Studio Museum Institute | Frequently Asked Questions

Museum Professionals Seminar FAQ

Who should apply for the Museum Professionals Seminar?     
Applications are welcome from undergraduates, graduate students, and early-career professionals seeking opportunities to broaden their knowledge of the field in the midst of a shifting employment landscape. 

What will I receive upon completion of the Museum Professionals Seminar?
The Museum Professionals Seminar is a professional development program, for which participants will receive a Certificate of Completion for their records. It is not a formal academic course and does not confer a diploma or academic certificate. 

Where will the Museum Professionals Seminar meet?
The seminar will meet via ZOOM, and continuing discussions will take place on Google Classroom. Participants must be able to access Google Classroom and ZOOM for Tuesday evening meetings.

What is the duration of the Museum Professionals Seminar, and when will it occur? 
The Museum Professionals Seminar will meet online once a week for three hours on Tuesday evenings. The program entails five sessions. Participants must attend all five sessions to receive the full stipend. The program includes five formal sessions followed by independent writing that is completed at the participants own discretion. The writing project is co-authored with MPS members and ultimately published on the Studio Museum’s website after completion of the program.

How many applicants will be selected? 
Fifteen applicants will be selected for this program. There will be additional participants from the Studio Museum intern season, all of who will participate equally in the program and create the larger Museum Professionals Seminar cohort

What is the selection process like?
Candidates will be selected based on review of the cover letter and resume. If there are any questions about an application, the Studio Museum will contact the applicant via phone or email. 

What should I address in my cover letter, and how long should it be?  
Cover letters should discuss your reasons for applying to the program, what you hope to achieve or gain from the experience, and why you are interested in learning amongst a group of peers. Please limit your cover letter to one page.

How is the Seminar different from the Internship? 
The programs differ in scope and level of engagement. The Museum Professionals Seminar is a series of discussions and workshops covering a broad range of topics related to working in museums. The Seminar does not include project-based work with museum staff and takes place over five weeks, as opposed to the three- or four-months long Internships.  

Can I apply for the both the Museum Professionals Seminar and Internship Program?
Individuals may apply for both programs; however selected candidates will only be accepted to one program. Participation in the Seminar is included in the Internship program. 

Can I reapply if I am not accepted? 
Each cohort is unique, and opportunities are competitive. Please do not be discouraged if you aren’t accepted. We welcome you to re-apply in the future.

Internships FAQ

How often are internships posted?
Internship cycles are in line with the academic year, and are offered in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. The fall internship application is posted in late July, the application for spring opens in September, and the summer application opens in February. 

I don’t have a lot of professional experience in museums/ My experience is non-traditional the museum field. How can I be a competitive applicant? 
We understand that people come to this work through a variety of interest areas and backgrounds. Competitive applications clearly identify why candidates are interested in the specific internship position to which they are applying, articulate how their experience connects with their area of interest in museums, and make a compelling case for what they might gain and contribute if selected for the internship program. 

Are the internship positions paid?
Yes, all internship positions are paid. Only individuals authorized to work for the Museum in the United States will be accepted into the internship program. The Museum will consider expressions of interest in providing volunteer services to the Museum from non–work authorized individuals.   

Can interns work more hours than stated in the internship description? 
Interns are paid a stipend based on the hours required for the program. Any additional time spent working beyond the required hours is considered voluntary. Intern supervisors take the interns’ time and commitment seriously, and design projects based on how much time interns can reasonably dedicate to working on them.  

Can I get college credit for participating in an internship? 
You may receive credit for participating in the internship, however it is the intern’s responsibility to initiate the process with their academic advisor or professor, and shepherd any required administrative materials between the university and Museum. Please be sure to communicate your interest in receiving internship credits to your supervisor immediately upon acceptance to the program, since many academic programs require supervisor information, evaluations, and/or other materials to award credit.  

I’ve applied and I haven’t heard back. What should I do? 
Only candidates who have been selected for interviews will be contacted directly regarding their application status by the posted notification date, due to the volume of applications we receive each season. If you have not heard back before that date, you have not been considered for a position and we encourage you to consider re-applying in the future. 
May I take vacation during the internship program? 
No, the internship program requires a full commitment, and does not make allowances for vacation. Interns are expected to be present for the duration of the program to work meaningfully toward project goals, and to avoid missing out on a the variety of programs and workshops throughout the course of the program that are designed to enhance interns’ professional development. Submitting an application affirms your availability for the duration of the program as listed. 

For any questions not addressed, please feel free to contact