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General Smithsonian Internship Pool



The Smithsonian offers internship programs in a wide variety of fields encompassing business and public administration, history, art, science, culture, and education.  If you are interested in applying for an internship at a specific museum or office at the Smithsonian, we encourage you to review our website for specific programs offered by our various units in your field of interest. It is necessary to apply for the specific programs separately.


The purpose of the General Smithsonian Internship Pool is to provide a place for internship applicants who are generally interested in the Smithsonian to indicate their interest. Smaller units and offices at the Smithsonian, which may not run formal application processes but who have internship learning opportunities available, may reach out to applicants from the general pool that seem like a good fit.


Anyone who is eligible for an internship at the Smithsonian can apply for the General Internship Pool. Eligibility for Smithsonian internships is generally defined as someone seeking a guided learning opportunity related to their academic or professional goals. Foreign students are eligible to apply. Smithsonian interns must be 14 years of age or older.

Learning Objectives

Given the competitive nature of our programs, if you have a broad interest in the Smithsonian, and want to increase your chances of landing an internship, we encourage you to also apply to the General Smithsonian Internship Pool. Smithsonian units who have unfilled mentor-guided learning opportunities may recruit from applicants that select the general pool option.

Applications to this program will not be considered for a specific internship program offered at a museum or unit, but may be considered for opportunities that become vacant at various units across the Institution generally. If you are selected for this internship, a Smithsonian unit will reach out to you to gauge your interest and learning objectives against the opportunity they offer.

How to Apply

To apply, you can use the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System (SOLAA) available through the Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI) webpage.

Apply Through: SOLAA

1) Login to your SOLAA Account or create one (if you don’t have an account already)

2) Click “Add New Application” at the top

3) Program Type: Choose Internship

4) Office/Museum/Research Center: Choose Office of Fellowships

5)  Select General Smithsonian Internship Pool

6) Add New Application

Application Deadlines:
• Fall Semester (September – December): July 15
• Spring Semester (January – May): November 15
• Summer Semester (May – August): March 15

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it ok to apply to both the Smithsonian General Internship Pool and some specific programs that interest me?

Yes! You are welcome to apply to as many programs as you would like. Applying for one program will not help or hinder your chance of acceptance to another program.

I applied to the General Internship Pool and have not heard back for a while regarding my application status. What does this mean?

Unfortunately, at this point, you most likely have not been selected by a Smithsonian employee who is looking to host an intern. However, OFI will keep you in the pool since it is still possible that a potential host will select you as an intern. If this happens, you will be contacted directly by OFI.

Does this internship offer a stipend?

Because applying to the Smithsonian General Pool may lead to a variety of opportunities, it’s possible that one would offer a stipend. However, in most cases internships awarded through this program do not.