How to Apply for a NASA Summer Internship

Sign - Interns Wanted

NASA wants you! Apply today for a summer internship!

I’ve had a lot of questions from students regarding the application process for NASA’s summer internships. To answer most of your questions, NASA has prepared the following instructions for students. These instructions apply to any opportunities you may find on the NASA One Stop Shopping/ SOLAR website at Remember, most applications must be received no later than February 1, 2012… so apply today!

If you are interested in applying for a NASA internship during 2012, please follow the detailed instructions below.

  1. Go to   (OSSI:SOLAR Launch Pad)
  2. Click “Quick Launch to apply for Internship, Fellowship, or Scholarship opportunities” located in the top banner next to the SOLAR logo. If nothing happens, click it once or twice again.
  3. The next display should read “Premiere of Solar” on the left and a clickable box labeled “First Time Student Users Register” on the right. Or, if previously registered, click the box to the right labeled “Current Student Users Login”and go to step 5.
  4. Complete the registration form to setup an applicant account and the Student Profile.
  5. Once the account is created, select the “Getting Started” tab for applicants interested in obtaining more information. There you will also find three informative streaming videos or student tutorials.
  6. If an applicant has any questions, they should select the “Need Help? Click here” link at the top of the applicants Dash Board.
  7. There are six sections that must be completed in the application. They are:
    a. Personal Information
    b. Educational Information
    c. Work History
    d. References
    e. Skills, Awards and Educational Activities
    f. Acceptance Statement
  8.  Applicants are required to identify at least one professional reference (usually a professor or previous mentor). It is recommended that applicants contact these individuals in advance to let them know they will be receiving a SOLAR generated e-request from NASASOLAR on behalf of the applicant. The deadline for references to submit their letter is the same as the applicants to complete their application.
  9. Once all six sections are complete (including receipt of at least one letter of recommendation), the applicant can then apply to up to 15 opportunities. Be careful to only apply to opportunities you are eligible for and strongly interested in being considered for. Remember, more is not always better.
  10. The deadline to complete your application for Summer 2012 is February 1, 2012.

62 thoughts on “How to Apply for a NASA Summer Internship

  1. I can hardly wait until my children are old enough — what an OPPORTUNITY! 🙂

  2. Arindam says:

    Thanks for this post. An informative one. but is it compulsory for Applicants to identify at least one professional reference?

    • Thanks for your question. All applicants must identify at least one professional reference (professors, mentors, supervisors, etc) who can reasonably assess the applicant’s suitability for the selected NASA internship. Your professional reference will receive an email from NASA requesting their feedback.

  3. Rae says:

    I always wanted to go to one of those “space camps” when I was a kid, but an internship at NASA would have been pretty cool too.

  4. This was interesting! I have a brother whose biggest life regret is never going to space camp. Maybe he’d be interested… 🙂

    ~Stop Me if You’ve Heard This One

  5. Only the ones with good grades, certifications, and awards? What about of “the others” having an opportunity also?

    • NASA selects interns with experiences and qualifications across the spectrum. Some internship placements require a higher degree of specialized subject knowledge at the outset of the program but many internships are suitable for struggling students who might benefit from strong mentorship and an exciting hands-on research experience. There are a lot of options!

  6. amberpat says:

    love this blog, I’m definitely goin to need this since I am a college student and I major in business.

  7. SuperCold says:

    Wow that would be awesome.

  8. crawlingladybug says:

    wow too bad i’m not majoring in any space science field! interesting and rare opportunity, good luck to all applicants! learn as much as you can 😀

  9. Kaitlin says:

    Interesting. How selective is the process? I’m curious of the applicant/selected ratio, mostly.

  10. Suraj says:

    Hey, Is it mandatory for the applicant to be a US citizen?

    • NASA does offer some internship opportunities for international students but they are updating that portion of the OSSI/SOLAR website right now. Check back in a few days when the international listings will (hopefully) be back up.

  11. abichica says:

    This is an awesome opportunity, thanks for sharing.. 🙂

  12. Jimmy says:

    I’ve been told many times that I’m a space cadet; might as well make it official.

  13. Cave Story says:

    An internship with NASA? Sounds exciting 🙂

  14. J Roycroft says:

    What a great idea. Lets all learn to be astronauts so we can go into space in a vehicle built and controlled by another country. Thank you Barack Obama for killing the American space program

  15. I’d love to be a NASA intern, but who am I kidding. I don’t think they have any opening for film school grads. Maybe in another life. 🙂

    • hotnerdgirl says:

      Haha, that’s exactly what I was thinking about myself…”where in NASA do they need a theatre arts graduate?!”

    • olivia says:

      Actually, NASA Ames has some sort of ‘New Media’ group that would probably love working with a film intern. Let’s be honest, sometimes, NASA can use some help with their videos/PR 🙂 I’d look up the media groups for the center you’re interested in working with, and find appropriate contact information. There may not be something explicitly on OSSI:SOLAR, but it doesn’t hurt to email people!

  16. soundanation says:

    This is a off the planet opportunity for anybody interesting in astronomy and to work with NASA!!!

