This opportunity is for Penn graduate students

Many summer internships for graduate students, particularly in certain fields, are often unpaid or significantly underpaid. 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. With financial support from GAPSA. Penn Career Services has funds to support selected 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. Funding amounts will be related to the career development value of the internship, the number of hours/weeks, and the identified needs of students, and will fall into one of four funding categories: $4500, $3000, $2225, and $1500.

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 the GAPSA Summer Internship Funding Program coordinated by Penn Career Services must:

  • Be current students enrolled in a graduate or professional degree program in any of Penn’s Schools
    • Students who are on leave during the spring 2023 semester are not eligible to apply
    • Students enrolled in accelerated/submatriculation degree programs who have not yet received their bachelor’s degree are not eligible. These students should seek funding from [Career Services/P1P programs]
  • Have an offer for a summer internship opportunity. Internships should be:
    • Unpaid (underpaid internships can be considered for funding only if there is a clear illustration that the internship is well below market rate)
    • Held within the May-Aug window (not an on-going internship that overlaps the semester)
    • 4-10 weeks in duration
    • Full-time (e.g., >35 hours per week) to be eligible for the full funding
    • Part-time (e.g., ~18 hours per week) to be eligible for partial funding
    • 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
    • Research experiences related to thesis or dissertation work are not eligible
  • Be willing to write a brief (500 word) summary of your experience at the end of the summer, which will be posted on the Penn Career Services blog
  • Please note:
    • No documentation is required to apply. Applicants can be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, international students, DACAmented students, or undocumented students.
    • Before you apply – please speak to your departmental business administrator to ensure that additional funding does not conflict with any financial support, awards, or fellowships you have received from Penn or your specific School/Department.
    • PhD students receiving a stipend during summer months are not eligible to receive this award in the months they receive a stipend.

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 (e.g., data science bootcamp)
  • You are seeking support for internships or professional experiences undertaken as part of a requirement for your degree or which earn academic credit
  • You are requesting financial support for your on-going dissertation or thesis research
  • Your summer experience is shorter than 4 weeks
  • Your summer experience requires fewer than 18 hours of work per week
  • You will graduate in May 2023
  • You are an online graduate student
  • You are a postdoc

How to Apply

The 2023 GAPSA Summer Internship Funding Program is open now for graduate students to apply. In order to apply, you must complete the following steps:

  • Complete the GAPSA Summer Internship Funding Program form:
  • Submit, as part of your application, the following components:
    • 1-2 page resume – For tips on putting together resumes, please see this doctoral student resource or this Master’s student resource.
    • Internship offer letter – this can be a formal letter or a screenshot of the email extending you the offer
    • Application letter – in no more than 1000 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, experience, and knowledge, and why this will help you in your professional and career development
      • Why this particular opportunity is a good fit, and what you have done to determine this
      • The financial need that this funding helps with.

If you have a general question about the application/program, please contact Dr. Joseph Barber, Director of Graduate Career Initiatives, Penn Career Services, at

Review Process and Notification

A committee will review all applications and will select those who will receive support. The deadline to apply is 12pm on the 15th May, 2023. The committee will review all applications following the deadline and notify all applicants as soon as possible after the deadline.

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 conditions 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.