Pomona College Internship Program (PCIP)

Justine Gluck, Capitol Internship, Washington D.C.

Justine Gluck, Capitol Internship, Washington D.C.

Student D'mai Curry summer internship at the Smithsonian

D'maia Curry, Smithsonian Internship, Washington D.C

Brook Solomon, Internship at Elroy Air

Brook Solomon, Internship at Elroy Air

The Career Development Office offers two distinguished internship programs with the Pomona College Internship Program (PCIP) -- PCIP Semester and PCIP Summer Experience. Both programs aid students in the process of exploring & determining a career path, gaining a rich understanding of a particular field and/or organization, building & growing their professional networks, and enhancing the understanding of how their liberal arts education will be applied in a professional work environment.

PCIP Semester

Developed in 1976, PCIP: Semester provides students with a generous stipend to pursue part-time, unpaid experiential learning opportunities with employers in Los Angeles and the Inland Empire. PCIP: Semester occurs every fall and spring!

  • Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, both remote and in-person internships will be considered for PCIP funding.
  • Students can secure their own opportunity or apply through Handshake to "PCIP-eligible" listings.
  • Participating students will need to complete at least 80 hours during the semester.

PCIP Semester FAQs

Eligibility

If you fulfill the following criteria, you can apply for PCIP for Fall 2022:

  1. Completed at least one semester*
  2. Enrolled full-time at Pomona College for Fall 2022*
  3. Good academic standing (not on academic probation)*
  4. CPT eligible (applicable to F-1 International Students only); see International Student FAQs below for additional information
  5. Secured a PCIP-eligible internship (For Fall 2022, PCIP-eligible means the internship must be unpaid and that you aren't receiving credit for it via a major/program)
  6. Can fulfill 80-hour semester commitment to internship

*These items will be verified by the Registrar's Office.

Undocumented & DACA-mented students are welcome to apply.

How do I Apply?

The PCIP: Semester application can be accessed via SurveyMonkey Apply and requires the following items:

  • Résumé (the one used to apply to your internship opportunity)
  • Cover Letter (the one used to apply to your internship opportunity)
  • Video Interview 
  • Official Offer Letter from Employer (not negotiable; internships must be secured at time of application)

Refer to the How-to Use SurveyMonkey Apply guide for step-by-step instructions.

Students who are awarded PCIP will be required to submit the following funding documents to accept the award:

  • W9/W8-BEN form
  • Pomona College Direct Deposit Form
  • Bank Documentation for Direct Deposit

Please make note of the following:

  • All materials must be submitted through SurveyMonkey Apply.
  • All applications & associated materials will be reviewed by CDO staff.
  • No late applications or materials will be reviewed. 
  • Students will be notified of funding decisions within 1 week from the application deadline. 
  • Payments take approximately 10 business days to process. 
  • Payments tend to be delayed by mistakes in funding paperwork: incorrect SSN, no bank documentation, missing account/routing numbers. When submitting an application, please ensure all forms are correctly and completely filled out.

What is the PCIP Timeline?

  • Monday, December 5th - Application opens via SurveyMonkey Apply
  • [UPDATED] Tuesday, January 3rd at 5:00pm PT - Application closes
  • [UPDATED] Friday, January 13th - Decisions out via email
  • Tuesday, January 17th - First day internship hours begin
  • Friday, January 20th at 5:00pm PT - Deadline to accept PCIP offer via SurveyMonkey Apply
  • Wednesday, May 3rd - Last day to fulfill internship hours (minimum of 80 hours required)
  • NOTE: Please keep in mind that the PCIP application closes before the semester starts. 

How much funding can I receive?

Students will receive a $1,200 stipend that is disbursed in two payments of $600: one at the middle of the semester and one at the end of the semester.  All PCIP funding is disbursed via direct deposit and contingent on students completing required internship hours & semester assignments. Please note that PCIP funding is not intended to replace wages. Instead, the funding is meant to help alleviate supplemental costs associated with pursuing an unpaid internship during the course of the semester.

Important: Students must commit to working a minimum of 80 internship hours during the semester.

Tax Implications: Based on the size of your stipend and the items you spend the money on, there may be tax implications. The IRS considers the award as income to the recipient. When filing tax returns, it may be required to report the amount of the award. Please consult a tax professional with any questions or assistance. Visit the Financial Aid website to learn more.

PCIP: Semester Policy

Students receiving PCIP funding are expected to represent Pomona College with integrity in all off-campus conduct.  This includes abiding by the regulations and expectations (e.g. dress code, modes of communication, office conduct, etc.) set in place by your employer.

Funding decisions are at the discretion of the Assistant Director of Experiential Learning and the Career Development Office.

Unpaid Internships Only

The CDO uses the definition of internships provided by the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE): 

An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting.

