Pardon our dust while we update this corner of the website.

Museum Studies Internship Program

Intern tours conservation lab.
Museum Studies interns get the opportunity to go behind the scenes and learn about a full range of museum careers.

Check back in early 2021 for future student opportunities.

Every summer, the Museum Studies Internship Program offers undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to learn about the inner workings of a metropolitan museum. This nine-week, Monday-to-Friday program promotes an awareness of the broad range of museum careers through experiences not available in most academic settings.

Individuals of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply, including those traditionally underrepresented in the museum field. Ten students will be selected for the summer 2020 program. Interns receive a stipend of $3,000 for living expenses.

Stipends are made possible by the Honickman Foundation, the Patty Klutz memorial gift, Michelle Millar Fisher, Kathleen Foster, the Center for American Art, the Danielle Rice memorial gift, and the Division of Education at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Internship Format

From June 8 through August 7, 2020, Museum Studies interns spend four days each week in a specific department. Placements vary from year to year according to departmental needs. The remainder of the week is spent in a Museum Studies seminar, which includes:

  • Gallery talks with curators
  • Discussions with top-level administrators, including the museum’s director and president, as well as trustees
  • Conversations with nearly every museum department and former interns
  • Behind-the-scenes tours and demonstrations
  • Presentations on the museum’s history and collection
  • Field trips to historic houses and other sites

Eligibility Requirements

The museum offers internships each summer to applicants from all backgrounds, including those traditionally underrepresented in the museum field. Learn more >>

To be eligible, you must meet these requirements:

  • Currently enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student, or have graduated within the same calendar year as the internship program
  • Completion at least your sophomore year of college by the end of the spring 2020 semester
  • Eligible to work in the United States

Past Intern Projects

Assignments, projects, and departmental placements vary every year. Learn more >>

These descriptions of past departmental assignments will help you understand the kinds of opportunities that may be available this summer. They do not necessarily represent opportunities for summer 2020.

The Museum Internship Program coordinators will outline a specific placement when contacting each finalist with an offer for acceptance into the program. Candidates will have the opportunity to ask questions before accepting or declining the position.

Business Administration
Work in the Executive Offices directly with the museum’s Director and Chief Executive Officer on a museum-related project. Applicant must be an MBA student.

Collections Information
Standardize and enhance information in the collections database and assist with other technology-related projects. You will leave with a good understanding of the predominate software for managing museum collections and information.

Observe conservation techniques for furniture, objects, paintings, works on paper, or textiles. Depending on your specialization, you may be placed in one department or shared between two. Interns with a science background may participate in chemical analysis of materials and other laboratory tasks. Chemistry coursework required; art history or studio art coursework desired.

Update the museum’s database and object files, conduct research, work on inventory projects, reorganize storage, and carry out administrative tasks in one of these curatorial areas:

  • American Art
  • Arms and Armor
  • Contemporary Art
  • Costume and Textiles
  • East Asian Art
  • European Decorative Arts and Sculpture
  • European Painting
  • Prints, Drawings, and Photographs
  • South Asian Art

Assist in nurturing relationships with donors and prospective donors to secure support-gifts, grants, sponsorships, and gifts-in-kind. You may work with one of several Development programs including Individual Giving, Institutional Support, Donor Engagement, Donor Communications, or Development Operations.

Copyedit exhibition texts as well as newsletters, brochures, invitations, and signs. Must be comfortable with Word, possess strong writing skills, and be attentive to detail.

Education: Summer Camp Groups and Family Learning
Work together with a team of interns to develop a summer camp curriculum and teach groups in the galleries and studios. Also assist with Art Splash, our summer family festival, to facilitate studio art projects, prepare art materials, and welcome families.

Education: Teacher Programs
Prepare for and implement our weeklong summer seminar for pre-K–12th-grade teachers. Conduct research for teacher materials and update contact lists.

Education: Teacher Resources
Work with the Wachovia Education Resource Center coordinator to create lessons and activities supporting the integration of visual arts into K–12 classrooms. Also assist with our weeklong summer seminar for pre-K–12th-grade teachers.

Support the Finance department, which is responsible for the maintenance of books, records, and financial statements.

Human Resources
Review and update recruitment materials and assist with museum-wide initiatives in employee engagement, training, and benefits.

Information and Interpretive Technologies: Audio-Visual
Assist with the inventory, testing, planning, and designing of AV equipment for installations and exhibitions, as well as live events and presentations. Participate in developing proposals for future projects.

