Smithsonian Garden Internship Opportunities

An exceptionally well-rounded array of experiences

InternThe Smithsonian Gardens provides an exceptionally well-rounded array of experiences in its intern program thanks to the wide diversity of services it offers to the Smithsonian, the world's largest museum complex. Interns will learn skills in a broad range of horticultural endeavors from SI's expert professional staff and can provide a strong practical background to emerging professionals hoping to enter the public gardening world.


Smithsonian Gardens accepts current and recently graduated undergraduate and graduate students studying horticulture, landscape architecture, museum studies, or other related fields. Selection is based on both an evaluation of the applicant’s application and available positions.


10 to 16 weeks


Limited number of stipends available. Candidates must pay for their own travel, housing, and subsistence during the period of the internship. Steel-toe safety shoes are required for certain projects. The shoes must meet ANSI Safety Standard Z41.1. A Garden Club of America scholarship is available for the Archives of American Gardens internship.

Academic Credit

Interns may arrange for academic credit through their college or university.


Applications for internships should be received no later than the dates listed below. Internships will begin approximately three months after the deadline.

  • Summer Internships: February 1
  • Fall Internships: June 15
  • Winter/Spring Internships: December 1


Requirements for applying to the Smithsonian Garden intern program:

  • Submit an on-line application
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • College transcript(s)
  • Essay describing background, interest in field, career goals and chosen project


Completed application, essay, academic records, and two letters of recommendation should be submitted on-line through at Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System.

How to Apply

To apply, applicants must create an account and submit an application online to the Smithsonian Online Academic Application System (SOLAA) at

1. Once you have created and logged into your SOLAA account click on the link labeled “Add New Application.”

2. The Add New Application screen will appear. There are 2 steps to creating an application:

Step 1 - In the field labeled “Program Type” click on the button labeled “Internship.”  In the field labeled “Office/Museum/Research Center” click the down arrow on the right side of the box and select “Smithsonian Gardens.”   In the field labeled “Select program that you wish to apply for” click on “Smithsonian Gardens Internship Program.”

Step 2 – After reviewing the requirements for the program, click the button labeled “Add New Application” at the bottom of the screen.

3. Next you will see the “Add Application Result” screen. At this point an application has been created and you have the option of filling it out by clicking “Continue Application,” adding a new application by clicking the associated button, or logging off and coming back later to finish the application. If you return to the application, click the “Manage Applications” tab then click on the sub-tab “My Applications.” This will yield a list of all your applications. Select the application you wish to edit then click the Edit button.

Available Internships

Internship opportunities are intended to enrich an intern’s experience by expanding their work skills and understanding of the many integrated programs that support a large and successful public garden operation. Unless otherwise noted allinternships are available for summer, fall, and winter/spring seasons.

Garden Club of America Award

The Garden Club of America (GCA) offers a $2,000 award which supplements the Archives of American Gardens' internship stipend provided by Smithsonian Gardens. However, summer intern applicants must apply for both the Archives of American Gardens' internship and the Garden Club of America, Garden History and Design Scholarship to be considered for a joint stipend awarded by those two organizations.


If you have questions regarding the internship application process, please contact the Intern Coordinator at (202) 633-5840 or e-mail at