Frequently Asked Questions: Internships

The National Gallery of Art offers assistance and information to visitors, answering a range of questions about the permanent collections, special exhibitions, Gallery programs, and activities.

If you have a question, please read through the list of commonly asked questions. If your question is not addressed by the list, please e-mail it to us by clicking on "I still have a question." We will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you.

1. Are non-U.S. citizens eligible to apply for internships at the National Gallery?

Non-U.S. citizens are welcome to apply for all of our internships. If you are accepted into a program, the Gallery will assist you with the required visa paperwork. U.S. State Department policy varies depending on your country of origin. For questions regarding visa eligibility, contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. Note that the process of acquiring a J-1 visa takes approximately six to eight weeks.

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2. If I apply for more than one internship program, do I need to send separate applications?

Yes. Please fill out a separate application form for each internship program to which you are applying.

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3. If I do not have a bachelor's degree, may I still apply?

No. The minimum requirement is a bachelor's degree, with preference given to graduate students, but please keep us in mind for the future.

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4. Is the deadline for applications "received by" or "postmarked by"?

Applications must be received by the deadline. We regret that applications received after that date will not be accepted.

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5. I need to send my application via an express delivery service (such as Federal Express). What mailing address do I use?

All mail, including applications sent by United States Postal Service, Federal Express, and United Parcel Service, must be sent to the following mailing address:

Department of Academic Programs
Division of Education
2000B South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
Phone: (202) 842-6257

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6. May I deliver my application in person?

You may leave your completed application with the security officer at the Study Center in the East Building of the National Gallery of Art. Please ask the security officer to notify the department of academic programs that your application has been delivered.

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7. If my application advances to the second round of consideration, how will I be notified?

You will be notified via e-mail. If you do not receive an e-mail, your application did not advance to the second round of consideration.

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8. When and how should my references send their recommendations?

For paid internships: If your application advances to the second round, you will be notified and asked to contact the recommenders listed on the application form.  Your recommenders should send letters directly to the Department of Academic Programs; the e-mail address is intern@nga.gov. Reference letters (as PDF or Word document) should be included as attachments.

For unpaid internships: Please send three letters of recommendation with your application packet. For more information, please visit the unpaid internship page.

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9. Do you offer housing?

Neither paid nor unpaid internships at the National Gallery of Art offer housing. It is the responsibility of the intern to find accommodations during the term of the internship. However, there are plenty of options for long- and short-term housing in the Washington metro area, and previous interns have had little difficulty finding affordable accommodations.

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10. What is the weekly seminar?

The museum seminar introduces the interns to the staff, departments, programs, and functions of the Gallery. Seminar speakers include curators, event planners, conservators, and representatives from the personnel office and office of protection services, among others. Besides learning about how the Gallery functions as a whole, the weekly seminar allows interns to connect with one another and discuss their experiences and current projects in a collegial atmosphere.

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11. What is the difference between unpaid internships and research assistantships?

Unpaid internships at the Gallery are similar to the graduate and summer internships: candidates contribute to ongoing Gallery projects and programs, are supervised by a curator or head of a department, and are invited to participate in the seminars (see #10, above).

Research assistantships are geared toward advanced graduate students in art history and concentrate on a specific project relating to an exhibition or the permanent collection under the supervision of a Gallery curator. Research assistants do not attend the seminars. Research assistants do not attend the museum seminars.

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12. Can I apply to the internship programs through external Web sites?

No. Although internships at the National Gallery of Art are advertised on external Web sites, we do not accept applications in the online format used by other organizations. To complete the internship application, applicants must follow the procedures listed on the Gallery's internship program Web page.

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If you have a question pertaining to one of the topics below, please click on the specific link to see our listings of frequently asked questions. If you have a question or comment on other topics, please see our Contact Us page for an appropriate e-mail address or phone number. We will get back to you as soon as possible.