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Summer Internship Grants

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The Macalester Summer Internship Grant (MSIG) provides funding for unpaid internships so Macalester students may have access to invaluable, career enhancing summer experiences.

MSIG 2022

What is the 2022 timeline?

  • Applications will open in January 2022 and the student application deadline will be mid-late February 2022. 

What’s changing this year?

  • We will pilot an earlier application process where students will apply in February 2022 without having a confirmed internship.  We believe this will reduce barriers to entry for students, as in prior years, many applicants worked to secure unpaid opportunities and subsequently then applied for MSIG funding later in semester. 
  • In March-April, selected students will engage in cohort-based support aimed to prepare them to conduct steps of internship application and selection process. Funding will be contingent on student site agreement by mid-April.

COVID-19 Policies

  • Due to precautions related to COVID-19, Macalester College strongly recommends your internship be set up to be conducted remotely. This is the safest, least disruptive way to engage with a community organization.
  • Students will be allowed to do on-site, in-person internships if arrangements are made in advance with Career Exploration (this involves a waiver process). However, these positions must be able to quickly transition to remote work if health and safety conditions change.
  • All interns are required to develop a plan with their employer for how work will be/could be managed virtually and on-site (i.e. orientation/training/supervision/communication/access to resources/access to work community.)
  • Internships that involve international travel are not allowed for safety and logistical reasons. Exceptions will be considered for students living at home in a country outside the U.S.

Access additional grants and fellowships on the Paid Summer Opportunities page.

Summer internships offer robust learning/work experiences that help students advance their academic interests and careers. Unfortunately, a number of great internships are unpaid, and therefore are not an option for many students with limited financial resources. To help address this, in the summer of 2021 Macalester College will provide grants to students to do 10-week unpaid internships that help defray living costs for the duration of the unpaid internship, including housing, travel, food, etc.  The MSIG program will run from June 1, 2021 to August 6, 2021; proposed internships should be set up to fall within these parameters.  Students do not need to have a confirmed internship in order to apply for MSIG, and can receive assistance from Career Exploration to find one.

Four levels of grants will be awarded:

  1. $5,500 for full-time (at least 35-40 hours/week) internships and student is paying rent.
  2. $3,850 for full-time (at least 35-40 hours/week) internships and student is living at home/no rent.
  3. $2,750 for half-time (at least 20 hours/week) internships and student is paying rent.
  4. $2,200 for half-time (at least 20 hours/week) internships and student is living at home/no rent.

Student Eligibility

  1. Currently enrolled rising sophomores, juniors, seniors who will return to Macalester for the 2021-22 academic year (or participating in Study Away).
  2. In good academic and disciplinary standing with the college.
  3. Committed to internships at least 10 weeks in length that fall within the program dates of June 1, 2021 to August 6, 2021. (Please do not apply if you cannot make this 10 week commitment due to travel, family, classes, etc.)
  4. Financial Aid Eligible: MSIG funding primarily targets students with significant financial need. (If you have questions regarding your financial need status, please contact the Financial Aid Office.)
  5. Students may only receive one substantial award from Macalester each summer. (e.g. you cannot receive the MSIG award AND a scholarship/grant from an academic department.)

Selection Committee Priorities

  1. Students may apply without having a confirmed internship, and we will work with you to help find one.  However, it is beneficial for applicants to have attained or be in the application process for a relevant internship.  The Committee’s assessment of an application will focus on the quality and relevance of the proposed site and internship experience. 
  2. Students who have not previously received Mac funding for an internship or related experience. (e.g., summer internship, fellowship, or research funding through Macalester College)
  3. Students who can articulate in their application how this experience will enhance their academic, career, and personal growth.

