Rutgers Scarlet Service Internship (RSSI) Program
Rutgers Scarlet Service Internship (RSSI) Program provides select students from Rutgers-Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick with an opportunity to earn up to $5,000 while interning for a minimum of 150-hours over 10-12 weeks during the summer at a public service non-profit organization or direct-service government office. Students also participate in a concurrent virtual, asynchronous internship course designed to explore and engage with the topic of public service while building their career readiness and professionalism skills. Applications for Summer 2024 will be accepted from Wednesday, October 18 through Wednesday, November 15 at 12:00 pm.
Fostering Civic Engagement
Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway sees civic engagement as a critical component of a Rutgers education and a path toward appreciating our differences, restoring civil discourse, and working in service to the common good. At his inauguration, President Holloway announced his vision for Scarlet Service. The first program under this umbrella was the Rutgers Scarlet Service Internship (RSSI) Program, run by the Rutgers-Camden Career Center, Rutgers-New Brunswick Office of Career Exploration and Success, and Rutgers-Newark Career Development Center.
The Rutgers Summer Service Internship (RSSI) Program is brought to you by the Rutgers-Camden Career Center, Rutgers-New Brunswick Office of Career Exploration and Success, and Rutgers-Newark Career Development Center.
High-Impact Public Service Internships
Funded Academic Credits
Public Service Leaders
Inauguration Speech excerpt from Rutgers President, Jonathan Scott Holloway:
“Just as Rutgers is a leader when it comes to providing access to higher education to those from modest backgrounds, and just as Rutgers is a leader in terms of research productivity, I believe that Rutgers should be a leader in its commitment to public service. To that end, today I am announcing the creation of the Rutgers Summer Service initiative. This initiative will enable an annual cohort of our students to spend their second- or third-year summers in public service internships. Rutgers Summer Service students will work for non-profits, serve the broader community, and gain the opportunity to learn about people who are unlike themselves—who face different struggles and come from different backgrounds, countries, races, or religions. Participating in this program will make our students better citizens and our world a better place.”
Goals & Benefits
Our society has lost sight of the common good, a problem that threatens our future as a nation, our viability as a culture, and our humanity. As an institution of higher education, Rutgers has a vital imperative to improve the human condition and seek solutions for our most complex problems. There is no greater calling for university communities today than to make sure our students can pursue an excellent, life-changing education and engage in opportunities to better our world in fundamental ways.
Goal #1: Provide high-impact, hands-on summer internship opportunities in public service for up to 150 Rutgers sophomores and juniors.
- Academic research shows high-impact student practices, including internships, lead to higher graduation rates, levels of student satisfaction in the college experience, and increased levels of career success.
Goal #2: Provide an opportunity for Rutgers students to contribute to solutions of societal problems; view American life from a fresh perspective; and develop a better understanding of their responsibilities as citizens.
- When we provide talented students with knowledge and skills and give them a task, great things happen. When their task is to improve our society and democracy, ALL of us benefit.
Student Service Stories
Maddison Van Der Mark
To channel her feelings of anger, Maddison Van Der Mark turned to boxing. It also gave the U.S. Army sergeant who left active duty to attend Rutgers a chance to help at-risk youth through the summer service internship initiative.
George Gandour, a Rutgers-Camden nursing student, helped teens build healthy habits, leadership and independence through the sport of cycling as an intern with the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.
James Cortes and Nina Gohel
Rutgers-New Brunswick seniors Nina Gohel and James Cortes come from families with very little in common, but their path’s converged as they helped craft bills that may become future state policy as part of their internship.
Yiraldo spent his summer as a Scarlet Service intern in the Manhattan organization’s LGBTQ Law Project, working as an interpreter and paralegal with mostly queer and transgender Latino clients seeking name changes and/or asylum.
Kaiel, a Rutgers-Newark student, worked this summer for Grow It Green Morristown, a nonprofit urban farm, that donates the food they’ve grown back to the community and also teaches children where their food comes from.
Ryan spent much of the summer as a Scarlet Service intern at Five Loaves Food Pantry at the College Avenue Community Church in New Brunswick, where he participated in the development of dietary health programs, researched grant opportunities and updated the organization’s computer system.
Help the Community, Empower Students, and Support Rutgers Scarlet Service Internships
Make a gift in support of Rutgers Scarlet Service.
Summer 2024 Student Information
Applications for Summer 2024 will be accepted from Wednesday, October 18
through Monday, November 27 at 12:00 PM.
Rutgers Scarlet Service Internship (RSSI) Program provides select students from Rutgers-Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick with an opportunity to earn up to $5,000 while interning for a minimum of 150-hours over 10-12 weeks during the summer at a public service non-profit organization or direct-service government office. Students also participate in a concurrent virtual, asynchronous internship course designed to explore and engage with the topic of public service while building their career readiness and professionalism skills.
Students are required to attend three in-person events/seminars at the beginning (April), middle (July), and end (September) of the RSSI Program. Specific dates will be announced soon. Travel to Rutgers-New Brunswick campus is necessary for two of these events.
The RSSI course is a 3-credit, pass/no credit, virtual and asynchronous internship course that will require an estimated one (1) hour of coursework per week. This course is meant to ground students’ experience in their public service internships, providing them with the theoretical foundation and professional and civic skillset to thrive in their internship site and their communities. Through readings and reflections, students will explore and engage with the topic of public service while building their career readiness and professionalism.
