In addition to collaborating on large-scale capital projects, landscape architect interns assist with designs for horticulture displays and exhibitions for exterior and interior gardens, like SG’s biennial Orchid Exhibit and  recently-launched exhibition series.

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, renderings, and 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.

Interns will have opportunities to attend in behind-the-scenes tours and events organized by the Smithsonian for interns across the institution, as well as garden tours organized by Smithsonian Gardens. They will have the opportunity to meet other interns from across the Smithsonian, as well as 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.


  • 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 Gardens intern program:

  • Submit an online application
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Portfolio (max. 10 pages/5MB)
  • College transcript(s)
  • Essay describing background, interest in field, and career goals


Completed application, essay, academic records, and two letters of recommendation should be submitted online through the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System.