FUNDING for Unpaid Internships

Applying for Remote Internship & SURF Funding in 2020 (Published April 7, 2020)

In prior summers, remote internships or research fellowships were not eligible for University funding. However, in recognition of the extraordinary situation due to COVID-19, students are now eligible to apply for University funding for Summer 2020 to participate in remote internship and research opportunities.

● If interning remotely full‐time (30‐40 hrs/wk), the stipend will be $250 a week, maximum $2000 (8 weeks)

● If interning remotely part‐time (20‐30 hrs/wk), the stipend will be $175 a week, maximum $1400 (8 weeks)

● If interning remotely part‐time (10‐20 hrs/wk), the stipend will be $125 a week, maximum $1000 (8 weeks)

SURF Research Fellowships hosted by Sewanee faculty are still developing and where possible, converting opportunities to allow remote projects. Due to the circumstances, you may apply for Research Funding until April 15. Reach out to your professors for updates and request documentation describing remote duties with your application.

The internship funding application remains the same, but the deadline is extended to April 15. A conversation should be held with your sponsor about the possibility of working remotely.  Confirmations from sponsors should specify the probability of remote projects or if the internship can only be conducted in person (on-site).An online 2020 confirmation form OR an offer letter from your internship sponsor that includes:
  • The sponsor's name, department, phone number and email address;

  • The number of hours per week and weeks for the internship; 

  • A brief description of the responsibilities of the intern, and documentation describing remote duties.

*If the national COVID-19 situation has not substantially improved, University funding may only be allocated to approved REMOTE internships. Internships & research fellowships will be reassessed by the Executive Management Emergency Team just prior to May 1, and funding decisions will be announced on May 1 via email. The University’s decisions are informed by state governor’s executive orders, CDC guidelines, and State Department travel warnings.


Internships are an important way to get insights into a career field, obtain valuable professional experience, and develop new skills. To facilitate this, Sewanee offers funding to our students to provide stipends for unpaid internships. Why do an ordinary summer job when you can do a meaningful internship in your field of interest? 

To apply for funding, first you find an existing internship OR dream up your own at an organization of your choice, then secure it with a sponsor at that organization, and then apply for funding through Sewanee Career Center.






FAQs: Internship & Research Fellowship Funding


Adjustments to 2020 Internships and Funding




WRITING THE FUNDING PROPOSAL: GUIDELINES (including interview tips and examples)








What are ACE internships on Handshake? 

ACE internships are hosted by alumni, parents, and friends specifically for Sewanee students. Some ACE internships are paid while others are unpaid, and many have been offered for over a decade. Students receiving unpaid ACE internships can apply for funding. 

Who is eligible to apply for ACE internships on Handshake? 

ACE internships are for currently enrolled, degree-seeking Sewanee students only.

Is it better to apply early for ACE internships on Handshake? Will it increase my chances of getting the internship?

No. All applications are automatically bundled and sent to the internship sponsors after the deadline has passed, therefore it does not matter whether you apply early or late. However, you are encouraged to apply at least a few days in advance of the deadline in case any issues arise that would hamper your application, since no late applications can be accepted.

If I apply for an ACE internship, do I automatically get an interview and funding?

No. Interviews are set up at the discretion of the ACE internship sponsor. And if the ACE internship is unpaid and you are selected by the sponsor to be their intern for the summer, you are not guaranteed funding: you must apply for funding by the internship funding deadline (MARCH 1 for research fellowships with Sewanee faculty; APRIL 15 for all other internships.)




How do I apply for internship funding?

First, you need to actually have been offered an unpaid internship; you can only receive funding for an internship that you have already secured. To find an internship, search for contacts/internships within your personal/family network, Handshake (especially all the ACE internships since they are for Sewanee students only), Sewanee faculty with whom you would like to do academic research, the online directory of Sewanee alumni (Sewanee Gateway),; these are just a few ways to get started. If you need more help, please make an appointment with the Career Center.

