Life + Career Design scholarships

Life + Career Design scholarships support students’ experiences in professional work with the goal of advancing their career readiness.

Specifically, the scholarships support students’ living, transportation, and/or other expenses related to engaging in unpaid or underpaid work in an actual work environment. The work may be an internship, undergraduate research experience, extended volunteer experience, or possibly even a part-time job that the student wants to use for their professional development seminar. Students advance their career readiness specifically through an online 1-credit professional development seminar in which they create an e-portfolio to reflect on and describe their preparedness for a career based on their experience in an actual workplace.

Students will submit an updated resume and a budget worksheet outlining need for support and will be awarded funds up to $5,000.

The application will open six weeks prior to the priority deadlines for each semester’s scholarship cycle. Please note the deadlines and notification dates for each cycle as outlined below. Applicants that are awarded a Life + Career Design scholarship should expect to fill out a Professional Experience Verification Form upon acceptance.

Please view our Life + Career Design scholarship FAQs if you have questions.


Hear from Life + Career Design scholarship recipients

Natasha Najam
I experienced many facets of medicine
Psychology student Natasha discusses her summer internship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Simon Kaplan
I made the most of a humanities internship
Simon discusses his experience with the Book History Lab at the University of Athens.
Jayne Allen
3 things I learned from my VGE internship
Jayne explains her experience with VACorps, an internship program based in Cape Town, South Africa.

Application deadlines

Fall cycle

  • Application will open on June 20th
  • Priority deadline by August 1st and award letters out by Aug 20th
  • Applications will be accepted on a case-by-case basis up until Aug 20th (with final reviews completed by Sept 4th)

Spring cycle

  • Application will open on November 8th
  • Priority deadline by December 20th and award letters sent out by January 8th
  • Applications will be accepted on a case-by-case basis up until January 8th (with final reviews completed by Jan 20th)

Summer cycle

  • Application will open on March 20th
  • Priority deadline by May 1st and award letters sent out by May 20th
  • Applications will be accepted on a case-by-case basis up until May 20th (with final reviews completed by June 4th)


The intention of these scholarships is to promote early engagement in students’ career readiness. As such, students must be in good academic standing, pursuing a major in the College of LAS, and engaging in an experience that is new to them at the time of application.

Preference will be given to students returning for another semester, but graduating seniors are eligible for the fall and spring semesters. Experiences happening the summer after graduation are not eligible. Students who have previously been awarded the scholarship may not be awarded another.

Summer experiences must span at least 5 weeks, at a minimum of 15 hours/week. Fall or spring experiences must span at least 10 weeks, at a minimum of 5 hours/week.

Potential experiences

Experiences that will be considered for scholarships include:

  • Internships - Unpaid/underpaid experiences with non-profits; local, state or federal government agencies, NGO, healthcare, law enforcement and legal, historical sites and museums, parks and recreation organizations, and qualifying experiences connected with programs such as Illinois in Washington, Institute for Field Education, and Study and Intern at University of Western Cape in South Africa.
  • Research in the Disciplines - Research labs, Office of Undergraduate Research, or creative project contributing to faculty research. Any research opportunities for which you are receiving course credit are NOT eligible for a Life + Career Design scholarship.
  • Volunteer work - Experiences with non-profit organizations which meet minimum work hours and length requirements. Examples include working with community organizations, summer camps, healthcare and mental health facilities, or local municipalities.
  • Virtual experiences - Experiences can span from working virtually with international organizations, collaborating on projects, conducting research with international faculty and students, and taking online courses featuring faculty abroad. Check out our virtual global experiences to learn more.

If you are interested in getting involved in a professional development opportunity but are uncertain where to start, or if you have questions, contact the Life + Career Design Lab. View Handshake for additional experiences and opportunities