Internships should:

  1. Provide "real-world" experience beyond the classroom.
  2. Involve reciprocity, i.e., a mutually beneficial experience for both the student and the internship provider.
  3. Include a high level of supervision, training, and mentoring.

No Shadowing

Shadowing experiences are ineligible for PCIP funding.

New Internship Experience Each Semester

Students must have secured a new internship experience each semester they apply for funding.

  • Students returning to the same employer, in the same position/role will not receiving funding.
  • Students returning to the same employer, but in a new position/role or with increasing responsibility will be considered.

80 Hour Minimum

Students receiving PCIP funding are required to complete at least 80 hours at their internship over the course of the semester. Students & supervisors are encouraged to keep a log of hours completed.  

Students should also account for holidays, midterms, finals, and any other planned absences when creating their internship schedule with their supervisor(s).

Failure or refusal to complete the 80 hour minimum will result in termination of funding, loss of transcript notation, and will be considered in any future application for PCIP funding.

Semester Assignments in Sakai

Students receiving PCIP funding must complete all required program assignments (available via Sakai).  Failure or refusal to submit timely, quality, PCIP assignments will result in the termination of funding, loss of transcript notation, and will be considered in any future application for PCIP funding.

Ineligible Opportunities

The following opportunities are ineligible for PCIP: Semester funding:

  • Paid opportunities
  • Shadowing experiences
  • Opportunities that are a requirement of a major/program (i.e. mandatory PPA internships for seniors in the fall semester)
  • Opportunities where you'll be receiving Pomona College course credit
  • Opportunities where you'll be receiving additional funding support (i.e. CDO Pre-Health Transportation Subsidy)
  • Opportunities with any fee component (tuition, room/board, etc.)
  • Independent projects with no supervision, program, or structure in place
  • Non-credit courses or training programs
  • Pomona College or other 7C-based opportunities (opportunities must be external & organized/administered by the employer/company/organization)
  • Opportunities run by current undergraduate students

Finding an Internship

Unsure of where or how to start? Make an appointment in Handshake or attend PCIP Virtual drop-ins. *NEW* Check out the interactive map of previous employers that have hired students in past semesters, visit the student opportunities dashboard.

In previous semesters we referred to employers that hired students via PCIP as "PCIP Partners" & internships they posted in Handshake were labeled as "PCIP-Only."  In response to concerns over exclusivity, fairness, & access across the 7C community, we will no longer label internships posted by employers as "PCIP-only."  Instead, such opportunities will be labeled as "PCIP-eligible."  The label will simply serve as a quick way for Pomona students to identify any eligible internships for PCIP: Semester funding.

What should my employer include in my offer letter?

Students must first secure a fall opportunity in order to apply to PCIP, as an offer letter is a required part of the application. Your offer letter should:

  • Be on official letterhead
  • Be signed & dated by a company representative
  • Include your name
  • Include your start date
  • State the duration of the experience
  • State that your internship is unpaid
  • Clearly indicate whether your experience will be remote or in-person (For in-person internships, we ask that employers offer you the flexibility to work remotely, if needed. This option should be indicated in your offer letter.)

*If you do not have an official offer letter at this time, we will accept an email screenshot/PDF containing the same information above.

PCIP Semester International Student FAQs

Can international students with an active F-1 status apply to PCIP?

Yes, students who have an active F-1 status for at least one academic year at Pomona College may apply to PCIP. This means you are only eligible if you were enrolled full-time under F-1 status for Fall 2021 and Spring 2022.

What is CPT and how do I know if I'm eligible?

CPT stands for Curricular Practical Training and provides temporary work authorization for active F-1 status students. Eligibility requirements:

  • You must have been enrolled full-time for at least one academic year on an active F-1 status preceding the term for which CPT is requested. Typically first-year students are first eligible for an internship during the summer following their first year of attendance at Pomona College.
    • Please note that the class of 2026 is not eligible for CPT until Summer 2023. Reach out to your international student advisor, Kathy Quispe, if you have questions about your eligibility.
  • You must have declared a major; the major must be the one shown on your I-20, and the proposed work must relate to that major. Please see the CPT Forms and Procedures webpage for the step-by-step process.

As a reminder, you must receive CPT authorization prior to starting your internship. Failure to get the authorization first may result in your SEVIS record being terminated. 

My internship is remote. Do I still need CPT?

Yes, students who are on active F-1 status are required to receive work authorization through CPT if working off-campus with a U.S. employer. Please see the CPT Forms and Procedures webpage for the step by step process.

What documents does the CDO need to process the PCIP award?

PCIP awards are disbursed to students via direct deposit. Students who are offered a PCIP award are required to submit a Pomona College Direct Deposit Form, Bank Documentation, and a W8 Form.

Please note, F-1 international students must also be able to provide an ITIN or SSN to fill out the W8 Form in order to receive the stipend. Please contact Kathy Quispe for any questions.