Please note: Unpaid ACE internships are not automatically funded; if you are offered an unpaid ACE internship, you must then apply for funding, which is not guaranteed.

How many students are awarded internship funding each year?

Because award funds available are based on the performance of the internship funds’ endowment, the number of stipends may vary from year to year. The average number of applicants per year that receive funding from Sewanee is almost 75%. 

I received internship funding last year. Can I get funding again for this summer?

It depends on many factors, including the amount of funding available that particular year, the number of students who are applying for funding, and whether or not you have received funding in previous years. Please note that funding is usually not awarded to do an internship at the same organization twice.

Are there any internships that are NOT usually funded?

The following internships are less likely to be selected for funding: private corporate law firms, partisan organizations, internships with a family member/business, and remote/offsite internships (you must be in the same location as your internship sponsor.) Also, internship programs that provide placement for you (for a fee, usually) are not funded.

Note on international internships: Sewanee will not award funding to do internships in any country that is listed on the U.S. Department of State's travel advisory as a Level 3 or 4. To see a complete list of Travel Advisories for every country in the world, see  Click on this color-coded world map for a global view.

How long can my internship last?

You can receive funding for up to 8 weeks. If your internship is longer than 8 weeks, you can certainly carry out your internship for longer, but you cannot receive funding for the additional weeks you choose to stay. If you apply for both internship funding and research fellowship funding, please know that you can only be awarded up to 8 weeks combined, so you may have to choose either one or the other or reduce your number of weeks for each opportunity.

How can I improve my chances of getting awarded internship funding? What is the most important aspect of my application?

Everything (proposal, resume, etc.) plays a role in a successful application, but the most critical factor is whether you are able to develop a substantial internship that will allow you to make a contribution to the organization and help you learn about that career field. Sometimes, even if the application is excellent, some funding requests cannot be fulfilled due to lack of funding for that particular field. All applications will be judged on the following criteria:

• The quality of the tasks that you will be given to do during your internship. Although some menial tasks can be expected in any internship, the majority of the duties must be meaningful, skill-building, and substantial, and this should be clearly indicated not only in the proposal, but also in the internship sponsor's letter of confirmation.

• The benefit of the projects and assignments to you and the participating organization

• The quality of your internship funding proposal: it is IMPORTANT for your proposal to be carefully written. An application with multiple writing errors will not be considered, even if it is a great internship.

• Your qualifications, including academic performance

• The relationship of the project to your career interest

I won't be able to turn in my application on time. Can I turn it in late?

No. All the uploaded documents will be bundled and sent to the selection committees after the deadline.

My internship sponsor told me that he/she won't make a decision until after the deadline for the application for funding has passed. Is there any way I can still apply for internship funding?

If your internship sponsor is not able to offer/confirm your internship before the deadline, you are still welcome to submit a funding application. Even if you do not have confirmation, you may be considered for funding and if it is awarded to you, it will be held for you until you get the offer. Please submit a funding application for only one internship, even if you are waiting for multiple internship offers. When you apply for funding, instead of uploading your letter/email of confirmation from your sponsor (or submitting an online confirmation form), please submit a letter written by you that explains your situation. Then, as soon as you receive an offer for the internship, please email it to us. If you have any questions, please contact the Career Center about the situation (931-598-1121); it helps for us to be aware of your situation.

When will I find out if I have been awarded internship funding?

You will be notified whether or not you have been awarded funding within 2 weeks of the deadline, depending on when the selection committees have their meeting and make their decisions.




Do I have to be a certain major to obtain internship funding?

Students in ALL majors have received internship funds.

Which class years have the best chance of being awarded funding?

All class years have received internship funds, but preference goes to rising juniors and rising seniors, with second consideration going to first-year students, and final consideration to graduating seniors. While a student's class year does not play a direct role, the selection committees do seriously consider the level and quality of the projects that you will be performing in your internship. 

How does the Sewanee Pledge affect me?

