Duke Career Center Internship Funding Program for Undergraduate Students

* The 2023 application cycle is now closed. The next cycle for applications will open in January 2024 *

The Duke Career Center’s Internship Funding Program for Undergraduate Students is a summer program designed to help support Duke students in their educational pursuit while participating in internships within their related area of study.

Through the generosity of corporate, individual and class donors, we are able to offer undergraduate students who accept unpaid or low-paying internships with grants of $4,000 to support living expenses while completing their summer experiences.

The Duke Career Center Internship Funding Program is a comprehensive experiential learning program that includes the integration of career development and thoughtful reflection into the student’s internship experience. The Internship Funding Program components include:

  • Application of academic principles: Participants will be applying the concepts taught in the Duke curriculum in real world practice through an internship or research project secured by their own means.
  • Professional skill development: Participants will gain the professional competencies and soft skills required to enter today’s job market, including successful completion of career relevant projects, development of technical skills, enhancement of communication and interpersonal skills, ability to work autonomously while solving real-world problems, and demonstrating the ability to contribute effectively within a team.
  • Awareness of strengths: Participants will complete a strength assessment as part of the Career Center’s Career Catalyst curriculum.
  • Impact-oriented networking: Participants will receive the opportunity to expand their professional networks by connecting with organizational mentors, industry professionals, similarly-minded peers, and leaders within their career fields of interest.
  • Insightful reflection: Participants will reflect upon their experiences through group reflection sessions, personal performance assessments, and final reflection essays. Participants will also verbally share insights from their summer experiences with university faculty, staff, and peers.

Summer 2023 Application Information

In effort to accommodate undergraduate students who are pursuing internships within organizations or industries with later recruiting timelines, the Duke Career Center has adopted a two deadline application process. Students should carefully review the following information and select the application period that best fits their summer plans.

Application Period Options

OPTION 1: Regular Application Period: Applications submitted during the Regular Application Period are reviewed during March with awards being announced on March 31. Students who have internships secured or are currently in the interview process should apply during the Regular Application Period. Please note that students are not required to have an offer confirmed in order to apply for funding. Recipients who apply during this period will receive their funding awards no later than the end of May.

  • January 18:  Virtual Information session available for viewing
  • January 23: Regular Application Period period opens at 8:00 a.m. ET (Go to Application)
  • February 27: Regular Application Period deadline
  • March 31: Award notifications sent by email
  • Mid-Late May: Awards distributed

OPTION 2: Late Application Period: Applications submitted during the Late Application Period are reviewed during April with awards being announced on April 27. This application period is for students who are pursuing opportunities within industries or organizations with later internship decision timelines. Applicants who apply during the Late Application Period will receive their funding awards in late June. Please note that earlier fund distribution cannot occur due to Duke Payroll’s processing timeline. Students are not required to have an offer confirmed in order to apply for funding. The number of Late Application Period awards granted will be dependent upon the amount of funding remaining available. Because of this, students are encouraged to apply during the Regular Application Period if at all possible.

  • January 18:  Virtual Information session available for viewing
  • February 28: Late Application Period opens at 8:00 a.m. ET (Go to Application)
  • April 6: Late Application Period deadline
  • April 27: Award notifications sent by email
  • Mid-Late June: Awards distributed

Please note: Applications will not be accepted after 11:59 p.m. on April 6. No exceptions will be made.

Eligible Students

  • Are currently enrolled in undergraduate coursework at the time of funding application (unfortunately, incoming first-year students are not eligible)
  • In good standing at Duke University (good standing applies to academics, conduct and student accounts)
  • Must be a matriculated, continuing student and be enrolled in coursework the fall following their internship
  • Application submitted to an internship(s) is a prerequisite for applying (extension or acceptance of an offer is not required to apply)
  • Agree to the terms of the Internship Funding Program including required participation in activities (see below)

