Many summer internships, particularly in certain fields, provide only a small stipend or do not pay at all. Sometimes the internships are located in cities with a high cost of living. This means that some students are unable to take advantage of excellent positions, which are sometimes the first step towards a career in a given field. Other students wish to participate in nonprofit, NGO, or research work away from home. Career Services has funds to allow select students to pursue unfunded or under-funded summer opportunities. Awards are intended to cover travel expenses, living expenses, and/or other expenses related to the summer experience, up to $4,500.

This is a competitive process, so please pay close attention to the details and instructions below to give your application the best chance of success.

Eligibility Requirements

Students applying for Career Services Summer Funding must:

  • Be a currently-enrolled, full-time, undergraduate Penn student returning to Penn for the Fall 2023 semester
    • Graduating students and students who are on leave during the spring 2023 semester are not eligible to apply
  • Receive financial aid from Penn and have a family income of $65,500-$140,000
  • Have an offer for a summer opportunity such as an internship, service program, or research opportunity
    • Opportunities must be at least least 8 weeks in length and at least 30 hours per week
    • You must attach the offer letter/email to Career Services with your application to be considered
    • Study abroad programs and summer courses, even those with an internship or volunteer component, are not eligible for funding
    • Fee-based internship programs are not eligible for funding
  • Be willing to write a brief (450 word) summary of your experience at the end of the summer, which will be shared with our donors and posted on our blog
  • Please note that no documentation is required to apply
    • Applicants can be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, international students, DACAmented students, or undocumented students

Turner Schulman Human Rights Internship Award (CAS Undergrads Only)

One of the dedicated summer funding awards through Career Services is the Turner Schulman Human Rights Internship Award, created in June 2017 by Suzie Turner C’82 and David Schulman C’82 L’85 to allow undergraduate Penn students to follow their passions to further human rights causes here and around the globe. If you are an undergraduate student in the College and your opportunity is related to human rights, please indicate that as part of your Career Services summer funding application questionnaire.

Please Do NOT Apply for Funding If:

  • You are seeking funding for a summer course, even if that course has an internship or volunteer component
  • You are already receiving funds that cover the cost of living and travel expenses for this opportunity
  • You are participating in a fee-based internship program
  • Your summer experience is shorter than 8 weeks
  • Your summer experience requires fewer than 30 hours of work per week
  • You will graduate in May 2023 or August 2023

How to Apply

The 2023 Summer Funding application will open on February 1, 2023. In order to apply, you must complete the following steps:

  • Review an overview of the program here: https://careerservices.upenn.edu/resources/career-services-summer-funding-program-overview-application-tips-faqs/
  • Complete the Career Services Summer Funding Application form starting February 1, 2023: https://curf-upenn.smapply.io/prog/career_services_summer_funding
  • Submit, as part of your application, the following components:
      • Resume – please see our How to Write a Resume Guide for assistance
      • Internship Offer Letter – this can be a formal letter or a screenshot of the email extending you the offer
      • Detailed Budget – complete the Excel budget template and upload to your application as a PDF file
        • Expenses you can include in your budget
          • Rent/housing in your internship location
          • Utilities (gas, electricity, etc.)
          • Food
          • Transportation to and from your internship location
          • Local transportation for daily commute
          • Immunizations
          • Travel visas
          • Other expenses directly related to the work experience
        • Expenses that you may not include in your budget
          • Any expenses or savings for the 2023-2024 academic year
          • Philadelphia rent costs (if you are interning outside of Philadelphia)
          • Security deposits for housing
          • Summer courses
        • Note that preference will be given to students who submit a modest budget that demonstrates an ability to live economically
      • Personal Statement – in roughly 450 words, please include the following
        • The position you have been offered and whether this is a funded or unfunded position
        • What you hope to learn from this position in terms of specific skills and knowledge, and why this will help you in your career path
        • Why this particular opportunity is a good fit, and what you have done to determine this

Looking for some guidance?

Personal statements can be reviewed by the Peer Career Advising staff.  Please upload your document to the Document Request Form and select the Personal Statement category upon submission.  Please keep in mind that Peer Career Advisors aim to review all documents within one week of submission and plan accordingly.

If you have a general question about the application/program, please contact Laura Brasch, Associate Director of Career Services, at lbrasch@upenn.edu

Review Process and Notification

A committee will review all applications and will select those who will receive support. The deadlines are not rolling. The committee will review all applications following each deadline and notify all applicants at the dates listed in the table. You may not submit the same application for more than one round. If your first application is not accepted, you may apply for a later round with a different opportunity.

Please note that funding is not guaranteed for all students who apply – the process is competitive, though Career Services aims to support as many students as possible.

*The award will be treated as taxable income, which the recipient will be responsible to report for the tax year in which it was received. Please note that funding awarded to international students will be pre-taxed at a 30% rate, unless there are tax treaties in place with the origin country, per Penn’s policy. Funding awarded to domestic students will be treated as taxable income, post-award.

**Please note that funding awards are contingent upon the student being able to take part in the internship. Should the changing public health situation render the internship no longer possible before the start of the internship, money will no longer be distributed or (if already distributed), will need to be returned. 


You must have already received your offer for your internship/research/work experience in order to apply. We encourage you to apply for the earliest round that you are eligible for so that you can have your funding disbursed to you before the summer begins. Note that these are not rolling deadlines, and applications will be reviewed all at once following each deadline.

Round #1 Round #2 Round #3 Round #4
Application Deadline Sunday, February 26, 2023 at 11:00pm EST Sunday, March 26, 2023 at 11:00pm EST Sunday, April 16, 2023 at 11:00pm EST Wednesday, May 10, 2023 at 11:00 pm EST
Decisions Emailed Friday, March 17, 2023 by 5:00pm EST Friday, April 14, 2023 by 5:00pm EST Friday, May 5, 2023 by 5:00pm EST Friday, May 26, 2023 by 5:00 pm EST
Deadline to Accept Award Friday, March 24, 2023 at 12:00pm EST Friday, April 21, 2023 at 12:00pm EST Friday, May 12, 2023 at 12:00pm EST Wednesday, May 31, 2023 at 12:00pm EST
**Estimated** Award Disbursement Friday, April 7, 2023 by 5:00pm EST Friday, May 5, 2023 by 5:00pm EST Friday, June 2, 2023 by 5:00pm EST TBD

Please note that the above dates of award disbursement are estimated; while Career Services will make all efforts to pay selected students by the designated dates, delays may occur.