The Penn Museum offers paid and unpaid summer internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, and recent graduates from any college or university. Please see below for more information about eligibility for funding. Interns participate in a 9-week Museum Practice Program, meeting each week to learn about the Penn Museum’s various departments, collections, exhibitions, programs, and methodologies. The Penn Museum strongly encourages applications from students who are members of groups underrepresented in careers related to museums and anthropology.
Application deadline: Friday, February 8, 2019
How to apply
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 cover letter
- A resume or curriculum vitae
- Transcripts (unofficial are preferred)
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 mid-March 2019.
Enrolled undergraduate and graduate students, and recent graduates from any college or university are eligible to apply for unpaid internships. Unpaid internships have a minimum number of hours of 150 and a maximum number of hours of 300. High-school students are not eligible, and instead should apply to the three-week Teen Summer Internship program. For funded opportunities, please see the eligibility requirements below.
Penn Summer Humanities Internships (SHIP)
Each year the College of Arts and Sciences and Center for Undergraduate Research & Fellowships at Penn fund approximately twenty-five summer research internships as part of a summer institute for University of Pennsylvania students in the humanities and social sciences. The Penn Museum will host 3 paid SHIP positions in summer 2019; eligible Penn students should complete both the Penn Museum internship application and the SHIP application. Paid SHIP interns are required to complete 300 hours for a stipend of $3,500. Students will participate in the Museum’s Summer Internship Program which runs for 9 weeks between early-June and early-August, which count toward SHIP hours. Please check the SHIP website for more details. Applicants who are eligible for a SHIP stipend may apply for any of the listed positions and should select the “SHIP” box when filling out the online application form.
Recognizing the need to increase diversity in museums and provide career-enhancing opportunities for students from underrepresented groups in the museum field, the Penn Museum will provide stipends to support the participation of minority students in its summer internships. Eligible students must be Asian/Asian American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latinx, Black/African American, Native American or Alaska Native, Multiracial or Multi-ethnic. Applicants must be undergraduates enrolled in a full-time course of study; applications are not restricted to Penn students. Interns will be provided with a stipend, transportation, and on-campus housing. Students will participate in the Museum’s Summer Internship Program which runs for 9 weeks between early-June and early-August, which count toward internship hours. Interns are expected to complete 300 hours (35 hours/week) for a stipend of $4,500 ($15/hr). Applicants who are eligible for a Diversity Stipend may apply for any of the listed positions and should select the “Diversity Stipend” box when filling out the online application form.
Additional Financial Support
Applicants are encouraged to inquire with their home universities about summer internship funding opportunities or with granting organizations. Graduate student members of the AIA in the field of archaeology may be eligible for funding through the Elizabeth Bartman Museum Internship scholarship.
The Penn Museum welcomes the opportunity to work cooperatively with schools seeking to grant 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.
Are international students eligible to apply?
Yes, we accept applications from international students enrolled in degree-granting programs. The Penn Museum will work with you on a visa, if necessary, after you are accepted into the program.
Museum Practice Program
- Weekly Lectures
- Collections Tours
- Field Trip to a local museum
- Intern presentations
- The Museum Practice Program runs from June 3rd – August 2nd
- Orientation: Monday, June 3rd
- Lecture series: Tuesday mornings June 4th – July 30th
- Final Presentations: TBD week of June 29th
- Last Day: Friday, August 2nd
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. Interns 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. Interns 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. A successful applicant has 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.
The Penn Museum collections span 11 curatorial sections representing a vast array of material culture from around the world and through time. Projects vary from section to section and year to year, but in general, interns working with collections learn basic collections management skills such as object handling, moving, cataloguing, photography, and collections database use. Collections research projects are assigned on a case-by-case basis, contingent upon applicant skill sets and interests, such as language proficiency, area studies, material studies, and photography, etc. These projects are well suited for interns with a high attention to detail, strong organizational skills, and the ability to work alone or in a pair. These positions may require physical effort such as standing, stooping, kneeling, lifting, and climbing ladders.
The Office of Public Program develops a wide range of programs for all audiences throughout the year, the intern will assistant with the planning and implementation of these programs. Interns wills be supervised by Assistant Director of Public Programs, Tena Thomason. Interns will assist with the summer program “PM Summer Nights” which are held every Wednesday from 5pm to 8pm.
The Babylonian Section of Penn Museum is home to the electronic Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary (ePSD)--a project dedicated to creating a complete dictionary of the Sumerian language, which was used in ancient Iraq from about 3000 BCE to about 100 BCE. The current online version of the dictionary is available at http://psd.museum.upenn.edu, but this will be superseded by a new version which will be part of Oracc, the Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus (http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/). Oracc forms an umbrella for a number of different online projects dedicated to the cuneiform world. The intern will contribute to the natural language processing of the corpus of cuneiform texts. A successful candidate will have some experience of linguistics (at least an introductory linguistics class; an interest in semantics preferable) and who are well-organized, strongly motivated and comfortable working with computers. While some knowledge of Sumerian or Akkadian would be useful, it is neither expected nor necessary.
