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Columbia Engineering Internship Fund





Columbia Engineering is pleased to announce the Columbia Engineering Internship Fund for summer 2017. The Columbia Engineering Internship Fund (CEIF) supports undergraduate students who have secured summer internships in engineering fields. This program, funded through generous alumni support, is designed to enable Columbia Engineering undergraduate students to gain real-world and research engineering experience. The Columbia Engineering Internship Fund:

  • Supports undergraduate students who have already secured unpaid or low paying summer internships or research opportunities
  • Provides stipends ranging from $500 to $5,000, depending on the nature of the internship as well as demonstrated student need
  • Supports both industry experience and research opportunities that provide hands-on engineering engagement when those opportunities would otherwise be financially difficult
  • Focuses on providing support for international internship experiences, though U.S.-based internships may be considered

The Columbia Engineering Internship Fund does not replace the Work Exemption Program (WEP). Undergraduate students who apply to the Columbia Engineering Internship Fund are encouraged, but not required, to apply to the WEP as well. Through WEP, undergraduate students have the option of applying for an exemption from the summer savings portion of their financial aid package as well as their academic year work expectations if they are engaged in unpaid activities, including summer internships.

Institutional funding through this program is made available with the sole intention of supporting students’ living expenses (such as housing, food and travel expenses).  This support enables students to participate in unpaid or low paid opportunities.  Funding is not provided in lieu of compensation for work and supervisors are required to acknowledge in the Employer Verification Form that participating organizations are compliant with the US Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other applicable state and local legislation.


Currently registered Columbia Engineering undergraduate students who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply:

  • A rising sophomore, junior or senior undergraduate student in good academic and disciplinary standing with at least a 3.0 G.P.A.
  • A recipient of Columbia grant-based financial aid. If you are unsure if you receive grant-based financial aid, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid & Educational Financing.
  • Secured an unpaid or low paying engineering internship for summer 2017 prior to the application deadline.

Applicants who do not meet these criteria and incomplete applications will not be considered.

Please note, by submitting an application, you authorize the Center for Career Education to conduct academic, disciplinary and financial aid checks to confirm program eligibility and inform funding decisions. Certain University policy violations may disqualify you from consideration for Columbia Engineering Internship Fund funding.

Application Deadline

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 11:59 pm.

How to Apply

Application Timeline

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Columbia Engineering Internship Fund Committee begins accepting applications.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Final application deadline - all applications for the Columbia Engineering Internship Fund 2017 program must be submitted through the online application by 11:59pm.

April 26, 2017
Applicants will be notified of their status in the program (accepted or declined).

About the Program

Columbia Engineering undergraduate students selected as Columbia Engineering Internship Fund grant recipients must commit to the following:

  • Professional Development Webshop (the link will be shared in your offer letter) - This "Internship Success" workshop will help students learn important skills and tips to succeed in their internships including how to initiate projects and responsibilities, work on a team, communicate with their supervisor and network
  • Formal reflection
    Recipients will write a thank you letter/reflective essay to their Columbia Engineering Internship Fund donor(s)
  • Budget reconciliation
    Recipients must submit a completed budget reconciliation detailing their summer expenses. 

Important Information for Students Planning Overseas Opportunities

In accordance with the new Undergraduate International Travel Policy all students* traveling overseas through a Columbia led, Columbia facilitated and/or recognized program must submit a school sponsorship application 4-weeks prior to departure.**

Once you have received confirmation of your school sponsorship, log in to the Undergraduate Travel Web App to complete:

  • Online Pre-Departure Orientation
  • Sign the Assumption of Risk, Waiver, and Release form

Additionally, all students must:

  • Register your travel (including side trips) through International SOS
  • Confirm that, while abroad, you will be covered by a health insurance policy that also provides coverage outside the United States for routine, urgent and emergency care.

It is critical that you thoroughly familiarize yourself with the Undergraduate International Travel Policy and complete all steps outlined above. For related questions, contact

*Graduate students participating in a Columbia led, Columbia facilitated and/or recognized program such as CUGO and STEP are also required to complete a school sponsorship application. This policy does not replace any additional requirements from a student’s home school. Graduate students, including Columbia Engineering graduate students, are encouraged to check in with their home school prior to finalizing any travel arrangements.

** Students applying to CCE funding programs with overseas opportunities MUST apply for school sponsorship by April 12th (the funding program application deadline). Submitting a school sponsorship application does not guarantee CCE funding. Similarly receiving CCE funding does not guarantee approval of your school sponsorship application. Please note that school sponsorship applications related to CCE funding programs will not be approved unless the student receives a CCE funding award. Students who submit a school sponsorship application and do not receive a CCE funding award must withdraw their school sponsorship application unless they are also part of the CEO, STEP, or CU GO programs. In those cases, sponsorship applications should not be withdrawn.


Student Experiences

Varshini Parthasarathy, SEAS 2018, International Research Institute for Climate & Society, New York

Varshini was born and raised in the Bay Area, and she is a rising sophomore majoring in Earth and Environmental Engineering. She is passionate about climate change and renewable energy, and hopes to eventually practice environmental law. Outside of her interests in Environmental Engineering, Varshini is involved in the a cappella scene at campus, a member of Columbia Sur, a Bollywood fusion a cappella group, and Columbia Clefhangers. She is also a brand ambassador for Dig Inn, a startup committed to seasonal dining. In her spare time, she loves to take advantage of the city and its art and food, never missing an opportunity to watch a show or try new cuisine. This summer, Varshini hopes to develop her interests in Environmental Engineering as a research intern for the International Research Institute for Climate & Society.

Natan Kibret, SEAS 2017, Luhana Engineering Construction PLC, Ethiopia 

Natan was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. With a passion for the developmental engineering that is catching fire in the capital of his nation, he is returning to Addis Ababa after a year at Columbia to contribute to the flourish of the growing city directly. Natan is a first year student at Columbia University interested in exploring the computer and civil engineering. In his time at Columbia, Natan has rediscovered his passion for debate and politics through his active participation in the Columbia International Relations and Council (CIRCA) travel team. His participation in the African Students Association has also helped him become more aware of the cultures and issues of the continent he calls home. Furthermore, Natan was able to explore his interest in Entrepreneurship through the Residential Incubator program and plans to utilize what he gained to make the most out of his experience this summer working in Luhana Engineering Construction PLC.

Lucas Oliver

Lucas Oliver, SEAS 2015, Arabtech Jardaneh, Jordan

Lucas was born and raised in Rochester, NY, but spent an extensive portion of his childhood in northeastern Brazil. He is a dedicated karate student and teacher, has played the violin professionally for many years, and academically has a very technical mind which he has always wanted to use outside of the classroom. He is a Civil Engineering major and Applied Math minor in the SEAS class of 2015, and became involved with Engineers Without Borders just days after arriving on campus in his freshman year. He works as a Senior Building Manager for the Office of the University Chaplain.

This summer, Lucas will be traveling to Amman, Jordan, to intern with Arabtech Jardaneh, and then to Obodan, Ghana, to implement a water distribution and filtration system with the Engineers Without Borders organization. After graduation, he intends to continue his work in the structural and architectural design industry while implementing sustainable infrastructure systems in developing communities.