Thanks to the Sewanee Pledge, when a student that entered the University from fall 2018 on applies for internship or research fellowship funding, the student will receive guaranteed funding. The proposal must still be of high quality, meet all the requirements, and be submitted on time. As a first-year student, a minimum 3.0 GPA is required to receive funding; after the first year, no minimum GPA is required. ‌

The internship I was offered is paid, but not as much as I need. Can I get internship funding to supplement the internship pay?

You are not eligible to receive a full internship stipend ($375/week) if you will receive more than $1000 from your internship sponsor for an 8-week internship. However, in cases where housing is provided for you instead of payment, you are still eligible for funding. If the employer pays you a very small amount or only compensates you for nominal expenses, you may also be eligible. Please contact the Career Cener for more guidance.

Can international students apply?

Yes, internship funds are available to full-time international Sewanee students. However, due to INS regulations, additional requirements are necessary. The student should contact Sewanee’s International Support Specialist (x1184) to discuss eligibility before applying for funding.

I don't have a very high GPA. Will that hurt my chances?

Your GPA is only one of the criteria used. Be reminded that the selection committees are seeking indication that you will perform well in your internship. If your grades do not convey that, you will want to make sure that your proposal does.

What if I will be transferring after the summer? Am I still eligible for funding?


I was placed on probation (academic or social) by the University. Will that affect my chances of getting funding?

Yes, it can affect your chances. All students selected to receive funding will be reviewed by the Dean of Students to ensure that they are all in good standing academically and socially.




What do I need to include in my internship funding application?

Applications require the following components:

1. An internship funding proposal (see the next question below for information about research fellowship funding proposals: they have different requirements)

2. A resume (How to create a great resume)

3. A letter (or saved official email) or online confirmation form from your internship/research fellowship sponsor.

Check the application deadline and make sure that it is submitted on time; late submissions will not be considered. Funding applications for both internships and research fellowships are online. 

What kind of information should I include in my internship funding proposal?

Your proposal must be a well-written and carefully-edited 2-page document (12-pt, double-spaced text, normal margins.)  Please include your name and page number in the upper right corner (header) of all pages. Important: there are separate proposal guidelines for general (non-academic) internships and for research fellowships with Sewanee faculty go here

1) Provide a comprehensive overview of the organization that you will be working with and what your specific responsibilities/projects will be as an intern.

2) Interview someone who is currently a seasoned professional in the field of work of your proposed internship. Select a person NOT affiliated with your proposed internship. Write a paragraph or two about the most important information and advice you learned from her/him about this line of work. 

3) Describe the skills, knowledge, and experience you hope to develop/gain from this internship experience. How will this internship contribute to your career goals? 

For the informational interview that is required in my internship funding proposal, what are some tips to help me do this?

Interview someone who is currently a seasoned professional in the field of work of your proposed internship. Ideally, do not interview a person affiliated with your proposed internship or a family member. Write a summary paragraph or two about the most important information, insights, suggestions, and/or advice you learned from her/him about this line of work. Devote no more than 1/3 of your proposal to this interview.

Need help with this interview part of your proposal? Here is guidance on how to find people to interview; how to request an informational interview; suggestions for excellent questions to ask; and how to write a follow-up thank you note: (How to do an informational interview.)

Interview TIPS and EXAMPLES:
• Interview someone who is doing what you hope to do someday. For example, if you are applying for funding to do an internship with a veterinarian and you hope to someday be a vet, then interview a vet, not a vet assistant. If you are applying for funding to do an internship with a judge, interview a lawyer or a judge. If you are doing an internship with a congressional office, call your local congressional representative’s office and talk with the director. Pick your interviewee based on what you hope to do someday, and then relate it to your internship opportunity and how this internship will help you in your career goal. Do not interview a family member.

