NASA Internship: Paid Hands-on Experience for STEM Students

Last Updated on May 25, 2023

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NASA Internships are designed to provide hands-on training experiences to high school, undergraduate and graduate students. Students who get into these training programs are given the opportunities to do research, develop projects and learn more about operations, side-by-side NASA career professionals. There are also non-technical internships, where the students are given administrative duties in a NASA facility. These programs not only educate the participants, but also provide them with paid opportunities.

NASA mentors to interns can be NASA personnel, contractors or faculty members who structure activities that are relevant to NASA's missions and objectives.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Must be enrolled full-time in a B.S. or B.A. course that is related to NASA's requirements
  • Must maintain a GPA of minimum 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or equivalent

NASA Internship Schedules

NASA internships are always open throughout the year. Some require full-time attendance during the 3  sessions – fall, spring and summer. Participants during fall and spring take about 16 weeks complete the program, and 10 weeks for the summer program. There are also the “yearlong” internship programs that do not belong to the regular fall, spring and summer sessions.

  • Fall session runs from late August/early September to Mid-December (16 weeks)
  • Spring session runs from mid-January and runs for 16 weeks.
  • Summer session runs from late May until early August. Yearlong sessions may run longer than 16 weeks and do not fall under the 3 sessions above.

Locations for NASA Internship

When you apply for a NASA internship, you can choose among the many NASA centers and facilities where they require interns. Here are the top 12 NASA facilities where most internships happen:

  • Ames Research Center – Palo Alto, CA
  • Armstrong Flight Research Center Edwards AFB, CA
  • Glenn Research Center – Cleveland, OH
  • Goddard Space Flight Center – Greenbelt, MD
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory – Pasadena, CA
  • Johnson Space Center – Houston, TX
  • Kennedy Space Center – Kennedy Space Center, FL
  • Langley Research Center – Hampton, VA
  • Marshall Space Flight Center – Huntsville, AL
  • NASA Headquarters – Washington D.C.
  • Stennis Space Center – Stennis Space Center, MS
  • Wallops Flight Facility – Wallops Island, VA
  • White Sands Test Facility – Las Cruces, NM

Application Schedules

  • Fall internship applications are accepted: 03/02/2014 – 06/01/2014
  • Spring (2015) internship applications are accepted: 06/02/2014 – 10/12/2014
  • Summer internship applications are accepted: 11/01/2014 – 03/01/2015
  • Year-long internship applications are accepted at any time.

NASA Internship Programs

ACCESS – Achieving Competence in Computing, Engineering and Space Science

This NASA internship program is intended for students with disabilities who want to pursue a career in science and technology. The 10-week paid program is for both undergraduates and graduates.  This is a collaboration bewteen NASA, Entry Point and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Visit the AAAS website for more information.

NASA Science and Technology Institute for Minority Institutions (NSTI-MI)

The NSTI-MI NASA internship program is for undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled in institutions that serve U.S. minorities.  It is managed jointly by NASA and the  United Negro College Fund Special Programs Corporation (UNCFSP). The program aims to stimulate research among various disciplines, encourage research and provide opportunities for students and science and technology. For more information, click here.

NASA Tribal Colleges and Universities Project (TCUP)

This is a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) internship program specifically targeted for students from tribal colleges and universities. Three primary elements of this program are –

  • NASA TCUP Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) which focus on climate change research
  • NASA TCUP Tribal College Engineering Internship program which aims to enhance engineering skills of students from tribal colleges. Students will be encouraged to participate in a NASA flight mission.
  • NASA TCUP Summer Research Experience (SRE) program – students are given the opportunity to be part of a team led by a NASA researcher.

All these 3 programs are 10-week summer programs, with opportunities to gain hands-on experience in other NASA related courses. Click here for more information.

National Space Grant College Program (Space Grant)

Founded in 1988 through the NASA Authorization Act , the National Space Grant College Program (Space Grant) is a consortium of 52 state-based organizations that fund researches and projects in aerospace. Space Grant also aids students pursuing careers in STEM or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It grants opportunities to Americans for exploring and participating in NASA's space and aeronautics programs. For more information, click here.

Lewis' Educational and Research Collaborative Internship Project (LERCIP) College

LERCIP is a college internship program conducted at the NASA Glenn Research Center. It is a collaboration between the NASA Glenn Research Center and the Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI), which grants paid summer internship opportunities for STEM students. Some non-STEM students may also participate in the program to lend support to the NASA mission.  Students are given learning and working tasks inside the NASA Glenn Research Center under the mentoring of NASA career personnel. They also participate in several professional development workshops that can provide them practical know how to supplement their theoretical education. For more information, click here.

When you apply for any of these NASA internship programs, you don't have to specify a specific internship program. The NASA Education community will evaluate your data and specific interests, and will choose which program you are most eligible to participate in.

Visit the NASA website for information on other NASA internship opportunities.

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