The application process for this Program is open to Rutgers-Camden, New Brunswick, and Newark current sophomores and juniors who will have 61-91 credits completed by the end of the Spring 2024 semester. Applicants must have an overall cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher and be in good standing with the university. Applicants must also have the ability to travel to an internship site in New Jersey, New York City, or the Philadelphia region, and have a passion for community engagement and/or public service.
Students who participated in previous RSSI Program cohorts are not eligible to reapply.
Yes, international students eligible for Curriculum Practical Training (CPT) can apply to the RSSI Program. This includes the fulfillment of at least one academic year in the United States. You can find additional information on Curricular Practical Training (CPT) here.
Stipends, experience, knowledge, scholarships, networking, and events!
Stipends and Experience: Students selected for RSSI receive $5,000 for completing complete a minimum of 150-hour hands-on summer internship in public service where they make a difference, contribute to solutions of societal problems, view American life from a fresh perspective, and develop a better understanding of their responsibilities as citizens. Rutgers stipends are paid in two installments as long as students are making satisfactory progress towards internship goals.
Note: Students are responsible for all applicable taxes on their $5,000 stipend. Additional compensation will not be provided for a student’s commute to and from the internship site.
Knowledge and Scholarships: Accepted students participate in a concurrent virtual, asynchronous course designed to explore and engage with the topic of public service while building their career readiness and professionalism skills. RSSI students also receive a scholarship to cover the expense of the 3-credit course.
Networking and Events: Meet talented students from across Rutgers University who have a passion for making the world a better place. Students selected for RSSI will participate in three seminar events at the beginning, middle, and end of the RSSI program where they will hear from guest speakers from the world of public service and build fellowship with one another. After their summer internship experience, students will share their stories and experience at a September celebration with the broader university community.
All eligible students must apply by Monday, November 27 at 12:00 PM. Candidates complete an application form, attach a resume and unofficial transcript, and respond to three essay prompts. The application form also asks for the name, title, and contact of two references, of which at least one should be academic-based.
Student applications will be reviewed by a selection committee and RSSI administrators. All student applicants will be notified of their status in the program by mid-January 2024.
Selected students will be responsible for scheduling their interview slots with internship sites in which they are interested. Specific information about the virtual interview process will be shared in the spring semester. After the interviews, students will rank their internship site preferences and employers will rank their student preferences. The RSSI administrators will determine summer matches based on these rankings.
Contact Program Lead Heather Escalona, at email@example.com to learn more.
Apply here for the Rutgers Scarlet Service Internship Program for Summer 2024.
Summer 2024 Employer Information
Are you a non-profit organization with a public service mission or a direct-service government office? If you are interested in hosting an RSSI summer intern, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to connect with a member of the Career Exploration and Success team. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, December 20, 2023.
All internship sites must:
- Have a mission in service to the public
- Be a nonprofit with 501c3 status or a direct service government office
- Provide a primarily in-person (at least 75% in person) immersive, high-impact learning experience
- Host an intern for a minimum of 150 hours over 10-12 weeks between late May and mid-August (averaging 15 hours per week)
- Provide experiences that incorporate opportunities for the intern to engage directly with the community served by the organization or indirectly through employees who can do so
- Have no affiliation to Rutgers University
We look to allow for a focused learning role, complete with mentorship, feedback, and the ability to ask questions. The focus should be a professional development experience – not just completing tasks. Click here for a list of the eligibility criteria and items that we typically ‘red-flag’ when reviewing applications. Rutgers departments are ineligible.
Yes, you can offer more than one internship for consideration. When completing the RSSI Employer Application linked at the bottom of the page, you will have the opportunity to indicate the total number of unique internship type(s) you would like to offer.
All internships must be primarily ‘in-person’ experiences (at least 75% in person) unless the university determines a switch to remote due to health and other environmental factors.
Only organizations that are external to Rutgers University are eligible to apply for RSSI.
Follow this link to a walkthrough document that outlines learning objectives and how to create them for your internship experience.
- Student applications are due in November.
- Employer applications are due by Wednesday, December 20, 2023. These applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
- Those selected to participate in our 2024 program will be notified by mid-January.
- If selected, employers will be asked for their availability for interviews held in mid-February with selected students.
Selected employers will participate in virtual interviews with students, hosted by the RSSI Program. After the interviews, students will rank their internship site preferences and employers will rank their student preferences. The RSSI administrators will determine summer matches based on these rankings.
All final matches between students and employers will be determined on a rolling basis, no later than the end of April 2024.
Please see the question below regarding guaranteed acceptance or student placement.
Rutgers University does not guarantee acceptance into the Rutgers Scarlet Service Internship Program or guarantee that all placement sites or experiences will receive a matched student. We have a limited number of employer positions available for this program. If you are not accepted into the program, please know we can assist you in gaining awareness of your organization by setting up a Rutgers Handshake profile. Please email email@example.com for more information.
Make a gift in support of the Rutgers Summer Service Internship Program.
RSSI Steering Committee
The Rutgers Scarlet Service Internship (RSSI) Program, run by the Rutgers-Camden Career Center, Rutgers-Newark Career Development Center, and Rutgers University–New Brunswick Career Exploration and Success, consults the advisory committee on decisions impacting the program. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
RSSI Program Lead
RSSI Employer Lead
RSSI Lead, Rutgers University–Camden
RSSI Lead, Rutgers University–New Brunswick
RSSI Lead, Rutgers University–Newark