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Approximately 400 undergraduate students per year receive Praxis stipends to work at unpaid internships in the United States and abroad in such fields as health care, government, education, communications, research, social welfare, technology, law, science and the arts.

Internships are an increasingly important element of education for students wishing to advance to graduate school or professional positions. Because many students cannot afford to forgo earnings, the Praxis program assures that all students can pursue unpaid internship opportunities that expand their education.

Praxis Guidelines & Regulations

Smith College undergraduate students are eligible for one (1) Praxis stipend during their time at Smith. See below for exceptions

You Are Eligible to Apply If:

  • you have not yet received Praxis funding.
    • Praxis Plus: Students in a Concentration are eligible to apply for Praxis Plus, to fund a second Praxis internship associated with Concentration requirements. Concentration Director must confirm eligibility.
  • you are not receiving any payment from the organization or through other Smith College funding*.
  • you’re a rising junior or a rising senior. 
    • Rising sophomores may apply for summer Praxis with permission from their Liberal Arts Adviser. 
    • First-years and J-Grads are not eligible for interterm Praxis. 
    • Incoming students and graduated Seniors are not eligible for Praxis.
  • Minimum credit requirements (Summer): Rising sophomores with at least 32 credits, rising juniors with at least 64 credits, or rising seniors with at least 96 credits are eligible. 
    • Rising sophomores with credit shortages are not eligible for Praxis. 
    • Any student who anticipates a credit shortage must report it on their application and receive permission from their class dean, emailed to praxis@smith.edu.
  • Students on leave are eligible for Praxis; your class dean must email praxis@smith.edu to confirm that you are or plan to be enrolled during the semester following your Praxis internship.

You Are Not Eligible If:

  • you do not meet the aforementioned criteria
  • you have previously received a Praxis grant (see exceptions in previous column)
  • your internship is paid by host organization or if other interns at the organization are paid
  • you receive other Smith College funding* such as International Experience Grants (IEG) or Blumberg Fellowships
  • you have previously participated in the same internship
  • you are a student enrolled at Smith College who is on an exchange program from another college
  • Students who withdraw from the college at any point after receiving a Praxis grant and before the start of the following semester will be charged the full amount of the grant

*Fox Boorstein/Leana Brown funds via Government department: Students may combine these funds with Praxis. Combined funds cannot exceed $4,400. Students must report funds received on Praxis application.

Your internship qualifies for Praxis if it:

  • is unpaid by the host organization; any compensation must be reported on your application and will be deducted from your Praxis grant.
  • takes place during summer or interterm breaks
  • consists of a minimum of 220 hours (summer) or 100 hours (Interterm), and at least 5.5 weeks (summer) or 3 weeks (Interterm). There are no exceptions.
  • is connected to your overall educational goals (may or may not be connected with your major)
  • offers substantial learning opportunities and allows for significant career exploration
  • takes place within an organization, division or department, where interns are not paid.
  • is well-supervised by someone with enough relevant expertise to ensure that the internship will be an educational experience, including meeting with your supervisor at least once a week
  • is in-person, hybrid, or remote.
  • takes place at an organization NOT affiliated with Smith College (on-campus internships do not qualify for Praxis funding)
  • takes place at a geology, archaeology and other comparable field school; however, credits may not be transferred to Smith.
  • takes place during the Smith College summer break (with the exception of students on study abroad programs in the Southern Hemisphere and with Smith JYA in Hamburg, Germany).
  • Internships may take place at a geology, archaeology, and other comparable field school; however, credits may not be transferred to Smith.

Your internship does NOT qualify for Praxis if:

  • does not meet the aforementioned qualifying criteria
  • takes place during an academic term
  • it is an independent project. Your duties must support the work of an organization
  • your supervisor is a volunteer rather than a permanent, paid staff member
  • it is an academic, study or training program that emphasizes theoretical rather than practical learning
  • takes place at Smith College, or is affiliated with Smith College
  • the host organization is owned by/internship is supervised by a member of your family
  • it takes place at two separate internships
  • it is an internship that has already taken place; Praxis cannot retroactively fund an internship

Note: The Lazarus Center has the right to reject any internship it deems inappropriate.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
CPT (Curricular Practical Training) is a work authorization option for F-1 students for off-campus career opportunities, much like OPT (Optional Practical Training). CPT is available for students who have been in F-1 student status for nine months or longer. Smith’s policies allow students to use CPT authorization to pursue off-campus jobs and internships—paid or unpaid—during summer (and J-term, under limited circumstances). International Students using Praxis for internships in the U.S. are required to obtain CPT.

CPT differs from the OPT in that the job/internship for which you are applying must be an integral part of your major and usually an opportunity for which you will receive academic credit. CPT can be issued on a part-time (20 hours per week or less) or full-time (more than 20 hours per week) basis. Part-time CPT will not interfere with the ability to pursue your 12 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT). Full-time CPT that totals 12 months or more will result in a student being ineligible for OPT. Given the short nature of Praxis internships, CPT received for your Praxis internship should not affect your eligibility for OPT. 

