Impact Interns Program
In Environmental Studies, we understand that our students don’t just want to learn about environmental issues in class. They also want to apply their knowledge & skills on the ground to make a positive impact in our community.Our Impact Internships embed students within St. Louis organizations, engaging with the environmental issues that impact people’s lives every day. This program allows Environmental Studies to support important environmental work that our organizational partners lead in the community. The Impact Internship Program runs during both the Fall and Spring Semester as well as over the Summer.
Interns receive a $2000 stipend for part-time Summer internships or during the Fall and Spring Semesters internships. This stipend is disbursed monthly over a period of four months.Impact Interns receive a $4000 stipend for full-time summer internships. This stipend is disbursed monthly over a period of two months (end of June and end of July).
To ensure Impact Interns can engage meaningfully with their organizations, we require a minimum commitment of 130 hours per semester for academic year interns. In the summer we have a full time option (260 hours) and a part time option (130 hours). This equates to roughly 33 hrs/week (or 16 hours a week if part time) during the summer, and roughly 10 hrs/week during the academic year (excluding weeks in which the University has breaks). Your schedule can vary from week to week, but it is critically important to ensure you have adequate time to commit to this internship before applying. If you are taking extra courses, or already have a job or internship, this opportunity may not be right for you at this time. If interns do not complete the hours requirement, they may not be eligible to continue their internship, the duration of their stipend may be reduced, or both.
Any currently enrolled student at Washington University, undergraduate or graduate, may apply for this program. By applying, students commit to attending several events & professional development sessions with their intern cohort throughout the semester. Students who can commit to at least 2 consecutive semesters of an internship will be prioritized. Students may not intern after they graduate- all summer interns must be enrolled at WashU for fall semester.
All Impact Interns can also take ENST 299 for credit(Select Section taugh by Griffin Knipp). However, it is not necessary that Impact Interns take the course for credit. All Interns are still expected to attend and participate in the seminar. However, those who choose not to take ENST 299 for Credit, can use any/all time in preparing and attending the Directed Internship seminar, as well as programming from ESCC, towards their required 130 hours. There is a 15-hour maximum that can be spent between ESCC and the Directed Internship Seminar.
During the Fall and Spring Semester the Seminar takes place 4 times, each session is 90 minutes long. The time will be determined once all Interns are hired to best coordinate schedules. Information on ENST 299 can be found here Impact Internship Reflection Seminar 2023 Fall
Current Positions and Openings
To find the current list of positions available to apply for, please go here.
How to Apply - Students
We are accepting applications for the Spring 2024 positions. Please read each description carefully for information on time commitment and application instructions. Contact Griffin Knipp at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Applications can be submitted here..
Prospective interns must send their resume, cover letter describing their interest and qualifications for the position. There is no process for a general application. applicants should apply in individual internships.
How to Host an Intern – Community Organizations
If your organization is interested in hosting a WashU intern for an environmental project, please reach out to Griffin Knipp at email@example.com with your proposed internship description and desired timeline.
Your organization does not need to have an environmental focus, so long as the intern is working on an environmental issue. We define the environment broadly to include many themes around housing quality, public health, food apartheid, policy, and more- reach out and ask us even if you aren’t sure your task is environmental!
Please take a look at our Impact Internship Handbook (found here), for more information as to what is expected of a host site.
Nonprofit and governmental organizations addressing environmental issues are permissible host sites for interns.
Additionally, we recognize many for-profit organizations also engage with pressing environmental issues. We will consider student internships at for-profit organizations on a case-by-case basis, though for-profit entities may need to cover all or part of the cost of their interns.
We select placements based on our selection criteria (see Rubric of selection criteria here).
Undergraduate students may earn credit for internship experiences by registering for ENST 299 for fall, spring, or summer semesters. This allows students to intern with an organization working on an environmental issue where the primary objective is to obtain professional experience outside of the classroom. Students can gain academic credit (pass/fail) for an internship if the following criteria are met:
Outside of the Impact Internship Program Environmental Studies does not offer financial compensation for students completing an unpaid internship for academic credit. However, students are not prevented from taking paid internships for credit, and may also seek their own funding for unpaid internships. The Career Center offers stipends for unpaid summer internships.
You must work the following number of hours per credit:
- One credit = 45+ hours over six weeks or more
- Two credits = 90+ hours over six weeks or more
- Three credits = 135+ hours over eight weeks or more
Student Requirements and Supervision Guidelines
Only currently enrolled undergraduate students are eligible. To receive internship credit, students must identify a faculty sponsor (an Arts & Sciences faculty member in a department related to your internship), and must file a Learning Agreement with the Arts & College Office, which is signed by the faculty sponsor and the site supervisor. The Learning Agreement must be filed no later than two weeks after the first day of the internship. The student must register for ENST299 by the appropriate semester add/drop date. For most summer internships you may register for credit the following fall semester. A final written project is to be agreed upon between the student and faculty sponsor before work begins, and will be evaluated by the faculty sponsor at the end of the internship. Detailed supervision of the intern is the responsibility of the site supervisor. Internship credit is subject to some limitations. You can earn up to three credits for an internship during a semester or summer. You can count up to six credits for internships toward your total credits for graduation. International students must consult with their academic department and the Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS) before applying for credit.
Faculty Advisors for Internships
Please get in touch with one of the ENST faculty members and inquire about their availability to act as a faculty advisor for your internship.
Other Environmental, Sustainable, and Climate Change Internships
The Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change (ESCC) Internship Program is a multi-stakeholder program that places students in research and project teams, while simultaneously providing professional development and enrichment training. The program is a partnership between the Office of Sustainability, the Center for the Environment, the Environmental Studies Program, Tyson Research Center, and the Midwest Climate Collaborative. You can find out more about this partnership here.
Below are our ESCC Partner Programs.
Office of Sustainability
The Office of Sustainability (OOS) is a team of staff and students charged with providing the vision, strategy, and leadership for advancing operational and cultural sustainability efforts at WashU. The Office of Sustainability staff manages a team of approximately 20 part-time, paid student associates during the school year and 4-5 full-time paid associates over the summer to support the university’s efforts to be a sustainability leader.
Learn more at: OOS
Tyson Research Center
Tyson is a field station with laboratories, experimental facilities, and 2,000 acres of land, Tyson provides opportunities for multi-scale research and educational programs.There are two programs that are run out of Tyson, a summer reseach internship and part of the Conservation Corps.
Information can be found here.
Center for the Environment
The center is an interdisciplinary hub of environmental research that accelerates research across environmental solutions.
More information will be available soon.