Student Government Column

Experiential learning, either through research opportunities or practical internships, has always been an integral aspect of Carnegie Mellon University’s mission for all its students. However, asymmetric information and the financial stress of registering for summer internship courses and summer research courses, in practice, act as systemic barriers against fully leveraging these opportunities, especially for our international students.

The Committee on Academic Affairs of the Undergraduate Student Senate, after realizing the importance of this issue based on student feedback, undertook this initiative, and after thoroughly researching the issue and obtaining stakeholder feedback, drafted a proposal.

The Committee has partnered with The Office of the Provost and the Office of the Vice Provost for Education in translating this set of student needs into feasible and implementable policies, compliant with federal regulations, with a holistic focus on affording all undergraduate students the option to benefit from these research and internship opportunities at as little additional cost as possible.

To that effect, Carnegie Mellon University established a “free” internship course that students can pursue by registering for a summer course to perform research for free. This draft proposal is being continuously refined and improved with constant feedback from all stakeholders, to ensure student needs are met.

As always, the Undergraduate Student Senate is happy to hear from our constituents on the initiatives we undertake on their behalf. We look forward to incorporating additional student feedback in the proposals and in these discussions to ensure the best possible solution is achieved. You can reach out to your college’s senators or to Senate at