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 Summer 2019 internships are now closed. Please check back in June for Fall 2019 applications.

Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted three times a year for internships during the winter/spring, summer, and fall terms.

Nov 15

Deadline for winter/spring term (Jan–May)

Mar 17

Deadline for summer term (May–Aug)

Jul 15

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.

There are three application deadlines per year. 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. To apply, please see further details about these stipends below. Please note that in order to be considered for a stipend, applicants must submit an application for their stipend/s of choice. You may apply for more than one stipend. 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.

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. If you are interested in applying for an internship stipend, you will need to submit an application for each stipend of interest. Please see stipend information below and the stipend application links at the top of the page.

Please note, you may apply to multiple internship positions and use the same letter of recommendation for each position. 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].


  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • One letter of recommendation
  • Writing sample (only for the Curatorial and Development internships)
  • Statement of Purpose (only for stipend applications)

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, and (if applicable) writing sample and statement of purpose.

Only 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.


Stipend-Based Internships

Jimmy Jones Internship
Summer term

The MCA's Jimmy Jones Internship stipend was established to honor the memory of Dr. James E. “Jimmy” Jones, a dedicated member of the MCA’s Board of Trustees from 1978–2006. During his extraordinary life, Dr. Jones was a leader in Chicago’s cultural community, a passionate collector of contemporary art, a Captain in the US Air Force, and an OB/GYN who in the late 1960s became the first African American clinical associate at the University of Chicago Hospital.

Jimmy Jones epitomized the true Renaissance spirit: a humanitarian and man of science, he was keenly interested in the work of contemporary artists and how their practice can be a reflection of and catalyst for social change.

The Jimmy Jones Internship is designed to encourage university students with diverse backgrounds and who require supplementary income to explore art museum careers. Students interested in a curatorial career will receive special consideration. A stipend of $3,200 is available each summer.

Neisser Family Curatorial Internship
Summer, Fall, and Winter/Spring terms

The MCA Chicago is excited to collaborate with Kate Neisser and the Neisser Family Foundation to launch this internship. The Neisser Family Curatorial Internship will serve as an opportunity for college and graduate level students of color to learn and work in a leading, globally focused museum that is invested in their growth and progression. To be considered for this internship, applicants must be applying for an internship in the curatorial department and identify as a person of color. A stipend of $3200 is available each term.

Gary F. Metzner Scholarship
Summer, Fall, and Winter/Spring terms

Intern applicants for any department may apply for the Gary F. Metzner Scholarship. A stipend of $3200 is available each term.

Eisen Family Internship
Summer, Fall, and Winter/Spring terms

Intern applicants for any department may apply for the Eisen Family Internship stipend. A stipend of $3200 is available each term.

Greg Cameron Internship
Winter/Spring term

The MCA's Greg Cameron Internship recognizes the dedication of Greg Cameron, a long-time member of the MCA staff whose leadership and passion set an example for the entire MCA family for nearly 20 years. Now a devoted supporter of the MCA, Cameron’s commitment to enriching the arts in Chicago continues to inspire. Each winter/spring since 2009, the Greg Cameron Intern receives a stipend of $3,200.

Laura K. Martin Internship
Summer term

To be considered for the Laura K. Martin Internship Stipend, applicants must be applying for an internship in the Learning and Public Programs department (Public Programs, Partnerships and Engagement, Interpretive Practices, Family and Youth Programs, School Programs) or the Communications department (Marketing, Media Relations, Social Media). A stipend of $3,200 is available each term.

Nickol and Darrel Hackett Internship Summer term

Intern applicants for any department may apply for the Nickol and Darrel Hackett Internship. A stipend of $3200 is available each term.