Gain valuable knowledge, skills and work experience as an intern at the Minnesota Zoo!

The Minnesota Zoo offers unpaid internships in many of its divisions.  A MN Zoo internship provides workplace experience and the opportunity to learn about careers in zoology, education, communication, conservation, and public service.

All interns promote the mission of the MN Zoo: To connect people, animals and the natural world to save wildlife.  College students who are accepted as interns at the Zoo have a unique opportunity to gain practical workplace experience, complete a meaningful independent projected related to their internship placement, and fulfill an academic requirement within their program of study.

Please note: Because the MN Zoo is an agency of the State of Minnesota, all college interns at the Minnesota Zoo MUST be:

  1. Enrolled in an accredited educational institution AND
  2. Completing an internship for academic credit as part of their academic program OR
  3. Completing an internship as a means of fulfilling an academic requirement as part of their academic program

The schedule of internship availability follows that of the post-secondary academic calendar.  Within these parameters, application openings and closing dates, and internship start and end dates may vary.

2019 Internship Periods
Spring Semester Internships, 2019: Between January 28, 2019 and May 3, 2019
Summer Internships, 2019: Between May 13, 2019 and August 26, 2019
Fall Semester Internships, 2019: Between September 9, 2019 and December 13, 2019

Internships at the MN Zoo are 10, 12, or 13 weeks long. See position descriptions for information about the schedule in each work area.

Unpaid Internships, Summer 2019

The Minnesota Zoo will accept applications from undergraduate students for unpaid summer 2019 internships between January 2, 2019 and February 1, 2019.

Summer, 2019 internships will be scheduled between May 20, 2019 and August 30, 2019; internship periods will be 10, 12, or 13 weeks long.

Successful applicants MUST attend a mandatory MN Zoo Orientation and On-boarding meeting during the week before they report for their first day in their assigned work area.

Zoological Graphic Design Internships(unpaid)

Interns in this area work with the marketing team to increase public awareness, generate an understanding of, and excitement for, the Minnesota Zoo and its programs.

Applicants must be students in an accredited post-secondary graphic design program and must be fully competent in using Adobe design software.

Zoological Human Resources Internship (unpaid)

The Minnesota Zoo’s Human Resources team is responsible for supporting about 220 full-time, part-time, and intermittent staff. In the spring and summer, that number grows to between 270 and 300 with the addition of temporary staff.

The Minnesota Zoo employs people from a wide variety of backgrounds. In addition to typical “zoo jobs” such as veterinary technicians, interpretive naturalists, zookeepers, zoologists, and veterinarians, the business end of the Zoo requires people with many different skills, from accountants and marketing staff to carpenters and guest services staff.

Zoological Animal Health Internship: Vet Tech (unpaid)

The Animal Health Department at the Minnesota Zoo is responsible for the care and management of all animals in its collection.  As a vet tech intern, you will have hands-on experience with mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates.

Applicants must be students in an accredited Veterinarian Technician program of study and must have completed required coursework in surgery and anesthesia prior to beginning this internship.

Zoo Keeper Internships: Animal Care (unpaid)

Zoo Keeper Interns learn in depth about the care of animals in the Zoo’s collections.  They prepare diets, maintain sanitary conditions for the animals in the Zoo’s collection, and develop enrichment.  Zoo keeper interns also may interpret some exhibits for the public.

Farmkeeper Internships: Animal Programs (unpaid)

Note:  This internship is available in the summer season ONLY.

Zoo Keeper Internship: Animal Programs, Systems Management

The Minnesota Zoo’s Life Support Systems Department is responsible for maintaining the marine and fresh water systems that support the Zoo’s collection of aquatic life.

Applicants must have experience with aquatic systems management and be pursuing a career in zoo and aquarium or marine ecosystems management.

Interpretive Naturalist Internships: Animal Programs (unpaid)

Interns in interpretive naturalist positions connect guests with the Zoo’s collections to promote its conservation message and help to care for the collections by preparing diets, maintaining sanitary conditions, conducting observational research, and preparing enrichment.

Field Conservation Internship – Turtles: Conservation & Nature (unpaid)

This intern will work primarily with the Zoo’s freshwater turtle conservation initiative, which focuses on improving our understanding of the threats facing Minnesota’s turtles and what strategies may be effective in mitigating these threats.

Interpretive Naturalist Internships: Conservation & Nature (unpaid)

Interns in the K-12 Education program support staff informal education programs delivered at the MN Zoo and research and write curriculum materials for use both in Zoo-based programs and in schools.

Unpaid Internships which may be available in the future
Paid Internship

None at this time

For additional information, please email the MN Zoo Internship and Youth Development Coordinator at [email protected].

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Who is eligible to be a Minnesota Zoo intern?
Q: Are internships available to individuals who have finished their degrees?
Q: Are internships available to individuals who already have completed an internship at the Minnesota Zoo?
Q: What kinds of internships are available at the Minnesota Zoo?
Q: Are veterinarian (DVM) externships available at the Minnesota Zoo?
Q: When are internships available?
Q: How many weeks long is an internship, and how many hours per week do interns work?
Q: What is the weekly and daily schedule for interns?
Q: What do interns do?
Q: Are interns at the Minnesota Zoo paid?
Q: Does the Minnesota Zoo offer housing or relocation support for interns?
Q: How do I apply for an internship at the Minnesota Zoo?
Q: Do I have to apply online through Recruiting Solutions?
Q: What will I need to complete my application through Recruiting Solutions?
Q: Will I need a transcript and references when I apply?
Q: When can I apply for an internship at the Minnesota Zoo?
Q: Does the Minnesota Zoo accept applications for internships at other times of the year?
Q: How can I tell whether an internship is open to applicants?
Q: Can I apply for more than one internship in the same semester?
Q: Do interns at the MN Zoo have to have a TB test done?
Q: Do interns at the MN Zoo have to have had a rabies vaccine?
Q: What if I need help with the application or have questions?
Q: What happens after I submit my application for an internship at the Minnesota Zoo?