Student Opportunities

Museum Experience: University of Maine Museum of Art Internship

students outside

Department of Art/University of Maine Museum of Art Internship Award


The Department of Art and the University of Maine Museum of Art (UMMA) offer up to two semester-long internships each academic year (one in the fall and another in the spring). Students choose whether to receive a stipend (up to $1,200/semester) or to receive academic credit for the internships (if a student opts for academic credit, he/she must pay applicable tuition). These museum internships are awarded at the Department of Art’s annual award ceremony each April. The internships are competitive and a committee selects interns based on their academic record and a formal application.

The internship program is designed to benefit both the interns and the UMMA. With guidance from faculty and museum professionals, interns gain practical experience and professional training by working on various projects and exhibition programs; in turn, the UMMA benefits from the contributions made by interns. Because the museum is always tending to its permanent collection and current exhibitions, as well as planning or installing future exhibitions, interns have the opportunity to perform and learn from a variety of duties, including collection care, educational programming, and/or exhibition development.


University of Maine Museum of Art

The UMMA’s mission statement reads as follows:

“The University of Maine Museum of Art enriches the cultural life of the citizens of Maine and University community through exhibitions, collections and innovative educational programming designed to promote an understanding of the visual arts with particular emphasis on the modern and contemporary. The Museum shares the mission of the University of Maine to advance research, teaching and educational outreach, and to serve as a center of aesthetic engagement for diverse audiences.”

In 1988, the University Art Collection became the University of Maine Museum of Art. Through the cooperative effort and vision of the City of Bangor and the University of Maine, the museum relocated in December 2002 to downtown Bangor where it has taken on a new role as a regional fine arts center. The Bangor facility, while allowing the museum to showcase a greater proportion of its collection, also enhances the burgeoning arts scene of the region’s largest city. The UMMA remains the only institution owned by the citizens of the State of Maine to house a permanent fine arts collection.

The Museum of Art maintains two distinct collections. The Museum Collection is housed at UMMA’s downtown Bangor location and consists of 3,450 works of art, with an emphasis on American mid-century works on paper. The Museum Collection celebrates the long heritage of Maine art and artists, including works by artists such as Berenice Abbott, Marsden Hartley, Winslow Homer, John Marin, Carl Sprinchorn, and Andrew Wyeth. The Campus Loan Collection consists of over 3,600 works of art, many of which are installed in public spaces throughout the UMaine campus. In addition to making the University’s collection more accessible to the public, the downtown location enables the museum to expand its educational programs beyond the confines of the Orono campus. The UMMA showcases a permanent collection of art and hosts an annual calendar of exhibitions featuring local, national, and international contemporary artists.


Internship Qualifications

Applicants must be students “in good standing” at the University of Maine majoring or minoring in Art Education, Art History, and/or Studio Art. Qualified students will carry a minimum GPA of 3.0. (If your GPA does not meet these standards, please enclose a letter with your application explaining any extenuating circumstances that might have affected it.)

In addition, qualified applicants will demonstrate the following:

  • A desire to further his/her educational and career goals by way of successful completion of an internship at the UMMA
  • Interest in an art museum career or related profession
  • Dedication to museum standards, ethics, and professionalism
  • A commitment to the mission of the University of Maine Museum of Art
  • Excellent writing, research, and oral presentation skills
  • Excellent interpersonal and collaboration skills
  • Professional and personal responsibility, including a willingness to be supervised and instructed by the UMMA staff


Internship Requirements

Whether receiving a stipend or academic credit for the internship, interns are required to work at least 120 hours per semester on museum-related duties. Museum interns have a mandatory research and writing requirement related to the permanent collection and/or changing exhibitions. This may include on-going collections research, as well as the preparation of wall text or educational gallery guides that accompany exhibitions. The precise weekly obligations must be worked out in a contract between the intern and their museum supervisor. During these hours, interns complete the objectives of specific projects and/or daily assignments. Each intern works closely with one or two primary supervisors/mentors but also has an opportunity to meet and work with other museum professionals. As mentioned above, the sorts of duties interns can anticipate working on include collections care, educational programming, and/or exhibition development.


Paid Internships and Internships for Credit

The program offers two kinds of internships—paid internships and internships for course credit. Students cannot use the internship for course credit and be paid for it. Applicants must indicate whether they prefer a paid internship or a credit internship. If a student opts for academic credit, he/she must pay applicable tuition.


Application Process

Please contact the Department of Art office for application materials.



Selection Process

A committee composed of faculty from the Department of Art and staff from the UMMA will review applications for the internship. The committee may request additional information from applicants. The committee will select an intern and then contact the student to confirm their availability. The intern(s) will be announced at the Department’s April awards ceremony and the internship(s) will commence the following academic year.