Your Career

Summer Fellowships: Eligibility

Students apply for the fellowship and must meet eligibility requirements and selection criteria for the application to be accepted.


The fellowship is primarily for students completing their first year of the MBA program or for students completing the first or second year of the MBA/MPP or MBA/MPAID joint degree programs that have not participated in the program previously.

Applications are accepted for review on a rolling basis and awards will be made on a funds-available basis. Students are eligible to receive awards a maximum of two years. If funding is still available in the final review round, the Committee may consider applications from second year MBA students and students that have previously participated in the program. Students can submit their applications at any time, and if funding is available in the final round the applications will be reviewed in the order received. To qualify, these internships must end by August 31.


Government agencies and recognized nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax status (or overseas equivalent), in the U.S. and abroad are eligible. For-profit organizations with a significant focus on social impact will be considered on a case-by-case basis (see "Note on Summer Fellowships at For-Profit Organizations" below). The Fellowship Committee will not approve positions with job responsibilities that are determined to be sectarian or politically partisan. Funding may be limited if there are multiple applications to the same organization. Special circumstances can be discussed with the Social Enterprise Initiative and reviewed by the Selection Committee.


Only positions that demonstrate the application of management skills and material covered in the MBA program are eligible. Projects that are exclusively research-oriented are unlikely to be approved.

Note on travel to countries on Harvard Travel Risk Ratings list

With greater numbers of students pursuing activities away from campus, and with increased instability in a number of regions of the world, the School has developed guidelines and an approach to funding students that balances educational opportunities with the risks inherent in locations where violence is high and the infrastructure to support travelers in the region is weak or overtaxed.

In order to be considered for Fellowship funding, students who are traveling to countries on the Harvard Travel Risk Ratings list - whether for all or some portion of their fellowship/project - must complete a Travel Application and return to the Social Enterprise Initiative with their Fellowship application. Travel applications will take up to two weeks for a decision, and only students whose Travel Applications are approved will be eligible to receive funding from the School.

Applications will be reviewed taking into account the level of risk according to Harvard Global Support Services. The committee will make case-by-case decisions on students traveling to these countries/regions. These decisions will be made on the specific country/region warning, security plans, and individual circumstances (e.g., country of citizenship), as well as the unique learning opportunity presented. In general, the bar is set high for Travel Applications to high-risk countries. We recommend that students submit their Fellowship and Travel Applications by the April 2 deadline, and have alternate plans should the application not be approved.

Note on Summer Fellowships at For-Profit Organizations:

Applications from students working at for-profit organizations will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. We recommend that students contact the Social Enterprise Initiative before submitting a for-profit application to discuss the organization and position. In evaluating applications, the Committee will examine the social purpose of the mission and core activities of the organization along with the specific focus of the position. Students must submit with their application: details on the social purpose of the organization, as related to both the mission and core activities; and details on the contribution their position will make to the organization's social impact. If the position is not focused substantially on the areas of social impact in the company, it is unlikely that the committee will approve the application for funding.

Note on Social Enterprise Start-Ups:

Applications from students starting their own social enterprise will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

For review of your application, please include the following (in addition to all of the elements required in the standard application):

  • a business plan indicating the state of the business;
  • funding requirements and funding status of the business;
  • the long-term plan as well as specific objectives/tasks you hope to accomplish over the summer;
  • a proposal for what you would submit at the end of the summer to demonstrate having accomplished this work;
  • what mechanisms will you put in place to get feedback to assess progress and learnings (e.g., 2-3 people to reach out to as mentors)