If you have questions about CPT or OPT, contact the International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) or make an appointment with Caitlin Szymkowicz (cszymkowicz@smith.edu), Associate Dean for International Students & Scholars.

Faculty Sign-Off
As a requirement of your Praxis application, you must communicate your internship plans and learning goals to your faculty adviser (or concentration faculty adviser, if applicable*). 

A faculty adviser sign-off form (and copy of your written statements) will be sent directly to your faculty adviser upon submission of your application. 

 *Students applying for support of internships required by a concentration must obtain faculty sign-off from their concentration adviser. 

Faculty Sign-Offs for Students Abroad 
If you are on a Smith junior year abroad program, you may list the director of your JYA program as faculty adviser for sign-off. If you are on a Junior Year Abroad program other than those run by Smith, please obtain faculty adviser sign-off your Smith major or pre-major adviser.

Students who intern outside of their country of residency are eligible for a $4500 stipend.
Note: Remote internships are not eligible for international internship stipend.

Travel Warnings & Travel Registry

  • If you are doing an internship outside of your home country, you must consult the State Department Travel Warning list. The Lazarus Center adheres to the Smith College Policy on State Department Travel Advisories.
  • Any student participating in an in-person internship outside of the United States (even in home country) must complete the Mandatory Travel Registry and a Travel Waiver Form. Note: Travel Waiver form (PDF) is available in the Travel Registry system.
    TIP: Log in to the Travel Registry system and click the SIDE TRIP tab at the top of the page to complete a registry for your Smith-sponsored (Praxis funding and/or Internship Credit IDP 117) internship
  • For emergency medical information, evacuation or repatriation: AIG/Travel Assist

Visas

Internships in the UK
If you are planning on interning in the UK, you need to go through BUNAC to obtain a proper visa. Funding may be available through the Lewis Global Studies Center to defray the costs associated with it.

Submitting Your Praxis Application

  • Students participating in Smith JYA programs need to consult with the faculty director regarding internships and the legal use of Praxis funding in each JYA country.
  • The application deadline for study abroad students is either the last day of your semester abroad OR the Praxis deadline, whichever occurs later.
  • Allow extra time for securing an internship and the appropriate visas.
  • Submit your Praxis application and it will be reviewed and approved as soon as possible. If we have questions before approving, we will email your Smith College email account. Once you are approved, you will receive a confirmation email from praxis@smith.edu.

Students on Southern-Hemisphere Programs

  • If you are on a Smith-approved study abroad program, and your school’s longest break occurs during our (i.e. Northern Hemisphere’s) winter months, you may apply for Praxis funding for an internship during that break. This situation pertains to students in the Southern Hemisphere and in the Smith JYA program in Hamburg, Germany.
  • Email praxis@smith.edu to obtain the appropriate application link.

Start your application for summer Praxis funding.

Interterm Praxis application link will be available here in October.

Read all guidelines before applying. Questions? praxis@smith.edu

  • You must have an internship offer before submitting an Praxis application.
  • Praxis funding may not be applied retroactively to an internship that has already taken place.

Praxis applications consist of:

1) Application form to collect information about you and your internship, including Written Statementsdetailing your internship plans and space for learning & skill development goals.

2) Supervisor Confirmation Form: Collected via form sent to your supervisor upon submission of your application. The supervisor form confirms internship offer and describes internship duties and supervision.

3) Faculty Adviser Form: Collected via form sent to your faculty adviser upon submission of your application. Your written statements will be attached for their reference.
Note: Students applying for support of internships associated with a concentration must obtain faculty sign-off from their concentration adviser.

4) Concentration Director Form (Praxis Plus applications only): Collected via form sent to concentration director upon submission of Praxis Plus application. Confirms your eligibility for Praxis Plus by confirming that both first and second Praxis internships count towards concentration requirements.

5) Mandatory Travel Registry, if internship is outside the United States. Log in and click "SIDE TRIPS" tab to get started.

IMPORTANT: All required elements must be submitted before your application will be considered. All required elements must be received by the application deadline.

Application Types

  • Praxis (or Praxis Plus*): Funding ONLY
  • Praxis with Credit (or Praxis Plus* with Credit): Funding combined with Internship Credit (IDP 117)
  • Internship Credit (IDP 117): Credit ONLY

*Praxis Plus exists to support a second Praxis internship associated with Smith concentrations. In order to qualify, you must have previously used a Praxis grant to support a first internship associated with the concentration. Your concentration director must confirm your eligibility for Praxis Plus via emailed form.

Upon submission of your application, you will receive a unique URL to check the status of the other required forms. All components of your application must be submitted before your application will be considered.

Deadlines for Complete Applications
Interterm Praxis: December 2024
Summer Praxis: June 7, 2024

Stipends
Summer 2024

  • Internships in country of residency: $3500
  • International (outside country of residency): $4500 

Interterm 2025

  • Internships in country of residency: $1500
  • International (outside country of residency): $2000 

Note: Remote internships are not eligible for international internship stipend.

