Stipends for Unpaid Summer Internships

Career Center Stipends

Undergraduate students interested in exploring career options in the public, private and non-profit sectors are encouraged to pursue a summer internship. To help offset the costs of summer internships, the Career Center provides a limited number of stipends to qualified students.

Undergraduate students can apply for a merit award, up to $1,000, or a need-based award, up to $3,000. Award amounts are determined by several factors including, but not limited to, number of weeks working, hours per week, location, budget and financial need. Financial need status is determined by the Office of Student Financial Services

The following are not eligible to receive a stipend:

  1. Paid experiences (*possible exception for need-based applicants)
  2. Students working on political campaigns
  3. Students participating in a program they must pay to attend
  4. Students receiving funding for their summer experience from other WashU programs/departments
  5. Students interning or performing research for a WashU or WashU School of Medicine department (*students may apply for an award with the Office of Undergraduate Research).


  • Stipend applicants must be current undergraduate students returning full time for at least one undergraduate semester in the fall after their internship.
  • Applicants must have secured offers or be in the interview process. Internships must be unpaid or low-paying. *Low-paying internship support will only be considered for students with demonstrated financial need through the university. Students must also document a cost of living financial need exceeding that of internship wages.
  • Internships must last a minimum of six weeks during the summer, full- or part-time.
  • If the internship takes place abroad, students must comply with the University’s International Travel Policy.

Recipient Information

  • Stipend recipients must attend a stipend pre-departure meeting before leaving for the summer. Details will be emailed to all recipients. 
  • Students will be required to submit a thank you note to program donors.
  • Summer plans must also be reported in Handshake by May 1.
  • Stipend recipients will be required to fill out a post evaluation survey and internship success story: Career Center Success Stories.

How to Apply

Applications will be open January 1. Application deadlines are March 1, April 1 and April 25. Decisions will be made by April 1 and May 1 at the latest. Students applying for merit-awards will find out their award status in the second decision round (by May 1) regardless of application submission date. 

Applications after the April deadline will not be considered. Students who have applied to summer internships but have not yet secured offers can still apply to the program. Students without an offer will need to be in the internship interview process and must meet with a Career Advisor during the spring semester to be considered for funding.  Final plans must be secured by May 1 and sent to the Career Center.

The Career Center utilizes a centralized application system to review all requests. Applications will be reviewed by a committee, and selected recipients receive awards through one of the available program funds. 

If you have further questions, please contact the Career Center.

Application Procedure

Required application components include:

  • Resume, internship details, job description, breakdown of estimated expenses directly related to internship, short essay, and proof of offer or interview

Help calculating mileage costs.

Help calculating cost of living.

*Please save your application as a word document before submitting the online application in case there are technical issues

Financial Aid and Tax Implications

Stipends are intended to help cover cost of living expenses associated with a summer internship. There may be financial aid and/or tax implications for awards. Please contact the Office of Student Financial Services for questions related to financial aid. See details on tax implications.

Apply for a stipend