Carnegie Mellon University

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 Grants 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 Friday, February 24, 2017.

  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. You need to attend this meeting before you can submit your application.
  3. Submit your application, essay, expense/revenue form, and resume in Handshake.
  4. Complete your internship and submit your completed internship questionnaire to
  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 Study Summer Internship Opportunity Grant, students must be undergraduates, and 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 2017 and not enrolling for the Fall 2017 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 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 2017 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 2017, after the spring 2017 semester ends and before the fall 2017 semester begins (i.e., between May 15, 2017 and August 21, 2017)
  • 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:
    • 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
      • the deadline date for you to respond to the internship offer by either accepting or declining the 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.

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 2017 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 2016-2017 Dietrich College Internship Insider.

To apply for a Dietrich Summer 2017 Internship Opportunity Grant, you must have an internship offer for Summer 2017. 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 can apply 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
  • Specifically 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 grants for the summer of 2017, and to list and describe these in more detail.

February 24, 2017 Students can begin submitting applications
April 7, 2017 Submission deadline
Week of April 24, 20171 Candidates notified (via email)
June 2017 Dispersal of funds to students
September 2017 Appointment with CPDC consultant and internship questionnaire due

1 NOTE: If your deadline for responding to your internship offer is sooner than the week of April 24, 2017, 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?

The deadline for submitting an application is April 7, 2017. Only completed applications will be considered.

When will applicants be notified?

In general, completed applications will be reviewed during the week of April 17, 2017, and applicants notified during the week of April 24, 2017.

What if I must respond to my internship offer before the week of April 24, 2017?

If your submitted application is complete, your deadline for responding to your internship offer is sooner than the week of April 24, 2017, 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 7, 2017 deadline?

Yes. Completed applications received after April 7, 2017, 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 15, 2017, whichever occurs first.