Internships

A bustling gallery

The Whitney offers full-time, paid internships in the summer, and part-time, unpaid internships during the academic year:

The Whitney's intern program offers training and direct experience working in one of New York City’s most exciting museums. If you are a college student interested in learning more about how museums work or are considering a museum career, we encourage you to apply. The Whitney’s internship program seeks talented people of all backgrounds—we value diversity of cultures, races and ethnicities, gender expressions, and abilities.

Interns are placed in departments across the Museum where they assist professional staff, interact with the public, conduct research, provide administrative support, and learn about modern and contemporary American art. Interns also gain valuable training, skills, and work experience as well as an opportunity to build a network of professional contacts. 

Summer Internship

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Apply by February 1 
We are no longer accepting submissions for our summer internship.

Our summer internship is a full-time, paid, nine-week session for undergraduate students (primarily juniors and seniors). It includes training, direct work experience, professional development, and a mentorship program that connects interns with key Whitney staff.


The 2017 summer internship runs from Monday, June 5 through Friday, August 4. Participants are expected to be available Monday through Friday for nine consecutive weeks, five days per week.

Highlights:

  • $5,000 stipend for full participation
  • Weekly speaker series featuring curators and other museum professionals 
  • Field trips to other cultural institutions 
  • Regular employee discounts at the Museum restaurants and retail store, invitations to exhibition openings, and free admission to most New York city museums
  • Interns are assigned to a specific museum department for the duration
  • Interns are required to spend a portion of their time working with Museum visitors

Qualifications:

  • Priority consideration is given to rising juniors and seniors at accredited undergraduate programs.   
  • Certain positions may require graduate-level training and/or professional experience, noted in the department descriptions.

Academic Year Internship

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All spring 2017 positions have been filled. Applications for the fall 2017 semester will open in July.

The Whitney’s academic year interns are undergraduate and graduate students committed to a part-time internship for a semester or full school year. These interns are eligible for credit, and other perks for Museum staff.


During the fall or spring semester (with the option for a full school year), academic year interns are required to commit to a minimum of two days per week. 

Highlights:

  • Interns are eligible for course credit.
  • Interns are assigned to a specific museum department for the duration.
  • There is no stipend, but interns receive regular employee discounts at the Museum restaurants and retail store, invitations to exhibition openings, and free admission to most New York City museums.

Qualifications:

  • Priority is given to rising juniors and seniors at accredited undergraduate programs
  • Certain positions may require graduate-level training and/or professional experience, noted in the department descriptions.
  • Applicants must have completed a minimum of two years of academic course work
  • While a demonstrated interest in art and art history is preferred, students in all majors are encouraged to apply
  • Previous museum experience is not required

 


Departments

We offer internships in a wide variety of departments across the Museum. Applicants considering Advancement, Curatorial, Digital Media, or Education should state their specific areas of interest within these departments.


Administration

A woman looking at a computer screen

Administration encompasses our Executive Office, including the Director, Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel and Trustee Office, and provides management, oversight, and institutional strategic planning. 

Advancement

Overhead shot of guests at museum event

Advancement is the department responsible for fundraising efforts.  Various initiatives include Board development, a major gifts program, planned giving, memberships, business systems, corporate sponsorships, foundation and government grants, and special events.

Communications

Renzo Piano being interviewed by press.

Communications develops comprehensive strategies to maintain and enhance the Whitney's profile as an innovative and influential cultural organization. The team works with critics and the media, planning press events and other activities that bring journalists to the museum.


Curatorial

Grey, salon-style wall, in gallery

Installation view of Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney's Collection (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, April 27, 2016-February 12, 2017). Photograph by Ron Amstutz 

Curatorial oversees and guides the expansion of the Museum's permanent collection, and organizes and generates exhibitions appropriate to the institution's mission. Curatorial areas include:  Chief Curator; Permanent Collection; Prewar Art; Drawings and Prints; Photography; Film and Video; International Initiatives, Performance; Andy Warhol Film Project. Graduate students will be considered on a selected basis based on the requirements of the project.

Digital Media

College-age girl using multimedia guide in gallery

Digital Media oversees all projects related to the Museum’s website and the digital space. Applicants can focus one of two areas: content production or user experience and web development. The content production internship offers hands-on experience handling, developing, and evaluating content. The UX/coding internship can range from creating data visualizations to writing code for our websites. UX/coding interns should provide a code sample with their application.

Education

Girl assisting young boy with cardboard creation

Education provides programming and resources for audiences of all ages to engage with art and artists and enrich their experiences at the Museum. Education internship areas are: School & Educator Programs, Teen Programs, Family Programs, Public Programs & Public Engagement, Interpretation & Research, and Access & Community Programs.


Graphic Design

The Whitney logo on a big screen

Graphic Design develops and maintains the Whitney's brand and graphic identity. Through the various materials that are produced with the institution's graphic language (see design.whitney.org for an overview), this department both communicates the Museum's positioning while continually serving to distinguish the Whitney within the cultural landscape of New York and beyond. Please note: Applicants must be currently enrolled in a Graphic Design program.

Marketing

subway advertisement for Human Interest exhibition

The Marketing department creates and executes efforts that promote the Whitney's programs to the public, while advancing the Museum's broader branding goals. This includes strategizing and implementing marketing campaigns in print, digital spaces, social media, email, and other channels to effectively reach target audiences.

Publications

Books on a shelf

Publications produces exhibition and collection catalogues; edits exhibition graphics, brochures and exhibition-related ephemera; and sets the Museum's editorial style.


