlines: Applications considered year-round
Stipend: No
Contact: Marisa Bourgoin, Archives of American Art, PO Box 37012, Victor Bldg., Suite 2200, MRC 937, Washington, DC 20013-7012           

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Unpaid Internships

The Freer Gallery of Art, along with its sister museum, the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, are the national museums of Asian art at the Smithsonian Institution and are jointly administered. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery house one of the most distinguished collections of Asian art in the world today, as well as the largest collection of work by James McNeill Whistler. The Galleries support advanced research and disseminates the results through exhibitions and publications. Internships are available to high school, undergraduate, and graduate students for special projects and general departmental work in the following departments.
Administration/Finance/Human Resources; Archives; Conservation and Scientific Research; Collections Management (Registrar); Curatorial; Education and Public Programs; Exhibition Management; Information Technology; Publications; Design and Production; Library; Membership and Development; Photography; Public Affairs and Marketing; Rights and Reproductions; and Museum Shops.

For each internship term, applications must be submitted electronically by the following dates:
Winter/Spring term: November 15
Summer: March 15
Fall: July 15
Stipend: No
Contact: Please submit all application materials via the SOLAA system.
Phone: 202-633-0466

Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA)

The Smithsonian Institution Archives offers internships in archival methods, institutional history, oral history, history of science, collections management, collections care (preservation and conservation), digital preservation and curation, and electronic records management.

The Archives Division serves as a repository for documents of historic value about the Smithsonian, as the official memory of the Smithsonian and as a resource for scholars. Internships are provided for arrangement and description of institutional records, personal papers, and photographic and other collections in special media; encoding of finding aids for its website; digitization of collections; and conducting records surveys and developing records disposition schedules. These internships are considered apprenticeships under the tutelage of an archivist.
The Institutional History Division conducts research on the history of the Smithsonian, prepares scholarly and popular publications, exhibits, lectures, electronic and paper guides to specialized research areas, and records oral history and video history interviews. Internships provide an overview of the research and dissemination activities of an institutional history program, with a focus on specific topics. Prior course work in American history or the sciences is desirable, though not a prerequisite.
The Collections Care Division carries out preservation of collections in paper, photograph, and audio-visual formats. Preservation internships provide hands-on experience in preservation techniques, working with nineteenth and twentieth century Smithsonian records and personal papers of prominent administrators and scientists. The internships emphasize integrated preservation management, considering issues such as proper environment, housing, handling, and preservation reproduction of records. Conservation internships are occasionally available for current students of masters programs in conservation or post-graduates.
The Digital Services Division preserves and manages the digital collections of the Archives. This work spans a wide range of activities including: digitization of photographs, documents, sound, and moving images; preservation and curation of original electronic records; facilitating access to digital collections; and digital repository management. All internships provide hands-on experience and exposure to key issues in archival digital collections such as digital obsolescence, authenticity and provenance, conservation, and sustainability. Interns will work directly with records from the Archives’ collections in digital and other formats.
Contact: Riccardo Ferrante, Internship Coordinator, Smithsonian Institution Archives, PO Box 37012, MRC 507, Washington, DC 20013-7012
Phone:                  (202) 633-5906
Fax:                      (202) 633-5928

 Corcoran Gallery of Art

The Corcoran Gallery of Art offers internships for undergraduate and graduate students throughout the year. Based on a program of supervised learning, Corcoran internships provide students with an opportunity to experience museum operations and to pursue academic and professional goals.
Academic year internships
The Corcoran offers academic year internships (September–May) to college juniors and seniors, graduate students, and students between academic degree programs. To correspond with class schedules, interns arrange flexible work hours (approximately 15–25 hours per week) or can choose to intern full-time. Interns are asked to apply to specific departments at the Corcoran. During the academic year, interns work on projects uniquely designed for that specific term with direction from their supervisor. Students desiring academic credit for their internship must make appropriate arrangements with their college or university. The Corcoran can offer no stipend.
Spring application deadline – November 4, 2011
Fall application deadline – June 1, 2011
Summer Internships
The Corcoran offers a ten- week internship program from early June through mid-August. This program is open to juniors and seniors in college, graduate students, and students between academic degree programs. The summer internship program is geared toward those students who are interested in gaining first hand museum experience or intending to pursue a career in the arts.
Weekly panel discussions with Corcoran staff offer interns the chance to gather information about all facets of the museum and to learn from successful museum professionals. Interns also visit local Washington, DC arts organizations to meet experts in other artistic fields and to discover new places in the city.
Please consider personal interests, capabilities, and future career plans when selecting your three preferred departments.
Summer interns maintain regular staff hours, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Students desiring academic credit for their internship must make appropriate arrangements with their college or university. The Corcoran can offer no stipend.
Summer 2013 application deadline – March 8, 2013
Application Review Process
All application materials must be postmarked by the specified application deadline in order to be considered during the review process. It is preferred to have all application materials in one envelope. Receipt of application will be sent via email when an applicant’s file is complete. Qualified applicants will then be contacted to schedule a phone interview. The museum cannot conduct informational interviews prior to application deadlines. All applicants will be notified of final decisions. If you have any questions, please contact the Internship Coordinator directly. If unable to participate in a full-time internship position, please visit the Volunteer section of our website to download an application.
Internship contact and application information
All application materials must be postmarked by the application deadline to be considered. For more information, please contact the Intern Coordinator at (202) 639-1739 or via e-mail at
Required application materials:
Intern Application form (click here to download)
Official transcript(s)
Two letters of recommendation
Cover letter (Please list your three department placement preferences and state your reasons for wanting to participate in the Corcoran's internship program. Explain how such an experience will help to further your education and career plans. Please outline your abilities, interests, and career goals.
Mail all materials to:
Susannah Brown
Coordinator of Docent and Internship Programs
Corcoran Gallery of Art
500 Seventeenth Street NW
Washington, DC 20006
Please be sure all application materials are sent together in one package.