16 Best High School Internships in NYC in 2023
The internship opportunities for high school students in NYC are plentiful across all five boroughs, even at high-profile and prestigious institutions. You may even earn money!
Internships aren’t just a college application booster—they’re also an important way to learn about a field or area of interest, network with professionals in your prospective industry, meet like-minded people, and gain general career skills.
To help you identify opportunities that might be a good fit for you, we’ve rounded up 16 of the top internships for high school students in New York City.
16 Best High School Internships in NYC
1. Apollo Theater Academy Internship Program
Application deadline: Mid-May 2023
Duration: Technical Stage Production Internship – 6 weeks, Arts Administration Internship – 10 weeks (Both begin in June 2023)
For over a century, the Apollo Theater has been a hub for cultural innovation, particularly within the African American community. If you’re entering your senior year of high school and are interested in pursuing a career in the arts or entertainment, you could become a part of that history!
This is a paid opportunity in which interns learn the technical skills of stage production through close work and training with Apollo employees. Students should apply at the end of 11th grade to participate in the program during the summer before their senior year.
2. Brooklyn Botanic Garden Apprentice Program
Application deadline: Usually by early January
Duration: 9 months with weekly commitments (March to November)
Teenagers in grades 8-11 have the opportunity to learn about urban agriculture and experience the wonders of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden through the nine-month Garden Apprentice Program. If you stick with the program, each year you will move up a tier (you will start in Tier 1 as an 8th or 9th grader, then move up to Tier 2 the next year, and so on).
While 12th graders are not eligible to be first-time applicants, if you’re a rising senior and have reached Tier 4 you are welcome to stay on and continue refining the skills you’ve already learned!
Activities include working with visitors and children; growing, harvesting, and cooking fruits and vegetables; and exploring the plant collections and greenhouses at BBG.
The program runs from March until November, and in December participants receive a nontaxable monetary award based on tier: $600 for Tier 1, $700 for Tier 2, $800 for Tier 3, and $15 per hour worked for Tier 4. Note that there is a $50 fee when you join the program, to pay for uniforms and other equipment, but returning participants do not need to pay again, and need-based scholarships are available.
3. Brooklyn Museum Apprentice Program
Application deadline: TBA in June 2023
Duration: 8 months with weekly commitments (December to August)
Learn about art, history, and museum education at one of the city’s finest museums through this apprenticeship program. You’ll have the opportunity to meet curators, assist with family programs, and run tours and teach camp groups during the summer. First-time apprentices earn $15/hour, and returning apprentices earn $16/hour. You can work up to 180 hours per year, and a MetroCard will also be provided. The program is open to all New York City high school students, ages 14-19.
4. DOROT Teen Internship Program
Application deadline: Rolling basis (no firm deadline)
Duration: Fall and Spring: weekly for a semester, Summer: 10 or 11 weeks
DOROT is dedicated to alleviating social isolation among the elderly, as research shows that loneliness can have severe mental and physical health consequences. High schoolers can intern at the organization during the spring/fall or summer. Program activities include virtual conversations about a wide range of topics, home visits, creative activities, and tech assistance.
Students in grades 9-12 can participate in the spring/fall program, while for the summer program you must have finished at least your freshman year of high school (so you unfortunately can’t apply for the summer after 8th grade). There is no fee associated with the program.
5. Futures and Options Internship Program
Application deadline: January 27, 2023 (letter of recommendation deadline: Feb. 10, 2023)
Duration: Fall: 15 weeks from October to January, Spring: 15 weeks from February to June, Summer: 6 weeks July to mid-August
Any high school student living in one of the five boroughs of New York City can apply for the opportunity to partner with a range of business partners. Pairings will be made based on your own skills and interests, but all program participants will receive training in universal skills like communicating clearly, giving effective presentations, and navigating workplace etiquette.