Rights & Reproductions

Artworks being installed and photographed

Rights & Reproductions maintains image assets, handles image and Hopper licensing, provides images and permissions for institutional use, and oversees exhibition photography.

Research Resources

Women working with a computer and file folders

Research Resources provides information and access to primary resources relating to the Museum’s history, collections, and programming. Comprised of the Archives, Permanent Collection Documentation Office, Special Collections, and The Frances Mulhall Achilles Library, the department addresses the research needs of Museum staff and qualified members of the scholarly and arts communities. Please note: Preference will be given to applicants enrolled in an MLIS or related program to be considered for work in the Archives or Library.

Theater

The multi-purpose Susan and John Hess Family Theater houses a wide array of performances, exhibitions, educational and family-based programs, film screenings, lectures, and corporate rentals. Production interns will provide technical and administrative support for the theater’s daily operations, working with internal and external stakeholders to mount events. Candidates should have the ability to lift 50 pounds and must be comfortable working at height. Students seeking degrees in theatrical design/production are preferred.


Visitor Experience

The Visitor Experience department is comprised of our Visitor Services, Retail, Security, Theater, Community Affairs, and Volunteer Program teams. The department is responsible for providing every visitor an exceptional onsite experience.


How to Apply

Email the appropriate materials (see below) to hr@whitney.org. Combine all documents into one PDF. 

  • In the subject line, write “[Academic Year/Summer] Internship Application—first name, last name.”
  • PDF should be saved as “First initial. Last name.” 
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Summer Application Materials

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  • Checklist: Please download and complete form.
  • Resume
  • Cover letter stating the department(s) (up to three areas) you are interested in. Describe the experience you bring to these particular areas. Please also describe your potential housing arrangements.
  • Statement of purpose: No more than one page, describing why you are interested in museum or nonprofit work, your reasons for applying to the Whitney, and your goals for the internship.
  • Letter of recommendation from a college professor or former employer (if possible, please send with materials)
  • College transcript: Transcripts can be unofficial, but need to be readable. (do not send separately)
  • Availability for an in-person interview in March.  Skype and phone interviews will be considered for students who are abroad or far from New York.

Academic Year Application Materials

Plus Minus


  • Resume
  • Cover Letter stating the department(s) (up to three areas) you are interested in, the skills you bring, and how you hope to contribute to the Whitney.

FAQ

Do I need to have previous museum experience to apply?
No. We welcome candidates with a strong academic background and any variety of prior professional experience. Candidates should have an interest in learning the inner workings of a mid-sized nonprofit arts organization, and a curiosity about museum work. An internship at the Whitney will prepare you for a wide range of careers, both related and unrelated to museums and/or the arts. 

Do I need to be currently enrolled in school? 
For the summer program, applicants must be enrolled in an accredited undergraduate or graduate program. For the academic year, interns are eligible within one year of graduating.

Are freshman eligible?
No. Students must have completed two years of academic course work.

Are graduate students eligible?  
Yes.  Research Resources (specifically Archives and Library)  give preference to applicants enrolled in an MLIS or related program. Depending on projects, other departments will consider students currently enrolled in graduate programs.

Are recent college graduates eligible? 
For the summer program, graduating seniors are eligible, but preference will be given to rising juniors and seniors. For the academic year program, students who have graduated within the past academic year are eligible.

Can international students apply?
Yes, but you must have valid legal status under applicable U.S. visa regulations. The Museum cannot be a host organization for international students.

Can I apply to more than one department?
Yes! Please specify up to three desired departments in your cover letter, and speak to your interest in each as well as your order of preference. Ultimately, you will be selected to work in one department that we feel best suits your skill set. 

Can I send my materials separately?
Except for professor recommendations, please send your materials in one pdf.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Should applications include portfolios?  
No. Please only include requested materials.

Who should I address reference letters to? 
Letters should be addressed to the HR Department or hr@whitney.org.

What mentorship opportunities does the program include?
All interns work side-by-side with experts in their field at the Museum, and are often invited to observe activities outside of their daily duties for educational purposes.

The summer internship program includes a weekly speaker series with presentations by Museum directors and senior staff, curator-led exhibition tours, and visits to smaller cultural art institutions around New York City.

Are the beginning and end dates of the summer internship program fixed?
Yes, but in some cases interns are permitted to start slightly later due to school schedules. They are required to commit to a total of nine weeks.

Does the Whitney provide housing or transportation?
No. All interns must provide for their own housing and transportation. 

Are Whitney internships paid positions?
Academic year internships are not paid. Summer interns receive a stipend of $5,000. 

I’ve submitted my application. What now?
Academic year intern applicants will be contacted on a rolling basis by individual departments based on need in that area of the Museum. Timelines vary. For the summer internship program, qualified candidates will be contacted in March for in-person or Skype interviews. Decisions take place in early April. Those candidates not selected for first round interviews or who are interviewed, but not initially accepted, will be placed on a waiting list in case last-minute openings occur.

If your question is not answered here, feel free to contact us at hr@whitney.org.


The Whitney Museum of American Art is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Museum welcomes applicants of any age, sex, religion, race, color, creed, national origin, alienage or citizenship, disability, marital status, partnership status, veteran status, gender (including gender identity), sexual orientation, and does not discriminate based on any other factor prohibited by law.  The Museum is dedicated to provide a fair and inclusive workplace and encourages all qualified candidates to apply for vacant positions at all levels.  This description shall not be construed as a contract of any sort for a specific period of employment.