Intern FAQ's

I am a college student looking for experience; do you offer internships?

Yes, we offer a multitude of internships and not all internships are animal related. Click here to view the descriptions of each internship and their requirements.

Do I need to be in college or receiving college credit to complete an internship?

No, we accept recent high school and college graduates as well as career changers for most of our programs. Master’s level candidates are also encouraged to apply, particularly to business administration internships. Be sure to review the internship postings for specific criteria.

How do I apply for an internship?

You will need to submit an online application which includes a resume, letter of recommendation and transcripts. Click here to apply. Graduate students should submit transcripts from both their graduate and graduate schools. Career changers may omit their transcripts but should be clear about their intentions in their cover letter.

Are there deadlines?

Please refer to the Apply Now page. Applications received after the deadline will be put on a wait list in case a position becomes available.

What if I do not have my letter of recommendation or cannot upload it?
You can email your letter to, fax it to 215-243-5219 or mail it to:

Philadelphia Zoo
Attention: Human Resources - Internships
3400 West Girard Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19104-1196

Do I need to pass any background checks?

Interns must present a current Pennsylvania Criminal Background check at orientation and a current, cleared PA Child Abuse History Clearance before beginning their assignment.

Interns 18 years and older whose permanent residence is outside of Pennsylvania must also present a cleared FBI Criminal Background check, including fingerprinting. Volunteers are responsible for the cost of these background checks.

How much do these cost?

Prices may vary depending on state and background check. As of 2012, a PA State Criminal Background check costs $10.00; a PA Child Abuse Clearance costs $10.00 and only money orders are accepted.

FBI Clearances are $18.00 plus the cost of fingerprinting. Contact your local police department to find out if they provide fingerprinting services. You may also contact Rosa Fingerprinting Center City.

Are these internships paid?

No, ALL internships are unpaid. There will be no salary, stipend or monetary reimbursement for time volunteered for an internship.

Is housing available?

No, you are responsible for finding housing and all related expenses for the duration of your internship.

Is transportation available?

You are responsible for transportation to and from the Zoo. Public transportation is available throughout the city of Philadelphia. However, some interns prefer to use their own vehicle. You will not be reimbursed for any portion of travel that is in direct relation to your internship.

All interns may park for free and bicycle racks are available for use.

I submitted my complete internship application and have not heard anything yet. How do I check the status of my application?

Applications from qualified candidates will be forwarded to the appropriate supervisor. If interested, supervisors will contact applicants to schedule an interview. Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applicants we cannot contact everyone directly to let them know if they have not been selected for an interview. Please be sure to check the email address listed on your application, including spam folders!

I’m having trouble completing the online application. What should I do?

First, try using a different browser or type of computer. If that doesn’t work, please send an email to to let us know of your problem. We’ll provide you with an alternative application process.