A scholarship to reimburse students for some of the costs (up to $5000)
of for-credit* unpaid summer internships. Details below.

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Eligibility Requirements

  • Who is eligible?
    • Current degree-seeking undergraduate JMU students who already have an internship secured for the summer
    • All majors
    • Minimum 2.5 overall GPA (no rounding)
  • Who is not eligible?
    • Students taking courses at JMU for one semester but seeking degrees from other universities are not eligible.
    • Research or placement programs that require you to pay a fee to obtain an internship will not be considered.
    • Previous winners of the Unpaid Internship Scholarship through University Career Center are not eligible to apply or receive the scholarship again.
    • Students interning at companies/organizations that do not follow JMU’s non-discrimination EEO policy are not eligible.


  • Check the eligibility requirements before completing your application.
  • The application consists of three parts, all of which must be complete and submitted by the deadline:  Friday, April 17, 5:00 p.m.  Copy and paste the links below to send to your recommenders and employers.

    Student Application

    Faculty/Staff Recommendation 

    Employer Verification

    Internships must be secured prior to applying, employer verifications are part of the application.  Applications will not be reviewed until after the deadline.  Questions will not be answered about specific applications.  Incomplete or incorrect applications will be disqualified, they will not be returned to you for revision.  Remember, YOU are responsible for making sure the application is complete, correct and on time.  This includes following up with recommenders and employers to confirm that the recommendation and employer verification forms are submitted on time. 

Requirements of internship position and scholarship recipients

  • Requirements of the internship position:
    • Unpaid
    • At least 8 weeks long and 30-40 hours a week, with a minimum of 240 hours
    • Completed during the summer months
    • Secured prior to applying (an employer verification form is a required part of the application)
    • You must have defined duties and a specific supervisor.
  • Required academic credit:
    • You must be enrolled in at least one credit hour of summer internship credit, as funds are distributed via Financial Aid. Funds will be applied toward any outstanding bill first, and you can elect how to receive the remainder.
    • If your major offers an internship course, you will be encouraged to take that course.
    • If your major does not offer an internship course for credit, or if you are ineligible to take the internship course, you may be able to take the one-credit online internship elective course UNST 480 offered through the University Career Center.
    • This course is by instructor permission only. Contact Jennifer Rupert at rupertja@jmu.edu for more information about this course.
  • Expectations of recipients:
    • Upon completion of the internship, you must submit a reflection paper that includes an overview of your responsibilities, what you learned through the experience, and how the internship impacted your career plans. This paper can be from your internship class.
    • Students may also be asked to serve on internship panels that the University Career Center sponsors in the future.
    • If you receive grants and scholarships that total more than the cost of tuition and books, you must report the excess as income on your tax return. Consult an accountant for more information.

What is the Unpaid Internship Scholarship?

  • We offer the scholarship to students completing unpaid summer internships, to reimburse students for some associated costs, such as food, rent, tuition for required summer internship course, and transportation. 
  • While we encourage employers to offer paid internships whenever possible, and this scholarship is not meant to replace remuneration, we know that many organizations, especially in the government and non-profit fields, only offer unpaid internships.
  • Since we strongly encourage all students to gain experience through internships, we created the Unpaid Internship Scholarship to help more students take advantage of these opportunities. 

What is the scholarship amount?

  • Scholarship amounts vary up to $5,000 based on the budget you provide.
  • Funds are not awarded for tuition for additional classes you wish to take during the summer, beyond the course that gives you academic credit for the internship.

Can I intern abroad?   

  • An international internship must be coordinated through a JMU study abroad program, or you must be getting academic credit through a JMU internship course.
  • Awards for internships as part of JMU Study Abroad programs vary according to which program you choose.
  • Students working in summer internships abroad are encouraged to apply, however they must meet the same requirements in order to qualify.
  • Only JMU programs through CGE or a JMU academic department are eligible. Programs that require you to transfer your credits back to JMU are not eligible.

What is the selection process?

  • Although multiple scholarships are awarded, the application is selective, and applicants are not guaranteed a scholarship on the basis of applying.
  • Our selection committee consists of the University Career Center staff, as well as other internship coordinators throughout the university.
  • Multiple criteria, including GPA, applicability of internship to career goals, quality and thoughtfulness of application answers, explanation of budget request, and faculty recommendation are considered.
  • Financial need is considered, but not required.

How are these scholarships funded?

The money for the Unpaid Internship Scholarships comes from the revenue generated by our Campus-Wide Career Fairs. Employers pay a registration fee to attend these events, and we use a portion of these funds to give back to students to assist them in gaining valuable experience through internships.

How will I receive the money?

Funds are distributed by the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships. Funds will be applied toward any outstanding bill, including your tuition first, and you can select online how you will receive the remainder. The disbursement process begins after the first day of your summer internship class and takes a few weeks. Plan for this.

Sites that have hosted Scholarship Winners

American Shakespeare Center
Blue Ridge CASA for Children
Cultivating Community
Doomsday Entertainment - CA
Eliza Hope Foundation/Jump Start Social Skills Program
Harmelin Media
Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance
Hungry Marketplace, Inc.
INOVA Medical Group
JMU Athletics
JMU Center for Global Engagement
Key West Assoc. of Realtors
Live Nation
Mercado Global
On The Road Collaborative
Petite Palm, Haiti
Planned Parenthood
Primary Wave Music Company - CA
Sentara-RMH South Main Health Center diabetes education
Sunnyside Retirement Community
TEAN/ Sports Medicine Australia/ WAFL
U.S. House; Committee on Oversight & Reform
US House of Representatives Office of Jennifer Wexton
USC Brain & Creativity Institute
VA Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries
Virginia Beach Justice Initiative
Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community/VMRC
West Point Football Operations/Recruiting
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

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