Requirements, Deadlines, and Application 

Minimum Requirements

Internship program applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:

Be able to commit to a full time,12 week term (generally 5 days/week, 40 hours per week) for all animal care specialist internships. Other areas often take part time interns--make sure to read each position description carefully for the details of the schedule for that position.
Have a sincere interest in the particular field of application.
Some positions require more experience or specific skills. Please read each position description carefully to determine whether or not you are qualified before submitting your application.

Completed applications must be received by midnight (CST) on the deadlines listed below. Please note, internship opportunities may not be offered in all areas every term. Term start and end dates may be somewhat flexible based on student’s academic calendar. If an interview is desired to further consider the applicant for an internship opportunity, the applicant will be notified by e-mail. Selected interns must clear a full background check in order to begin. Offers are subject to this clearance. 

For the welfare of employees and animals, proof of a current tetanus vaccination is required for all onsite internships prior to the start of the internship assignment. Remote internships do not require proof of vaccinations. In some animal areas, additional inoculations/tests may be required (measles, vaccine, TB test, etc.). All tests/vaccinations are at the applicant’s expense.

Application Deadlines


Application Deadline

Interview Window*

Approximate Start Date*

Summer Term 2023
(May - August)

February 1, 2023
SDRP: February 11, 2023
Select Opportunities: March 1, 2023
(See Current Opportunties for details)

SDRP: February 18 - 28
All others: March 1 - 31, 2023

Late May (approx.
Memorial Day) 2023

Fall Term 2023
(October - December)

SDRP: June 1, 2023
All others: July 1, 2023

SDRP: June 8-30, 2023
July 15-31, 2023

SDRP: Early September
All others: Early October 2023

Winter Term 2024
(January - April)

 October 1, 2023

October 15-31, 2023

Mid-January 2024


Application Steps

Students who want to be considered for an internship must submit all of the following:

1. Online Application Form: Before filling out the online application form, make sure you have checked out our current opportunities. Not all internships are available year-round. 
2. Professional Cover Letter: Your cover letter should describe your particular interest in the internship(s) you are applying for and tell us anything about your experience that may not be reflected on your resume. You need only submit one cover letter, even if you are applying for multiple internships.
3. Resume: Your current resume should detail your education and qualifications including your work history and any other relevant experience such as military or volunteer service.
4. Two Professional Letters of Recommendation: Letters must be professional in nature (professor, colleague, supervisor, coworker, etc.) and should include a candid assessment of your aptitude, qualifications, background, and suitability for the program. References should include the length and capacity in which the individual has known you as well as their contact information should more information be needed. 
5. Unofficial College Transcript(s): An unofficial transcript is required to apply for an internship at Brookfield Zoo. However, please note in the event that you are offered a position, an official transcript will be required at that time.

NEW: Applications can now be edited after submission! If you don't have all of your application materials ready, you can edit your application to include them anytime up until the application deadline. A link to edit your application will be included in your confirmation email. 


There is great interest in the internship program and because of this, incomplete or late applications will not be considered--No exceptions.

If you have any questions about applying for an internship at Brookfield Zoo, please reach out to us at

If you feel you would need any sort of accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act in order to fulfill an internship successfully, please complete an ADA Accommodations form and return it to


The online application for all internship opportunities will be undergoing annual maintenance on Wednesday, February 15. You will be able to submit applications again beginning Thursday, February 16. Thank you.

Apply Now!