Internships offer hands on experience in curatorial, museum, and other research settings that can provide training for disciplinary skills and for future careers. In the context of doctoral study, internships should provide students with meaningful, impactful work that allows them to grow while contributing to the host site. Complementing many outside opportunities, doctoral students in the Department of Art History can apply for the Smart Museum Internship and the Rhoades internship at the Art Institute offering competitive 10-months funding.

Mellon Curatorial Internship at the Smart Museum

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Curatorial Internship is offered annually at the Smart Museum to an advanced graduate student. While providing object-based museum and curatorial experience, the internship is designed to produce substantive research on objects in the collection of the Smart Museum and to further integrate those objects into the academic and intellectual life of the University.  The internship is open to advanced graduate students who are in good standing in their department, have finished their coursework, and ideally are in the late stages of the dissertation. Candidates ideally offer expertise in one of the areas of strength of the Smart’s collection: Asian (all periods), Old Master European (Renaissance–1900), Modern American and European (1850–1960), or Contemporary Art. Applications are announced in the Spring of the preceding academic year. For more information, contact the Associate Director of Academic Initiatives at the Smart Museum of Art.

Rhoades Curatorial Internship

The Rhoades Foundation Curatorial Internship at the Art Institute of Chicago allows the intern to work on substantive ongoing or discrete projects that involve the student in a range of museum work, such as collecting, storing, exhibiting, and/or conserving art. Each year, faculty in the department nominate an advanced graduate student from the Department of Art History to serve as an intern for the following academic year, and the Art Institute determines the museum placement for the selected applicant. The internship is open to PhD students in the Department of Art History who have advanced to ABD status. Applications are typically due in mid-April. This internship is generously funded by an endowment from the Rhoades Foundation.

Higher Education Internship

The Higher Education Internship program (HEI) provides UChicago graduate students an inside look at careers in higher education administration through a paid internship in participating campus-wide offices or units. These internships are based on specific projects that the HEI can complete within the specified term, usually 10-15 hours per week for one academic year (and not less than one quarter). The HEI Program includes a series of monthly workshops where interns from across campus come together to share on-the-job experiences and hone professional skills.

External Opportunities

UChicagoGRAD can help students receive funding for internships that are unpaid. Students who have identified an unpaid internship to pursue should contact UChicagoGRAD to find out if they can work out a paid arrangement. UChicagoGRAD has developed partnerships with museums and other arts institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Musée de Cluny, to offer paid summer Graduate Global Impact Internship for UChicago graduate students.

Chicago art and cultural institutions that offer internships:

Institutions in other U.S. cities: