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Veterinary Student Externship: 3rd & 4th Year Vet Students Only

Apply now for: Next Academic Year (Deadline for preferred application October 1; however, applications will be considered on a rolling basis.)

Time commitment: minimum 5 - 8 Week Rotations

Please contact the Office of Volunteer Programs and Internships for more information on available externship dates.


The New England Aquarium offers a unique experience to 3rd & 4th fourth year veterinary students by offering the opportunity to work in both a museum/institutional setting and in the field of aquatic animal medicine.

The Animal Health Department at the New England aquarium consists of a staff of 7 employees and serves to provide an optimal veterinary and preventive health program for collection and stranded/injured aquatic animals. The department includes 3 full-time veterinarians, 1 veterinary technician, 1 biologist, 1 lab office supervisor, and 1 Aquarium Medical Center manager. 

Five to eight week rotations are available for 3rd and 4th year veterinary students to complete veterinary externships in aquatic animal medicine at the New England Aquarium in Boston, MA. Clinical work at the off-site Animal Care Center in Quincy, MA may be required based on case load.

Rotations are a comprehensive introduction into aquatic animal husbandry and veterinary medicine. Students are rotated through all areas of the aquarium, which includes working with fish, invertebrates, birds, reptiles, amphibians, marine mammals, environmental quality and marine animal rescue/rehabilitation. 

Students are expected to produce a case report, research paper, and a 20-30 minute PowerPoint presentation for each. 

Externships are available from September 1 through June 30. Summer rotations are not available. Deadline for preferred application October 1; however, applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Incomplete applications will not be considered for review. Because of limited availability, veterinary students should apply up to a year in advance.

Organizational Description:

The New England Aquarium’s mission is to protect the blue planet through hands-on programs, live animal and interactive exhibits, public lectures and forums, and research and conservation projects.

This mission is fulfilled through exhibits and education, conservation, and research programs. Exhibits showcase the diversity, importance, and beauty of aquatic life and habitats and highlight critical aquatic conservation issues. Programs emphasize species, habitats and issues critical to New England. The Aquarium is also a pioneer in marine animal rescue and a leading ocean conservation organization with research scientists working around the globe.

The New England Aquarium serves as a responsive community resource that attracts and involves the broadest possible audience, seeks a culturally diverse staff and governing board that reflect our community, adheres to the highest standards of animal stewardship, and is committed to delivering the highest quality visitor experience in a welcoming and enjoyable manner that evokes wonder, curiosity, understanding, care, and action.

Department Description:

The Aquarium Medical Center (AMC) is the primary workspace for our Animal Health Department. It consists of a hospital ward for sick or injured animals, a surgical suite, a radiography room, pharmacy, a diagnostic lab, an environmental quality lab, and a necropsy suite. The Animal Health Department consists of veterinarians, a veterinary technician, marine biologists, and a laboratory manager.

To apply:

Please click here to register an account and click "Submit an Application." If you already have an account, please login and click "Submit an Application."


Visit: Frequently Asked Questions


Applications should be submitted by*:

Spring: November 1st

Summer: January 31st

Fall: June 1st

Winter: October 16th

*Priority given to students applying by this date. Full application details available here.

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New England Aquarium

1 Central Wharf , Boston, MA 02110 

HandsOn Connect

HandsOn Connect

©2017 New England Aquarium,  an affiliate of the HandsOn Connect, 1 Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110 | 617 - 973 - 5200