Smithsonian Digital Learning and Engagement Internship

Smithsonian Affiliations, in collaboration with the Emerson Collective, Smithsonian Institution, and its Smithsonian Affiliates offers the Smithsonian Digital Learning and Engagement Internship to rising college sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are committed to helping communities, are passionate about social justice, and are driven to accelerate positive impact in our world.

The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex with the responsibility to help people understand the complexity and the nuances of our history. Museums and cultural organizations have a social justice role to play and have an opportunity to not only become community centers, but to be at the center of their community, helping people grapple with the challenges we all face. The Smithsonian and its network of Smithsonian Affiliates know it is crucially important to have diversity—not just of race or ethnicity—but of ideas to be organizations of transformation to strengthen and change the world we live in. An internship with the Smithsonian and its Affiliates offers the opportunity for students of all majors to use their educational focus as a lens to share their social justice passion. This summer, see how museums and cultural organizations are local changemakers, and explore new ways to bring equitable educational resources to communities across the U.S.

2021 Smithsonian intern reflection video

This 10-minute video was produced by student interns. It showcases their summer work and provides reflections and highlights from their learning experiences.

“This has been an amazing opportunity. I came into this internship wanting to grow my communication, writing, and design skills. Which I did, but I also ended up learning so much more, and I am now considering museum work as a potential career because I loved it so much.” – 2021 Emerson-Smithsonian student intern

Two opportunities will be offered in 2022:

  • Hybrid experience with a Smithsonian Affiliate organization
  • In Person experience at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

All internships will be four days per week and take place June 13-August 5, 2022. Students will receive a modest stipend ($4,800).

For both hybrid and in-person internships, students will work together in small teams to create digital educational resources on the Smithsonian Learning Lab platform that help dive deeper into complex issues through the lens of five topic areas:

  • Race and social justice
  • Conservation and climate change
  • Women’s history
  • Community health and Covid-19 vaccine education
  • Changing American narrative (immigration, civics, media, education)

Curious? Check out the 2021 intern projects

Interns will have access to the breadth and depth of Smithsonian and Affiliate resources, meet with Smithsonian leaders, and gain an understanding of how museums and cultural organizations are vital in providing platforms to discuss, understand, and solve some of the biggest challenges facing the world today. Interns will also participate in enrichment programming with Emerson Collective, designed to develop leadership capacity and build professional networks.

Students participating in an in-person internship at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. will work with one of its museums, resource or cultural centers, libraries, and/or other offices. Students will be housed at the George Washington University and be required to be on-site at their assigned Smithsonian location for the summer internship to complete site-specific work. In-person interns will have the opportunity to participate in Smithsonian-wide internship activities and events in addition to enrichment activities scheduled by the Emerson Collective, and any virtual programming being offered throughout the summer.

Students participating in a hybrid internship will be paired with a Smithsonian Affiliate organization geographically near the student’s physical location. Students will be required to be on-site for two-weeks during the internship to participate in hands-on activities related to their Learning Lab projects, meet with, and learn from Affiliate mentors, and participate in any on-site enrichment activities. In addition, hybrid interns will have the opportunity to participate in virtual enrichment programs provided by the Emerson Collective and Smithsonian Institution.

Hybrid internships will be offered in these cities/states:

Anchorage, Alaska
Hot Springs, Arkansas
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California
Los Angeles, California
Mystic, Connecticut
Miami, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Augusta, Georgia
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Jackson, Mississippi
Omaha, Nebraska
Corning, New York
Cincinnati, Ohio
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Columbia, South Carolina
Austin, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Houston, Texas
Seattle, Washington

Please note that in-person opportunities are subject to change based on CDC recommendations and Smithsonian and Affiliate policies related to COVID-19.

Academic appointees may require proof of vaccination. To ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the Smithsonian Institution will take no action to implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement pursuant to Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. This also applies to volunteers, interns, fellows, and research associates.

However, the Smithsonian Institution is requesting information regarding your vaccination status for the purposes of implementing other workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and/or quarantine. Accepted interns will be asked to fill out a vaccination acknowledgment form prior to the start of their internship.

If you are an international student considering an internship with the Smithsonian, there are some additional considerations regarding your participation in an internship. As a non-U.S. citizen, you will need to present proof of legal authorization to participate in your internship. Please review the International Appointees section of the Smithsonian Office of Internships FAQs for more guidance.

Applications are no longer being accepted for Summer 2022. Please check back in the fall for information about 2023 opportunities.

Still have questions? Email with the subject line “Smithsonian Digital Learning Internship” and we will be in touch as soon as possible.