Bucknell Public Interest Program Internship

The Bucknell Public Interest Program (BPIP) invites parents, alumni, faculty and administrators to unite to help educate students who wish to enter into a career in the nonprofit and public service sectors.

The program is open to first-year students, sophomores and juniors who are enrolled as full-time students and not on a leave of absence. BPIP works closely with the Law and Government & Public Interest Career Communities and supports programming that gives students opportunities to learn about these sectors with events offered throughout the academic year and into the summer.

BPIP Internship Fund

Through the generosity of alumni, parents and friends of Bucknell University, the BPIP Internship Fund provides support for students who have secured a full-time, unpaid summer internship within the nonprofit and public service sector. The award amount is $4,500.

Awards are considered taxable scholarships and must be declared by the recipients when filing their tax returns.

Selection Process

A committee, which consists of faculty and alumni, will carefully review all completed applications.

Next, a selection committee composed of alumni will invite finalists to interview based on the criteria stated here and in the BPIP Internship Fund Information Session. Information sessions are offered throughout the fall and spring semesters. Awards will be made to applicants who best meet the goals of the program.

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How to Apply

The deadline to apply is Tuesday, March 26, 2024, 11:59 p.m. Applications will not be accepted after the deadline.

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As part of the application, you must upload a resume, personal statement, internship information document and an organization form letter in PDF format on the application itself.

The application process requires that the applicant secure a commitment from an organization that is willing to sponsor them as an intern prior to knowing whether or not they will be funded. Please speak with the appropriate person at the organization and explain the BPIP Internship Fund program and timeline. Notification of the selection committee's decisions will be communicated to students via email. Because of the tight deadline as the end of the semester approaches, students must let the BPIP director know within two to three days whether they accept the funding.

Past BPIP Internship Fund recipients may reapply.

The BPIP Internship Fund selection committee looks at the entire applicant pool each year and does not compare the applicant pool to past years. The application process is merit-based, with each applicant viewed as being on a level playing field. This extends to organizations, as well. Organizations where past BPIP Internship Fund recipients interned are not favored over other organizations. Selection is based on the merit of each application.

If you have any questions please contact Marilyn Shull, program director, at bpip@bucknell.edu or 570-577-1238.

Qualifying Internships

All internships must be a minimum of eight weeks of full-time (30–40 hours/week) work during the summer break. The ideal length is 10 to 12 weeks (full-time, 30–40 hours/week). Students who secure two part-time internships must work 15–20 hours per week at each location. This will allow students to gain the most experience from their summer opportunity. Students wishing to pursue two part-time internships must complete two separate applications.

Please note: The weeks noted in your application qualifying for BPIP Internship Fund eligibility should not be inclusive of time scheduled for vacation; the minimum requirement is eight weeks not including any vacation.

BPIP Internship Fund-eligible organizations must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, public service or government (local, state, federal) entity. Internships with the U.S. Congress (in Washington, DC, or in District offices) or with state legislatures qualify for BPIP funding. Examples of funded internships within the U.S. have been with organizations that have web addresses ending in .org, .edu, gov or .us.

The internship must be unpaid, and students may not receive academic credit. International students are exempted from this requirement per visa requirements if they have an internship within the U.S. Please contact the BPIP director if this applies to you.

The BPIP Internship Fund selection committee will not consider internships with organizations that promote one particular religion or political affiliation to the exclusion of others.

BPIP Internship Fund recipients may assist nonprofit organizations in their fundraising efforts if the students' responsibilities would be educational and offer experience in grant writing. The program does not support internship opportunities that require door-to-door solicitation. The committee does not support political fundraising or door-to-door campaigning.

Recipient Responsibilities

If selected into the program, recipients must meet the following requirements:

  • Send a thank-you letter to the donor(s) of the BPIP Internship Fund. Donor contact information will be provided.
  • Attend an annual BPIP Internship Fund celebration in the fall.
  • Communicate regularly and in a timely manner during the summer with their assigned BPIP alumni mentor. Mentor contact information will be provided.
  • Inform the BPIP director immediately of any changes in internship status.
  • Complete BPIP Internship Fund surveys and evaluations in a timely manner.
  • Assist with getting the word out about the BPIP Internship Fund to the campus community during the next academic year.

Join the Law, Government & Public Interest Career Community

Join the Center for Career Advancement's new Law, Government & Public Interest career community through My Career Interests on Handshake and receive a biweekly newsletter with information about events and opportunities, as well as job and internship listings.

Become a BPIP Mentor

Mentors are essential to the success of this program. A mentor will be expected to:

  • Get in touch with their intern as soon as possible.
  • Keep in touch with their intern on a regular basis, particularly at the beginning of the internship.
  • Talk to their intern about their work situation.

Mentor volunteer form

Help a BPIP Intern

If you work with a nonprofit, government or public-interest organization, you're invited to get involved with the Bucknell Public Interest Program (BPIP). This program offers financial support for students who take on unpaid internships in the nonprofit and public service sectors during the summer.

We seek help both in sharing internship opportunities that may qualify for a BPIP stipend as well as in reviewing applications from students and selecting qualified candidates.

Contact Details

Center for Career Advancement


101 Botany Building