The Saint Louis Zoo provides college/university students, recent graduates and individuals with prior college coursework in the area of biology, zoology, education, animal science or related fields an opportunity to learn about the Zoo's zoological operations while obtaining valuable, hands-on work experience in animal care or education and an understanding of the Saint Louis Zoo's role in research and conservation.

The Saint Louis Zoo is a world-class institution and leader among zoos with innovative animal management, research, conservation, education, exhibit design, guest services and community support programs. With free admission, excellent exhibits, educational programs and a commitment to accessibility, the Zoo remains one of the most popular and well-loved institutions in the St. Louis region. Our collection consists of more than 700 species of animals housed on more than 90 developed acres.

  • A college/university student or recent graduate in the areas of biology, zoology, education, animal science, human resources, marketing, development or related field, receiving credit through their college/university under the direction of a faculty advisor, while obtaining practical hands-on work experience. Interns are required to serve a minimum of 20 hours per week for a minimum of six weeks. Interns can be employed on a part-time basis by the Zoo during their internship; however, they cannot intern and work in the same area. Minimum age requirement is 18.

  • A person seeking to obtain practical hands-on experience in the areas of animal management, education, human resources, marketing, development or related field. Externs need not be currently enrolled in college/university, but prior college coursework is required. Externs will not receive college credit for this program. Externs are required to serve a minimum of 15 hours per week for a minimum of 6 weeks. Externs cannot volunteer in programs such as Docent, Tour Guides, etc. while participating in the program. Minimum age requirement is 18.

The Zoo offers intern and extern opportunities in both animal management areas and non-animal management areas. These opportunities are available primarily in the summer months. A limited number of internships and externships may be available in the fall and spring.

There is no stipend available, but students applying for internship opportunities will be responsible for arranging to receive credit through their university or college. Housing and transportation are the responsibility of the student. To apply for one of these opportunities, download and complete the internship/externship application and submit with:

  • Letter of intent describing background, interest, goals and availability
  • Resume
  • 2 letters of reference (educational or business)

Send all information and requirements via e-mail to Katie Emerick, Director, Volunteer Services at

Winter/Spring Semester: November 1 Summer: March 1 Fall Semester: July 1