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Smithsonian Internship Program

Fall 2017 Application

Applications are due Friday, March 6, 2017.



Fall 2017 Projects


How to Apply

Smithsonian curators submit their internship needs for the following fall term to the Smithsonian Office of Fellowships, which provides them to the Smith College American Studies office, usually in January for the following year. Interested Smith students read about the projects and select three among the proposed internships. Applicants list relevant courses, including course titles, grades, and instructors, as well as previous work experience. Applicants then write a brief essay outlining how this program fits into their overall academic program and how it would serve as preparation for future plans and the reasons for their internship choices. If accepted into the program, the Smithsonian Fellowship Office will then pair each applicant with one of the applicant's three project choices.

Other Requirements

  • A sample graded paper (about 5 pages) on a topic as closely as possible to your preferred research project(s).
  • 2 faculty references (Faculty should email their references to AMS academic assistant Terie Fleury by the application deadline).
  • An official transcript (minimum GPA requirement is 3.0), which must be requested from the Registrar's Office.

General Timeline

Contact the American Studies office for specific dates.

Late January/Early February
Applications and internship descriptions are available on the website or by contacting Terie Fleury.

Early February
The Smithsonian Program Director chairs a general information meeting about the Program for interested applicants.

Late February/Early March
Deadline for complete application, including transcript, and references.

Notifications are sent to students re: acceptance into the Program, contingent upon successful completion of the current semester. Projects are not yet assigned.

Late March
Students notify the AMS office of their intent to participate.

Early April
Smithsonian determines pairing of students with projects, and notifies AMS office. During registration, students register for AMS seminars 410, 411, & 412 and notify their Class Dean of their participation in the Program.

The Smithsonian Program Director meets with students to announce who is assigned which project.

Late April
Smithsonian Liaison and Washington D.C. resident (Elizabeth Connolly), will speak with students about housing and other non–academic matters.

Early May
Students provide AMS office with their summer address(es). The Smithsonian contacts students about details concerning their background security checks. This paperwork is due back to the Smithsonian by early August.

AMS office confirms students' successful completion of spring semester with Registrar's office. If satisfactory, students are considered fully accepted into the Program.

Students are expected to make housing arrangements for living in D.C., and to submit their security paperwork before the end of August to the Smithsonian for processing.

Tuesday after Labor Day                                         
Students (now interns) have orientation meeting in DC with representative from the Smithsonian Office of Fellowships. Later that same week, the Smithsonian Program Director will meet with the interns for their first colloquium meeting.

September through December
Interns work at their assigned museums under direct supervision by Smithsonian curators, as well as working on their own individual research project. The interns meet weekly to attend a seminar on museum studies. They also meet monthly with the Smithsonian Program Director and periodically with liaison.

On the last day of Smith classes, the interns' research projects are due both to their Smithsonian supervisors, and another copy to the American Studies office at Smith.

Late December
All grades by Smithsonian supervisors are submitted to the AMS office in time for the Registrar's office early January deadline.