NPS Academy

Since 2011, more than 500 interns have “graduated” from SCA’s NPS Academy, an innovative, experiential learning program designed to introduce undergraduate and graduate students, ages 18-35, to career opportunities with the National Park Service.

This program aligns with the National Park Service’s goal to enhance professional and organizational excellence in the next century by recruiting and retaining a workforce that reflects the diversity of the nation (A Call to Action, 2013).

Interns attend a week-long orientation over spring break and serve in 12-week summer internships tailored to various NPS career tracks. Summer internships are available in a variety of fields, including visitor services, education, resource management – and many more!

NPS Academy is conducted in partnership with the National Park Service with philanthropic support from the Grand Teton National Park Foundation and additional support from the Teton  Science Schools.

Benefits include:

  • Weekly Living Allowance
  • Travel Allowance
  • Housing or Housing Allowance
  • Assigned NPS mentor
  • Hands-On Experience
  • Additional Career Preparation and Ongoing Support
  • Week-long orientation in March
  • Eligible for AmeriCorps Education Award

The ideal candidate pool includes:

  • Students who self-identify as being from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds
  • US Citizens
  • 18-35 year-olds
  • Current undergraduate & graduate students

The ideal candidate is:

  • Available for one week in March and twelve weeks in the summer
  • Open-minded and has an adventurous spirit
  • Toward the end of a college career, with some significant work experience
  • Not necessarily experienced in conservation or National Parks
  • Eager to act as an ambassador for SCA and the NPS
  • A licensed driver
  • Able to provide references with an application

Download the NPS Academy Flyer (PDF) for more information or to spread the word.

The application period for the 2018 program is now closed. Please check back in the fall for more information about 2019.

“Four months ago I couldn’t even dream of where I’d be right now. I love going to work every day and the people I work with are amazing. The people I’ve met and the work I’ve been doing has made me more confident in the outdoors and more concerned with the conservation aspect of our work. Now I have much more concrete goals in the NPS as well as potential for promotion and training opportunities.”

—Evan Gerry

“I got accepted to NPS Academy in March 2012, and I got flown to the Great Smoky Mountains. I absolutely loved it. It completely changed my life. I got to meet people who were super passionate about their jobs. I think that was the first time in my life that I met someone that was so passionate about what they were doing that I could feel it walking into the room. After that week, I thought to myself, ‘This is exactly what I want to do with my life. I want to put on the uniform, and I want to wear the awesome flat hat.”

—-Millie Jimenez


Related Posts & Program Information

This week marks the beginning of SCA NPS Academy 2015, as 20 young conservationists hailing from myriad backgrounds gather in Grand Teton National Park for a 7-day look at what it’s like to work for the National Park Service as protectors and promoters of America’s pricelessly wild publics lands.

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SCA’s NPS Academy 2014 is off and running! Hundreds of college students have converged on four national parks to get a first-hand view of what careers in the National Park Service (NPS) are all about. 

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Park Ranger and SCA Alum Millie Jimenez with her colleagues

As summer winds down, take a weekend to explore some of the hidden gems right outside your backyard. No need to travel abroad to get a taste of the true majesty of nature: America’s National Parks offer some of the best landscapes and outdoor adventures in the world.

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By Apoorva Mahajan, NPS Academy 2013This week on Conservation Nation, we’re bringing you blog updates from session 2 of NPS Academy 2013.

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The third session of NPS Academy 2013 took place in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska, during the week of March 11. Here’s a sampling of the hijinks that [email protected]_sca NPS Academy AK hiked to Tonsina Point outside of Seward for lunch and discussions on day two!!

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The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is a supportive, inclusive community of young adults leading the way to a more sustainable world.

In partnership with the National Park Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal agencies, SCA empowers young Americans from all backgrounds by offering formative conservation internships and proven professional pathways. We also ensure that people of all cultures and identities see themselves in our shared natural heritage by helping federal resource management agencies achieve greater workforce diversity.