PCIP Summer

Since 2011, the Pomona College Internship Program: Summer Experience has funded nearly 900 domestic and international internships. Because working in the summer is a necessity for many Pomona students, taking advantage of unpaid or low-paying internships is not always possible. To make it possible for all interested students to participate, Pomona offers stipends to cover the cost of living and travel expenses. In summer 2021, 62 students received funding for remote internships in a variety of industries such as government and policy, education, research, art and design, and many more.

There are two separate application processes for international and domestic internship funding. The application process includes:

  • a budget proposal
  • a résumé and cover letter
  • short essay responses
  • references
  • and a panel interview with a committee of faculty and staff.

PCIP Summer FAQs

Who May Apply?

Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are enrolled full-time for Spring 2022 may apply for PCIP Summer 2022. Incoming transfer students are eligible after completing one semester. Additionally, students should be in good academic standing (not on academic probation) and have completed some amount of research/exploration of career interests.

  • F-1 international students are welcome to apply, however CPT is required! For more information about CPT eligibility.
  • Undocumented & DACA-mented students are also welcome to apply.

How Do I Apply?

In light on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the CDO will consider both remote and in-person opportunities that are secured at the time you apply for PCIP. There will no longer be two separate application processes for International & Domestic funding.

Applications may be accessed by SurveyMonkey Apply (no longer FluidReview). The following materials are required for the PCIP application:

  • Résumé (the one you used for the summer opportunity you applied for)
  • Cover Letter (the one you used for the summer opportunity you applied for)
  • Offer Letter/Email
  • Video interview

Applications missing any materials will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed by the Selection Committee. Students are strongly advised to attend drop-in hours or make an appointment with CDO staff to get their materials reviewed prior to submitting an application.

What should my employer include in my offer letter?

Students must secure a summer opportunity in order to apply to PCIP, as an offer letter is a required part of the application. Your offer letter should:

  • Be on official letterhead
  • Be signed & dated by a company representative
  • Include your name
  • Include your start date
  • State the duration of the experience
  • Describe any compensation (If you are not being compensated, this must be clearly stated.)
  • Clearly indicate whether your experience will be remote or in-person (For in-person internships, we ask that employers offer you the flexibility to work remotely, if needed. This option should be indicated in your offer letter.)

*If you do not have an official offer letter at this time, we will accept an email screenshot/PDF containing the same information above.

What are the Application Timelines/Deadlines?

PCIP Summer 2022 Award Timeline

  • March 1 - Application Opens in SurveyMonkey Apply
  • April 22 @ 5:00pm PT - Application Due in SurveyMonkey Apply
  • May 6 - Award offers out via email
  • May 13 @ 5:00pm PT - Deadline to accept award offer in SurveyMonkey Apply

How are Candidates Evaluated?

Every completed application received by the specified deadlines is reviewed by the Selection Committee (Career Development Office, Pomona College staff, & Pomona College faculty members). Applications are evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Currently enrolled as a student at Pomona College and returning for the fall semester
  • Should be in good academic standing (not on probation)
  • Professionally formatted cover letter and résumé (or C.V for research experiences)
  • Strong articulation of what specific learning experience the applicant is hoping to receive from the summer experience
  • Compelling rationale as to why this experience is critical to the applicant’s career development (i.e. does the experience allow the applicant to explore a potential career of interest, or is it relevant to the applicant’s future career goals)
  • Explanation of how award will impact the student’s ability to participate in the experience
  • Qualifications of the host organization
    • Unpaid or low-paid ($1,500 or less)
    • Ability to provide a minimum of 120 hours of supervised work within a 6-8 week period
    • Does not require tuition, or any other fees
    • Is not owned or run by a member of your immediate family, or a current undergraduate student.

After all applications are reviewed, the Selection Committee will determine which candidates to award. If selected to receive an award, the candidate will be considered a Finalist. Finalists are required to either accept or decline their award offer. Finalists who accept their award will complete required paperwork and funding documentation for award disbursement. Those who wish to decline their award offer will be given separate instructions.

Important! Priority consideration is granted to:

  • Students who would not be able to pursue the proposed opportunity without an award
  • Rising seniors who have not yet engaged in an experiential learning opportunity that is necessary for a successful launch upon graduation
  • Students who have made a shift in career direction, either through a change of major and/or though the identification of a new path for which they lack significant experiential learning

How Much Funding Can I Receive?

For Summer 2022, students who are offered a PCIP grant will receive $3,000, regardless if the summer opportunity is remote or in-person.


Students are responsible for appropriately allocating funds for projected expenses.

Important: Awards are not intended to replace wages. Instead, it is meant to help alleviate supplemental costs associated with pursuing an unpaid or underpaid experience including, but not limited to, living (housing), transportation (travel to city of employer, daily tolls/commuting costs), and food.

