Academic Internships FAQ

AIP 2023 End of Program Celebration

Check out an extensive list of Academic Internship FAQs here.

Before Applying

Academic Internships

Academic Internships are available only to students from College of Marin, City College of San Francisco and San Francisco State University. Academic Interns are found across the Golden Gate National Parks. This program runs for 10 weeks during the summer semester. Academic Interns contribute to the diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives that interns bring to the park.

Applications for summer positions open in February of that year. Interested applicants can choose to apply for up to 3 internship positions, and may only accept one position. Applicants submit just one resume and cover letter to as well as fill out an online application form. Find this form on the Academic Internship page.

Dependent on local public health orders and park management decisions, internships will either be fully virtual, fully in-person, or a combination of both. Please check each individual internship position description for more details. We will keep interns updated as public health circumstances evolve.

COVID-19 safety protocols will be closely followed during an internship to make the experience as safe as possible.

Yes. Academic internship applicants can apply for up to 3 internship positions, but submit just one application, noting which positions they intend to apply for.

Yes, you must plan to enroll for spring, summer, or fall classes to qualify for an Academic Internship. These internships must be directly tied to your academic studies, although we accept applicants from all majors! 

There is no minimum number of units you need to be enrolled in to qualify for an Academic Internship. You can be either a part-time or full-time student.

Students must be enrolled in courses for academic credit at City College of SF, SF State, or College of Marin to qualify for an Academic Internship. This program is intended for students pursuing a degree, certificate, or who have intention to transfer to another university to continue their education.

There is no minimum age, but given the time commitment and necessary skill set, most of our interns are 18 years or older.

Yes! The Golden Gate National Parks offer a wide variety of internships – from public affairs to community science to youth programs. Don’t be discouraged from applying to an internship just because it’s outside of your field of study. Mentors value passion and a willingness to learn!

Unfortunately, our internship programs are not equipped to accommodate international students (under the F1 or J1 visa programs).

Academic Interns are not employees of the National Park Service nor the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. While Academic Interns are covered through the Conservancy worker's compensation policy, neither the National Park Service nor the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy provide benefits such as healthcare or retirement options to Academic Interns.

Yes. However, it is up to each applicant to speak with their academic institution for procedures around securing academic credit for an internship at the Golden Gate National Parks.

For information about academic credit and other educational related questions contact:

College of Marin

  • Chelsey Perez | Career, Internship, and Service Learning Coordinator |

San Francisco State University

  • Jennifer Gasang | ICCE Executive Director |
  • Institute for Civic and Community Engagement (ICCE),

City College of San Francisco

  • Jimmy Ly, Career Counselor,
  • Brett Berning, Employment & Training Specialist III,

Interns are not employed by the National Park Service nor the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. Therefore, internship hours will not contribute to Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

Each individual's factors are different - please contact your loan servicer about your situation. For more information about PSLF see the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid page.

Each individual's factors are different - please contact your loan servicer to confirm your eligibility for loan repayment, forbearance, or deferment during the internship.

After Applying

Managers review applications as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there is no set time frame for managers to respond to applicants, but expect to hear from our team once the application deadline has passed. 

The State of California requires certain governmental and private organizations to conduct background checks to help determine the suitability of a person in a volunteer position working with children, the elderly, or people with disabilities.

After Arrival

Interns may use the Bay Area's public transit options or use a personal vehicle/bike/other mode of transportation. If this is a hardship for you, please let your mentor or the Internship Management Team know and we will do our best to support you.

Interns will receive uniform pieces at no cost to them in the first few weeks of the internship. Each office and/or program has a slightly different dress code, so check with your mentor about what to wear before starting your internship.

Unfortunately, the National Park Service and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy cannot guarantee a job after completing an internship. We encourage interns to take advantage of the various trainings and networking opportunities during the internship to help with the post-internship job search. We also host a Federal Jobs Workshop near the end of the program to share best practices on how to apply to federal jobs.

Yes. Interns are covered under Parks Conservancy worker's compensation for internship related injuries (subject to approval).

Yes. Interns should see the Academic Intern Handbook for official policies and check with their mentors to schedule time off.

Absolutely. You will be provided with a comprehensive 3-day onboarding and orientation at the beginning of your internship. Interns will also participate in weekly virtual workshops and discussions on the topics of conservation, climate change and social and environmental justice, with the larger intern cohort.

Park Academy hosts a variety of classes for staff and interns – topics may include: resume building & interview skills, park orientation & history, flora & fauna, mapping & monitoring, computer skills, and much more. Every intern is invited to participate in Park Academy classes (with their mentor's approval). Depending on your internship position, interns may earn training certificates - check with your mentor.


Academic Interns receive a stipend of $250 a week for Part-time positions and $500 a week for Full-time positions. 

Every intern must have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or a Social Security Number to receive a stipend, regardless of citizenship status. This is necessary so that The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy meets federal and state wage and tax reporting regulations. Intern applicants should plan accordingly, as the process to obtain a number can be very lengthy.  

You may find more information here:

Please also note that stipends are a taxable event. Taxes are not withheld from stipends. Stipends are a per diem to cover costs associated with the internship (such as commuting expenses).

The National Park Service’s non-profit partner, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, pays intern stipends on a bi-weekly basis.

If interns receive more than $600 in their stipends, they receive a 1099-NEC form from the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in the first two weeks of February.

No.  The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy does not pay interns through payroll and therefore taxes are not withheld. Interns should keep in mind that their stipend is a taxable event.

How much each intern pays in federal and state taxes for their stipend depends on many individual factors. The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy cannot legally provide tax advice, though some organizations offer free tax advice and assist individuals with filing their taxes:

  • EarnIt KeepIt SaveIt lists 200 free tax preparation sites in the Bay Area’s  7 counties
  • Mission Economic Development offers free tax preparation to all low-income individuals and families. Call (415) 282-3334 extension 110 to set up a tax appointment or to ask a specific question.
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) – San Francisco State University chapter
  • IRS Volunteers

Interns are paid bi-weekly by the National Park Service’s non-profit partner, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.

Stipends do not go through payroll and so pay stubs are unavailable. If you are an intern and need an official letter noting your stipend please contact .

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