Carnegie Mellon University

Summer Internship Opportunity Grants

Dietrich College encourages its undergraduate students to find and undertake professionally relevant and meaningful summer internship opportunities. We understand that many of these opportunities are unpaid or, at best, provide minimal compensation. Yet it is often these very positions that provide students with work experiences that are invaluable in helping them define and move forward toward their career goals.

We have instituted the Dietrich College Summer Internship Opportunity Grant Program to make it more possible for our undergraduate students to take advantage of less remunerative but worthwhile summer internship opportunities. The goal of the program is to minimize or eliminate any out-of-pocket costs to students who receive and accept an offer from such an internship sponsor, and particularly for students who would not be able to participate in a low- or unpaid summer internship without this support. Grants of up to $2,000 per internship are available.

Students may submit applications in Handshake (the recruiting platform for the Career and Professional Development Center [“CPDC”]) beginning Tuesday, January 16, 2018.

  1. Secure an off-campus internship.
  2. Bring your internship offer letter with you to meet with your CPDC career consultant to develop learning objectives and review your resume and projected internship expense/revenue form. 
  3. Submit your application, essay, expense/revenue form, and resume in Handshake.
  4. Complete your internship and submit your completed internship questionnaire to dietrichdean@andrew.cmu.edu.
  5. Meet with your career consultant to identify skills acquired or enhanced in your internship, and update your resume to reflect these skills.
Which students are eligible?

To qualify for a Dietrich College Summer Internship Opportunity Grant, students must be undergraduates, be registered as a primary major in one of the Dietrich College major programs, or be enrolled in the BHA program at the time of application. Graduating seniors (i.e., seniors graduating in May or August of 2018 and not enrolling for the Fall 2018 semester) are not eligible.

Preference is given to:

  • Current sophomores and juniors
  • Students accepting internships in the public or non-profit sectors
  • Students with high financial need
  • Students who have not had a meaningful internship experience
  • Students who have not received prior internship funding from the university

What internships are eligible?

Students are expected to find their own internships. To be eligible for one of these summer 2018 grants, internships must:

  • Be off-campus
  • Last at least six weeks, or 180 hours
  • Demonstrably support students’ academic and career goals and development
  • Take place during the summer of 2018, after the spring 2018 semester ends and before the fall 2018 semester begins (i.e., between May 14, 2018 and August 12, 2018)
  • Be supervised by a professional in the field throughout the entire internship
Before being granted access to apply for a grant on Handshake, you must:
  • Schedule and attend an appointment with your CPDC career consultant. Be sure to bring the following items with you to this meeting:
    1. Your internship offer letter, complete with information about:
      • Any compensation you will receive for the internship.
      • The start- and end-dates of the internship.
      • Title of the internship, and description of the work you will be doing as an intern.
      • Name, job title and contact information of the person who will supervise you in your internship.
      • Mention and description of any additional steps or documentation that the internship sponsor will require before you can begin the internship (e.g., background check; security clearances; “memorandum of understanding” (MOU) with Carnegie Mellon University).
      • The deadline date for you to respond to and accept the internship offer.
      • NOTE: If your internship offer letter does not include all of this information, request a written supplement to the letter from the person who signed the offer letter that furnishes any missing information.

    2. Documentation (e.g., from the internship organization’s web site) confirming the organization’s non-profit or for-profit status.
    3. A copy of your resume.
    4. Projected summer expense and revenue form [pdf].

Please note that these grant funds are considered a nonqualified scholarship under IRS regulations. As a result, for U.S. tax residents, taxes will not be withheld from the payment; nor will Carnegie Mellon issue a tax statement (W-2 or 1099) to the recipient or the IRS for the payment. It is your responsibility to include information about the grant funds on your personal income tax return. You should consult your personal tax advisor for additional information or if you have additional questions. Nonresident aliens (Non-U.S. tax residents) may also be subject to tax withholding and reporting requirements. If you are a non-resident alien, it is your responsibility to discuss employment authorization with your OIE advisor for any employment opportunity that involves an employer other than Carnegie Mellon University.