Tax Implications: Based on the size of your stipend and the items you spend the money on, there may be tax implications. The IRS considers the award as income to the recipient. When filing tax returns, it may be required to report the amount of the award. Please consult a tax professional with any questions or assistance. Visit the Financial Aid website to learn more.

What Experiences Qualify for Funding?

An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting.

Internship experiences should consist of the following:

  • Provide "real-world" experience beyond the classroom.
  • Involve reciprocity, i.e., a mutually beneficial experience for both the student and the internship provider.
  • Include a high level of supervision, training, and mentoring.

Job shadowing opportunities are ineligible for PCIP funding.

Eligible Summer Experiences must be:

  • Unpaid or low-paid ($1,500 or less)
  • Minimum of 120 hours of supervised work within the 6-8 week period (15-20 hours per week)
  • Offered during the summer (after the last day of spring finals through the first day of fall classes) for a minimum of 6 weeks. Opportunities exceeding 8 weeks are eligible; however, awards will only provide financial assistance for a maximum of 8 weeks. Any costs accrued beyond 8 weeks are the responsibility of the student.
  • Supervised by a professional in the organization who agrees to the program guidelines
  • Connected to the applicant's overall career goals or exploration

Ineligible Summer Experiences include:

  • *For Summer 2022* Students will not be able to receive PCIP funding for summer opportunities that involve travel outside the United States. However, there are exceptions in place for students who reside outside of the United States and wish to pursue a summer opportunity in their country of residence.
  • Paid opportunities (More than $1,500)
  • Programs with any fee component (tuition, room and board, study abroad, etc.)
  • Internships or projects receiving Pomona College course credit
  • Independent projects
  • Non-credit course or training program
  • Pomona College or other 7C-based opportunities (opportunities must be external & organized/administered by the employer/company/organization)
  • Organizations run by members of students' immediate family, or current undergraduate students

Can I receive PCIP funding for a summer opportunity that involves travel outside of the United States?

While the College has decided to continue its restrictions on college-sponsored student travel for summer 2022, there is an exception. If you are a student who resides outside of the United States and wish to pursue a summer opportunity in your country of residence, then you may be eligible for funding.

How do I Find an Internship?

Students can access Handshake to search for potential summer internship opportunities. Via Handshake, students also have access to a number of internal and external resources to guide their internship search.

To see where previous students have interned through PCIP, check out the new student opportunity dashboard of past PCIP employers, along with industries and locations.

PCIP Summer Assignments & Annual Poster Conference

As a condition of receiving an award, short assignments are required throughout the summer. The culminating project of the summer is a final product that PCIP students present during the Intensive Summer Experience Symposium. The Symposium gives PCIP Summer students an opportunity to share their experiences with the campus community and takes place early in the fall semester.

Assignments include the following:

  • learning agreement
  • monthly journal entries
  • informational interviews
  • culminating project
  • presentation at annual Intensive Summer Experience Symposium
  • thank you letter to donor
  • self-evaluation

Award recipients must comply with all set deadlines and requirements. Should a recipient default on their contract they may become ineligible for future Career Development Office funding opportunities.

PCIP Summer International Student FAQs

Can international students with an active F-1 status apply to PCIP?

Yes, students who have an active F-1 status may apply to PCIP. Being on active status is defined as having entered the U.S. this academic year and enrolled full-time for Fall 2021 and Spring 2022.

What is CPT and how do I know if I'm eligible?

CPT stands for Curricular Practical Training and provides temporary work authorization for active F-1 status students. Eligibility requirements:

  • You must have been enrolled full-time for at least 2 semesters in person on an active F-1 status preceding the term for which CPT is requested. Typically first-year students are first eligible for an internship during the summer following their first year of attendance at Pomona College. 
  • You must have declared a major; the major must be the one shown on your I-20; and the proposed work must relate to that major.
  • Your internship must be with a U.S. employer. Foreign employers do not qualify for CPT.

My internship is remote. Do I still need CPT?

Students who are on active F-1 status are advised to get CPT if working remotely with a U.S. employer, whether or not you are inside or outside the U.S. Please see the CPT Forms and Procedures webpage for the step by step process.

Students who are on active F-1 status are not eligible to get CPT if working remotely with a foreign employer. If you plan on staying in the U.S., conservative advice would be to not engage in the internship as it cannot be authorized. If you wish to engage in this internship while an F-1 student in the U.S., it is recommended that you speak with an immigration attorney regarding any possible future impacts.

What documents does the CDO need to process the PCIP award?

PCIP awards are disbursed to students via direct deposit. Students who are offered a PCIP award are required to submit a Pomona College Direct Deposit Form as well as Bank Documentation.

What happens if I enter the U.S. during my internship with a U.S. employer?

Students on an active F-1 status can travel normally with their CPT I-20. Please check with your ISA to obtain a travel signature.

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