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Funding for Unpaid Internships

Funding for Unpaid Internships

Call for Applications for Funding for Students in Unpaid Internships from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences

The Fund for Students in Unpaid Internships, established in 2019 with donations from 139 friends and members of the TCNJ community, provides a stipend of at least $750 for a 1 unit/4 credit HSS internship with an HSS faculty sponsor, for students with financial need who undertake an unpaid mentored internship for academic credit at a site focused on public service and social justice. Students from groups that are underrepresented in the Humanities and Social Sciences or at TCNJ and first-generation college students are especially encouraged to apply.

The School of Humanities and Social Sciences is comprised of 11 different programs and approximately 2,000 students, making it the largest school on campus. Students in many HSS programs complete faculty-supervised internships for academic credit. Internships provide an opportunity for students to apply their classroom learning beyond the campus, serve the community, and network with professionals. Unlike internships in other fields, internships in the nonprofit and governmental sectors typically are unpaid. For example, in 2019, 115 HSS students undertook unpaid internships, collectively foregoing over $150,000 of paid work. Students who must work for pay instead of taking internships thus face special obstacles in building career paths in public service and social justice.

All students with financial need who are registered (or will be registered) for an internship related to public service may apply but priority will be given to students who articulate how the public service/social justice internship broadly corresponds to their future career interests. Student financial need will be confirmed by the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

To apply for the Dean’s Fund for Students in Unpaid Internships:

For Fall 2021, please submit the following four items by August 15, 2021 to

  1. Contact information (name, phone number, and email address) of the supervising faculty member who would be able to explain how you are prepared, via coursework and relevant prior experience, to carry out the internship.
  2. Statement of current registration status for the internship. If you are not yet registered, please explain where you are in the application process. The eligible course numbers are 398, 399, 487 and 488.
  3. A short 2-page personal essay that explains why you are seeking funding for an unpaid internship. Your essay must include:
    1. A header with your name, email, class year, major(s) (and minor if relevant), dates of the internship, the name of your HSS faculty supervisor, the name of your internship site, and a link to the organization’s website (if available).
    2. A description of the internship for which you are applying for support. Include a description of the internship site, your responsibilities at the site, and your learning goals for the internship.
    3. Have you already been offered the internship? If not, when do you expect to hear from the employer?
    4. An explanation of how the internship will benefit your academic program and future goals.
    5. An explanation of how the funding will enable you to undertake the internship, given your financial circumstances.
  4. A TCNJ academic transcript (unofficial is fine).

Applications are to be submitted by email to Anne Marie Maratea, HSS Management Assistant, Awards will be announced by one week after the application deadline. Winners will be expected to write a thank you note to the primary donor and also to participate in an event, such as the Donors and Scholars event at Alumni Weekend, to highlight their internship experience.