Social Impact Internships

Connect with non-profits, government agencies, and social enterprises that will help you build your skills while working to address social or environmental change.

Social Impact Internships are funded opportunities for MIT undergraduate students to explore your career options, build your skills and engage in work that yields significant community impact. Strengthen your professional network and your resume, while you strengthen communities.

Social Impact Internships take place over the summer and during Independent Activities Period (IAP) in January. Check out current opportunities on Handshake here, and stay up-to-date as internships continue to be posted by signing up for our newsletter!


Current IAP Internship Opportunities

Tree Canopy Spatial / GIS Data Specialist City of Phoenix
The City of Phoenix’s Office of Heat Response and Mitigation is leading the efforts of the hottest large city in the US to fight the growing hazard of urban heat. They are seeking a student to support the development of a process to accurately identify three canopy coverage using lidar (cloud point) data and research the impacts of tree planting investments.
Application Deadline: November 14, 2022

Extreme Heat GIS App Development Intern City of Los Angeles, Climate Emergency Mobilization Office
The Climate Emergency Mobilization Office focuses on addressing and engaging the voices of frontline communities and the broader LA community to create equitable climate policies and initiatives. The office launched the CoolSpotsLA App which integrates all Cooling Centers, Spots, and Amenities pedestrians can use as refuge to cool off during heat waves and hot days to save lives and prevent Heat Injury. The intern will support their work by helping update and improve the app and support data collection, automation, cleaning, and analysis.
Application Deadline: November 14, 2022

Extreme Heat Outreach Analytics and Planning Intern Miami-Dade County 
Extreme heat is responsible for the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards. Work alongside the world’s first Chief Heat Officer to review and analyze activities and results of the 2022 Heat Season Campaign, and help identify gaps, opportunities, and public health campaigns for Miami and other extreme heat cities across the country.
Application Deadline: November 14, 2022

Post-Midterm-Election Data Analyst Vot-ER
Vot-ER is a nonprofit organization working to integrate civic engagement into healthcare. They develop nonpartisan civic engagement tools and programs for every corner of the healthcare system—from private practitioners to medical schools to hospitals. The intern will support work in visualizing and evaluating the impact of these efforts in order to lay the foundation for how the organization continues to transform, evolve, and prepare for the 2024 election cycle.
Application Deadline: November 14, 2022

Community Research Assistant Laal NYC
Laal provides resources that Bangladeshi womxn need to live healthy, engaged, joyful lives. The intern will support research initiatives including Laal’s voter registration campaign, data collection, and curriculum development for ESL, citizenship, and reproductive health courses based on student interest and organizational needs.
Application Deadline: November 14, 2022

Community Land Trust Intern Comunidades Enraizadas Community Land Trust
Want to make an impact locally around housing and racial justice? Support Comunidades Enraizadas Community Land Trust, a nonprofit community land trust founded and directed by a group of primarily Latina immigrants living in Chelsea, MA. Internship projects will be tailored to the students’ skills and interests, and could relate to outreach, operations, design, real estate, and more.
Application Deadline: November 14, 2022

Commercial and Residential Development Intern Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation 
JPNDC seeks a business-minded student to help them assess and improve operations for their commercial and residential real estate assets to generate revenue, support small business growth, and better track financial and mission performance.
Application Deadline: November 14, 2022

Data Protection and Classification Intern Bottom Line
Bottom Line is bridging the divide of educational inequity for low-income students of color by providing a trusted advisor and the social capital necessary for students to earn their Bachelor’s degree, build financial stability, and successfully launch successful careers. The intern will help lead the technical implementation of a data classification framework for structured and unstructured data.
Application Deadline: December 31, 2022


Frequently Asked Questions

Are internships funded?

Yes. Interns typically receive a stipend, which helps cover living expenses. However, each internship has its own requirements, so please refer to individual internship postings for information.

Can I apply to more than one internship?

Yes! We encourage students to apply to several internships if there is more than one of interest. Host organizations review their applications on a rolling basis, so applying early to multiple organizations could increase your chances of being selected.

Are internships competitive?

Yes, and some are more competitive than others. Host organizations are looking for the best candidate for their needs. Be sure to take a look at the skills and qualifications in the position description, and match it with your experience and skills.

Do I need to write a cover letter?

Each internship posting will indicate whether or not a cover letter is required. If it is required, we highly encourage you to tailor the letter to the specific organization and internship opportunity.

Where can I go for help with my cover letter and/or resume?

Connect with CAPD and schedule an appointment for assistance or check out their online resources.

To whom should I address my cover letter?

The PKG Center does not provide the names or contact information for the host organization recruiters. We encourage students to address cover letters in a general, professional manner such as, “Dear Hiring Committee”. For other resources related to cover letters, connect with CAPD.

I’m an international student. Am I eligible to apply for the program?

Every international student’s situation is different. We recommend all international students connect with MIT’s International Students Office to discuss their eligibility for the Social Impact Internship program before applying to an internship.

I have another job/internship/UROP lined up. Can I do both?

Possibly. Generally, students should not plan to have two positions exceeding 40 hour per week, and other positions should not interfere with your ability to complete your Social Impact Internship. You must disclose any other employment, internships, or funding you are receiving during the internship period to the PKG Center. Failure to do so could result in the loss of your funding.


Looking for Inspiration?

See how other MIT students partnered up for Social Impact Internships:

“This experience at [Build Health International] has been wonderful in connecting me with people that care very deeply about equitable healthcare, and have dedicated their careers to helping people. Additionally, the experience in researching medical standards has helped me develop skills in organization, communication, and collaboration. I am extremely grateful to both the PKG and to the staff at BHI for providing me this opportunity and I recommend taking advantage of these internship opportunities to anyone interested in the intersection of their academic interests and community service.”Liliana Vela ’22, Chemical Engineering and Biology, Build Health International intern IAP ’22

Through my internship, I learned more about how climate and health equity are connected, a trend that must be used to guide how these issues should be tackled. In Florida, heat, flooding, and air quality are additional issues that will be exacerbated due to global warming, but don’t receive adequate attention. In order to bring greater awareness to these problems and call citizens and lawmakers to action, FIHI and MIT interns have been conducting a literature analysis for further education and policy reform. The PKG Center’s Social Impact Internships are a great way for students to get an in-depth look at the work people are doing to combat the greatest problems society is facing, and I would encourage all MIT students to spend time using their skills to give back to these communities on the front line.”Anika Wadhera ’25, Biological Engineering, Florida Institute for Health Innovation (FIHI) intern IAP ’22

This opportunity with the PKG Center and Learning Seeds has given me the chance to engage in a project that allows me to use my skills to create meaningful social impact while furthering my professional and career development. The internship has led me to think creatively in analyzing data that comes in the form of speech transcripts and natural language, and has made me think and reflect beyond my technical work. Now, while coding or debugging, I am motivated by and think more about how my work has a positive impact on a larger community. The opportunity to engage with people working in a wide array of projects impacting health, both from the policy and biological sides, was meaningful and exciting. ” – Vivian Shao ’25, Computer Science and Engineering, Data Science intern at Learning Seeds, Inc IAP’22

Reach Out

Questions? Not finding an opportunity that meets your interests, or already have an internship or public opportunity in need of funding? We are happy to discuss! Reach out to Julie Uva, social impact employment program administrator, at pkginternships@mit.edu

If you have a social impact project and are in need of funding, we also encourage you to learn more about the PKG Fellowships program, discover other funding opportunities at MIT.