Navigation Menu+

FAQ for Smithsonian Fellowship and Internships


How do I apply for internships?

You can apply to internships using our online application system – SOLAA.

Where do I start to find the best internship for me?

There are more than 60 Smithsonian internship opportunities, to find the best one for you visit this page and read more about them.

Can I apply to more than one internship?

Yes! In fact, we encourage you to!

What is the minimum age for an internship?

Smithsonian accepts applicants from the ages of fourteen and older. If an applicant is fourteen or older but less than eighteen he/she must attach the parental consent form to the application unless he/ she is applying through SOLAA.

How does the general internship pool work?

Unlike specific internship opportunities the general internship pool is available to all units at the Smithsonian.

Can international students apply for internships or fellowships?

Some Internship and Fellowship programs do accept international students. It is up to the particular program. That information can be obtained by contacting the intern coordinator listed on our website. 

Can I get academic credit for my internship?

Yes, but it is your responsibility to arrange to receive credit with your university before arriving.

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.  

After Applying

How do I knew when if I have received an internship?

If you are selected for an appointment you will receive an award letter in your email.

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

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 so it is hard to say how long it will take to receive a response.

I applied to the general internship pool, what is the status of my application?

If you applied to the general internship pool and a significant amount of time has passed without receiving an award letter in your email then it is unlikely that you have received an internship through the general internship pool.

How does the ID process work?

All academic appointees in residence for 30 days or longer should have received paperwork from the museum unit for a background clearance to be sent or delivered to the Office of Protection Services (OPS) Personnel Security and ID Office.  The intern/fellow should make an appointment with OPS using the OPS appointment scheduler. 

How do I find housing?

To find housing you can consult our housing guide here!

How do I get to my internship?

You can use the WMATA to get to your internship or the Smithsonian shuttle service. More information about transportation is available in the Academic Appointment Handbook.

What do I wear to my internship/fellowship?

All offices have different dress codes so ask your intern/fellow coordinator before arriving.

What are the perks/discounts associated with my academic appointment?

  • 20% discount at all Smithsonian Museum Stores
  • 20% discount at the National Gallery of Art Museum Stores
  • Reduced rate at selected Smithsonian public food facilities
  • Reduced rate at the National Gallery of Art public food facilities
  • Use of Smithsonian staff food facilities (food served is already discounted)
  • One free IMAX, Planetarium or Butterfly Pavilion ticket/week, subject to availability (does not include
  • special feature-length commercial movies), and additional tickets at a reduced rate
  • Free weekday parking after 3p.m. and weekend parking at NASM and NMNH
  • Free parking at NASM’s Udvar-Hazy Center
  • Use of the physical fitness facility at NASM
  • Smithsonian Library card
  • Free membership in the Agricultural Federal Credit Union (visit the branch in the basement of the
  • Smithsonian Castle)
  • Scholarship applications to selected TSA courses, seminars and lectures
  • Free admission to other non-Smithsonian museum who have reciprocity with the Smithsonian

If I am awarded an internship or fellowship, will that guarantee me a job when the appointment is over?

No. You will gain excellent knowledge and experience by participating in the appointment. Information on employment at the Smithsonian Institution can be found online at here.



Do all Internships or Fellowship have stipends?

Each internship and fellowship is different. To find out which programs provide a stipend go to our website http://www.smithsonianofi.com.  For more information you may contact the intern or fellow coordinator listed with each program. 

Do interns/fellows receive IRS Form W-2’s or Form 1099’s?

Since interns/ fellows are stipend recipients and not contractors or employees, they do not receive a W-2. They will, however, receive a Financial Statement if they are a U.S. Resident and a 1042S if they are a non-U.S. resident. Recipients will be notified by mail around February or March.

Do interns/fellows receive pay stubs?

Since the IRS does not consider interns, fellows, and other stipend recipients to be employees of the Smithsonian, we do not provide pay stubs.

Do interns and fellow have to report stipends to the IRS?

It is the responsibility of interns and fellows to report their stipend earnings to the IRS. OFI cannot offer any specific guidance on how to file taxes, since we are not tax experts. However, we recommend you refer to the IRS website for specific instruction. See here and for more, here.

If I’m receiving a stipend when will I get payments?

Stipend payments are released on the 10th and 25th of each month. The frequency of your payments will be explained in your award letter.