Wellesley Grants Program

Kalei Oliver ’20
Kalei Oliver ’20, working on an archeological excavation with Proyecto de Investigación Arqueológico Regional Ancash in Hualcáyan, Peru through a grant from Wellesley Career Education.

Wellesley Grants Program

The Wellesley Grants Program allows students to apply for funding to pursue unpaid internship opportunities which students find on their own. The program is funded by approximately three dozen donor endowed funds or gifts targeted to support Wellesley students across all career sectors, geographic locations, and class years.

Application Opens: February 15, 2021
Application Deadline: March 15, 2021 at 11:30 pm EST


Please note:
The Wellesley Grants Program has limited funding still available to support sophomores and juniors pursuing self-identified internships that are both remote and international-based. Students are encouraged to submit grant applications both for general, international-based opportunities and for opportunities in the specific areas of: East Asia, microfinance, youth work, and poverty alleviation.

This second round of limited Grants Program application opens Monday, April 12 and closes on Friday, April 23.



Quick links to learn more about the Wellesley Grants Program and how to apply: 

Grant Eligibility—Who Is Eligible? What Types of Experiences Are Funded?

Grants Program Stipends

Explore Grant Opportunities

Grants Program Application Process

Grants Program Selection Process

Grants Program FAQs



Reviewed program details (including the application process instructions), and ready to apply?

Begin Your Application Here (available Feb 15)



Jericko Torres-Leschnik ’20
Jericko Torres-Leschnik ’20, Intern with Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico City, Mexico (2019 internship grant program)

Grants Eligibility

Who Is Eligible?
All Wellesley students enrolled for at least one semester during the 2020-2021 Academic Year or participating in a study abroad program (one semester or full-year) are welcome to apply to the Wellesley Grants Program. Students on leave for the entire academic year are ineligible. 

Students awarded a grant are expected to be enrolled at the College or participating in a study abroad program in Fall of 2021 (this does not include graduating Seniors).

Details to Keep in Mind When Applying
Grant funding opportunities vary by industry and class year, so please keep these things in mind when applying:



  • Most funding is designated specifically for sophomores and juniors 
  • While open to all class years, funding is VERY limited for first years and seniors 
  • While funding is available to support internships across Career Communities, the majority of funding is geared for the education/non-profit, community service, and social service sectors with multiple grants in environment and sustainability, government, and international experiences.
  • For more information about the Grants that support this program, please visit the Explore Grant Opportunities section of this page. 

What Type of Experiences Are Eligible for Grant Awards?
Grants Program funding can support various unpaid summer experiences, including internships, research, and community service. To receive grant funding and/or non-academic credit from Career Education, an internship must meet these minimum requirements: 

    • Run for at least 8 weeks (at least 300 hours). Internships must start after the last day of Spring Term finals (June 1, 2021) and end before the first day of Fall classes (September 8, 2021). 
    • Align with a student’s career goals and prior academic experience so the student can develop skills transferable to future career opportunities. 
    • Allow for direct contact with a qualified professional supervisor to answer questions and provide consistent and timely performance feedback.
    • Present a reasonable job description and expectations​​ that are substantive and meaningful to the student and company yet manageable in the duration of the internship.
    • Provide a professional environment along with the necessary resources to complete assigned duties (e.g., access to appropriate technology, equipment, licensed staff, training).
    • Allow open communication between organization supervisors, Wellesley College staff, and the student, especially in the event of problems or emergencies.
    • Comply with international, employment and government laws, including all applicable regulatory bodies, and have valid and up-to-date licensure, accreditation and any necessary certifications.

    Click here for a downloadable PDF checklist of this Internship Eligibility. 

    What Opportunities Are Not Funded?
    Below are some opportunities not eligible for grant funding. This is not an exhaustive list.

