Landscape Architecture Internship

Available in summer, fall, and winter

LA intern Smithsonian Gardens landscape architecture interns assist the Landscape Architects with planning, design, and construction projects in our Smithsonian Gardens.  In addition to collaboration on large-scale capital projects, landscape architect interns assist with design for horticulture displays and exhibitions for exterior and interior gardens, including our recently launched recurring exhibition series and our biennial Orchid Exhibit.

Interns participate in all aspects of the planning, design, and construction process, from review of master plans, to site visits, detailed exhibit design, preparation of illustrative plans and renderings, preparation of planting plans, product research, construction observation, and meetings with architects, engineers, museum representatives, and approving agencies that give a sense of the breadth and depth of landscape architecture at the Smithsonian.

LA intern Landscape architecture interns also participate in behind-the-scenes tours and events organized by the Smithsonian for interns across the institution, as well as in tours organized by Smithsonian Gardens of gardens across Washington DC and the National Capital area.  Interns have the opportunity to meet other interns from across the Smithsonian, as well as horticulture interns at other public gardens in the National Capital area. 

Desired Qualifications:

  • Landscape Architecture graduate students with at least one year of schooling or undergraduate students with at least three years of schooling.
  • Proficiency in AutoCAD and Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop) required.
  • Proficiency in 3-D modeling programs preferred (SketchUp, Rhino).  Proficiency in hand sketches desired.
  • Self-motivated and willing both to work independently and to collaborate.

Interest in:

  • Working in public gardens.
  • Learning about Landscape Architecture in the public sector.
  • Experiencing a collaborative office environment that includes horticulturists, arborists, entomologists, curators, educators, irrigation technicians, etc.


Requirements for applying to the Smithsonian Garden intern program:

  • Submit an on-line application
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Unofficial College transcript(s)
  • Portfolio (Max. 10 pages and 5MB)
  • Essay describing background, interest in field, career goals and chosen project


Completed application, essay, academic records, and two letters of recommendation should be submitted on-line through at Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System.  


If you have questions regarding the internship application process, please contact the Intern Coordinator at (202) 633-5840 or e-mail at