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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. 

These opportunities are made possible by a generous grant from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation for summer internships and a generous endowment from Julie and Doug Ostrover for academic year internships.

Summer Internship
Hearst Summer Interns

The Whitney’s summer internship is a full-time, paid, nine-week session primarily for undergraduate students. The program includes training, direct work experience, professional development, and a weekly speaker series.

The 2024 internship will be hybrid, meaning interns will be expected to work onsite a minimum of 3 days per week. The program will begin on Monday, June 10 and end on Friday, August 9, and participants are expected to be available Monday through Friday for nine consecutive weeks, five days per week. Please review the department descriptions and refer to the list on the application—not all departments will be taking interns for the summer.


  • $6,500 stipend for full participation
  • Interns are assigned to a specific museum department for the duration
  • Weekly speaker series featuring curators and other museum professionals
  • Interns are partnered with a mentor
  • Free admission to most New York City museums, regular employee discounts at the Museum restaurants and retail store as well as invitations to exhibition openings


  • Priority consideration is given to rising juniors and seniors at accredited undergraduate programs
  • Students must have completed two years of academic course work by the time the internship program begins. Rising juniors, seniors and graduating seniors will be considered.
  • Certain positions may require graduate-level training and/or professional experience, noted in the department descriptions.

The application window for our 2024 Summer Internship will remain open until March 15 at 5pm. 


Generous support for Hearst Summer Interns is provided by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.

Academic Year Internship
Ostrover Family Academic Year Interns

The Whitney’s Academic Year Internship program offers a semester-long paid internship for undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled in an accredited academic program. The internship is hybrid, with some onsite work. For spring 2024, interns commit between 16–21 hours per week over 10–12 weeks for a total of 200 hours. Interns are assigned to a specific department at the Museum for the duration of the internship. Please review the department descriptions and refer to the list of departments requesting interns on the application tab—not all departments will be taking interns for the current semester.


  • $3,000 stipend (200-hour requirement for the semester)
  • Monthly speaker series featuring museum professionals from across the Whitney
  • Eligibility for course credit


  • Undergraduates and graduates currently enrolled in accredited academic programs are eligible.
  • Applicants must have completed a minimum of one year’s worth of academic coursework. Undergraduate freshmen are not eligible.
  • Certain positions may require graduate-level training and/or professional experience, as noted in the department descriptions.
  • 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.

The application window for the 2024 Spring Academic Year Internship has closed. Please check back later to apply for our 2024 Fall Academic Year Internship. 

Generous support for Ostrover Family Academic Year Interns is provided by Julie and Doug Ostrover.


We offer internships in a wide variety of departments across the Museum.


Advancement is responsible for working strategically to plan, implement, and manage fundraising efforts to support the financial health of the Museum. Building and sustaining relationships with donors and potential donors is at the core of that work. The Department is divided into four areas, each of which often offers internships: a major gifts team that manages the patron group program and acquisition committees and works with individual donors on current and planned giving; a corporate membership and sponsorships team; a foundation and government relations team; and a special events team that also manages the rental program.

Business Systems

Business Systems provides the internal infrastructure to support the broader institutional constituent strategy including both revenue and engagement.  Setting institutional standards for data collection, accessibility, and governance to support institutional and business unit goals and inform decision making process.  


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.


The Whitney's conservation department engages in the preservation and long-term care of works of art in the Museum’s collection. Designed with a multi-faceted approach to conservation in mind, the department embraces innovative approaches to the treatment and technical study of works of contemporary and modern art that includes historical and scientific research, technical examination, and artist interviews.


Curatorial has two primary activities: it oversees and guides the growth, care, and display of the Museum’s permanent collection of over 22,000 works of art, and it organizes and generates exhibitions appropriate to the institution’s mission. Interns participate in the daily work of the department, including collection stewardship, exhibition planning, preparation of catalogues and other publications, acquisitions, research, and administrative tasks. Projects relate to several areas: Chief Curator’s office; the permanent collection; prewar art; contemporary art; drawings and prints; photography; film and video; and performance. Demonstrated interest in art history, previous research experience, and basic knowledge of Microsoft Office are required. Multiple internships available across various curatorial areas.

Digital Content

Digital Content oversees the Museum’s website, video, and social media channels. Applicants will focus on content production. The internship offers hands-on experience researching, creating, and evaluating content.

Director's Office

The Director’s Office Administration Intern operates as part of the Museum’s executive office. The Director’s Office, which includes the Director, Chief Operating Officers, General Counsel, and Trustee Office, supports numerous departments within the Museum, providing management, oversight, and institutional strategic planning.

Finance and Legal 

The Finance and Legal Departments are responsible for across-the-board Museum operations. The Finance Team, led by the Co-Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, manages the museum-wide budget and works across the organization on financial planning and forecasting. The Legal Team, led by the General Counsel, advises the Whitney on a variety of legal issues, including acquisitions, litigation, intellectual property, insurance, deaccessioning and contract negotiation. 


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.