    • On-campus opportunities including faculty research or thesis work
    • Independent Study
    • Academic tuition for classes or any related expenses (e.g., class materials, transportation to classes)
    • Fee-based opportunities (e.g., pay to participate in mission work, research, internships, or other programs) or other experiences that include program fees
    • Seed funding for Start-Ups or Non-Profits
    • Work on political campaigns (Note: Students may intern for a government official such as a Congressman, DA, or Senator, but they are not permitted to work on campaigns)
    • Paid or funded opportunities
    • Opportunities with organizations that are owned or operated by a student’s immediate family, or by an aunt or uncle
    • Internships through student-run organizations 


    Alicia Olivo ’19
    Alicia Olivo ’19, CASA 0101 Theatre Internship, Los Angeles, CA (2018 grants program)

    Grants Program Stipends

    Students funded through the Grants Program receive a $4,000 stipend from the Career Education office for remote or in-person internships.

    NOTE FOR SUMMER 2021: Wellesley College has not yet decided whether it will resume funding in-person internships. The College is monitoring the developments in the pandemic closely and will make a decision later this Spring. 

    Stipends are intended to assist students with living expenses, including housing, utilities, and transportation (if applicable), food, medication, and other essentials. Stipends cannot cover the opportunity cost associated with pursuing an internship. They are not intended to serve as an hourly wage, which means that students may have less money for the summer than they would have if they had pursued a regular job or paid opportunity. 

    Students funded through the Grants Program are required to complete their internship, which must be a minimum of 8 weeks/300 hours. Students must also complete a summer internship learning portfolio due the first day of Fall classes. If a student does not complete their internship or learning portfolio in full, they may be reported to the Honor Code Committee and may be required to return all or part of their stipend.

    Funded students are pre-approved to receive non-academic summer internship credit. Students decide whether they want this credit to appear on their transcript as an internship or research experience (INT 101 or RES 101). 

    To earn internship credit, students must complete all summer internship portfolio assignments by the first day of Fall classes. Students that do not complete the portfolio by the deadline forfeit the credit, however they are still required to submit the portfolio.


    Emily Chun ’17
    Emily Chun ’17, 2016 Internship Grant, Community Space Litmus, Korea

    Explore Grant Opportunities

    The Wellesley Grants Program is funded by approximately three dozen donor endowed funds or gifts targeted to support Wellesley students working in unpaid internships. Through this generous and ongoing support, the Grants Program supports students across all career sectors, geographic locations, and class years. 

    Summer 2021 Grants
    Here is a list of the grants available for Summer 2021. This list is only intended to help you understand the types of experiences that are fundable as well as some of the specific requirements (industry, type of organization, class year restrictions, etc.). Students simply apply to the general Grants Program and the Career Education staff will determine the appropriate fund. 

    Although there are funds for all students and career sectors, please keep in mind that opportunities are more limited for first years and seniors:

    • First years are only eligible for these grants: 
      • Class of 1969 Community Service Internship Fund
      • Helen Wallace Health Sciences Internship Fund
      • Joan Freed Kahn '51 Service Program Service Opportunity Stipend
      • Lucas Public Service Internship Fund
      • Margaret C. Gordon Law and Education Public Service Award
      • Shirley Heidenberg Koteen '40 Endowed Internship Fund for Jewish Studies
      • Wei Fong Chu Chao Endowed Fund for International Internships
    • Seniors are only eligible for these grants: 
      • Barbara Bush Award for Volunteerism
      • Oprah Winfrey Award for Volunteerism
      • Paul B. Beal and Mona Phillips Beal Internship Fund

    student in library

    Grants Program Application Process

    Applying to the Grants Program is simple and easy, but it does require students to reflect deeply on their desired summer experience and goals, research internship opportunities, and prepare materials ahead of time.

