Carnegie Mellon University

Summer Internship Experience Fund

The CMU Summer Internship Experience Fund will be available to current undergraduate students who are participating in off-campus, low paying or unpaid internships located in the United States during the summer of 2024. This is a needs-based grant which aims to help offset expenses incurred during internships. The Career & Professional Development Center will be coordinating the dispersal of Carnegie Mellon institutional funds that have been set aside to enable students to have a high-impact summer experience.

The CMU Summer Internship Experience Fund is designed to encourage early career experiences that will support students' academic goals and career exploration. It is open to all undergraduate students; however, preference will be given to students who would not be able to participate in a low or unpaid internship without additional funds.  The maximum amount of funding awarded is $2,500.

Students can submit applications beginning February 1, 2024. Completed applications (students have met with their consultant AND submitted an application) will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until all funding has been awarded.

The final deadline for SIEF application submissions is May 3, 2024.

  1. Secure an off-campus unpaid or low paying internship located in the United States.
  2. Schedule an appointment through Handshake to meet with your career consultant.
  3. You must have your internship offer letter and know your anticipated weekly costs. The offer letter must indicate employment dates and be signed by the employer. Your consultant will also discuss and assure you have the materials and information needed for the application.
  4. The final step is to complete your internship and submit your completed internship essay in August.

Remote Work

 If a student is interested in working remotely, both the intern and the supervisor will need to agree to the guidelines below:

Remote Work Guidelines

  • Students must have regular check-ins with their supervisor and must correspond directly with their supervisor at least once a week either via phone, email, or Zoom.
  • SIEF recipients working remotely should have clear instructions and deadlines set by their supervisor throughout their internship.
  • Remote interns will also be expected to have regular feedback and supervision on their assigned projects.
  • Lastly, any remote interns will be expected to keep a log of their projects that can be submitted to their supervisor on a weekly basis to track their progress.

Which Students Are Eligible?

  • Current undergraduate Carnegie Mellon students returning to campus as an undergraduate for the Fall 2024 semester
  • Students who have already received an offer for an off-campus, unpaid or low paying internship in the U.S. for summer 2024

What Internships are Eligible?

  • Internship experience must be shown to support students’ academic and career goals and development
  • Takes place during the Summer 2024 session: May 13, 2024 - August 23, 2024
  • Must be unpaid or low-paying (typically less than $12/hour, but could be higher in more expensive locations.)
  • Must be an off-campus internship (on-campus student employment jobs do not qualify)
  • Must be a minimum of six weeks and at least 180 hours total (exception for certain music/art/drama programs)
  • Must be supervised by a professional in the field throughout the entire internship
  • Student must be residing in the U.S. during the internship
  • Summer research internships based in Pittsburgh are eligible as long as they are off campus (e.g. University of Pittsburgh)
  • Contact the Undergraduate Research Office (URO) for summer research grant and funding information for CMU research

What is the difference between an internship and a job?

An internship is any carefully monitored work or experience in which a student has intentional learning goals and reflects actively on what she or he is learning throughout the experience. Internships vary widely from organization to organization. Some common characteristics of an internship include:

  • A time-limited experience that usually lasts about three months and occurs during the fall, spring or summer semesters
  • Generally a one-time experience
  • May be paid or unpaid
  • May be part of a learning plan that the intern and career consultant develop together
  • Is different from a short-term job or volunteer work and has an intentional “learning agenda” in a structured work environment
  • Includes learning objectives, observation, reflection, evaluation, and assessment
  • Has an existing employee working in the department/position to mentor and supervise the intern
  • Promotes academic, career and/or personal development

Before filling out the SIEF application, you must have the following materials and information ready:

1. Internship Offer Letter: from your employer. Must state paid or unpaid; if paid, must include hourly, monthly, or total pay, as well as any stipends. The letter must also include the start and end date of employment.

2. Resume: Your most recent resume or the resume you used to apply for the position.

3. Essay #1 - Internship Experience: Describe the organization, and the roles and responsibilities you will have as an intern. Explain how the internship will help you develop knowledge and skills specific to your postgraduate plans and broaden your understanding of the industry you’re working in. Include how this experience will positively affect your experience at Carnegie Mellon.

4. Essay #2 - Financial Need: Do you have any financial concerns/circumstances that might prohibit you from taking this experience because you need to earn a particular amount of wages over the summer? (For example, siblings in college or lack of parental financial assistance, contributing to family, etc.). Enter dollar amounts if available.

5. Financial Aid Award Documentation: If you receive any financial aid award, upload a copy of the letter. You can access your financial aid award on SIO. If you do not have an award letter, you may skip.

6. Anticipated costs: for Housing, Travel, and Food. You will complete the financial worksheet that is linked in the application. 

7. Employer and Supervisor Information: Name, Email, and Phone Number as well as Organization Address.

February 1

Students can begin submitting applications

May 3

Final deadline to submit and application

March 13 - May 12       

Candidates notified of approval status as applications are reviewed

May 2024-June 2024

Dispersal of Carnegie Mellon funds to students

August 23, 2024

Internship questionnaire due date

Students are expected to find their own internships for this grant. The CPDC has many resources available to students on the website, at workshops and job fairs, and listed on Handshake. Students should consider attending our spring career fairs, as well as our early engagement events, Jumpstart and Internship Showcase:

We also encourage you to meet with your Career Consultant to assist you in this process.  In addition, check with your academic advisor and network with family and friends to find opportunities.

2023 SIEF Recipients & Experiences


2022 SIEF Recipients & Experiences


2021 SIEF Recipients & Experiences


2020 SIEF Recipients & Experiences