MCA internships provide valuable opportunities to learn how nonprofits operate in the company of like-minded young professionals. Many of our former interns go on to careers in museums and other cultural organizations. On occasion, they even join the MCA staff.


Applications for Fall 2019 are now closed. Please check back in January for Summer 2020 applications.

Application Deadlines

Mar 17

Deadline for summer term (May–Aug)

Aug 11

Deadline for fall term (Sep–Dec)



Interns at the MCA play an integral role in the growth and success of our programs. The MCA internship program welcomes undergraduates, recent graduates, and graduate students who are interested in gaining a breadth of professional experiences in a not-for-profit museum.

All MCA departments offer opportunities for hands-on learning. Internships require a minimum commitment of 16 hours per week for three months. In addition to completing a specific target project and daily assignments, interns also participate in departmental meetings, special events, and various educational programs, as well as attend staff lectures.

To increase diversity in professions related to museums and the arts, the MCA recruits and encourages inquiries from the broadest possible pool of applicants. The MCA guarantees equal consideration to persons of all backgrounds and identities. We strongly encourage applications from people of color and underrepresented groups.

Although the MCA does not offer paid internships, there are several available stipends. No additional application materials are required to apply for stipends; all completed applications will be considered. Applicants who are selected for a stipend will be notified during the hiring process. Please note, if you are applying for the Neisser Curatorial Internship, please submit your materials to that specific link. Students interested in cooperative education or academic credit should contact their college placement office or counselor for more information.

Benefits of being an MCA intern include: an intern card providing reduced or free admission to more than 3,000 member museums across the nation for the length of your internship; curator-led tours of current MCA exhibitions; discounts at the MCA Box Office to talks and performances; discounts in the award-winning MCA Store; and opportunities to meet with museum professionals in nearly every department of the museum.

Featured image

Two people sit at a table, smiling up at nearby visitors.
Interns welcome the press for a preview of Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Application Process

Please read all application directions carefully.


  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • One letter of recommendation
    You may use the same letter of recommendation for each position, if applying for more than one internship. Submit your letter of recommendation by email if you do not have it at the time you submit your application. You may send the letter to [email protected]. If you are emailing a recommendation letter, the body of the email should include the applicant’s name, chosen department, and the recommender’s name.
  • Essay
    This essay should be no longer than 500 words. Please answer the following question in your essay: What is the role of museums in today's society?
  • Writing sample
    Required only for the Neisser Curatorial and Development internships.

Please submit only your resume in the "Resume" section and submit the following documents as one single document (PDF, .doc or .docx) in the "Add your cover letter" section: cover letter, letter of recommendation, essay, and (if applicable) writing sample.

For more information about the internship program and application process, please visit our FAQ page. If you have any difficulty using our online system, you need an accommodation due to a disability, or have any questions, you may contact us at [email protected].



Summer 2019

Generous support for summer 2019 internship stipends is provided by Zell Family Foundation; Gary Metzner and Scott Johnson; Neisser Family Foundation; Lois and Steve Eisen and The Eisen Family Foundation; Laura K. Martin; Sylvia Neil and Daniel Fischel; and Nickol and Darrel Hackett.

Fall 2019

Generous support for fall 2019 internship stipends is provided by Zell Family Foundation; Gary Metzner and Scott Johnson; Neisser Family Foundation; Lois and Steve Eisen and The Eisen Family Foundation; Laura K. Martin; and Sylvia Neil and Daniel Fischel.