• If you cannot find someone to interview, try using the Sewanee Gateway, Sewanee’s online alumni directory. Login with your Sewanee email address and Banner ID as your password. Go to Advanced Search, and then search by Job Position. Note: Access to the Sewanee Gateway requires sophomore standing, so if you are a first-year student and want to access this database, please make an appointment with a staff person at Career & Leadership Development. If you are a sophomore or beyond and are having trouble logging in, please contact for help.

• If you need some guidance on how to request and prepare for an interview, some suggestions for excellent questions to ask, and/or how to write a follow-up thank you note, you can find that at

Interview example #1:
During my pursuit of this internship, I have been assisted and advised by Caroline Waterlow. Ms. Waterlow is a producer who lives in New York City. Her most recent work includes "Teddy in His Own Words", a documentary about the life of Senator Edward Kennedy, that she produced for HBO. I interviewed her for my proposal and the advice she gave me was not only helpful but also constructive. Like most businesses, the entertainment industry is challenging, fast-paced, and constantly changing. It is difficult to find one’s way in the business, but through hard work, dedication, and sometimes a bit of luck, one can push their way to the top. It can take years to find a job that will do much more than “pay the rent”, but it is an industry based on passion and creativity. Lastly, Ms. Waterlow’s most important suggestion was to start at a small shop, not at a big corporation like HBO, where I would end up doing day-to-day “grunt work.” She felt working at a smaller company such as IconicTV would offer me a better experience and the ability to make a real contribution as a summer intern. She also thought I would make better contacts that might result in a full-time position in the industry after graduation. She thinks working at IconicTV would be a great start to my career. I plan to stay in touch with Ms. Waterlow this summer to share my experiences with her and seek her advice and counsel about my plans after college.

Interview example #2:
As the current editor of Sewanee magazine and the former editor of Scuba Diving, Robert “Buck” Butler, C’89, is a veteran of the publishing world in print media. When first ousted from the shelter of the Domain, Buck began his publishing career as a copy editor for a daily newspaper. After developing his news media background, he then moved to Scuba Diving, and eventually found his way back to the Mountain. Buck was an English major at Sewanee, and he is confident that the written and verbal communication skills developed in this course of study are invaluable to a career in publishing and print media. Although he admits that the majority of people who start in news media tend to stay in that field, he found that moving between different mediums was not all that difficult, as he moved from newspaper to magazine. Upward mobility, location, and work environment all tend to be factors that increased both his interest and mine in the realm outside of news media. When it came to breaking into the field, Buck informed me that I was on the right track with NewSouth Books because internships and the connections that they allow the intern to make are the most important and valuable tools to an aspiring editor when looking to break into the field.

What information needs to be included in my letter/email of confirmation?

Submit a letter/email/online form of confirmation by your internship/faculty sponsor. If you choose the email option, please attach the actual entire email including all headings and signatures.

The letter/email of confirmation should confirm that you have been offered the unpaid internship/research fellowship and it needs to include:

1) the sponsor's name, department, phone number and email address;
2) the dates and/or the number of weeks for the internship; and
3) a brief description of the responsibilities of the intern/research fellow

Another alternative is to provide your sponsor with the link to the online Confirmation Form for Internships/Research Fellowships. The form is submitted directly to the Career Center.

Without a confirmation letter/email/form, it is unlikely that your application will be given full consideration and it will be waitlisted. If you do not yet have your letter of confirmation, please attach a letter in your funding application to the Career Center to explain the situation.

I have everything but my employer confirmation letter, which won't get here until after the application deadline. What should I do?

PROPOSALS WILL NOT BE FULLY CONSIDERED IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A LETTER (or email) OF CONFIRMATION FROM YOUR INTERNSHIP SPONSOR. Please try to head off this problem early: inform your internship sponsor/supervisor of your deadlines, and give him/her an earlier date than which you need the letter. However, feel free to submit your funding application even if you have not yet received your confirmation letter- there is the possibility that you can still be put on the waitlist.

My internship requires a transcript. Where do I get one?

