Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the American Sailor

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Summer 2021 application period is now closed.

The National Museum of the American Sailor (NMAS) offers a variety of internships for students looking to gain professional museum experience. The internship program at NMAS allows interns with numerous interests, strengths, and goals to gain practical, hands-on experience in the museum department of their choice. The museum is currently accepting applications for the internships listed below. For opportunities in other departments, please contact

About the National Museum of the American Sailor

As an official department of the Navy Museum under the Naval History and Heritage Command, the National Museum of the American Sailor (NMAS)’s mission is to collect, preserve, and interpret the history of the United States Navy’s Enlisted Sailor for the benefit of the U.S. Navy and the people of the United States. NMAS offers permanent exhibits showcasing the Enlisted Sailor through time, a rotating gallery that explores unique aspects of Navy history, a rich collection of over 2,000 artifacts, and a diverse menu of educational programs for visitors of all ages. Annually, NMAS welcomes 50,000 visitors.

Eligibility: Registered students of colleges or universities are eligible for this program.

Academic Credit: The National Museum of the American Sailor does not award college credit, but many U.S. colleges and universities will recognize academic work performed while interning at the museum. Contact your academic advisor, school's registrar, or career planning office for more information on how to receive credit.

Location: All internships are conducted at the National Museum of the American Sailor. The National Museum of the American Sailor is located at the U.S. Navy’s historic Naval Station Great Lakes about an hour’s drive from downtown Chicago and Milwaukee, about 10 minutes north of Lake Forest, Illinois. The museum is a ten-minute drive east of I-94 Exit 14 and is accessible from the Metra – Union Pacific North railroad line’s Great Lakes station with a 10-minute walk.

Duration: There is no set length for an internship. All interns, however, are required to complete a minimum of 160 hours on mutually agreeable weekdays between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM. Some Saturday hours may be available. The following available internships are scheduled for Summer 2021.

Available Internships

Colonial Dames Scholar

Position Overview

The Colonial Dames Scholar has two colonial-era projects for summer 2021. The first is developing a virtual tour of the museum's Sails Unfurled exhibit. The second project is researching and developing a Revolutionary War Sea Chest, for inclusion in the museum’s new Sea Chest program. This intern also assists with museum education events, as needed.

Position Responsibilities

  • Research the U.S. Navy’s role in the Age of Sail era
  • Conduct a virtual tour of Sails Unfurled
  • Identify relevant reproduction or education collection objects for use in the sea chest
  • Write lesson plans and recommended activities for inclusion in the sea chest
  • Conduct education programs, as needed
  • Provide support for large museum education events


  • Excellent written communication skills
  • Experience writing lesson plans
  • Experience in delivering museum education programs
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Basic computer skills
  • Interest in the Revolutionary era and a potential career in the museum field

A stipend of $1,000 is generously provided by the Colonial Dames of America, Chapter XIV Chicago.


Collections Internship

Position Overview

The Collections Intern assists with routine accessioning/donation, cataloging, preservation, and storage-related issues related to the museum's artifact and archival collections. The intern may assist the curatorial team with collections-based tasks for the museum's upcoming Age of Steel exhibit.

Position Responsibilities

  • Catalog artifacts into catalog system based on established procedures
  • Physically number items according to museum best practices
  • Photograph and/or scan items
  • Clean artifacts and prepare for storage according to best practices
  • Assist staff with donor questions and paperwork


  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Collections handling experience a plus
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Basic computer skills
  • Interest in naval history and a potential career in the museum field

A stipend of $1,000 is generously provided by the National Museum of the American Sailor Foundation.

How to Apply

To apply for an internship, please submit the following information:

  • Internship Application Form
  • Academic transcripts (unofficial are acceptable)
  • A resume outlining your educational, professional, and volunteer experiences
  • A one-page personal statement describing how an internship at the National Museum of the American Sailor will advance your academic/career goals
  • One letter of recommendation
  • A writing sample of not less than 1,000 words


Applications currently being accepted. 

Please submit completed application materials (via mail or electronically) to the following:

ATTN: Internship Coordinator
National Museum of the American Sailor
2531 Sheridan Road
Great Lakes, IL 60088



Questions: If you have any questions about the internship application process, please contact the National Museum of the American Sailor at 847-688-3154 or

Published: Tue May 18 09:28:46 EDT 2021