Interning with the New York State Museum

An Internship at the State Museum encourages participants to take an active role through hands-on learning opportunities throughout research and collections, education, public programs and administration offices. Internships exist in a wide variety of specialized departments throughout the museum providing exciting educational opportunities that not only provides personal and professional growth to participants but is a valued resource for the museum itself enlisting talented motivated individuals. Museum internships are unpaid, may be part-time or full-time, and set up to accommodate any semester throughout the year. A typical internship lasts 6-12 weeks, but can be shorter or longer, depending on the school requirements and the organizational needs.  

Internships should be pre-planned well in advance to allow time for the application process, interviews and to complete necessary agency/educational institutional agreements provided by the educational institution.

Intern's Supervisor
Each intern will be assigned a supervisor within their accepted internship program placement.

The Assignment (description of job)
A variety of specialized skills are required to run any museum. While specific projects fluctuate with the institution's needs and priorities, a diverse assortment of opportunities are generally available. Positions are typically project-oriented within a specific department. Examples are noted here of the types of placement opportunities the NYS Museum offers.

Internship Opportunities

museum education program photo

Educational Programs and Planning

Interns work with the museum staff, using museum objects, exhibits, and other resources in preparing informational materials for visitors and staff. Interns will help lead and coordinate activities related to history and natural science.

people designing exhibit

Exhibit Design and Development

Design internships offer students opportunities to hone design and drafting skills all while working alongside professional designers as they plan and create new exhibition spaces.

Graphic Design

The Graphic Design department works with all areas of the Museum to develop materials for exhibitions and programs. Interns design and help produce exhibit panels, vinyl lettering, and educational and promotional materials.

Interns need to be proficient on a Mac in Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop.

chemist in lab

Research & Collections Internships

Research and Collections Care and Management interns work with staff from the collections and research areas directly. They will be involved with the development and implementation of plans for the proper storage, conservation, and exhibition of the items from the Museum's collection. Interns work with staff to improve collection descriptions while having access to original items and the collections.

There are a number of specialized placement options for internships in Anthropology, Archeology, Biology, Geology, or History Departments. Specific tasks in each vary.

Museum front desk

Visitor Services

Interns develop skills and knowledge that involve working on the public floors of the cultural institution. They assist the public with information, assist with school group visits, and perform many tasks necessary for the smooth daily operations of the exhibit floors. Some duties may include: providing information to the public in person and over the phone, orientation of visitors to the museum, providing directions to exhibits and different program areas, and providing coverage in Discovery Place and the Carousel.

For More Information

Contact the Office of Volunteer Services at 518-473-2936.