Internship Site Eligibility

Internships should primarily be with non-profits, NGOs, and government entities anywhere in the world. Small start-up companies outside the Twin Cities area are eligible as well (internships with local start-ups may be funded through the summer MacNest program). All internship sites must be able to demonstrate capacity to provide a stable, well-supervised, quality learning experience for the student and commit to providing Macalester with comprehensive feedback on the work of the student, and compliance with Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) guidelines (U.S. sites only). Review this handout, Qualities of a Credit Worthy Internship with your site as you are setting up your internship. International internships may not be in countries on the U.S. State Department Travel Advisory Level of 3 or 4.

Internships that will not be considered for funding:

  • Any internship that is paid (an hourly rate). Internships receiving small stipends (e.g. housing or living stipends) may still be considered for funding.
  • Laboratory-based research in academic settings (Macalester provides support for this kind of research through Endowed Summer Research Funds, See the Olin Rice Hub’s website for more information.) We may consider research in other non-academic settings and in a broader range of disciplines. This might include research in social sciences, government, health, and environment. If in doubt, we encourage you to contact us.
  • Internships with organizations owned or operated by immediate family members.
  • Internships involved with direct proselytizing for religious work or for a political campaign.
  • Corporate and private sector internships are only rarely considered. Exceptions have been made in fields that historically do not pay interns, including media, entertainment, etc. Consult with Career Exploration.
  • This grant can not be used to pay for a program or program fees.

Application Deadline and Process

Deadline: February 2022

Important Note – While it is true you do not have to have an internship lined up to apply for MSIG, it is definitely in your best interest to identify, apply, and if possible, formalize the internship experience you want to have this summer. This makes it easier for you to complete the application’s short essay questions in a more meaningful way, and this in turn provides the Selection Committee with a much better idea about the experience you are hoping to get funded. Our office is here to help you with this internship search process, so please contact us for assistance This is what we do!

How to apply:

  1. Read the Information Packet & Application Preview
  2. Fill out and submit the Application form (google form). This will include attaching a copy of your resume to the form.
  3. Find a faculty recommender and ask them to complete the Faculty Internship Validation Form by 7 pm, Monday, March 29.
    The Faculty Internship Validation Form is not a letter of recommendation, but instead a brief form seeking the faculty’s input in support of this internship. Make sure you talk to them about your plans. It is your responsibility to send the link to this form to your faculty and inform them of the application deadline.

**Only complete applications received by the deadline will be considered in the initial selection process.

In Summer 2021 the only international internships we will consider funding are those in the home countries of international students where the student will be living at home.

Requirements and Expectations for Funded Students

  1. Participate in the full 10 weeks of the MSIG program (June 1, 2021 – August 6, 2021).
  2. Complete all internship paperwork and register the summer internship for one credit by April 26. (Tuition cost of the one credit in summer will be waived. Grant funded internships may not be taken as a Mod 5 class. Please review the Summer 2021 Internship Registration Options handout for additional information.)
  3. Complete the MSIG Internship Agreement.
  4. Attend an orientation meeting on Zoom TBD.
  5. Complete career focused assignments and attend three online meetings over the course of the summer.
  6. Maintain contact with their Faculty Sponsor and submit all internship evaluations by deadlines (two-week Check-in, Mid-term, Final, and Internship Reflection and Self Evaluation).
  7. Produce and submit photographic documentation of internship experience.
  8. Participate in the Summer Showcase (Fall 2021).

Payment of Students

Students will receive their grant, paid out in two installments over the course of the summer for working 10 weeks. Macalester on-campus housing is an option for the ten weeks of the internship, but this requires a separate application to Residential Life. The purpose of this grant is to offset the costs of living/travel expenses during the internship.

The award will be treated as taxable income for federal and state income tax purposes and Macalester will issue a Form 1099-Misc to US citizens and permanent residents and a corresponding copy to the IRS. International students will receive this information on Form 1042-S which can be accessed through the Glacier Tax Software used by International Student Programs. Students should consult their parents or a tax advisor for federal and state income tax filing questions.

If you have questions, please contact Kate Larson ( or Jinna Johnson ( in Career Exploration.