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.


Winter/Spring 2019 internship submissions have closed. Check back in February for summer internship openings.

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 15

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.

Although the MCA does not offer paid internships, there are three available stipends: the Jimmy Jones Internship Stipend, offered during the summer term; the Greg Cameron Internship Stipend, offered during the winter/spring term; and the Terry Samala de Guzman and Family Internship Stipend, offered during the fall. (To apply, please see further details about these stipends below.) 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

Calls and emails are not accepted regarding the status of internship applications.

Please note, you may apply to multiple internship positions and use the same letter of recommendation for those positions. For more information about the Internship program and application process, please visit our FAQ page. If you have any difficulty using our online system or you need an accommodation due to a disability, you may contact us at [email protected].

Application Materials:

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • One letter of recommendation
  • Writing sample (only for the Curatorial, Development, and Editorial internships)
  • Work sample (only for the Graphic Design, Digital Media: Video, and Digital Media: Web internships)
  • If applicable, include your school’s requirements for credit with your application.

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 OR work sample.

Only submit your letter of recommendation by mail or email if you do not have it at the time you submit your application. You may send the letter to [email protected] or to:

Human Resources Coordinator
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
220 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

It must be postmarked by the application deadline.

International applicants

International students studying in the United States with an F1 visa are eligible to apply. The F1 student must secure the appropriate authorization from the university they are attending, allowing them to participate in the internship. Such authorization is the responsibility of the prospective intern and must be secured before participating in the internship. The MCA does not consider applications from internship candidates with a J1 visa.

Additional information

Application review may take six to eight weeks after the deadline. Candidates selected for interviews will be notified by email. Due to the high number of internships applications received, the MCA contacts only a small percentage of applicants. Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered.


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.

Terry Samala de Guzman and Family Internship
Fall Term

The MCA's Terry Samala de Guzman and Family Internship stipend was founded by the MCA's Chief Operating Officer Teresa "Terry" de Guzman. The internship is designed to provide a funded internship opportunity to university students who are either immigrants or first-generation Americans. A stipend of $3,000 is available for one intern during the fall term.

From Terry: "I am an immigrant and am a beneficiary of the American people's generosity. As now an American citizen and the parent of first-generation Americans, my hope is that this stipend will extend the American spirit of generosity and our faith in the American ideal that neither race nor place of birth should affect any one's opportunity to succeed. I am an advocate for access, inclusion and equity in our global work place, and it is my strong belief that this internship will help initiate the virtuous cycle of developing a rich pipeline for future staff and leadership."

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.

The MCA will consider all applicants who have been accepted to the program during the winter/spring term regardless of department. Qualified applicants will be asked to write an essay on a topic proposed by the selection committee. Qualified candidates will be notified of the details upon acceptance to the program.

The MCA seeks increased diversity in the MCA Internship Program and provides equal opportunity to its applicants. Qualified candidates will be notified of the details upon acceptance to the program.