Unique Learning Experiences Await

Internship Programs

Contact Us

Explore the possibilities with an Internship at the Zoo!

The Zoo’s Internship Program offers a unique opportunity for college students (enrolled in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program and at least entering the sophomore level) to become actively involved in the Zoo’s conservation, research, education and recreation efforts. Interns can enhance their knowledge and experience in various administrative, animal care and education roles.

Applications for the Summer Intern Session will be available in mid-January. The following will be needed to apply, application form, cover letter, resume, two letters of recommendation and a current (official or unofficial) transcript.

Interns serve 20-40 hours per week for 12 consecutive weeks. Positions are experience-based and are unpaid. The Zoo can provide information to assist with your housing and transportation search. Participants in the Intern Program must be currently enrolled in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program; we are unable to accept recent graduates.

Intern Application Deadlines

Spring Nov. 10
Summer March 10
Fall July 10

Applications are available approximately two months prior to the deadline listed above. Please complete the appropriate application for the session in which you are interested in participating. Although it is recommended that all materials be emailed, faxed or postal mailed together, letters of recommendation may be sent directly to the Zoo from their authors. Contact information for where to send completed packets and letters of recommendation is listed on the application form.

Internship Application Form

Applications for the Summer Intern Session will be available in mid-January. We appreciate your interest— please check back soon.

Available Opportunities may Include:
  • Conservation Education Programs/Interpretation

    Join our multi-disciplined team of educators, scientists, and conservationists to develop and implement a far-reaching series of programs that will have a measurable, significant and positive impact on wildlife and wild places around the planet, and help transform the City of Indianapolis into a community that embraces environmental stewardship as a core value. Conservation Education Program Interns assist with camps, overnights and variety of other visitor programming. Interns will have opportunities to experience educational programming from a range of viewpoints from development to facilitation.

  • Birds/Penguins Animal Care

    Flights of Fancy, A Brilliance of Birds contains birds from around the world. Interns are given the opportunity to work with a variety of species, including budgies, cockatiels, lorikeets, helmeted guinea fowl, and Chilean and Caribbean Flamingos. Interns in this assignment also spend time working with the three species of penguins found in our Oceans biome.

  • Institutional Advancement

    The Institutional Advancement Department creates and implements the Indianapolis Zoo’s fundraising efforts. This internship position will provide substantial experience in non–profit development and management, grant writing, event planning, researching donor prospects, and solicitation strategizing, in addition to gaining valuable office experience working in one of the top 10 zoos in the nation. Individuals with great attention to detail, previous experience with special events and team players are encouraged to apply.

  • Marine Mammal Animal Care

    Working with one of the most diverse marine mammal collections in the U.S., this internship is ideal for individuals wishing to learn more about proper husbandry for keeping marine mammals and large carnivores in captivity. Interns in these areas may encounter Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, California sea lions and Pacific walrus.

  • Marketing-Sponsorship

    Our corporate partners make many of our activities and events – such as ZooBoo and Christmas at the Zoo – possible. Interns in this position assist our Corporate Sponsorships team to help prospect, secure, implement and manage sponsorships.

  • Oceans Animal Care

    The Zoo’s aquarium houses one of the nation’s largest shark touch tanks! Interns may have the opportunity to work with numerous species including smooth dogfish sharks, a wide variety of reef fish, moray eels and seahorses!

  • Primates Animal Care

    The Indianapolis Zoo is home to the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center, recipient of the AZA’s Exhibit Award for Innovation. This internship offers the opportunity to work side-by-side with the staff who care for the Zoo’s orangutans, chimpanzees, Guinea baboons, white-handed gibbons and long-tailed macaques.

  • Plains Animal Care

    This internship offers a unique experience working side-by-side with keepers. Species Interns will encounter in the Plains area include African lions, cheetahs, Grant’s zebras, greater kudu,  reticulated giraffes and white rhinoceros.

  • Veterinary Hospital Animal Care/Nutrition

    Pre-Veterinary majors have the chance to assist the veterinary hospital keepers in providing care for the hospital patients and quarantine animals. Interns also assist the Commissary Staff in daily diet preparation, delivery and inventory management.

  • Volunteer Management

    Join this fast-paced department and take part in all aspects of volunteer management. Help recruit, select, train, motivate, and supervise our great group of nearly 600 individuals between the ages of 14 and 95. You will gain administrative and organizational skills, learn about non-profit management , and have fun, too!

Preceptorship or Off-Campus Block

Veterinary students will observe and assist the veterinarians with clinical cases, treatments, immobilizations, surgeries, necropsies, and medical record keeping. The student will be required to complete and present a project during the externship. Externships are 40 hours per week for 4-6 weeks as per fourth year vet student requirements. Arrangements for externships must be made far in advance. This opportunity is available year round for enrolled vet students; vet techs do not qualify for the externship.

Apply Now

The Indianapolis Zoo is excited to offer a paid position for college students pursuing a career in animal or horticultural husbandry. The Life Sciences Apprenticeship Program is available to current college seniors and graduate students and will involve working, learning and understanding how the animal or horticultural staff cares for its collection.

Animal Collections Experience

The apprentice will experience working in several animal collections departments. Candidates will get a first-hand look at how Zookeepers care for the Zoo’s exotic animals.

The apprentice will spend time working in the Zoo’s animal commissary department. Candidates may help prepare diets, clean the work environment and make deliveries to various animal departments.

Horticulture Experience

The apprentice will experience working with the Horticulture team throughout the Zoo.

Other Experiences

The apprentice will have the opportunity to meet and talk with the Zoo’s president. Apprentices may shadow in other departments, including Education, Marketing, Guest Services and Safety/Security. Completion of the Life Sciences Apprenticeship is a pre-requisite to participation in the Zoo’s new Life Sciences Training Program (which began in 2019).

Veterinary technician students will observe and assist our vet techs with all aspects of animal diagnostics and treatments, in-house lab work, hospital maintenance and record keeping. Externships are 40 hours per week for 4-6 weeks as per school requirements. Arrangements for externships must be made in advance. This opportunity is available year round for enrolled veterinary technician students.

Apply Now