After-school interns are expected to work 10-15 hours/week, and summer interns are required to work 20-35 hours/week during the summer. To be eligible, you must be 16 or older, a current 11th- or 12th-grade student living in the city, and you must finish school by 2:30pm so you can arrive for work on time.
6. Memorial Sloan Kettering Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program
Application deadline: February 10, 2023 (for students and reference letters)
Duration: 8 weeks (June 28 – August 23, 2023)
Interested in working in biomedical sciences? Memorial Sloan Kettering’s HOPP gives you a taste of what a career in the field is really like. You’ll work with a mentor who will act as a supervisor to help you develop your research skills. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to complete an independent research project that aligns with your mentor’s work. Outside of the lab, you’ll be able to participate in activities such as tours, luncheons, and team-building exercises.
To participate, you must be in at least 9th grade, and eligible to work in the United States. This is also a paid opportunity—participants will receive a stipend.
7. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Summer High School Internships
Application deadline: around March annually
Duration: 6 weeks (late June to mid-August)
High school students who are interested in art and art history, and who live in or attend school in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut can apply to participate in this program during the summer before either their junior or senior year. Interns will work closely with museum professionals who have not only expertise in the arts, but also universal skills such as marketing and social media management.
After the program, interns receive a stipend in accordance with New York’s minimum wage law. The Met is also committed to making this program accessible to all qualified applicants—members of historically underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply, and if you need any accommodations or would prefer an alternative application format, you can contact the program via email.
8. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Internships
Application deadline: variable year round
Duration: varies depending on particular internship
NASA offers a variety of internships for high school students across four campuses, including New York City’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Interns can participate in either research or experiential learning while working with a mentor at the NASA site. Participants must be at least 16 and a current sophomore, junior, or senior with at least a 3.0 GPA. NASA internships are paid, and are available during the fall, spring, and summer.
9. Ladders for Leaders
Application deadline: annually around late February
Duration: varies depending on particular internship
Ladders for Leaders is administered by the New York Department of Youth & Community Development, which is dedicated to supporting New York City communities and alleviating the effects of poverty. The program allows high school and college students between the ages of 16 and 21 to complete paid internships (salaries vary, but you will be paid at least the New York State minimum wage) with a wide range of organizations.
Examples of potential employers include Bank of America, the Museum of the Moving Image, LinkedIn, Morgan Stanley, and Boston Consulting Group. In your application, you will have the opportunity to select which organizations you might be interested in working with.
Participants must be high school or college students who are permanent residents of New York City. They must be able to legally work in the city, need to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA, and must have prior volunteer or paid work experience.
10. Manhattan District Attorney’s Office High School Internship Program
Application deadline: usually around mid-March
Duration: 4 weeks — Session 1: 4 weeks of July, Session 2: 4 weeks of August
Program participants learn about the criminal justice system from the inside by engaging in a wide range of workshops and discussions with staff at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. To be eligible, you must live in or attend school in Manhattan and must be a current high school sophomore, junior, or senior at the time of submitting the application (applications are due in March, while the program runs in July and August).
11. New-York Historical Society Student Historian Internship Program
Application deadline: TBA in February 2023
Duration: details to be announced in February
If you’re a history buff, this may be the program for you! You’ll have the opportunity to conduct your own research on a topic that is important to you, and in the process you’ll work with historian mentors, visit history archives around the city, lead gallery tours, and produce your own digital projects.
Applicants must be entering grade 10, 11, or 12, live in and attend school in one of the five boroughs of New York City, and be able to legally work in the city. While this opportunity is unpaid for most participants, some interns with demonstrated financial need will be offered a stipend.
12. The Ranger Conservation Corps Internship
Application deadline: Registration on a rolling basis year round
Duration: 8 weeks (with weekly meetings on a school day after school for 2–2.5 hours)
This internship is a great opportunity to learn about the natural world and environmental issues. You’ll work with Urban Park Rangers to complete environmental restoration projects across New York City’s most famous parks. You may also have the chance to go on field trips centered around activities like camping and canoeing.
