The CAPD Career Exploration Fellowship helps currently enrolled MIT undergraduates (first years, sophomores, juniors and seniors returning to MIT for a graduate degree) complete domestic underfunded experiences within the following industry areas: non-profits, creative or design fields, journalism, sustainability, environmental services, or other research opportunities not affiliated with MIT. Funded by the Fall Career Fair, these fellowship awards are intended to help offset expenses incurred by completing the experience (ex: living or transportation expenses). 

Selection Criteria

Funding is limited and will be awarded based on your explanation of how the fellowship will help you explore your career options and meet a particular financial need. In conjunction with Student Financial Services, CAPD will prioritize those with the greatest financial need. Unpaid internships with for-profit companies are not eligible for funding unless the student is receiving academic credit for the experience. If unsure of whether your experience will qualify, contact Tavi Sookhoo (

All funding decisions are made within the sole discretion of CAPD and we reserve the right, but do not assume the obligation, to refuse to provide funding to support a particular internship for any reason. We further reserve the right not to provide funding related to internships that appear to discriminate against applicants on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, or national or ethnic origin. 


$3,000 – $5,000  Underfunded summer opportunities (6 or more weeks in duration) 
$1,000 – $3,000   Underfunded summer opportunities (5 weeks or less in duration) 

Application Steps  

Step 1: Secure an opportunity in the industry areas outlined above. For more help finding an opportunity, review the strategies to find a summer experience listed below.  

Step 2: Apply via Handshake. Applications close on April 1 and applicants can expect a decision approximately one month after that date.  Your application will include an offer letter from host organization, responses to short answer questions , your resume and a budget of anticipated expenses.   

Fellowship Requirements 

Before the experience 

  • Recipients sign an agreement which includes an attestation that they are only receiving funding from one source at MIT per designated time period, a liability waiver, and MIT travel forms, if applicable. Minors will also need the signature of a parent or guardian.  

During the experience 

  • Supervisor submits a form confirming the recipient began the experience  

After the experience 

  • Recipients submit a written or video reflection assignment about their experience 

Guidance for International Students 

Undergraduate international students completing an off campus summer internship or research experience (even if receiving funding through the Career Exploration Fellowship) must receive off-campus work authorization (CPT, OPT, or AT) before they can begin the experience. 

According to immigration regulations students must have off campus authorization (CPT, OPT, AT) to engage in practical training activities that are off campus. This includes instances that are unpaid or underfunded opportunities. Please plan accordingly to secure authorization on time before the start of your Career Exploration Fellowship.  

International students are strongly encouraged to first review the ISO’s information on employment for information on the process of applying for CPT/OPT/AT and contact their ISO advisor with any follow-up questions regarding their eligibility to complete the CEF experience. 

Strategies to Find a Summer Experience  

There are several resources available to help you identify potential opportunities.  

Propose Your Own Internship 

  • Talk with MIT faculty, staff or alumni for  to develop a target list of organizations aligned with your interests.   
  • In addition to referrals from your own network, use LinkedIn, Alumni Advisors Hub Alumni Directory to outreach contacts at these companies. Discuss projects they might need help with. If you’re interested in their work, ask whether they would be interested in hosting you as a summer intern. 
  • Be prepared to discuss your skills and how  you can help their organization. 

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