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Internships & Fellowships

As part of their capstone, Urban Studies students may hold an internship with a non-profit organization or government agency.

Urban Studies internship at Project for Public Spaces

Arranging an Internship

Students should enroll in Urban Studies 201A during the quarter in which they carry out their internships. Students are required to meet with the Program Co-Director at least three months prior to the quarter in which they intend to start their internship. Please keep in mind that internship host organizations may require significant preparation and outreach to establish an internship, so it is advantageous to begin the internship search process as early as possible to ensure that students will find an appropriate placement that meets their personal and research interests. 

Please note:

  • Internships must be completed before the beginning of winter quarter of senior year, or two quarters before graduation.
  • Credit for the internship must be arranged prior to the internship commencing. The Urban Studies Program does not grant credit for internships after the internship has been completed.
  • Students should work with their host organization supervisor and Urban Studies Co-Director to complete the Placement Objectives Agreement prior to starting the internship.

Summer internships usually allow for more substantive work since students are able to have a full-time immersion experience, and there are often opportunities to secure generous funding for a summer internship.

Fruit vendor in Hanoi, Vietnam
Hanoi Fruit Vendor. Photo credit: Claire Thielke

Internship details and requirements:

  • The minimum time commitment is 80 hours, to be completed over approximately 10 weeks. Students are encouraged to work with their organization longer than 10 weeks, but the 80-hour minimum should not be spread out over a longer period, except in special cases such as research projects.

  • Internships must be completed before the beginning of winter quarter of senior year, or two quarters before graduation.

  • Urban Studies majors may conduct their internship at a government agency or a non-profit/community organization relevant to the major.

  • Students who intern for the private sector may receive credit for URBANST 194, but not for URBANST 201A. Only URBANST 201A will count towards the community engaged learning capstone experience.

  • In accordance with university policy, internship credit is awarded for the work that emerges from the internship. No transfer credit is awarded for internships.

Past Internship Sites

Past internship sites have included:

East Coast

West Coast

Other U.S.


Academic Year Internships

For students completing their community engaged learning requirement outside of approved courses or individual internships, communication with the Urban Studies Co-Director is required. Students must complete the Placement Objectives Agreement.

With prior approval, students may arrange their community engaged learning experience under the auspices of one of the following:

  • Stanford in New York: All students at Stanford in New York complete a substantive internship, and enroll in a course that supports the internship academically. The fall quarter, focusing on Urban Studies, Architecture, Design, and the Arts is especially suitable for Urban Studies majors, as is the spring quarter (starting in 2018), focusing on the global city.  See examples of fall quarter internships.

  • Stanford Overseas Programs: Students who are enrolled in or completed an overseas program may have access to overseas internship opportunities in their country of study.

  • The Archaeology Program sponsors an internship through ANTHRO 112, Public Archaeology: Market Street Chinatown Archaeology Project. This is an especially appropriate internship option for students in the Cities in Comparative and Historical Perspective Concentration. Contact Prof. bvoss [at] (Barbara Voss) for more information.

Students may also propose an independent internship through URBANST 194. Students who are interested in setting up their own internship should contact the Program's Co-Director and complete the Placement Objectives Agreement. See the Career Resources page for links to organizations and government agencies.

Additional Opportunities & Summer Fellowships

Students seeking alternative opportunities are strongly encouraged to apply for Cardinal Quarter fellowships through the Haas Center for Public Service.  Application deadlines may vary. Please allow sufficient time to arrange a placement, solicit letters of recommendation, and write your proposal.

Haas Center Fellowships

The Haas Center for Public Service offers summer fellowships that fund students’ work in a variety of public service endeavors. Many, though not all, Haas fellowships can translate into internship experiences that meet the Urban Studies internship criteria.

The following is a list of fellowships commonly pursued by Urban Studies students, though we recommend students explore the full list of fellowship and other Cardinal Quarter offerings.

  • Public Interest Law Fellowship: Fellows have the opportunity to spend a summer working full-time in the field of public interest law.

  • Philanthropy Fellowship: The Philanthropy fellowships provide full-time, nine-week placements in various Bay Area foundations.

  • Stanford In Government: SIG provides students with meaningful exposure to the public policy process by placing them in government and nonprofit agencies in the Bay Area, Sacramento, Washington D.C., and internationally.