The Museum Conservation Institute offers fellowship and internship opportunities involving a variety of artifact analysis, preservation, and conservation treatment specialties. MCI's commitment is to enhance the experience of the fellow or intern, providing specialized technical and scientific training.
Volunteers at MCI take part in the Smithsonian's Visitor Information and Associates' Reception Center (VIARC) Behind-the-Scenes Volunteer Program. Opportunities may be available in a variety of areas: scientific, outreach and administrative. Although volunteers may derive many of the same educational and enrichment benefits as interns, their efforts are viewed primarily as contributions to the on-going work of the institution.
Besides the short courses that typically were aimed at an audience of professional conservators, MCI had several longer term, "curricular" education programs. Some consisted of an ordered series of courses, generally in combination with focused laboratory work, that in their totality constituted a well organized body of knowledge in a given area of expertise. Others provided a balanced combination of supervised practical experience with laboratory research work.