If selected to receive one of these grants, you will be required to:

  • Have at least three formal meetings during the summer with your internship supervisor (on-boarding, mid-summer evaluation, and final evaluation).
  • Complete an internship questionnaire and reflective essay about your summer experience and how it affected your career interests and goals.
  • Schedule an appointment with your CPDC career consultant at the beginning of the Fall 2018 semester to discuss your summer internship experience and how to incorporate relevant facets and takeaways from the experience into your resume.

There are many resources available to help you find eligible internships, starting with the CPDC on its web site, at workshops and job fairs, and opportunities listed on Handshake.

You should consider attending the CPDC spring career fairs, as well as its early engagement events, Jumpstart and Internship Showcase:

  • Jumpstart - A networking and internship fair for freshmen and sophomores, for undergraduates only.
  • Internship Showcase - Connect with other students to learn what a great internship experience can do for your job search.

We also encourage you to meet with your CPDC career consultant to assist you in your internship search, as well as your academic advisor, family and friends. For a sampling of Dietrich College undergraduates and recent internships, see the recent editions of the Dietrich College Internship Insider.

To apply for a Dietrich Summer 2018 Internship Opportunity Grant, you must have an internship offer for Summer 2018. You must also schedule and attend an appointment with your CPDC career consultant before you are able to apply. You must bring your internship offer letter and resume to this appointment. During this meeting, your CPDC consultant will review the application process, confirm your eligibility for the program, and assist you as needed with the internship grant application and projected expense/revenue form.

After meeting with your CPDC consultant, you submit your application materials on Handshake. Make sure that the following documents are filled out and uploaded into your document library in order to have your application considered complete:

Essay Prompt:

This essay should provide more information to the review committee about how your internship will impact and connect to your future plans.

  • Describe the organization, and the roles and responsibilities you will have as an intern.
  • Explain your learning objectives for the summer, focusing on:
    • How the internship will help you develop knowledge and skills specific to your post-baccalaureate plans.
    • How this experience will positively affect your experience at Carnegie Mellon.
    • How this will broaden your understanding of the related industry or professional sector.

You will also be asked for information about financial need and financial aid that you receive to attend CMU, if you have applied for and/or received any other Carnegie Mellon internship funding for the summer of 2018, and to list and describe these in more detail.

Completed applications will be reviewed after the following rolling application deadlines:

  • February 23, 2018 (notification: week of March 12, 2018)
  • March 23, 2018 (notification: week of April 9, 2018)
  • April 6, 2018 (notification: week of April 23, 2018)

Grant awards will continue until all funds are committed.

January 16, 2018 Students can begin submitting applications.
February 13, 2018 Workshop for students applying (Danforth Conference Room, CUC).
April 6, 2018 Application deadline.
February 23, 2018; March 23, 2018; April 6, 2018 Rolling application deadlines.
Week of March 12, 2018; week of April 9, 2018; week of April 23, 2018 Rolling notification dates (via email).
Week of April 23, 20181 Candidates notified (via email).
June 2018 Dispersal of funds to students.
September 2018 Appointment with CPDC consultant and internship questionnaire due.

1NOTE: If your deadline for responding to your internship offer is sooner than the week when you are scheduled to be notified, and your ability to accept the offer is contingent on whether or not you receive a grant, we will make every effort to review and respond to your application soon enough for you to meet your response deadline.

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:

  • Is a time-limited experience that usually lasts about three months and occurs during the fall semester, spring semester, or summer.
  • Is generally a one-time experience.
  • Must be at least 180 hours and/or 6 weeks.
  • 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.

When is the application due, and when will applicants be notified?

There are three “rolling deadlines:” February 23, 2018; March 23, 2018; and April 6, 2018. Only completed applications will be considered, and will be reviewed as soon as possible after each of the deadlines. April 6, 2018 is the final deadline.

What if I must respond to my internship offer sooner than when I am scheduled to be notified?

If your submitted application is complete, your deadline for responding to your internship offer is sooner than the week when you are scheduled to be notified, and your ability to accept the offer is contingent on whether or not you receive a grant, we will make every effort to review and respond to your application soon enough for you to meet your response deadline.

Is it possible to submit an application after the April 6, 2018 deadline?

Yes. Completed applications received after April 6, 2018, will be placed in a “wait list” pool. If after all completed applications have been reviewed and decisions made there are any internship grant funds remaining, the application period will be re-opened and completed applications reviewed in the order in which they were received until all funds have been dispersed, or by May 14, 2018, whichever occurs first.