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Summer Internship Program

June 5th-August 4th, 2023

Application Deadline Has Passed
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Group photo of the 2023 Summer Interns Cohort.

The Penn Museum offers 300 hour, nine-week paid summer internship opportunities for undergraduates, recent graduates, and graduate students from any college or university.

Internships include two parts: a project-based placement in a museum department and the Museum Practice Program, which includes orientation, weekly lectures, collections tours, and field trips to local museums. The internship concludes with final presentations shared by the interns.

Weekly practice program: Wednesdays 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

On- and off-site excursions: Thursdays 3:00 – 5:00 pm

The Penn Museum strongly encourages applications from students who are members of groups underrepresented in careers related to museums. We particularly encourage applicants from African American, Latinx, Native American, and other underrepresented minorities for positions in collections, conservation, registration, and curation. Frequently cited statistics show that applicants with disabilities, BIPOC candidates, women, and marginalized and/or systemically excluded groups only apply to internships if they feel that they meet 100% of the qualifications. As we work to increase representation in this program and the museum field generally, we encourage you to consider your own strengths and what you might bring to the internship beyond the stated qualifications.

Prior to completing the online application form, you should prepare the following

  • A 500-word maximum essay describing how your skills, interests, and experiences relate to the department (or departments) to which you are applying
  • A cover letter*
  • A resume or curriculum vitae*
  • Transcripts (unofficial are preferred)*
  • 1 letter of recommendation from a current or former college professor, academic advisor, or employer who can speak to your qualifications for this internship. The letter must be emailed by your recommender to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the applicant’s full name in the subject line. Letter can be addressed to the “Intern Hiring Committee.”
  • Optional: a statement (100 words maximum) describing skills not otherwise highlighted in your application*

* Please follow these file naming conventions: Last name, First name_document type. Example: “Doe, John_cover letter.pdf”

Finalists will be contacted for interviews. Offers will be made early April 2023.

All Penn Museum summer interns are paid. If you are selected for an internship, you will receive a Penn Museum Intern Stipend or must show that you have received a comparable allocation from an external funder (see below).

Penn Museum Intern Stipend

Interns are paid $15/hour ($4,500 for 300 hours) to cover the costs of living expenses. Interns receiving this stipend will become employees of the University of Pennsylvania and will need to complete an onboarding process before receiving their first paycheck.

Penn Summer Humanities Internship Program (SHIP) Stipend

Penn students in the College of Arts and Sciences may be eligible for funding through the Summer Humanities Internship Program, offered by the Center for Undergraduate Research & Fellowships. Eligible Penn students should complete both the Penn Museum internship application and the SHIP application. Please check the SHIP website for more details. If you are eligible, please select the “I am SHIP eligible” box when filling out your Penn Museum internship application.


Penn and non-Penn students may be eligible for summer work-study through their home institutions. If you have applied for a summer work-study allocation, please select the “I am work-study eligible” box when filling out the Summer Internship Program application.

*Please not that summer work-study is separate from work-study funding received throughout the academic year. You will be asked to provide an award letter from your home institution by May 1.

Other Funding Opportunities

Applicants are encouraged to explore external funding through their home institutions, professional organizations, and other sources. In particular, there are a number of awards that provide opportunities to students from backgrounds underrepresented in anthropology, archaeology, and museum studies. Combining one of these awards with your Penn Museum internship is a great way to strengthen your resume.

Check with career services or undergraduate research office at your home institution for funding opportunities. For example, Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian women, including gender non-conforming individuals, who are undergraduate or graduate students in the fields of archaeology and museum studies, may be eligible for the SAA’s Bertha Parker Cody Award for Native American Women. Graduate student members of the AIA in the field of archaeology may be eligible for funding through the Elizabeth Bartman Museum Internship scholarship.

Any external funding for your internship must be equal to or greater than $15/hour. If selected for an internship, you must provide an award letter confirming the amount of your award by May 1, or your stipend will be provided by the Penn Museum.

Travel Assistance

Travel assistance may be available for interns who are not local to Philadelphia. Please fill out the request for additional travel funding on the application if you would like to be considered for funding towards the costs of travel to and from Philadelphia at the start and end of your internship.

The Penn Museum welcomes the opportunity to work cooperatively with schools awarding academic credit for internships. Applicants are encouraged to initiate arrangements for credit with their colleges or universities. The Penn Museum does not grant academic credit.

  • COVID-19 vaccination is a requirement for all positions at the University of Pennsylvania. New hires are expected to be fully vaccinated before beginning work at the University. For more information about Penn’s vaccine requirements visit the Penn COVID-19 Response website for the latest information.
  • Current undergraduate and graduate students, as well as recent graduates from any college or university are eligible to apply.
  • Must be either be a U.S. citizen or international student with visa authorization to work for off campus employment (if a non-Penn student).
  • Must be available on Wednesday mornings to attend the weekly Museum Practice Program and Thursday afternoons for weekly Museum Field Trips.
  • High school students are not eligible and instead should apply to the Teen Summer Internship program.

Are international students eligible to apply?

Yes, we accept applications from international students enrolled in degree-granting programs. Non-Penn international students will need CPT or OPT authorization in order to paid by the University of Pennsylvania.

Past Projects

Looking for Teen Opportunities?

The Teen Summer Internship provides high schoolers with a chance to build career skills and gain professional experience with the Museum’s offices, classrooms and galleries.

Learn More