Ineligible Students

  • Graduating seniors
  • Incoming first-year undergraduates
  • DKU students and matriculated students from other academic institutions
  • Students not enrolled in a degree-earning program at Duke
  • Students who have already committed to another Duke summer program (Duke Engage, Bass Connections, Data+, etc.)
  • Students receiving full funding from other Duke sources
  • Students currently on academic and/or conduct probation
  • Master’s student enrolled within Duke’s professional schools (Other master’s students are invited to apply to the Master’s Internship Funding Program)
  • Doctoral students

Eligible Experiences

  • 240 hours or more of supervised experience completed during the summer
  • Supervision and regular feedback from a designated professional within the organization
  • Less than $1,500 (gross pay, international currency equivalent) compensation (exceptions may apply for areas with high cost of living expenses)
  • If the experience takes place abroad, students must comply with the University’s Global Travel Policy, including the Restricted Regions List (waiver of restriction is sometimes possible and must be granted by university leadership)
  • In-person and hybrid opportunities are both eligible for funding. Hybrid opportunities must include a minimum of 2 on-site days per week.
  • Applicants may apply for consideration of up to three qualifying internships.  Funding may only be applied to the experience(s) indicated in the application.
  • Students may not complete other summer programs concurrently with their internships
  • Unfortunately, academic research opportunities (including independent research projects, research internships, and summer lab assistant positions) are not eligible

Ineligible Experiences

  • Fee-based volunteer programs
  • Tuition-based experiences
  • Shadowing programs
  • Courses or training programs without an experiential learning component equivalent to that described above
  • Fully remote opportunities or hybrid opportunities that do not meet the 2-day/week onsite requirement
  • Paid internships that exceed the $1500 compensation limit
  • Academic research opportunities including independent projects, research internships, and summer lab assistant positions held in conjunction with Duke or other academic institutions
  • Experiences without regular supervision by a professional
  • Duke-sponsored summer programs (including DukeEngage, Bass Connections, Data+, etc.)
  • Experiences that begin and/or end outside of the summer term 
  • Internships with Duke University departments, research labs/groups, academic colleges, or affiliated offices

How To Apply

  • Watch the virtual information session Internship Funding Program Application Landing Page
  • Go to the Internship Funding Program’s Online Application (Go to Application)
  • Review the information on the application’s landing page
  • Complete the 4 steps of the application process
    1. Career Center Internship Funding Program Acknowledgements
    2. Career Center Internship Funding Program Personal Statement (guidelines for statement)
    3. Career Center Internship Funding Program Questionnaire
    4. Duke Experiences Application (includes uploading resume and unofficial transcripts)
      • References: This is a common application shared by multiple summer programs on campus. It asks for the contact information for 2 references. The Internship Funding Program does not use these references when evaluating your application, however you must complete the information for the application to be accepted by the system. If you are not applying to other Duke Summer programs who use this application, you can enter the names of friends/family since we will not be contacting references.
  • All components of the application must be completed by the application deadline. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Program Terms & Conditions

  • Awards are not transferable to internships outside of the scope of the application
  • Recipients cannot concurrently participate in any other university-sponsored program while completing program
  • Recipients must write a thank you letter to the donor upon the conclusion of the experience (to be forwarded to the donor)
  • Recipients will submit a reflective essay at the conclusion of the internship (to be forwarded to the donor)
  • Recipients will submit two photos that document their internship experience (to be forwarded to the donor and shared through the Career Center’s social media)
  • Recipients are required to participate in a mid-summer reflection activities/meetings and post-internship reflection reception
  • Recipients are required to submit learning objectives, progression updates, performance reviews, and any additional documentation requested by their site supervisor and Career Center administration
  • Terms for international and domestic travel may differ based upon destination and university policies
  • Recipient must complete the number of hours indicated on their funding application. Failure to do so will result in the repayment of award.
  • All criteria are required and are conditions of the funding. Failure to comply with conditions will result in the repayment of award and will jeopardize future funding
  • Recipients are required to immediately notify the Career Center of any changes in summer experience plans
  • Additional terms and conditions are outlined in the Internship Funding Program’s handbook