Stipends are paid in two installments:
First payment: 1–2 weeks after approval.
Second Payment: 1–2 weeks after you’ve completed your internship and we receive all end-of-internship requirements (see below)

Getting Paid

Direct Deposit for Praxis Stipends
By default, Praxis stipends are sent via direct deposit. You may set up direct deposit in Workday. If you are unable to use direct deposit, please indicate on your application where we can mail your stipend.

End-of-Internship Requirements

  • Verification of Internship Completion: Required for all internships: Supervisor will receive link to form 2 weeks prior to the internship end date. They must confirm total hours (required) and comment on your work performance (optional).
  • Final Activity Report: Required for all Praxis internships: Intern will receive link to form 2 weeks prior to internship end date. Praxis with Credit applicants: your form will contain a space for the final reflective essay.
  • Final Reflective Essay: Required for all Credit-bearing internships: Intern will receive link to form 2 weeks prior to internship end-date. See our Guide to Writing Your Final Reflective Essay. Your submitted essay will be forwarded to your faculty adviser to determine pass/fail. 
  • The deadline to submit end-of-internship requirements is February 7 (Interterm) or August 31 (summer).

IMPORTANT: Failure to provide all end-of-internship requirements to the Lazarus Center by the deadline will result in you being charged for the full amount of your Praxis funding and forfeiture of the final $200 stipend payment. 

If You Don’t Complete the Required Hours
If you must leave your internship before you have completed the required hours, you must contact us at praxis@smith.edu before you leave your internship, or immediately after. 

If your superviser reports that you did not complete the required hours, you must reimburse Smith College a prorated portion of your Praxis stipend, and forfeit your final $200. You will not be eligible for Praxis in the future.

Low-Paid Internships
If you will be paid a salary for your internship that is less than your grant award, you may apply for reduced Praxis funding to supplement your employer-paid salary. The total combined amount may not exceed the maximum Praxis stipend, and you will not be eligible for additional Praxis funds in the future.

Other Smith Funding
Praxis funding may NOT be combined with any other Smith grants.
Exception: Government Department Fox Boorstein/Leena Brown Funds may be combined with Praxis; combined total cannot exceed $4400.

Praxis and Taxes
Praxis is considered a non-qualifying scholarship and students are responsible for reporting it in their tax filing. International students will receive a 1042s tax form from the Controller's Office, and are encouraged to use ISSO's tax resources. With questions, please contact the Controller's Office: controllersoffice@smith.edu

A student holding potted flowers during an internship.

The Benefits of Praxis

Apply theoretical learning to a field of work and gain broader exposure to opportunities beyond Smith and the classroom.

Acquire first-hand access to the institutions, problems and conditions that you are studying.

Obtain hands-on experience and skills valued by employers and graduate schools.

Work closely with professionals to gain a deeper knowledge of a particular field.

Praxis Information for Employers

About Praxis

Smith College’s internship funding program, Praxis: The Liberal Arts at Work pays stipends to undergraduate Smith students who work at qualified, unpaid internships related to their career and/or academic interests.

The Praxis internship funding program is mutually beneficial: to the employer who gets a capable Smith student to contribute to their organization's projects and goals; and to the Smith student who gains experience and insight into a career field.

Since the beginning of the program, supervisors have been impressed with the caliber of Smith student interns, praising them for their competence, motivation, flexibility and adaptability, and for their skills in such areas as communication, writing, researching, analyzing, problem solving, presentation and technology.

If you have any questions about Praxis, please call the Lazarus Center for Career Development at 413-585-2582, or email praxis@smith.edu.

Qualifying for a Praxis Stipend

To qualify for a Praxis stipend, a undergraduate Smith student's confirmed internship must:

  • offer a minimum of 220 hours/5.5 weeks (summer), 100 hours/3 weeks (Interterm/January Break)
  • take place during Smith's summer or Interterm/January break. Praxis may not fund academic-term internships.
  • offer work assignments that are needed by the workplace and that help the student meet learning objectives
  • allow significant career exploration and learning opportunities
  • be supervised by a staff member with relevant expertise in the field, and who meets with the intern at least once a week
  • be unpaid. If you have other interns who are paid in your department, division or unit, the internship would not be eligible for Praxis funding. 

Important Dates

Deadline for students to apply for Praxis funding: 
Interterm Praxis: December 2024
Summer Praxis: June 7, 2024

The student’s application requires a Superviser Confirmation Form, which confirms internship offer and describes duties and supervision. This form will be collected via direct link, sent to superviser upon student's submission of application.

At the end of the internship, supervisors must submit a Verification of Internship Completion, confirming completion of internship, confirming hours worked, and commenting on intern’s work performance. This form will be sent to superviser 2 weeks before end of internship.

Organizations requesting a Smith sign-off on liability waivers, assumption of risk forms or a memo of understanding must contact the Five College Risk Management Office.