Frequently Asked Questions About PSIP

How many students does PSIP admit each year?

The number of students selected is largely determined by the number and strength of received applications. While there is no pre-set number of participants, generally anywhere from 80 to 100 students are selected. While Sophomores and Juniors typically comprise the majority of participants, First-year students and Seniors are welcome to apply. PSIP is for undergraduate students only. 

Are internships guaranteed?

PSIP is an internship preparation program, not an internship placement program, so participation in the program does not automatically guarantee an internship. Rather, the program is focused on ensuring you learn how to identify internships that are strong fits for you and develop the career skills to present yourself as the best possible candidate. Students who fully engage in the program have tremendous success in obtaining summer internships.

How long are the internships?

Because PSIP enables you to select your own internships, how long you work is up to you. Most students opt to spend the end of May through the beginning of August as interns. A common length is 8-10 weeks. However, some internships are shorter. Even past PSIP participants who stayed a month in DC still report a rich and exciting experience as a summer intern.

Does PSIP pay for housing? If not, how much does it cost?

Housing costs are your responsibility. For those participants who stay with the PSIP sponsored housing option, the cost is around $3,000.00. Students are not required, however, to stay in PSIP sponsored housing. The program works with all participants to educate them on the cost of living in DC and ways to maintain a cost-effective budget. Staff also inform students about scholarships and other financial assistance opportunities.

Are internships paid? 

While paid public service internships are less common, there are many paid internships and some employers offer general, travel, or housing stipends. Often internships will offer ways to obtain academic credit in lieu of payment. Scholarships are available through PSIP and the University for students with financial need.

Is financial aid available?

Through the University Career Center, students in PSIP who have financial need and land unpaid internships may qualify for financial assistance and for School/College funding. If students still have unmet need, they can apply for a limited amount of PSIP Scholarships.  Scholarship funding is contingent on registering for a 1 credit hour class during Spring/Summer term. Students will accept their internship and then start the scholarship process by registering for class and working one-on-one with PSIP staff to determine Scholarship eligibility. 

If you are concerned about financial limitations, you are encouraged to speak with a PSIP Coordinator at the University Career Center. To reach a PSIP Coordinator, e-mail [email protected].

Can I participate in PSIP if I am planning to study abroad?

Unfortunately, because PSIP runs seminar meetings throughout the Fall and Winter semesters, we cannot accommodate students who will be abroad during that time.