How To Get An Internship At NASA

How-To-Get-An-Internship-At-NASA

We’ve all once thought how fantastic it would be to be an astronaut or work with rockets and spaceships. It is every child’s dream at some point to explore space, but how would you actually go about that dream and make it come true?

NASA has an amazing internship program that allows you to build experience and connections in the space field, but there are a lot of things you need to know before you apply for an internship at NASA and a few parameters that you need to fit in with before you get the internship. 

Each year, NASA looks for new members of their Artemis Generation that can bring their ideas and talents to NASA through the internship program.

The most exciting thing about an internship at NASA is that you will actually contribute directly to NASA missions, such as the Mars Exploration program and the Artemis Program.

This article will explore all of the parameters you need to fill to get an internship at NASA and reveal some tips to being the ideal candidate for a NASA internship. 

What Qualifications Do I Need For A NASA Internship?

You don’t need any prior experience to gain a NASA internship, although a little prior experience in any professional field would not hurt your application chances. There are only four requirements that you need to meet if you want to become a NASA intern. 

  • You have to be a U.S. Citizen and have proof of your U.S. citizenship.
  • You cannot apply to a NASA internship if you are under the age of 16, there are no exceptions to this rule.
  • You must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • You must be a full-time student, this can be high school through to graduate. 

You can upload your resume while filling out the application but it isn’t required, although we do recommend it as having a professional resume will boost your chances of gaining an internship. If all of these apply to you, you can apply to a NASA internship at intern.nasa.gov!

How Do I Boost My Chances Of Getting A NASA Internship?

If all of the parameters apply to you and you want to apply for a NASA internship, then there are some ways that you can stand out from the pack and really solidify your chances at being the one to get the internship, here are a few. 

Do Your Research

If you’re applying to a NASA internship then you probably know quite a lot about NASA, to begin with, but you can never know enough. Learn and research as much as is possible about NASA, its projects, history, missions, etc.

Take the time to research the projects you are most interested in being a part of, and make sure to research exactly what NASA center you are applying to.

If you are given the opportunity to interview for a role, ask questions about the projects, your knowledge will shine through and make you a stand-out candidate. 

Get Some Experience

You don’t need any professional experience to apply for a NASA internship and some NASA interns will not have any work experience at all. However, having experience in any professional field may help your chances when applying for an internship at NASA.

You can go to your school’s career center or even search for internships online, they don’t have to be related to NASA in any way, just showing that you have the capacity to perform an internship alongside your studies will give a huge boost to your application.

You can also gain experience through working on research or volunteer projects that aren’t professional internships or part-time employment, showing that you can focus on studies and additional work is all you need to do. 

Of course, not all experience will come from jobs, internships, or even volunteering. You can also look for clubs and organizations to join at your school.

A lot of schools will have specific clubs and organizations that allow you to get extra-curricular experience in a subject of your choosing, so you can learn more about that subject and then more about the career you want to pursue.

You can also look for suitable projects outside of your school, there are constantly project opportunities available at NASA’s Artemis Student Challenges website, these will allow you to get a feel of doing work for NASA while gaining valuable experience. 

Seek A Mentor

How To Get An Internship At NASA

When you join NASA as an intern, you will be paired with a mentor for the mentor’s project, so having a prior understanding of a mentor relationship could really help your chances when applying for a NASA internship.

A mentor in the industry that you want to be a part of would be fantastic for providing job-specific knowledge and guidance, however, any mentor in any professional form will do just fine as it is the relationship you want to get experience in.

Do not be afraid to reach out and ask people for mentorship, you may be surprised at how many will want to help. 

Networking

Any internship is about two things, gaining experience in a certain field, and gaining connections in a certain field.

You can do the latter before you even apply for an internship program. Reach out to people in the NASA field and ask them for advice, open up a dialogue with them and have a conversation about their work, ask them about their expertise.

A great place to start would be reaching out to alumni in your school that has gone on to work in a science field, therefore you have something in common and can start a conversation easily.

People love to talk about things that they are passionate about and have expertise in and you could even make professional relationships at NASA before you even start an internship. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I Get Paid For An Internship At NASA?

Most of the internships are unpaid to start with as they are made to run alongside full-time study. However, the majority of NASA interns will receive a stipend at the end of their internship, depending on the length of their internship and the type of internship.

Will I Get Housed With An Internship At NASA?

With NASA internships, you are responsible for your own housing throughout the internship, this will include both looking for housing and paying for said housing. You can contact your center for help with finding housing, although it is not their responsibility. 

Final Thoughts

An internship at NASA is a dream come true for some people, and that dream is definitely in reach. There are many ways that you can help your chances during the application process but the most important thing you can do is keep trying.

NASA will get tens of thousands of applicants each year so do not be surprised if you don’t get the internship on the first go, this doesn’t mean they don’t want you, try again and again, making sure that you are getting the relevant experience and keeping up to date with everything going on at NASA. 

Jamie Willis