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Minority Internship Program

Cooke and Gonzalez

Program Description

Smithsonian offers interns infinite opportunities to explore and discover. The Office of Fellowships and Internships is committed to increasing the participation of U.S. Citizens and U.S. permanent residents who have previously been underrepresented at the Smithsonian.

The Minority Internship Program administered through the Office of Fellowships and Internships provides students the opportunity to experience the Smithsonian as a universal lens for learning. Under the guidance of Smithsonian staff who are experts in their fields, Smithsonian Minority Interns are inspired to learn, examine and collaborate in their specific academic fields that relate to current research at the Smithsonian:

  • Animal behavior, ecology, and environmental science, including an emphasis on the tropics
  • Anthropology, including archaeology,
  • Astrophysics and astronomy
  • Earth sciences and paleobiology
  • Evolutionary and systematic biology
  • History of science and technology
  • History of art, especially American, contemporary, African, and Asian art, twentieth-century American crafts, and decorative arts
  • Social and cultural history of the United States
  • Folklife

The number of Minority Internships made each year is determined by the availability of funds for the program. The Smithsonian does not discriminate on grounds of race, creed, sex, age, marital status, condition of handicap, or national origin of any applicant.

Stipend: $550 per week with possible travel allowance.

The Smithsonian Minority Internship Program is open to undergraduate and graduate students. All interns at the Smithsonian are mentored by Smithsonian staff. The Smithsonian Minority Internship Program is administered through the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships.



Applicants must be:

  • Engaged in undergraduate or graduate study at the time of the internship or have graduated within 4 months of the internship start date
  • In good academic standing with an overall G.P.A. of 3.0 or equivalent
  • U.S. Citizens or U.S. permanent resident
  • Available full-time (40 hours per week) for ten weeks during the summer, fall, or spring.

Who is Ineligible?

  • No employee or contractor of the Smithsonian Institution may hold a paid Smithsonian internship during the time of his/her employment or contract.
  • An intern may not be awarded to any person who has been employed by or under contract to the Institution in the previous year without the prior approval of the Office of Fellowships.

General Application Guidelines

Applications must be received via SOLAA by:

February 1 (for Summer and Fall)

October 1 (for Spring)


General Information for the SOLAA Application:

Before filling out an application, candidates must first connect their current field of study to research conducted at the Smithsonian. This research is outlined in Smithsonian Opportunities for Research and Study (SORS).

Once a candidate has established a connection between his/her field of study and curent research at the Smithsonian, he/she should then apply through SOLAA.

Once you have created an account and logged into SOLAA you will need to complete all the required information including:

  • Mailing address
  • Academic history
  • Current university or college

Sara Chandler Image with Wheel Window

Files you will need to upload:


  • Past and present academic history
  • Additional experinces that have prepared you for an internship
  • What you hope to accomplish through an internship
  • How the internship relates to your academic and career goals
  • What about the Smithsonian in particular interests you and leads you to apply for an internship
  • Maximum of 4 pages double spaced
  • 12 point type


  • unofficial will be accepted

Curriculum Vitae or Resume

  • Including previous and current fellowships, grants, and/or awards, and a description of your research interests


  • Names and email addresses of two academic references
  • All reference letters are considered confidential unless confidentiality has been waived by the reference
  • Through SOLAA you will send an email to these referees so they can provide references through the web
  • Have the reference submit in sufficient time to meet the application deadline

If you have any questions please contact the Office of Fellowships and Internships at 202-633-7070 or send an email to siofi@si.edu.

Apply Through: SOLAA