The Provost’s Professional Internship Program for Public Outreach, Service, and Engagement

Title: The Provost’s Professional Internship Program for Public Outreach, Service, and Engagement
Policy Owner: The Graduate School
Applies to: Graduate Students
Campus Applicability:
Effective Date: January 9, 2013
For More Information, Contact Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean
Contact Information: 860-486-3617
Official Website:

Graduate students are often supported by a graduate assistantship awarded for performing research or teaching functions at the University. The University covers tuition expenses for those students. In addition, the University may cover tuition expenses of students who are funded by a grant that does not cover the cost of the student’s tuition.

The University recognizes the value of supporting graduate student professional development activities that extend beyond on-campus research and teaching. The Provost may determine that the University will cover tuition expenses for graduate students engaged in other activities directly related to the University’s mission and directly aligned to a student’s academic program of study. The circumstances under which the University will cover tuition expenses and provide a health insurance subsidy for such students are very limited and based on compelling evidence that the activity supports important academic objectives, such as professional internships required as an integral component of a graduate educational program. The Provost will evaluate such activities on a case-by-case basis using the following criteria:

  • The substantive focus of the graduate internship must serve a clear public service, public outreach, or engagement purpose.
  • The graduate internship’s objectives must support the academic mission of the University and align directly with the goals of the University’s Academic Plan.
  • The graduate internship must be established as a required component of the academic program in which the participating students are enrolled.
  • It must be demonstrated that the viability of the internship program is threatened if tuition is not covered.
  • The graduate internship must be credit-bearing, be directed by an instructor of record, and must require students to produce an academic work product.
  • The paid internship experience for the student must include compensation equivalent to or higher than that of a Level I graduate assistant for the academic year.
  • The graduate student interns must be placed in a sponsoring organization that provides at least partial support for the graduate student, including paying the student’s stipend and benefits.
  • The graduate students participating in the internship must serve their internships in public or nonprofit organizations with a clear public service mission.
  • The term of tuition coverage associated with a graduate internship will not exceed four semesters per student.
  • The graduate students participating in the internship must be in good academic standing.

For student tuition to be covered and for a health insurance subsidy to be provided by the University under this program, the Dean of the School or College that houses the internship program must present appropriate justification to the Provost.

The academic programs currently included in this program are available here.