Pomona College Internship Program (PCIP): Summer Experience, International & Domestic

Summer 2021 Update

The PCIP Summer 2021 application is closed and applicants were notified of decisions on Friday, May 7th. Congratulations to all of this summer's awardees!

Please note: Recipients may not participate in both PCIP and any other Pomona College employment or stipend programs during Summer 2021 (e.g. RAISE, Mellon-Mays, Humanities Studio, Beckman, departmental funding). 


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, the College offers stipends to cover the cost of living and travel expenses. In summer 2020, 93 students received funding for remote internships in a variety of industries such as government/policy, education, research, art/design, and many more.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Who May Apply?

Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are enrolled full-time for Spring 2021 may apply for PCIP Summer 2021. 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 continue to *only* accept REMOTE opportunities that are secured at the time you apply for PCIP. Thus, 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 (clearly stating opportunity will be remote/virtual for Summer 2021)
  • Video interview
  • Current Unofficial Transcript
  • Two References (name and contact info only; one must be a Pomona faculty member)

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

What are the Application Timelines/Deadlines?

PCIP Summer 2021 Award Timeline

  • March 1, 2021 - Application Opens in SurveyMonkey Apply (NOW OPEN)
  • April 25, 2021 @ 11:59pm PST - Application Due in SurveyMonkey Apply
  • May 7, 2021 - Award offers out via email
  • May 14, 2021 - Deadline to accept award offer

Important: in order to apply for PCIP, you must have secured your opportunity and your employer's offer letter/email must indicate your experience will be REMOTE. 

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?

Students who are awarded PCIP will receive a $3,000 stipend for Summer 2021. Since opportunities need to be remote at this time, a budget proposal is no longer required in the PCIP application.

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Funding varies from student to student and is based on a number of factors.  The Career Development Office (CDO) reviews every finalists’ budget when determining award amounts. In addition to the information and resources provided on applicants’ budgets, the CDO conducts additional research to ensure the amount awarded is commensurate with expenses associated with the location of the experience. The CDO has the right to adjust applicants’ budgets accordingly.  Full award amounts will be disbursed to students at the beginning of the summer. 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. View sample budgets here.

Eligible expenses include:

  • Travel to internship location: airfare, train, car, etc. Include your mode of transportation, dates of travel, and departure locations.
  • Housing/Accommodations
  • Food (a majority of your budget should include groceries, but you can account for some meals dining out)
  • Utilities (if separate from housing costs)
  • Local Transportation (include your mode of transportation)
  • A maximum of $100.00 total can be allotted for incidentals, or costs that can help cover insufficient estimates.

Ineligible expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Appropriate work attire
  • Personal travel (site-seeing, personal visits, etc.)
  • Travel to your hometown from Pomona College (airfare, train, car, etc.). You are eligible for travel to your hometown at the conclusion of your summer experience.
  • Work-related travel expenses (i.e. travel to off-site meetings, fieldwork, etc. that are required by your position). These types of expenses should be covered by the organization if they are requirements of your position!
  • Work-related equipment (i.e. materials required to perform your job responsibilities). These types of expenses/items should be provided by the organization if they are requirements of your position.
  • Car Payments/Auto Insurance or Maintenance
  • Parking Lot/Meter Fees
  • Visas
  • Passports
  • First Class/Business/Executive Class flights or cabin upgrades

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:

  • REMOTE/VIRTUAL as confirmed in the employer's offer letter for Summer 2021
  • 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:

  • Paid opportunities (More than $1,500)
  • Projects that fulfill the criteria of SURP (Summer Undergraduate Research Program)/RAISE (Remote Alternative Independent Summer Experience)
  • 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
  • Organizations run by members of students' immediate family, or current undergraduate students

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.

Students may view a list of past PCIP summer internship employers, along with industries and locationsThis spreadsheet is updated annually & contains information spanning 2011-2020. 

PCIP Summer Assignments & Annual Poster Conference

As a condition of receiving an award, short assignments are required while on site.  The culminating project of the summer is a poster that PCIP students present during the Intensive Summer Experience Poster Conference for Internships and Research. The Poster Conference 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
  • poster
  • presentation at annual Intensive Summer  Experience Poster Conference 
  • thank you letter(s) to donor(s)
  • 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.

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 2020 and Spring 2021.

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

Students who do not have an active F-1 status may still apply to PCIP for unpaid internships only. This includes first-year international students who have not entered the U.S. this academic year and will remain outside the U.S. for the duration of their internship. Students should currently be enrolled full-time for Spring 2021.

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. Class of 2024, with an inactive F-1 status, are unfortunately ineligible for CPT during Summer 2021.
  • 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.

My internship is remote. Do I still need CPT?

Students who are on active F-1 status are advised to get CPT if working with a U.S. employer. Please see the CPT Forms and Procedures webpage for the step by step process.

Students who are not on active F-1 status and have not entered the U.S. this academic year and will remain outside the U.S. during the internship are not eligible for CPT.

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. International students with an inactive F-1 status are not required to submit a W8 Form.

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

Students on an active F-1 status are able to travel normally. Please check with your ISA to obtain a travel signature.

Once students with an inactive F-1 status enter the U.S., they should no longer be interning with their U.S. employer. Therefore, please make sure you end your internship before entering the U.S. If you do not end your internship before entering the U.S., this is grounds for having your F-1 status terminated because you do not have work authorization (CPT). Please check with your ISA prior to making your travel plans.