You can download an unofficial transcript from Banner: Login > Student Services > Academic Records > SODA > Click "Class History" link > Save as a PDF. You can also request an official transcript from the Registrar's office.




What do I do about housing during my internship? 

Before you apply for an internship, be sure that you can figure out a place to live before you apply. Many students choose to live with relatives or friends during the summer. Carefully think through this issue while selecting your internships. The most challenging cities to find affordable housing are Nashville, New York City, and Washington, D.C.

The Career Center's website has a list of summer housing resources for many locations in the United States, and we also offer a summer housing Google Group, Sewanee Housing Network, a listing resource for Sewanee students and alumni who are seeking or offering summer housing.

One way to find out about housing possibilities is to reach out to alumni to ask them about housing ideas. To search for alumni, you can look at the Sewanee Gateway, our online alumni directory. Log in with your Sewanee email address as your user name, and your Banner ID as your password. When you sign in, be sure and enter ONLY your last name, then select your name from the popup list. If you cannot log in or can't remember your Banner ID, contact the Alumni Office at for help. Using the Advanced Search feature, search for alumni by city and state. 

You can also search for alumni with LinkedIn. It's a great source of connections and will be more current than the Sewanee Gateway, but you will have to contact people via LinkedIn messaging, or you can look up their personal email address on the Gateway. On the LinkedIn main page's search box in the upper left, search for "The University of the South", then select the Alumni tab. From that screen, you will be able to select "Where They Live", or use the search box for your destination. Once you make your selections, scroll to the bottom of the page to see all the alumni who fit those criteria.

Also be sure to check home rental sites, such as, and They often will rent by the week or month. Hostels are less common in the U.S. than in Europe, but check Local colleges and universities might offer their empty dorms for rental during the summer for a reasonable rate, so research those too.

HOUSING IN SEWANEE: Students are eligible for dorm housing only if they are doing a Sewanee-sponsored internship, research fellowship, or campus summer job. Summer housing rates, dates, and application forms are posted on Campus housing will be filled on a rolling basis, first-come-first-served for room type, so there is not a deadline.  However, students must submit applications two full business days prior to their move-in date and students not arriving on the first day of a program should arrive Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m.-noon or 1 p.m.-4 p.m. For questions, please contact Bobby Silk. 



My internship sponsor requires that I get academic credit for my summer internship. How do I handle this?

Because some summer internships require that students receive academic credit from their college, Sewanee offers this option. The first step is for the student to fill out this Academic Credit for Summer Internships Request Form. Once Sewanee Career Center reviews and approves the academic credit request, the student registers for the SUMMER course (ITRN 100 – Non‐Degree Summer Internship), just as they would all other classes.  If you have any questions, please contact the Career Center at or 931-598-1121.

Fee: $100 (charged to your student account)

Course: ITRN 100 – Non‐Degree Summer Internship

Catalog description: For students engaged in a summer internship, as approved by Sewanee Career Center. The course will be graded on a credit/no credit basis. Credit earned in this course may not be applied to undergraduate degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences. Students may earn no more than one such credit during a summer term and the course may be taken three times (three credits maximum, none of which may apply to an undergraduate degree). Prerequisite: Approval of the Career Center.


By May 25, the student must submit this form to request registration for the course ITRN 100. Sewanee Career Center will review the course registration application and notify the student of acceptance into the course.

By August 15, the student must submit a final report, and the internship supervisor must submit an evaluation.

By September 15, the Career Center will assign credit/no credit dependent upon the submission of the student's final report form and the internship sponsor's evaluation. Credit will be awarded for the summer term (not the following Advent semester).






What do I do now that I have been awarded internship funding?

When you are notified, you will be told the dollar amount that you have been awarded and you will be given an agreement to complete, indicating that you have accepted the internship funding. You must complete and return this agreement by the indicated date. You will receive your stipend in one lump sum, minus $250. The $250 holdback will be released after you have submitted your final internship report form AND once your supervisor's evaluation has been received. Although you are welcome to submit these documents early, the final $250 payment may not be released until around October 1. Additionally, you will be required to attend a meeting for all internship funds recipients in April or May.

