Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

PICS Organization Name
Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

City/State
Washington, D.C.

Organization Description

 A diverse and multifaceted cultural and educational enterprise, the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) is an active and visible component of the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum complex. The NMAI cares for one of the world's most expansive collections of Native artifacts, including objects, photographs, archives, and media covering the entire Western Hemisphere, from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego.

The National Museum of the American Indian operates three facilities. The museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., offers exhibition galleries and spaces for performances, lectures and symposia, research, and education. The George Gustav Heye Center (GGHC) in New York City houses exhibitions, research, educational activities, and performing arts programs. The Cultural Resources Center (CRC) in Suitland, Maryland, houses the museum's collections as well as the conservation, repatriation, and digital imaging programs, and research facilities. The NMAI's off-site outreach efforts, often referred to as the "fourth museum," include websites, traveling exhibitions, and community programs.

NMAI seeks to diversify its applicant pool and host interns from various school programs such as PICS.

Internship Description

The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) Internship Program provides educational opportunities for students interested in the museum profession and related fields. Interns complete projects using the resources of the NMAI and other Smithsonian offices. Internships are an opportunity for students to learn about the museum's collections, exhibitions, programs, and methodologies, and to meet professionals in the museum field.

A NMAI intern has the unique opportunity to work one-on-one with a Mentor or expert in their field. There are also opportunities to shadow in a different department and conduct informational interviews. Under normal circumstances, NMAI summer interns have the opportunity to visit all three NMAI facilities in DC, MD, and NY and transportation is provided.

Weekly Stipend # of Weeks Required Dates Start Time End Time Housing Provided? Public Transportation? Certificate Requirement? Can be Remote?
$500 10 6/07/21 - 8/13/21 9:00 am 5:00 pm No Yes No Yes

Internship Qualifications

Please see the internship description for each NMAI department. Some list additional or preferred skills.

Additional Info

  • U.S. Citizenship or F-1/J-1 Visa Required
  • A background check is required
  • There are online trainings and readings that can be completed ahead of the start date if desired. Or the trainings can be completed during the first week of the internship during the regular work schedule.
  • All applicants must register and submit an online application via the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment system (SOLAA):
    • Online application

    • Statement of interest: questions to address are on the application. Include at least one or more other departments of interest to you, and why interning in those departments would benefit you academically and career-wise.

    • Transcripts (unofficial are preferred)

    • CV or résumé (can re-use the version you submit via PICS)

    • Two letters of recommendation: SOLAA system allows references to confidentially upload letters into your application by providing applicants an upload link to share with references.