College Internships

Internships & Externships Available

Applications for 2017 Spring Internship season will be posted January 4 - February 4, 2017. Education Summer Naturalist Internship opportunities will be posted March, 2017. Summer Internship opportunities will be posted April 2017.

The San Antonio Zoo internship program is designed to allow college students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in their chosen field. Internships are unpaid and housing is not provided. However, credit hours may be earned depending on the intern's school policy regarding internships. Interns are required to work for a minimum of 200 hours.

Internships are available throughout the year, but positions are limited and occasionally may not be available. The summer is our busiest time of the year and all applications must be received by May 1st in order to be considered. Applications are accepted throughout the year. Please expect a 2-3 week application processing time after the deadline date. We will contact you for an interview using the email address on your application.

Applicants must complete the application online. After completion of the College Intern online application, College Interns should email their transcripts to Jessica Wolanski at

Applications will not be reviewed without a transcript. Unofficial transcripts are accepted but they will be verified with the school. We accept applications from alumni with a final transcript or degree certificate.

In your application, you will be asked to include a letter of intent explaining what you want most out of an internship with the zoo. Please make sure to fill out all of the information required.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Spring 2017 Application Closes February 4, 2017.

San Antonio Zoo interns must:
•Complete 200 hours either through a part-time or full-time internship
•Dedicate 2-3 full days to the internships (Schedules and times vary between departments)
•Agree to a criminal background check
•Complete 10 written objective papers
•Complete a midterm evaluation
•Complete an exit evaluation
•Read and abide by the policies listed in the Volunteer handbook
•Maintain a customer friendly attitude
•Provide annual proof of TB testing (this test is required before you can start your internship)
•Keep an accurate record of volunteer hours
•Report on time for volunteer service
•Wear a designated uniform and nametag while volunteering on Zoo property
•Meet with Volunteer Services at the end of the internship to conduct an exit interview
•Notify Volunteer Services, in writing, of any change in volunteer status

Unpaid internships:

  • Animal and Plant Care Specialist Internships- These internships may include experiencing the daily operations of animal care, exhibit maintenance, animal behavior and record keeping. When possible, interns will be placed in areas that match their goals and interest. Due to the competitive nature of these types of internships it is best to be flexible with your selections. Animal Care internships are not research-based positions.
  • Animal nutrition department- animal diet preparation.
  • Aquarium- fish, aquatic invertebrates, turtles
  • Reptiles/Amphibians
  • Birds
  • Entomology- monarch butterfly parasitology and terrestrial invertebrate care
  • Horticulture- plants and horticultural care and design
  • Mammals Section 1- primates, hippos, jaguar, tapir
  • Mammals Section 2-elephant, okapi, primates, cheetah
  • Mammals Section 3- rhino, giraffe, lion, tiger, hoof stock, kangaroo
  • Animal Ambassador Team-animal training and enrichment
  • Development/ Marketing/ Graphic Design - These internships may include experiencing the daily operations of our development, marketing, and graphic design departments. Applicants who know Photoshop, can take quality photos and have professional writing skills are encouraged to apply.
  • Special Events/ Public Relations
  • Evaluation and Research- These internships focus on researching guest behavior and education program evaluation studies. Anthropology, marketing research, education, psychology, sociology majors and applicants interested in evaluation techniques and practices are encouraged to apply.
  • Education Evaluation and Guest Research Internship
  • Conservation Biology Husbandry and Research- These internships involve experiencing the daily operations of our conservation biology team in a zoological setting. These internships are long term and require a minimum of 6 months – 1 year dedication to the program. Applicants who are driven to work with endangered species, and assist and learn about their care in a zoological setting, are welcome to apply.
  • Conservation Biology and Research Internship (endangered cave fish, salamanders, frogs, and invertebrates)

Paid Stipend Internships: Applications for Summer Naturalist Internships will be posted in March 2017.

Education Summer Naturalist Internship-This is an excellent opportunity to gain hands-on experience in management, leadership and mentorship for our summer naturalist program. You will also help the zoo reach its conservation mission by delivering conservation education presentations to zoo guests. This internship requires 11 weeks Wed-Sun 9:30am-3:30pm participation, and is also paid through a stipend.
Departments not accepting interns/ externs for the spring session: These departments are not currently accepting Internships/Externships for the upcoming season, but keep checking this page for possible changes for this fall.

Health Center Internship
Veterinary Technician Internship
Veterinary Externship (only available to 2nd-4th year doctoral veterinary students)
Human Resources