Library and Archives
Catalogue archival images, create metadata, conduct collection maintenance and development, and assist staff. Background in museum information science, archives, or librarianship desired.

Marketing and Communications
Volunteer with Marketing staff to develop and maintain outlets for paid advertising and coordinate social and digital content. Or volunteer with the Press Office to promote museum initiatives to the press and other local media.

Membership and Visitor Operations
Assist with event planning and implementation, social-media marketing, gift entry and reporting, and membership activities.

Photography Studio
Prepare images for publications, interactives, and the website. Capture, edit, distribute, label, and archive photographs. Photograph events, behind-the-scenes installations, and publicity photo shoots. Photography experience required; knowledge of Photoshop/Lightroom desired.

Protection Services
Work on studies to identify the assignment of security officers throughout the galleries, and develop tools to increase efficiency and effectiveness of operations.

Assist the Registrar and other staff in tracking the location and condition of art objects in the collection. Help with object inventories, resolve loan issues, data entry for deaccessioned records, and review and update acquisition files.

Actively engage with merchandising, operations, and marketing for our stores and e-commerce business. Creative and analytical skills will be applied and developed.

Social Media
Create and manage a social-media campaign for summer programs. You should be tech savvy, possess excellent communication skills, and be a creative self-starter. Must be proficient with social-media platforms.

Special Events
The Special Events team is responsible for the coordination and execution of all museum events. You will help organize electronic marketing efforts for special events, format the event marketing calendar, and update promotional materials and distribution lists.


Learn more about the program and the selection process >>

How long is the Museum Studies Internship Program?
It runs for nine weeks: June 8–August 7, 2020. Interns will report to the museum 9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Monday–Friday. Interns must be present for the entire duration of the program.

When is the application due?
Your complete application must be submitted by Friday, February 28, 2020.

Do I need to submit official transcripts?
We accept both official and unofficial transcripts.

Where should my recommenders submit letters of recommendation?
Letters of recommendation must be emailed directly from the recommender with the applicant’s name in the subject line to by the application deadline.

Do you accept international students?
Yes. International applicants will be reviewed on an individual basis and must have applicable visa eligibility to participate in a US internship. The visa process could take sixty to ninety days. International students are responsible for obtaining appropriate work authorization during the internship period.

The museum does not sponsor visas for interns. If you require a visa, you may be eligible to participate in the Exchange Visitor Program (J-1 visa program) via an outside agency that has been authorized by the State Department to sponsor a J-1 trainee visa. Sponsors are responsible for supporting and monitoring foreign nationals during their exchange programs in the United States. We recommend that you consult with the US embassy in your home country to determine which visa will allow you to participate in this internship. Please note that any authorizations must be completed well in advance of the internship start date. If you are offered an internship but do not have your visa before the start date of the program, your internship may be canceled.

Will I be notified when my application and materials have been received?
Yes, you will receive an automated email. Be sure to check your junk or spam folder.

What happens once my application has been received?
Each application is read by a committee of employees from nearly every department in the museum to determine who will receive an interview.

How will I receive correspondence from the museum?
You will be contacted by email. Be aware that certain email providers filter emails from the museum. Often, these emails will be sent to your junk or spam folder. Please look for email addresses ending in “” and, when possible, mark them as being “not spam.”

When will I know whether I’ve been selected for an interview?
You will be contacted in late March via email or phone to schedule an interview. Interviews may be conducted in person for those in close proximity to the museum or over the phone or via Skype for applicants outside the Philadelphia area.

Will I be notified if I am not selected?
Yes, you will be contacted by email if your application is no longer being considered.

When will I know if I have been selected for an internship?
We will notify applicants via email in late April.

How many students will be selected?
Ten students will be selected for the summer 2020 program.

If I am selected, may I receive course credit?
Yes, you may receive course credit so long as it is offered by your respective colleges and universities. You must make all necessary arrangements directly with your respective schools.

Is housing available?
Interns are responsible for making their own housing arrangements and receive a $3,000 stipend to cover living expenses. If you have been selected for an internship and have questions about where you might live, you may contact one of the Museum Internship Program coordinators for advice.

Are Museum Studies Internship Program interns compensated?
Yes, interns receive a $3,000 stipend (less applicable taxes and deductions) to cover living expenses. Stipends will be issued in three payments spread throughout the summer program dates.

Whom may I contact if I have questions about my application?
Please email .

Please direct questions to .