    Our Grants Program Application Guide outlines the application process and provides resources for each step along the way—so students can put together the strongest application possible. Some resources include the Application Pathway and our Career Education Resource pages

    Things to note:

    • Students do not need to have an internship confirmed in order to apply for the Grants Program, but they do need a clear vision of their proposed summer experience so they can describe, in a compelling manner, how this experience will benefit them professionally, personally, and academically. 
    • Students only need to submit one application to be considered for all our grants as we will assign the award that fits best based on their application materials. Students who think they are a particularly strong candidate for a specific award may note that in their materials.
    • If you submit your application before Tuesday, March 9 at midnight, we will provide a preliminary review of your resume and provide you with feedback that may strengthen your application.
    • Career Education can support your internship search! We are offering workshops on "How to find an internship" on the following dates:

    Apply to the Grants Program through Wellesley’s Internship Centralized Application (opens February 15). For the application, students are required to submit the following:

    • Resume
    • Statement of Intent
    • Names of organizations to which they have applied or will apply. (Note: Students are not obligated to apply to or intern at any of the organizations they list. This information simply helps us understand their interests and determine which fund(s) we can use to sponsor opportunities.)
    • If you submit your application before Tuesday, March 9 at midnight, we will provide a preliminary review of your resume and provide you with feedback that may strengthen your application.

    For the Statement of Intent, students must answer the prompts below in one page (max 500 words).

    1. Career Exploration/Motivation: What type of internship will you be pursuing and why? How will this opportunity align with your interests and career goals to help you grow? How do you envision contributing to your proposed opportunity? TIPS: This means we want you to clearly explain the type of opportunity you are pursuing and your motivations for pursuing it. Give us specific details that directly connect your interests and future career goals to this possible opportunity and explain what you can contribute and hope to learn in the process. 

    2. Academic Preparation: What have you learned already that you can build on and apply to this opportunity? While your answer should focus on academic preparation, you are welcome to mention other relevant extracurricular or volunteer experiences. TIPS: We will be looking for you to discuss specific academic pursuits (and any other applicable experiences) that have prepared you for this possible opportunity (e.g. courses, research, class projects). Do not solely list classes but provide us with clear details about the knowledge/skills/experiences you’ve gained that have prepared you for this possible opportunity.

    We strongly recommend students save their work periodically while completing the application. If the application page is open (without activity) for more than 2 hours or a student experiences an interruption in their wifi connection, unsaved work will be lost.

    Applications cannot be edited after they are submitted. If the application deadline has not yet passed and you need to make changes, please contact internships@wellesley.edu.


    student with camel

    Grants Program Selection Process

    Selection for the Grants Program is competitive—less than 25% of applicants are typically awarded grants. Awards are granted based on the quality of a student’s application materials and the availability of funding to support the proposed experience. These are not need-based grants. 

    Selection will prioritize applicants who have not previously received summer funding from the College in order to make funding opportunities equitable and accessible to all Wellesley students. 

    Students will be notified by April 9, 2021 about award selections.

    What If I Am Selected for a Grant?
    Students awarded a grant have until May 26, 2021 (the last day of Spring Term 4 classes) to secure an internship and confirm their internship opportunity with Career Education. In order to do that, students must submit the online Internship Agreement, online Risk & Release form, and your employer offer letter through the internship centralized application

    Once your materials are received, the Career Ed staff will confirm that the internship meets our eligibility requirements and start the stipend process. Note: Stipends will be paid via direct deposit only; payment by check has been discontinued. For direct deposit, students must have a US bank account, so please be sure you have one available.

    Career Ed will verify that you are set up for direct deposit in Workday and submit the payment to the account on file. If you do not have banking information entered in Workday, we will have the system email you a link to a banking app. The bank account information you enter in the app will transfer into Workday. 

    Workday Tip: You may view the bank account information in your Workday profile by clicking on the “Pay” icon and viewing your payment elections. If you need to change the bank account listed in Workday, please contact Dotti Koulalis in Accounts Payable (dkoulali@wellesley.edu). Students who submit bank information through the banking app will not have any information under pay elections.