Development interns will assist with prospect research in support of the Museum’s major gift efforts, while also gaining some experience in the areas of membership, special events, prospect management, and more. The position will include training in Altru, Blackbaud’s latest state-of-the-art industry software, as well as opportunities to assist in the development of new donor programs and funding sources. In addition to learning the daily operations of a development office, the summer intern has the potential to make major contributions to a number of special projects. Possible special projects include: identification, screening, and research of potential donors for the Penn Museum’s major gallery renovation plans; assistance for summer programming and events; database maintenance and clean up; and Membership research and reporting. The summer intern should be an enthusiastic learner, but does not need experience in archaeology or anthropology. A successful candidate will possess strong research and writing skills; experience with, or interest in learning about, databases and data analysis; and the availability to work some evenings and weekends as needed.
Anthropologists in the Making, Penn Museum’s summer day camp is designed for children ages 7-13, and has been in operation for over 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, art activities, games, and special guest performances, campers discover the diversity of humankind, past and present. Summer Camp Interns 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 the camp’s Showcase preparations. The Intern will research, design, and lead art-making activities and act as a mentor to camp participants. She/he will communicate with parents and enforce camper pick-up protocol at the camp’s sign-out table. 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 17-August 16 from 11am-5pm (note: this internship does not fully coincide with the Intro to Museum Practice program).
The Penn Museum’s Learning Programs Department seeks 1-2 interns to assist with their K-12 and Group Sales offerings, which include tours, workshops, and hands-on activities and presentations for schools and adults. Interns would assist in general department upkeep, supply inventory, classroom preparation for programs, organization and maintenance of teaching materials, and general hands-on and organizational support to the department. He/she would particularly assist with Homeschool Days, Teacher Professional Developments, and could assist with larger department initiatives, such as the International Student Reception, our summer Storytime Expeditions reading program, and the Discovering the Museum program for Chinese study-abroad students. Ideal candidates would have familiarity in education in formal and/or informal settings, and interest in object-based learning, and museum studies. He/she would have excellent organizational and communication skills and the ability to work independently, as well as in team settings. Applicants must have availability on most Wednesdays during the internship time.
The Penn Cultural Heritage Center is working on a research project about cultural heritage destruction during conflict and political violence. Although recent examples of cultural heritage destruction are notorious—the National Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992, the Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001, the Timbuktu mausoleums in 2012, the ancient city of Palmyra in 2015, to name only a few—we lack a fundamental understanding about why cultural heritage is targeted. To address this pressing social concern, the University of Pennsylvania Museum's Penn Cultural Heritage Center is seeking interns to collect, analyze, and code reported instances of cultural destruction. This internship is open to anyone, but those with knowledge of Arabic, Spanish, Serbo-Croatian, Macedonian, or Slovenian are especially encouraged to apply.
The Registrar’s Office intern(s) will participate in a digitization project on select registrarial files. These files include loans and acquisitions, which are the core collections activities of the Penn Museum or any other museum. Interns will help digitize the key components of the files and catalogue cards, create records in and link the images to the collections database. The interns will also help resolve some problems through research and communication with pertinent parties. These tasks require candidates who are responsible, willing to work independently with minimal supervision and pay attention to detail. This is a unique opportunity for those who are interested in learning the day-to-day duties of the Registrar’s Office, the major components of Museum’s collections activities or pursuing a Museum collections related career.
The Marketing and Communications Department works to raise public awareness of the Penn Museum, and to promote its exhibitions, special events, research, scholarship, and other endeavors. An intern in our department will assist with social media, photography, and other duties related to public promotion of the Museum and its exhibitions and programs. We are seeking an energetic, organized individual with excellent writing skills who wishes to build on their résumé, and to gain hands-on experience working at a non-profit cultural institution.
Primary duties include: 1) Contribution to the Museum’s social media output (e.g. writing copy for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram; brainstorming ideas for upcoming content; organizing and contributing to short- and long-term content calendars; identifying appropriate tie-ins between trending topics and Museum objects or initiatives; creating content for the Penn Museum blog); 2) Creation of new photos (focusing on special events, galleries, visitors; special projects as needed and occasional (infrequent) evening and weekend assignments required); 3) Editing and organization of existing photo assets; 4) Copy editing and proofreading; 5) Strategic promotion of special events; 6) Research on potential cross-promotional partners and outreach to those partners; and other research projects and duties as assigned.
The Penn Museum’s Group Sales Department seeks an intern to work directly with the Group Sales Manager on data collection and research that will help determine group sales strategy. Projects will include managing a database of prospective customers in accordance with sales and marketing efforts, target and research specific group customer segments, assist with promotional campaigns, and develop innovative strategies to reach targeted museum visitors. Group Sales frequently interfaces with other departments within the museum such as the Learning Programs department, Facility Rentals department, and Academic Engagement department; therefore, an ability to work both independently as well as in a team setting is crucial. Ideal candidates would have a background in marketing and sales, comfortability using databases, and an interest in hospitality. They should have excellent organizational and communication skills and possess the ability to think strategically.
The Academic Engagement department supports instructional use of the Penn Museum’s galleries and collections for university-level classes, student research on the collections, and extra-curricular programming for the Penn university audience. Internships in this department range from collections work with objects used for course objectives and student research, to research and writing on the Museum's own projects and programs, to marketing and event planning for the Penn student audience. Our summer focus will be on class and event planning for our upcoming gallery openings, Africa and Mexico & Central America, which open fall 2019.