Can I transfer my funding to another internship?

No. If you decide to take another internship, you must forfeit your internship funding. The selection committees award the funding based on your application and cannot reconsider requests to change at a later date. Please notify the Career Center if you wish to decline your funding so that it can be awarded to another student on the waitlist.

I was offered a paid internship and no longer need internship funding from Sewanee. What should I do?

If your plans change and you no longer need internship funding, please notify the Career Center as soon as possible, so that another student from the waitlist may receive the funding as quickly as possible. 

What does it mean if I am “waitlisted”?

Every year, the selection committees waitlist students. Because students who are awarded internship funding occasionally will have to decline the award, some of the waitlisted students may eventually receive stipends. If you have been waitlisted, please keep in touch with Sewanee Career Center.

Once I get the internship, what is expected of me?

You are expected to serve at your internship full time (at least 32-40 hours a week) and conduct yourself in a professional manner. No part-time internships will be funded.

We recommend-- but do not require-- that you meet with your supervisor on the first day to complete a Learning Agreement together so that you have a common understanding of your internship tasks and goals for the summer.

My internship is in another country, and I need to pay for my airfare. Can I get a check right away if I receive funding?

Yes, contact Sewanee Career Center to explain your situation.

What if I lost my internship funding agreement?

Sewanee Career Center has a copy and can fax/email a copy of it to you.

What if the dates of my internship change?

You are welcome to stay at your internship longer than your original dates, but we cannot increase your funding amount. If you need to decrease your dates, please notify us as soon as possible so that we can work with you to either adjust your stipend or arrange a repayment.




What do I need to do once my internship is over?

Once you complete your internship, please submit the following documents:

1) Intern Evaluation Form (electronic)- Please ask your internship sponsor to submit an evaluation of you as their intern, detailing the duties/projects that you have completed and the quality of your performance. This must be received by Career & Leadership Development before the final $250 payment can be released.

2) Your internship report- It is due by August 15 at midnight and is submitted via the Internship Final Report Form. Since it is often easier to write the report when the experiences are fresh, please feel free to turn yours in early (however, your final check of $250 may not be released to you until October 1). We highly recommend keeping an internship journal to facilitate the writing of this report; it is easy to forget all the tasks and projects that you will be learning and doing. Please reread, edit, proofread, etc., since this will probably be published on the Career Center website. (Internship reports written by previous Sewanee students) Failure to submit this report may be considered an honor code violation.

In terms of taxes, how do I need to treat my internship stipend? Does it affect my financial aid?

Your internship stipend is considered earned income and it should be included as income on your income tax return. The University does not report internship stipends, although the Career Center will mail a summary of your internship funding award to your home address in January; this document can be used for tax purposes as needed.  No students will receive any additional tax documents, including a W-2 or 1099. The burden to report lies with the student recipient. According to the Financial Aid department, the stipend should be reported as other untaxed earnings on the annual federal financial aid application. For information as to how it may impact your financial aid package, please contact the Financial Aid office.

Additional Resources

FUNDING for Unpaid Summer Internships

Research Fellowships

ACE Medical internships

Biehl International Research Fellowship

Where did Sewanee students intern? (Reports)

Endowed Internship Funds

Gessell Fellowship for Social Ethics

Ministry and Service Internship Funding

Canale Internship Fund

Internship Documents & Resources

How Do I?

Prepare a Resumé or a CV

Write a Cover Letter

Create a Reference List

Succeed in an Interview

Apply to Graduate School

Choose a Major

Develop a Network

Develop Leadership Skills

Explore Careers

Get Started

Develop Career Competencies

Sewanee Career Center

43 Texas Ave Sewanee, TN 37375
(931) 598-1121 |

Connect with The Career Center