Application details

Internship program applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:

Have at least one year of college (or equivalent credits). Some roles require two or more years, so be sure to read each position description carefully.
✔ Be able to commit to 10-12 weeks in a term. Make note that some roles have longer commitments or variations in start/end dates. 
✔ Be able to commit to the hours requirement of the opportunity you are applying. Many roles require full-time (35+ hours per week) commitments. Some areas 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 (TDAP) vaccination is required for all onsite internships prior to the start of the internship assignment. 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

Winter term: Jan-April

General Application Deadline: October 1

Interviews: October 15-31


Summer Term: May-August

General Application Deadline: February 1

SDRP Interviews: February 18-28
All other Interviews: March 1-31

Late May, around Memorial Day

Fall Term: Sept-Dec

SDRP Application Deadline: June 1
General Application Deadline: July 1

SDRP Interviews: June 8-30
All other Interviews: July 15-31

SDRP: Early September
All others: Late September/Early October

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 Chicago. However, please note in the event that you are offered a position, an official transcript may be requested at that time.



Questions & Requests

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 Chicago, please reach out to us at

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