Career Center Resources Available for Application Assistance

To assist with guiding you through the application process, the Duke Career Center offers the following resources to students:

  • 15-minute virtual appointments with IFP program coordinator (for questions about the program and application process; please review Career Hub and information session prior to attending). Email to arrange appointment times.
  • Individual appointments with the Career Center’s advising team (for assistance and review of personal statement and resume)
  • Drop-ins with Career Center’s advising team (for review of personal statement and resume; 5-10 minute concerns only)
  • Handshake recruiting system that includes internship postings and recruiting event information
  • Internship search resources
  • IFP Coordinator email for questions or concerns not address through above resources (due to volume of email messages received, please allow an average of 24-48 hours for response)

Additional University Funding Sources

The Duke Career Center encourages you to explore all funding sources available through the university. The following are resources that can help you identify other funding programs at Duke:

  • Duke Summer Experiences Database: a centralized listing of university-sponsored summer programs, many of which offer some form of funding. Please note that each program has their own application timeline, deadlines, and processes. If an application deadline has passed, you may still want to reach out to the program coordinator to inquire whether any additional funds are available or if they are accepting late applications.
  • Office of Undergraduate Research Support Website: a listing of Duke’s funding programs which includes research, internship, and fellowship awards. Although the URS office maintains the database, each funding source will have its own application procedure, eligibility criteria, and deadlines.
  • Your academic department or Duke departments related to the topic of your internship: Some individual departments have alumni gifts that are used to support summer experiences. The funding isn’t part of a formal program so it wouldn’t be included in URS’s database or the Summer Experiences Database. Please note that not all departments or centers have this type of funding, however it may be worth inquiring about.

Frequently Asked Questions

As part of the application process, the Internship Funding Program is using the new Duke Experiences Application which asks for 2 references. This is a common application that is shared by multiple Duke summer programs as part of their selection process. The Internship Funding Program does NOT use the references as part of its selection process, however the information must be completed in order for the system to accept your application. If you are NOT applying to other summer programs what use the common application, you can list the names and contact information for family or friends as we will not be contacting the references. However, if you are applying to other summer programs, the references can be professional, academic, or personal contacts.

YES! You can still apply for funding even if you have not yet accepted an internship. However, you must be in the application process for the internship in order to be considered for funding.

You may list up to three internships for which you would like to be considered for funding. Unfortunately, funding cannot be applied to experiences that are not listed on your application.

The Career Center’s Internship Funding Program is only applicable to experiences that begin and end during summer.

Unfortunately, we cannot fund all applicants due to limited resources. The Internship Funding Program is competitive and applicants should take time to create the strongest application possible.

Due to limited resources, the Career Center can no longer provide funding towards research projects and summer lab positions. Students who are seeking financial assistance for these opportunities are encouraged to explore the resources listed under the Additional University Funding Sources section of this site.

Due to limited funds, awards cannot exceed $4,000. However, students may be able to obtain additional funding from other Duke sources. Please note that not all Duke summer funding programs permit recipients to receive funds beyond their program award.

Yes, you may still apply. The selection committee will take into consideration factors such as cost of living as part of their evaluation process.

Unfortunately, the Internship Funding Program cannot fund graduating seniors or graduate students. Recipients must have an undergraduate class standing of first-year, sophomore, junior, or first-semester senior.

Yes, funding can only be applied to the internships that are listed on your application. If you decide to accept a position outside of those on the application, your award will be rescinded and reallocated to another student.

Students who do not complete at least 240 hours of their agreed upon internship must return their funding award in its entirety.

In addition to completing the agreed upon internship, you will be asked to participate in activities such as a departure workshop, check-in sessions, reflection activities as well as write a thank you letter to your donor, submit at least 2 photos taken during your internship, and complete a reflection essay which will shared with your award donor.

Additional funding programs can be found on Career Hub in addition to the Duke Summer Experiences database. Students are also encouraged to inquire about funding within their academic departments.