Participants must commit to one, 2–2.5-hour session per week for 8 weeks in either the fall or spring. The Park Rangers will work with you to make sure your work schedule and location are compatible with your other commitments.
13. Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program
Application deadline: January 29, 2023
Duration: 4 months (April to August, more details available on request)
This program pairs diverse students from New York City’s public schools with employers in the legal field. If you think you may one day be interested in law school, this could be a phenomenal opportunity for you to start learning about what a career in law looks like.
The tasks you complete during your internship will vary, but will likely include administrative responsibilities such as answering phone calls, filing paperwork, and assisting paralegals. Potential employers include Columbia Law School, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, and Sullivan & Cromwell.
In order to apply, you must live in one of the five boroughs of New York City, and attend one of the city’s public schools. All interns will be paid at least minimum wage ($15 an hour), but in the past some have earned up to $21 an hour.
14. Zuckerman Institute Brain Research Apprenticeships in New York at Columbia University (BRAINYAC)
Application deadline: TBA
If this program’s name seems like a mouthful to tell your friends at school, don’t worry—you can call it BRAINYAC for short. Participants have the rare opportunity to work on research in a university lab as high schoolers, and as a result they come away with a stronger understanding of how scientific discovery happens. In order to apply, you must be in 10th or 11th grade and must be nominated by one of the program’s partners—S-PREP, Lang Youth Medical, Double Discovery Center, Columbia Secondary School and BioBus (a list of the individual partner links can be found at the website linked above).
15. NYC Parks Internships
Application deadline: Rolling basis (no firm deadline)
Duration: variable (depending on which internship you choose)
NYC Parks internships are perfect for those who are passionate about the environment and want to gain experience in the public sector. A variety of different internships are available, and your responsibilities will depend on which one you apply for. You could be coordinating meetings and events as a Benefits Administrative Intern, or you could be tagging fish and turtles as a Habitat Connectivity in Saltmarshes Intern!
16. The Science Research Mentoring Program (SRMP) at the American Museum of Natural History
Application deadline: March 5, 2023
Duration: One year—2 afternoons a week after school, minimum of 2 hours per session (August 2023 – June 2024)
The American Museum of Natural History is one of the most iconic and fascinating places in New York City. Its Science Research Mentoring Program is an amazing opportunity for NYC high school students to conduct a year-long research project with Museum scientists.
Students in SRMP get paid to learn how scientific research is conducted. Depending on the project, students will learn a variety of skills, like working with DNA in the lab, analyzing data from space based telescopes, reading scientific articles, and learning to code and analyze data in Python, R, and other programming languages.
To apply, you must be in the 10th or 11th grade and must be passing your classes for the last three semesters. There is a full list of criteria available on the website linked above.
How Do Internships Affect College Admissions?
Participating in internships can influence your chances at college admission, but this depends on many factors, including the scope of the internship, its prestige, your individual role and performance, the institution’s connections to or sponsorships by certain colleges, and even how much weight a college places on extracurricular activities in general.
There are four tiers of extracurricular activities that colleges think about when reviewing applicants’ activities. Selective, competitive, and prestigious activities are often found in the top tiers, Tier 1 and Tier 2. Tier 1 includes things such as being a highly recruited basketball player or an award-winning national science fair competitor. Tier 2 is similar, but is usually reserved for activities that are more common than those in Tier 1. Tiers 3 and 4 are reserved for more common extracurricular achievements, such as holding school leadership positions or being a member of a debate team.
A prestigious, selective program such as the one offered by the Zuckerman Institute at Columbia University, for example, may be considered a Tier 1 program by many other colleges’ neuroscience and psychology departments.
Do you want to get a sense of how the internship you participated in might change your admissions chances at your dream college? CollegeVine has created a free chancing calculator to estimate your odds of getting into hundreds of different colleges and universities! It uses a multitude of factors such as your high school grades, standardized test scores, and extracurricular activities, while also providing feedback on how you can improve your odds.