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Summer Internship Grants

The 2024 MSIG application is closed.


Summer internships offer robust learning and work opportunities that help students advance their academic interests and careers. Unfortunately, worthwhile internships may be unpaid, rendering them inaccessible for many students with limited financial resources. To help address this, Macalester College provides grants for students to complete 10-week unpaid internships during the summer term that help defray living costs for the duration of the unpaid internship. 

Notably, students do not need to have a confirmed internship at the time of the application deadline. The Career Exploration department provides coaching and support during the spring semester to help grant recipients secure internships. This approach seeks to reduce barriers to internships in avoiding situations where students feel anxiety and pressure to accept unpaid positions before knowing if they have access to funding.

We offer two grant levels: 

  • $6,250 for full-time internships (36-40 hours per week for 10 weeks)
  • $3,125 for half-time internships (18-20 hours per week for 10 weeks)

The number of students initially selected into the cohort assumes that all students intend to complete full-time internships. However, should a student wish to reduce their stipend amount to pursue a half-time internship position, those leftover funds will be offered to another student on the waitlist. 

The full information packet is at this link. If you are applying to the program for Summer 2024, we ask that you read it in its entirety. 

Student Eligibility

  • Rising sophomores, juniors, or seniors who are currently enrolled and who will return to Macalester (either on-campus or through a Study Away program) for the 2024-25 academic year
  • Committed to working full-time (36-40 hours) or half-time (18-20 hours) at an organization for 10 weeks between May 13th and August 23rd, 2024 
  • Good standing with the college (academic and conduct)
  • Has not/will not receive an additional substantial award from Macalester (e.g. students cannot receive the MSIG award AND a scholarship/grant from an academic department)
  • Has not been awarded MSIG funds in past years
  • Must have an internship offer in hand by May 2nd, 2024
  • If accepting the full-time stipend, cannot work in additional paid positions at Macalester

Internship Site Eligibility

Internships should primarily be with non-profits, NGOs, small start-up companies, and government entities. All internship sites must be able to demonstrate the capacity to provide a stable, well-supervised, quality learning experience for the student. They must also commit to providing Macalester with comprehensive feedback regarding the work of the student and compliance with Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) guidelines (U.S. sites only). International internships that do not take place in the student’s home country must be cleared by the Study Away office in late spring, and generally may not be in countries that appear on the U.S. State Department Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4 list. 

Internship sites that may not qualify: 

  • 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 the Olin Rice Hub) We may consider research in 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 ask.
  • 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. Exceptions have been made in fields that historically do not pay interns, including media, entertainment, etc. If in doubt, ask!
  • This grant cannot be used to pay for a program or program fees.

Industry-Specific Grants

Nested within the MSIG program are two additional sources of funding. The Taylor Public Health Fellowship awards grants to students who complete internships within the public health sector. The Amy Ostermeier Human Rights Education Fund awards grants to students who complete internships in the area of human rights. 

Students who are interested in applying for these specific funding sources will complete the standard MSIG application. There will be an area in the application where students can indicate if they’d like to be considered for the Taylor Public Health Fellowship or the Amy Ostermeier Human Rights Education fund, along with a short answer prompt specific to these disciplines. If a student is selected to be awarded money from either of these funds, the student is committing to finding an internship in these specific areas. 

The stipend from these funds is equal to the stipend from the Macalester Summer Internship Grant; it is NOT an additional payment.

Requirements and Expectations for Funded Students

  • Attend three pre-summer cohort meetings during the spring semester (virtual meetings will be available for students studying away)
  • Complete all internship paperwork and register the summer internship for one credit ideally by April 26th (Tuition cost will be waived) 
  • Participate in the full 10 weeks of the MSIG program
  • Complete career-focused assignments and attend two out of four development workshops during the summer
  • Maintain contact with the Faculty Sponsor and submit all registered internship paperwork on time 
  • Produce a Google website summarizing the internship at the end of the term
  • Participating in the Summer Showcase in Fall 2024 during MacFest weekend (may participate digitally if studying away in Fall 2024)

Application Process

The application will be open from January 18th to March 4th at 5:00 pm CST. Students are encouraged to apply without having a confirmed internship, although students with internship offers already in hand may apply as well! In addition to selecting awardees, the selection committee will also select a waitlist of students who may be offered the grant during the spring semester should funds become available. 

In March and April, students selected to receive the award will engage in cohort-based programming to help them secure an internship for the summer, build community within the cohort, and develop career-based skills and competencies. Students need to have an internship secured by Thursday, May 2nd. If a student rescinds the award offer either at the beginning of the program or during the spring semester, another student from the waitlist will be offered the award.

Steps to Submit Your Application

  1. Read the information packet in its entirety (includes the application preview)
  2. Submit the Google application form, which will include:
    1. Uploading your responses to short-answer prompts in video format
    2. Uploading your resume
  3. Find a faculty or staff recommender willing to fill out the Faculty/Staff Reference Form on your behalf BY THE DUE DATE (this should be someone who can speak positively about your candidacy in the program)

Application Review

  1. The selection committee will review your application
  2. Decisions will be sent out either on or before Monday, March 18th
  3. Students must either accept or decline the award and RSVP to the first cohort meeting taking place on Thursday, March 28th

Selection Criteria

Since funds are limited, the Macalester Summer Internship Grant gives preference for students who have financial need. Students who have received MSIG funding in previous years are ineligible to apply.  

In the application, students should demonstrate the following:

Self-reflection and visionArticulates interests, skills, strengths and values. Conveys how these connect to the chosen academic pathway. Pursues opportunities for growth and development.
Problem-solvingShows ability to respond with adaptability and flexibility in order to take proactive steps towards solutions. 
InitiativeConveys a willingness to move forward with an idea, try new things, make mistakes and learn while doing. 
CommunityUplifts others. Demonstrates genuine interest in the experiences of peers. Desires and commits to actively contributing to a community setting. 
  • You can view the grading rubric for applications at this link.

Stipend Payment Information

Students will receive their grant paid out in either two or three installments (TBD) over the course of the summer for their 10 week internship. 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.

Important Dates

  • Thursday, January 18th: Application opens
  • Monday, March 4th at 5:00 pm CST: Applications due
  • Monday, March 18th: Decision notifications sent to candidates before or on this date
  • Thursdays, March 28th, April 11th, and April 25th (11:30 am – 1 pm): Required cohort meetings
    • Virtual meetings for students studying away TBD
  • Friday, April 26th: Internship registration deadline (for students who have secured an internship by this date)
  • Thursday, May 4th: Deadline for participants to have an internship offer in hand
  • Tuesday, May 11th: Internship registration extended deadline
  • Monday, May 13th: Internship season begins
  • Friday, August 23rd: Internship season ends