Innovative MFA Pathways internship program provides paid opportunities for college students

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, invites college and university students to participate in the life of the Museum through the MFA Pathways internship program. Through semester-long undergraduate-level paid internships in departments across the institution, MFA Pathways interns gain hands-on training in specific museum roles, participate in professional development to learn about a range of museum careers and practices, and build professional networks on which to draw in advancing career aspirations. With a paid program in place, the MFA no longer offers unpaid internships or student volunteer opportunities.

As we amplify our efforts toward becoming a truly inclusive institution, ensuring that diversity and equity are lived values, the MFA actively encourages students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to apply to the program. All participants receive mentoring from staff in their assigned departments and opportunities to engage with informal mentors throughout the Museum.

Review available internships and apply during the application periods on the Museum's job portal. Link will be activated during open application period.

View Internships

Program Dates

Summer 2023 Internships

June 16–September 1, 2023

Fall 2023 Internships

September 15–December 8, 2023
Rolling* application period: July 14–August 18, 2023

Spring 2024 Internships

January 19–April 26, 2024
Rolling* application period: October 27–December 1, 2023

Summer 2024 Internships

June 17–August 23, 2024
Rolling* application period: February 9–March 15, 2024

* Applications are reviewed, interviews are scheduled and conducted, and positions may be filled at any time once the application period begins, so early submissions are strongly encouraged. (Positions will be removed once they are filled.)

Required hours and specific eligibility qualifications are included in each individual description; read each description carefully.

Students may apply to up to two internships per semester; please submit a separate application for each position.

The MFA offers paid experiential learning opportunities for high school students, as well. Please visit Teen Programs to learn more.

Pay Rates

All undergraduate interns are paid $16 per hour; all graduate interns are paid $19 per hour.

Application Procedures

Please read this section carefully as some procedures have recently changed.

To view all open internships, go to our hiring portal. You must apply through this portal and follow all posted directions; no direct e-mails will be accepted.

How to Apply

  1. Combine your cover letter and resume into a single document as a PDF or MS Word document. Documents in formats other than PDF or MS Word will not be accepted.
    • If including letters of recommendation, they must be combined into your single document unless otherwise specified in the internship description.
  2. Upload the single document as your resume through the hiring portal.

Applications not conforming to these guidelines will not be accepted or acknowledged.

Important Information

  • Applicants may apply for up to two internships per season; a separate cover letter/resume document is required for each position.
  • All properly formatted applications will be acknowledged as received within five business days of receipt. Thereafter, only those applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

Application Content

  • The cover letter portion must include the following:
    • the title of the internship for which you are applying
    • why your specific skills/experience/interests qualify you for the internship
    • how the named internship fits into your academic and/or career goals
    • any periods when you are not available for an in-person interview
    • your contact information including e-mail and daytime phone
  • The resume portion should be current and include your contact information.
  • Letters of recommendation are optional unless otherwise specified in the internship description.

Frequently Asked Questions

MFA Pathways internships are available for undergraduate students who have completed their first year of college, and will be enrolled in undergraduate study during the internship period. Some internships may carry additional qualifying criteria: read each description carefully. At this time, we offer only a limited number of graduate level internships that are identified as such in their titles.

Yes. Before applying, you must (1) provide a copy of the internship description to your advisor for approval, and; (2) make all appropriate arrangements with your school to receive credit.

Yes, any student eligible/approved for CPT/OPT work for pay in the US is eligible for the MFA Pathways internships. Applicants should submit a copy of the published description to their visa administrators for approval before applying. Hired interns are required to provide proof of work eligibility at time of orientation. (Note: the MFA does not sponsor visas for internships.)

Applications are reviewed—and hiring decisions are made—on a rolling basis each period. Please see Program Dates for all application periods.

All properly formatted applications are acknowledged by e-mail within five business days of receipt by the MFA. Improperly formatted materials are not acknowledged or considered.

Only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted—initially by e-mail, and if necessary, followed up by phone. (Be sure to include your preferred e-mail address and daytime phone number in your cover letter and resume.) Applicants not selected for an interview will be notified by e-mail as soon as possible once the host department makes that decision.

Internships remain posted until they are filled. Apply as early as possible for full consideration, as interviews may begin as early as applications are received.

MFA Pathways internships require between 10 and 22 hours per week during fall and spring, and up to 35 hours during summer. (These hours include two hours per week for the Museum Pathways and Practices professional development course). Review each description to determine its required time commitment.

All selected interns must attend an orientation session before beginning their internship. Exact dates and times are included in the description; during your interview, you must confirm your availability to attend the orientation. Interns are also required to offer a final presentation at the end of the semester, summarizing their experience. This date is announced during orientation.

The MFA Pathways internship program requires each intern to participate in the Museum Pathways and Practices course, a bi-weekly, two-hour seminar comprised of informal networking and cohort building among interns and a presentation/conversation led by Museum professionals from across the MFA, focusing on their work and the collaborative nature of museum work, regardless of discipline or specialty. Interns are also required to prepare and present a three-minute summary of their internship experience at the end of the semester.

Internship periods are listed in Program Dates. Individual schedules must be confirmed with mentors when accepting the internship offer. Applicants should note any special circumstances that could affect their start/end dates in their cover letter and during their interviews.


The MFA Pathways Internship Program is made possible with generous support from Barbara and Amos Hostetter, Carlotte and Samuel Berk, The Lunder Foundation in honor of Barbara and Theodore Alfond, the Eric & Jane Nord Family Fund, and the Nancy S. Druker Memorial Fund. Additional support is provided by the Black Arts and Artists Curators Circle.