Exhibition Design

Exhibition Design works closely with Curatorial to translate an exhibition’s checklist and narrative into the three-dimensions of the gallery. From concept design through construction and installation, designers coordinate with nearly all other departments of the museum to ensure that artwork and architecture form an impactful experience for the visitor.

Please note: rising 5th year applicants enrolled in a 5 year architecture or related program will also be considered.

Graphic Design

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 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 and provide a link to a portfolio for consideration.

Independent Study Program

The Independent Study Program (ISP) consists of three interrelated parts: the Studio Program, Critical Studies Program, and Curatorial Program. The ISP is located in Roy Lichtenstein’s renovated Greenwich Village studio only a few blocks away from the Whitney. The ISP provides a setting for the program’s twenty-five participants pursuing art practice, curatorial work, art historical scholarship, and critical writing to engage in ongoing discussions and debates that examine the historical, social, and intellectual conditions of artistic production. The intern is involved in the day-to-day administration, assisting the ISP Manager with the biweekly seminars and working with visiting artists and scholars.


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.


The Whitney’s membership offering is designed to engage members at every level and to grow the lifetime value of our audiences. This team serves members through lectures, tours, gallery walks, exhibition openings, and preview days.

Office of People and Culture

The Office of People and Culture is committed to advancing the Whitney’s mission and strategic priorities through the Museum’s talented staff. We will accomplish this by implementing innovative people-focused solutions that foster a culture of productivity, engagement and inclusion to attract, develop, and retain a diverse and skilled workforce.


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

Research Resources

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, Visual Resources, 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.

Summer Application Materials

  • Resume 
  • Essay
    • Write an essay between 500 and 750 words and consider the following:
      • The Whitney collects and presents American art in the broadest context, supporting living artists at critical moments in their careers and educating a diverse public. Submit an essay that reflects upon how the Whitney’s mission connects to your background and life experience, addresses your reasons for applying to the internship, and describes what you hope to gain by this experience.
    • Applicants applying to Research Resource (Library and Archives Internship) are not required to write an essay. 
  • Cover Letter
    • Only for candidates applying to Research Resources (Library and Archives Internship) are required to submit a cover letter.
  • Reference Letters
    • One recommendation letter (educational or professional only).
    • Applicants applying to Research Resources (Library and Archives Internship) do not have to submit a recommendation letter.
  • Portfolio
    • Candidates applying for Exhibitions Design and Graphic Design must submit a link to their portfolio. Graphic Design applicants must also be enrolled in a Graphic Design program.

Academic Year Application Materials

  • Resume 
  • Cover Letter
    • Reflect upon how the Whitney’s mission connects to your background and life experience, address your reasons for applying to the internship program, and describe what you hope to gain by this experience.
  • Portfolio
    • For those applying  for internships in Exhibitions Design and Graphic Design. Graphic Design applicants must also be enrolled in a Graphic Design program.


Are Whitney internships paid positions?
Yes, both the academic year and summer programs offer a stipend. The fall and spring semester internships provide a $3,000 stipend for completing 200 hours over the semester. For the summer internship, the Museum offers a $6,500 stipend for full-time participation over nine weeks.

Do I need to have previous museum experience or a background in Art or Art History to apply?
No. We welcome candidates with a strong academic background and a variety of 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 or unrelated to museums and/or the arts.

What mentorship opportunities does the program include?
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. Both the academic year and summer programs include a speaker series with presentations by Museum professionals.

Do I need to be currently enrolled in school?
Yes, for both the summer and academic year programs, applicants must be enrolled in accredited academic programs.

Are freshmen eligible?
No. Students must have completed two years of academic course work by the time the fall and summer internship programs begin.

Are graduate students eligible?
Yes, the academic year program considers both undergraduate and graduate students for departments throughout the Museum. The summer program is geared towards undergraduates. Research Resources (Library and Archives) accept graduate student applicants. 

Are recent college graduates eligible?
No.  For the academic year program, undergraduates and graduate students must currently be enrolled in school. For the summer program, graduating seniors 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 two departments. If selected for the internship, you will be placed in one department for the duration of the program.

Can I apply for both the academic year and summer programs in the same school year?
Yes, but you can only participate in either the academic year or summer program.

Should applications include portfolios?
Both Exhibition Design and Graphic Design applicants must include links to their portfolios in order to be considered.

Who should I address reference letters to?
Letters should be addressed to the Human Resources Department.  If you cannot attach references to your application, please send to

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.

I’ve submitted my application. What now?
Please refer to “Academic Year Internships” section for information on the fall and spring semester.  For the summer program, the deadline for submissions is in January (see “Summer Internship” section for details), selected applicants will be contacted in March for in-person or virtual interviews. Decisions take place in early April, and the internship begins the first week in June.

Will I be able to get course credit for this internship?
Yes. Interns in either program have the opportunity to earn course credit for their academic institutions.

Will the internships be remote or in-person?
The Whitney will be following a hybrid model, constituting in-person and remote work.

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.