Are you a high school or university student with a dream of working for NASA? You’ve come to the right place. Completing a NASA internship is one of the best ways to start your journey towards an exciting career in the space industry. Your NASA journey starts now!
Fine tune your knowledge of space exploration anytime in Space Careers classes tailored to your individual interests and needs. These private classes are recommended for students interested in developing their own space projects, and for those preparing to apply for NASA internships.
Discover NASA Internships
In this article you will learn about several exciting NASA internships and other NASA opportunities that are available to high school and undergraduate university students this year. The details on how to apply are specific to each internship and the links are provided below. To learn more about exciting NASA programs, be sure to sign up for Create & Learn's fun, free Explore Space & NASA live events.
Nasa Internships for Summer 2023
NASA internships for high school students take place over the summer. Here are some amazing opportunities to apply for:
Applicants should have a strong interest in science, technology, engineering and math. There are both virtual and onsite internships available.This internship will give students experience with Earth and space research and interns will learn how to interpret NASA satellite data while working with scientists and engineers in their chosen area of work.
- Ages: High school sophomores and juniors
- Due date: February 21
This virtual internship is ideal for students interested in exploring Uranus and Neptune.
Interns will help NASA engineers and scientists evaluate thermopile detectors; determine window specifications; perform detector liveliness tests and help in designing the detector sub-assembly substrate fan-out board to include Computer Aided Design (CAD) mechanical layout and thermal analysis.
- Ages: Grades 10, 11 and 12 high school students
- Due date: July 15
Are you interested in climate change and interpreting satellite images? This virtual NASA internship might be perfect for you. Depending on your interests, projects focus on observing forests, fields, aquatic, urban, and cryospheric areas. The goal of the internship is to create visual and quantitative change assessments that can be used in educational, research, and outreach settings. This will help people from around the globe to ‘see and understand’ changes that are happening as our climate warms and ecosystems respond.
- Ages: Grades 10,11, and 12 high school students and university undergrads
- Due date: July 15
NASA Internships for High School
Here are some NASA internships applicable to high school students throughout the year.
This is a great opportunity for students who would like to gain experience volunteering at Space Center Houston, the official visitors center of Johnson Space Center. Students must be available to volunteer for three full weeks (Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) between May 31 and Aug. 12, 2023. Teen Explorer Crew (TEC) volunteers are an important part of Explorer Camps, Space Center University, and assisting guests at the Space Center.
- Ages: Between 13-17 years of age on or by May 31, 2023
- Due date: March 6, 2023
5. NASA /EPDC Student Badges for Middle and High School Students
A great way to prepare for a NASA internship is by earning NASA badges through the NASA /EPDC program. Earning these badges will expand your knowledge of NASA's missions, test your creativity and will look great on your resume! Students need to get a teacher ( formal or informal) involved to sign up. The program is free of charge. The NASA /EPDC badge courses are very fun and do not take long to earn. Some of the courses you can take include, "Preparing for Life on the Red Planet" and "Exploring and Living on the Moon."
- Ages: Middle and high school
- Due date: Ongoing
NASA Internships College
The Pathways program offers current students and recent graduates paid internships that are direct paths to full-time employment at NASA when they graduate. These are paid internships offered at several NASA centers and the payment varies depending on the position. Internships focus on a variety of areas including engineering, IT, human resources, physical science, occupational health and administration. Candidates are well-rounded students from diverse backgrounds who demonstrate curiosity, team-orientation, excellence, a passion for exploration, agility, and resilience. Prior experience is not required!
- Ages: 16 and up
- Due date: March 4
JPL is the research and development center where they build the Mars Rovers (among many other things) and keep in contact with NASA's deep space probes. JPL is different from the other NASA centers as it is managed by a university, the California Institute of Technology. It is a very unique and inspiring place to do an internship. The JPL Summer Internship Program offers 10-week, full-time, summer internship opportunities at JPL to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Both American citizens and legal residents of the United States may apply. Summer internships begin in May and June, on the first business day of each week. Participants receive a monetary award, given in monthly disbursements, for the period of the internship. Award amounts vary and are subject to change.
As part of their internships, students are partnered with JPL scientists or engineers, who serve as the students' mentors. Students complete projects outlined by their mentors, gaining educational experience in their fields of study while contributing to NASA and JPL missions. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in a number of enrichment activities including tours, lectures arranged by the JPL Education Office.
- Ages: Not specified but the program is aimed at undergrads
- Due date: March 31, 2023 at 5 p.m. PDT
Do NASA interns get paid?
High school interns do not get paid. University students do get paid through the Pathways program and at JPL.
Is it hard to get a NASA internship?
The more you prepare, the less difficult it will be to get a NASA internship. If you are not accepted for an internship in your first application it's important not to be discouraged. NASA is made up of people who don’t give up easily. Everyone who works for NASA has been rejected at some point while working towards their career or gotten a bad grade in school. It's important to remember there are many students competing for these opportunities.NASA high school and undergrad internships are open to citizens of the United States while Jet Propulsion Laboratory internships are open to American citizens and legal residents of the United States States.
How do I become a NASA intern?
Applying for NASA internships requires a lot of attention to detail and preparation. So please be sure to read the application instructions carefully and submit your complete application before the deadlines. Some of the deadlines are coming up soon!
There are several factors to consider when applying for an internship at NASA. These include your specific interests (ex. science, engineering, education etc), your age and your academic record and in some cases, your willingness to travel to another city. NASA has centers all over the USA. In addition to NASA internships there are other cool opportunities available where you can get hands-on experience with NASA including being a volunteer or taking NASA badging courses.
Apply for a NASA internship today
As you can see from this article there are so many amazing NASA internships to apply for in 2023, as well as other cool ways to get involved in the world of NASA. Be sure to check out our blog again for further updates on cool NASA space activities and internships you can get involved with. Good luck!
Written by Bruce Callow, a Create & Learn space class teacher and co-author of the books To the Stars: Costa Rica in NASA, The Intrepids: Costa Rican Women in Science and Technology and To the Stars: Guatemala in Space. He worked for former NASA astronaut Dr. Franklin Chang Diaz as a communications consultant and on the climate change film Odyssey 2050. Bruce partners with NASA in a variety of space education activities. His favorite Star Trek character is Mr. Spock.