STUDENT PROGRAMS: Summer and School-Year Interns

An internship is a valuable supplement to an undergraduate curriculum. The goal of the internships is to provide students “hands on” experience and skills working in a public garden. Interns may spend the summer and school-year working in the University of Delaware Botanic Gardens with the garden staff learning garden maintenance skills, gaining experience in public horticulture, the importance of record keeping, building their resumes, while also earning an hourly wage. The school-year internship is more limited in scope because of student course work and schedule. The internship experience is gained through garden work, field trips, and garden projects. UDBG's staff works with interns in all areas of public garden operations. Students familiar with horticulture can use the internships to expand their horizons, discover new aspects in this diverse industry, and help build their resumes. Classes become more meaningful within the context of the practical experience. Employers place great emphasis on work experience when looking for employees. Financial support for student interns is provided by Patrons of the Spring Plant Sale and other generous donations.

To apply, please submit: 1) letter of interest including career goals; 2) current resume; 3) three letters of reference; and 4) transcript(s) to Dr. John Frett, 152 Townsend Hall, University of Delaware, Newark DE 19716, or email

Year-Long Internship (not currently open)

Apply by: N/A (or until a suitable candidate is found)
Duration: One year (flexible dates)
Compensation: $22,000 plus tuition-free courses
Requirements: Bachelor's degree (intern is admitted a non-degree graduate student)
Contact: Dr. John Frett, Director
Phone: 302-831-6378; E-mail:

Applicants must have a BS degree, as they are admitted as a non-degree graduate student as part of the internship (GRE scores not required). This full-time, year-long internship provides the student with diverse experiences in botanic garden management activities. Activities include membership program administration, educational interpretation, marketing and web site administration, and plant curation. The intern will assist with the annual benefit plant sale, which may include plant propagation and maintenance, labeling, catalog production, and plant staging. The intern will work with staff and volunteers to perform horticultural maintenance in the outdoor garden.

The intern may register for two courses per spring and fall semesters. Students must integrate courses and work schedule with Director's approval. Securing housing is the intern’s responsibility, though we will provide assistance. Ample housing is available as Newark is a college town. It is recommended the intern have transportation to take advantage of the numerous horticultural organizatons and activities in the area.

Summer Internships (click here for 2014 Summer Intern bios)

Apply by: 1 March 2016 (Summer); August 15 (school year intern)
Duration: 1 June to mid-late August, 2016; 37.5 hrs/week; UD Fall & Spring Semesters (based on student availability)
Compensation: $11.00/hr
Requirements: Must be currently enrolled in university/college
Contact: Dr. John Frett, Director
Phone: 302-831-2531; E-mail:

UDBG has up to four full-time summer internships available for 2016. Students are expected to be highly motivated, hardworking, dependable, ablility to work in groups and independently. Interns will spend the summer working in the gardens with the garden staff, learning maintenance skills and gaining experience in public horticulture. Students will work outside performing a wide variety of maintenance tasks, such as mowing, weed control, planting, hardscape installation, etc. Additionally, they will develop specialized skills such as curatorial work, detailed pruning, propagation, and plant identification. Students will work individually and in groups to accomplish goals set forth for the summer. They learn by example the importance of teamwork and collaboration required to manage UDBG's collections. Interns will take field trips to local public gardens and/or nurseries to further their experience in public horticulture.

Students are required to keep a weekly log of their activities. Students may enroll in PLSC 364 for (3 hr) internship credit. It is the students’ responsibility to pay tuition, enroll in PLSC 364 in the appropriate semester, and fulfill the course requirements.

University of Delaware

University of Delaware Botanic GardensNewark, DE 19716Phone: 302 831-0153