  17. fireygoddess says:

    Reblogged this on Make Something Every Day and commented:
    Corey- I’m totally registering you for Space Camp.

  18. merctravels says:

    Any kid’s dream!

  19. Joe Labriola says:

    I miss space camp 😦

  20. I suggest another category for applicants: people with real life experiences. Like me. How old is too old to apply?


  21. gaycarboys says:

    what i wouldn’t have given for a chance like that.

  22. Sorilbran says:

    Good information. So glad I found this blog. Hallelujerrrrr!

  23. This was some fascinating information. I would have loved to do this when I was younger. Thank you for sharing this information and getting it out there. 🙂

  24. Excellent Blog!! I Very useful, ehen I was a little girl, I always wanted to work somehow as an astronaut, of course, never happened. But today, I´m a follower of NASA, and all its interesting projects, great information! Thanks!! 😀

  25. Eva McCane says:

    wish i’d read this 10 years ago. very cool! hopefully you help out some brillant students of the world!

  26. nicneely says:

    If only I had gotten a real degree instead of being a liberal arts major…
    Excellent work keeping people informed.

  27. valentinedee says:

    My boyfriend’s uncle worked for Nasa years ago. He’s passed, but it is a big what to get into.

    Hey, if that’s a dream, then a person has to go for it.


  28. darthqadir says:

    awesome!! and informative for many people

  29. Very cool. Thank you. I’ve always liked space so I’m going to looking into it.

  30. interesting. john glenn (the astronaut not the footballer) is my uncle. i’ll send this to him. he’ll enjoy it!

  31. Cherszy says:

    Is this for real? Whoa! What a wonderful opportunity! Now, if you will excuse me, I will now try applying.

    By the way, thank you so much for this piece of info! You rock!

  32. hotnerdgirl says:

    I am SOOO tempted to actually do this.

  33. Love this article. NASA has an incredible internship program. We’ve seen 1 great review from a former engineering intern:

  34. emptyhat says:

    I’m confused…I thought this was going to be funny. But it’s literally how to apply for a NASA internship? Wow ok. Thanks for the blog idea.

  35. olivia says:

    You should also highlight NASA’s awesome undergraduate scholarship opportunity – Motivating Undergraduates in Science and Technology (MUST). I think the application is also through OSSI:SOLAR, but I”m not 100% sure. I was a part of the MUST program for 3 years, completing three NASA internships and flew on NASA’s Microgravity Plane because of this program. They also paid for much of my school tuition, sent me to conferences, set up mentorship opportunities and just generally supported me in my pursuit of a Chemistry degree. I did blog a bunch about my NASA experiences here:, if anyone is interested in reading a candid look at working for NASA Ames or flying on the microgravity plane! (I’d start at the beginning of the blog, much of the latest posts are about my current grad school experiences 🙂 )

  36. Audi Palomar says:

    This is so awesome! I would love to be an intern for NASA. 😀

  37. prtr says:

    NASA’s Dawn spacecraft successfully maneuvered into its closest orbit around the giant asteroid Vesta!

  38. mayheart says:

    oh wow…i feel like now that i’ve graduated and not looking i keep finding these awesome opportunities. if only i had known.

  39. I am very much interested but it seems fully booked. The big doom will blast on 2012, a lot of people will join this cause.

  40. Geek 20/20 says:

    This is a great opportunity! Is it only students? I graduated this year with a Science dergree and live in the UK. If I don’t qualify, are the similiar opportunities?

  41. Just another reason I wish I was a kid again!

  42. My brother has done some work for NASA before. I write a blog. I almost want to apply for the internship just so that I can show him up a bit…are you accepting applications from discouraged sisters tired of living in their big brothers’ shadows? 😉

    Seriously, it sounds like a fantastic opportunity for some lucky applicant. Thanks so much for sharing the information surrounding the opportunity! I’ll be sure to pass it along to those I know who may be interested.

  43. […] Internships, detailed in “How to apply for a NASA Internship,” brought to you by the Oregon Space Grant Consortium blog – with over 100 comments […]

  44. stefsnest says:

    I think it was fate (if there is such a thing) that I found this when I did! I am definitely applying! Any ideas on what living situations are like for those who are accepted and live out of state? Are there scholarships to help pay for living while working for them or is it all out of pocket?

    • olivia says:

      It depends what program you are with and what center you are applying to. My NASA MUST program gave a travel/relocation stipend, but we had to find our own housing at Ames, however Ames does have on site housing that is pretty cheap. JPL houses many of their students, but that seems to be pretty uncommon. Since almost all internships have stipends, you should be fine finding a place to stay for 10 weeks. You should also look into the academy programs, I think they house all their students, but it’s a very structured program.

  45. yeahiloveit says:

    Nice post!
    Can we use couple paragraphes for our site ?

  46. harsimranjeet says:

    i am pursuing B.Tech from India. and i wish to apply for 6 months internship in NASA ( spring Jan 2013).
    i really dont know how to apply because all the information available on site is for US citizens. so i request if you can help me out and kindly tell me the procedure to apply for the same.
    thank you

    please tell me i really need help. send me the details on if possible.

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