General Anthropology Internship Opportunities

This list is necessarily not comprehensive but is updated whenever we get new information. Only institutions in the Washington, D.C. area are included. Last revised April 27, 2010.

For general guidance on getting a D.C. internship, check out a Washington Post article, "Homework is key in the world of competitive internships."

The nonprofit group Action without Borders maintains a website, Idealist.org, "where people and organizations can exchange resources and ideas, locate opportunities and supporters, and take steps toward building a world where all people can lead free and dignified lives." There are many opportunities shown for internships and jobs.
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GW has a contractual relationship with the following organizations. Students can easily get Anthropology credit by registering either for Anth 3995 (old 195) or Anth 6230 (old 236). (For more information on the process, click here). Arrangements can sometimes be made to get for-credit internships at other institutions.


Alexandria Archaeology

Part of the Office of Historic Virginia, Alexandria Archaeology manages several museums and conducts excavations.
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Center for Economic Justice

"CEJ provides information, analysis, technical support, networking opportunities, and strategy vehicles to empower, unite, and inform citizens' movements for economic justice," especially in Latin America and Africa.
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National Museum of Health and Medicine

This museum, part of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, is located in Upper Northwest D.C. Internships are available year-round for registered college students.
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Smithsonian Institution

Many students have interned at the Smithsonian, especially in the National Museum of Natural History. For examples of recent internships, click here.
More information on Smithsonian internships in general
More information on the Smithsonian's Anthropology Outreach Program
More information on the Natural History Museum's Research Training Program (in abeyance)


Other Washington Area Institutions

Amazon Alliance

The aim of this group is to "defend the territories and rights of the indigenous and traditional peoples of the nine countries of the Amazon Basin."
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Amnesty International USA

"We are people from across the world standing up for humanity and human rights. Our purpose is to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied." AI-USA has an active internship program.
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Center for Economic and Social Justice

"The Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ) is an ecumenical, non-partisan, non-profit, educational research organization dedicated to a free enterprise approach to economic justice through expanded ownership opportunities."
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Interamerican Development Bank

"Established in 1959, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is today the main source of multilateral financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean." The bank offers paid summer internships to graduate students only.
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National Park Service Historic Preservation Program

"The Historic Preservation Internship Training Program gives undergraduate and graduate students opportunities to undertake short-term research and administrative projects with the National Park Service either during the summer or the school year. The Internship Training Program trains our future historians, archeologists, architects, curators, planners, and archivists by providing the opportunity to work under the direction of experienced professionals in the field of historic preservation."
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Organization of American States

A variety of internships is available at the OAS, which occupies several buildings near the GW campus. Internships are designed for juniors, seniors, and graduate students with good grades.
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Pan American Health Organization

This branch of the World Health Organization accepts interns at both its D.C. headquarters and various overseas locations. Before they apply, prospective interns are urged to decide where in the organization they would like to work and on what sort of project.
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U.S. Department of State

"As an intern, you will have the opportunity to connect with fascinating people and do things that will help make a global difference both domestically and abroad....You'll get a close-up look at the wide variety of positions and responsibilities available at our nation's lead foreign affairs agency."
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World Learning Visitor Exchange Program

This program, formerly known as Delphi International. has as its mission bridging cultures and promoting citizen diplomacy and understanding across nations through the design and delivery of customized adult and student exchanges and observational study tours. Interns work on design, implementation, and monitoring of programs for participants from more than 140 countries visiting the U.S. under grants from the U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program and Office of Citizen Exchanges.
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Congressional Internships

These internships, which generally involve constituency work, must be arranged through your congressman's office. They look great on résumés and graduate school applications. It is worthwhile to sell your anthropological skills and training; most of these internships are awarded to political science majors because anthropology students never think to apply.