9 STEM Internships for BIPOC College Students
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- STEM has a racial and ethnic gap —particularly for Black and Hispanic workers.
- The majority of STEM workers (some 69%) are white.
- Research shows a lack of diversity in STEM can affect productivity and innovation.
- Internships provide BIPOC students access to STEM jobs.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) jobs are projected to outpace other industries from 2021-2031. But BIPOC workers —particularly Black and Hispanic people —still remain underrepresented, according to a PEW Research Center analysis.
STEM internships, mentorships, and resources from nonprofits can help BIPOC graduates break into STEM fields and increase racial and ethnic diversity in an industry that has seen minor progress.
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Keep reading and discover nine STEM internships for college students that can increase diversity.
Why STEM Fields Need More BIPOC Interns
Diversity is important not just in STEM fields but also in society. Beyond creating a fair and inclusive environment, diversity in STEM can improve performance and give the U.S. a more competitive edge. People from diverse backgrounds bring different perspectives and experiences to STEM jobs, making them more effective problem-solvers.
Despite the benefits of diversity in STEM, BIPOC workers remain underrepresented. Black workers make up 9% of STEM jobs, compared to 11% of all occupations. Likewise, Hispanic workers make up 7% of STEM positions and 16% of all jobs.
Hispanic and Black students, respectively, represent 6% and 7% of STEM bachelor's degree-holders. Offering more STEM internships and resources for BIPOC students gives them the experience to join the field post-graduation.
9 STEM Internships for BIPOC Students
The road to creating more diversity in STEM remains long, but through internships, employers can create more inclusive workplaces. The STEM internships listed below can help kickstart a BIPOC student's success and decrease inequities.
Explore Microsoft Internship Program
Who Is Eligible: Students pursuing bachelor's degrees in computer science, computer engineering, software engineering, or another tech major can apply. They also need to complete computer science and calculus courses.
Pay: About $30 an hour
Deadline: Applications are open until positions are filled
The Explore Microsoft internship encourages students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups to apply. Interns work on product teams to complete a project and get experience in the software development life cycle.
This internship goes to first- and second-year students. It provides an opportunity to rotate through different software engineering positions at Microsoft for 12 weeks during the summer. Interns get placed in Redmond or Bellevue in Washington. Qualifying awardees can live in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Microsoft chooses interns based on their interest in a software career and their eligibility.
Massachusetts Clean Energy Internship Program
Who Is Eligible: Current college students and recent graduates can apply. Interested applicants must complete an online application and upload their resumes. Employers directly contact eligible students.
Deadline: October 3
BIPOC students can break into clean energy through the Massachusetts Clean Energy Internship's diversity pilot program that provides year-round opportunities for two- and four-year college students. Since its start in 2011, the program has offered 4,500 internships.
In the summer of 2021, this STEM internship prioritized increasing diversity. Since then, some 39 BIPOC students have won internships at 31 clean energy companies, and eight interns got job offers.
APS/IBM Research Internships for Underrepresented Minority Students
Who Is Eligible: Sophomores or juniors from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups with 3.0 GPAs may apply. They must also be majoring in biology, chemistry, physics, materials science, engineering, or a related field.
Pay: $8,000 for the summer
Deadline: January 31
The APS/IBM internships for underrepresented minority students program provides a 10-week research experience working directly with IBM staff members. These STEM internships take place in:
- San Jose, California
- Austin, Texas
- Yorktown Heights, New York
Interns at the Austin lab work on software and systems projects, while students in California and New York complete current lab research projects. Interns can get housing assistance and tailor internship schedules around their school schedules.
Who Is Eligible: First- and second-year undergraduates in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. may apply. Qualifying candidates must also complete a 70-minute coding challenge.
Pay: $51 an hour plus a housing stipend
The Meta University internship gives BIPOC students and others from underrepresented communities a chance to develop their skills. The internship pairs them with a Meta mentor to work on Facebook products and experiences.
Interns focus on hands-on projects. They can choose to study analytics, global marketing solutions, product design, operations, or software engineering. After finishing an internship, students often get full-time job offers.
Internships run from May to August for 10 weeks. Interns include domestic and international students and graduates.
Google BOLD Internship Program
Who Is Eligible: Juniors or seniors interested in tech may apply.
Pay: About $43 an hour
Deadline: October 18
Google's Building Opportunities for Leadership & Development (BOLD) internship aims to recruit talented graduates for full-time positions. The internship pairs students with mentors to teach them a broad variety of skills, including data visualization, human resources, marketing, project management, and sales.
This STEM internship welcomes tech students —particularly BIPOC students and others from underrepresented groups. They work on Google communications, finance, sales, marketing, legal, and tech teams.
Google BOLD recruiters review applications on a rolling basis.
Oracle Scholars Program
Who Is Eligible: Sophomores and juniors who have at least a 3.0 GPA and experience with coding languages may apply.
Pay: $10,000 (a needs-based scholarship)
The Oracle Scholars Program aims to diversify tech by offering internships to BIPOC students. This internship has operated for 20 years in partnership with the United Negro College Fund. Students pick from two tracks: the Oracle UNCF Corporate Scholars Program and the Oracle Developer Scholars Program.
Students interested in business and technology can opt for the Corporate Scholars Program. The Developer Scholars Program suits students majoring in computer science, computer engineering, and software development. Every intern gets a peer mentor and pairs up with other interns for projects.
Talent Development and Innovation in Sciences Summer Internship
Who Is Eligible: STEM majors at accredited schools are eligible. Juniors and graduating seniors pursuing graduate school can apply.
Deadline: February 25
The Talent Development and Innovation in Sciences Summer Internship operates through the Quality Education for Minorities Network. This 10-week STEM internship, funded by a National Science Foundation grant, provides BIPOC students with research opportunities. Interns gain awareness about minority students' challenges in getting a STEM education.
Officials from the NSF mentor interns and provide insights on science policymaking and designing STEM programs.
Minority Educational Institution Student Partnership Program
Who Is Eligible: Full-time undergraduate and graduate STEM majors at minority-serving institutions or colleges with large minority student populations may apply.
Pay: $650-$750 per week
Deadline: March 31
Offered through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), this scholarship program welcomes undergraduate and graduate students for a 10-week internship to strengthen their scientific research skills. The program pairs interns with a mentor. Interns can work in 1 of 17 national laboratories, the DOE headquarters, or field offices. They study topics like:
- Energy security
- Nuclear security
- Technological advancement
Interns train to work at the DOE and other federal agencies. Field trips and business meetings offer the chance for interns to connect with DOE workers. They also complete personal development workshops on time management, communication, and resume writing. STEM internships include travel expenses, such as airfare stipends.
FAA Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) Intern Program
Who Is Eligible: Undergraduates in at least their second year and graduate minority students with an interest in aviation or STEM fields may apply. They must be attending accredited colleges.
Pay: $16-$20 an hour, plus transportation costs
Deadline: March 25
The FAA Minority Serving Institutions Intern Program exposes students from underrepresented communities to careers in aviation, aeronautics, and STEM fields. Students complete work experience, field trips, and workshops under the guidance of an FAA mentor.
The summer STEM internship begins in June and lasts for 10-15 weeks. It offers flexible work schedules that accommodate a student's life. Interns can extend their internships and stay for a total of 24 weeks.