The Penn Museum offers various opportunities for both Penn students and students from other colleges and universities. For example, our summer internship program, student exhibition internships, volunteer opportunities, and work-study opportunities provide hands-on experience in the museum field.
Penn Museum Summer Internships provide educational opportunities for students interested in museum professions, archaeology, anthropology, and related disciplines. Internships are an opportunity for students to learn about the Penn Museum’s collections, exhibitions, programs, and methodologies, and to meet professionals in the museum field.
Internship are open to undergraduate students, graduate students, and recent graduates from the University of Pennsylvania and outside colleges and universities. Interns must work at least 150 hours over the course of the summer. Penn students in the College of Arts and Sciences may apply for a limited number of paid internships, totaling 300 hours of work, provided by the Summer Humanities Internship Program (SHIP).
In addition to internship placements, the Museum offers a Intro to Museum Practice seminar program starting on Wednesday, June 8th, including a series of lectures, discussions, and field trips offered each week to enhance the educational experience of our interns. All summer interns are encouraged to attend this seminar program, as well as the internship orientation on Monday, June 6th.
At the Penn Museum Archives, we collect the stories behind the artifacts. The archives include records of the museum’s archaeological expeditions to every inhabited continent, the history of the Penn Museum, and the history of the fields of archaeology and anthropology. In addition to field notes and correspondence, we hold three-quarters of a million images and nearly one thousand reels of motion picture film.
The interns will assist with the archival care and management of documents (including letters, diaries, field notes, and plans and drawings) and photographs (prints, lantern slides, and glass and film negatives) from the Museum’s historic anthropological and archaeological investigations around the world. The interns will work closely with the institution’s archivist on all aspects of archival processing, arrangement, and description, including preparation of finding aids. Interns will also gain experience in basic preservation skills, cataloging, digitization, and assisting with archival reference requests.
We are looking for students with good organizational skills and attention to detail, basic research skills, and the ability to work independently. This is an excellent opportunity to learn and refine skills related to primary source research, synthesis, writing and editing.
Public Programs is looking for a Summer Camp Intern who fosters a fun and positive learning environment by facilitating friendships and teamwork among campers. Reporting to the Summer Camp Director, the Summer Camp Intern assists with summer camp activities, including outdoor recreation time and after-camp time. The Intern will research, design, and lead outdoor games and team-building activities, plan and teach arts and crafts activities for after-camp attendees, and act as a mentor to camp participants.
An ideal candidate has enthusiasm and experience working with children, preferably in an educational setting; excellent communication, leadership, and teamwork skills; competence in teaching and administrative work; patience, creativity, initiative, and flexibility a must.
Interns must complete a three-point background check in order to participate: PA Criminal Record Check; PA Child Abuse Clearance; and FBI Clearance. Interns will be reimbursed for these clearances.
Preferred availability: June 27-August 19 from 12pm-5pm (note: this internship does not coincide with the Intro to Museum Practice program)
About Penn Museum’s summer camp: Anthropologists in the Making, Penn Museum’s summer day camp designed for children ages 7-13, has been in operation for almost twenty years. Through the scope of Penn Museum’s international collections, campers delight in topics such as mythology, dance, music, art, and customs from both long ago civilizations and modern cultures. Through gallery tours, scavenger hunts, art activities, games, and special guest performances, campers discover the diversity of humankind, past and present. For more information, visit: http://www.penn.museum/programs/kids-and-family/anthropologists-in-the-making-summer-camp
† If all SHIP positions are not filled, this internship will be opened to non-Penn applicants.
How to apply
All applications must be submitted by January 30, 2016. Prior to completing the online application form, you should prepare the following:
- A 400 word maximum essay describing how your skills, interests, and experiences relate to the department (or departments) to which you are applying;
- A resume or curriculum vitae;
- Academic transcripts
All materials, including letters of recommendation, must be submitted by January 30, 2016. Interns are assigned to a department based on their academic background, professional skills, interests, and career goals. Finalists may be contacted for interviews in person or by telephone, and accepted interns will be notified in April 2016.
More information about completing the Intro to Museum Practice Program
- Orientation Monday, June 6th
- June 8th, 2016 – August 3rd
- 8 lectures about the Penn Museum’s collections, exhibitions, programs, research, and methodologies
- 4 discussions on topics relevant to Museum Studies and Cultural Heritage
- 1 Field Trip to an area museum
- 1 Career Panel with Museum curators and staff
- 1 blog entry on the Penn Museum blog
- Presentation of your work at the end of the program
Student Exhibition Internships
The Penn Museum offers a paid undergraduate internship for three interns from the University of Pennsylvania who will work with museum staff to create a small exhibition. Interns will learn first-hand about the curatorial, content development, administrative, and design aspects of staging an exhibition in a large museum. The year-long internship focuses on the planning, development, design, fabrication and installation of a small exhibition featured in the Penn Museum. After the exhibition’s opening, students will implement educational programs and events for the museum's public and academic audiences.
Student Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteers help make the Penn Museum and its programs a success! Volunteer positions at the Museum vary from working in one of the 11 collections areas to helping with craft activities during public programs to promoting the Penn Museum at community events.
Penn Museum has a number of work study positions available to students who qualify. For work-study opportunities, visit Penn's Student Employment Office for more information.
Teen Summer Internships
Academic Engagement Department