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Is this a paid internship?

Yes! All interns will be paid $21.00 per hour for 40 hours of work per week.

Can I apply if I am graduating this year?

Yes! Students graduating Spring 2024 are eligible to apply, as well as all undergraduate students.

Will housing be provided to interns?

No, interns are responsible for providing their own housing.

Will I have to attend an orientation?

Yes, a four-day orientation is mandatory. You will receive training and an orientation to the California labor movement along with worker rights, which will be essential to the work at your host site.

Is it possible to be hired by the host organization after the 8-week internship?

Yes, some host sites are looking to hire interns full-time after the program if they are a good fit. Please indicate whether you would be interested in an opportunity like this in your application, so we can ensure a match. 

Where do intern alumni go after the program?

Many intern alumni go on to work in the labor movement full time. Some have been hired by the Community and Labor Center, Youth Leadership Institute, and Líderes Campesinas.

Who can I contact if I have any questions?

Email us at

Come join us during one of our ZOOM info sessions and drop-in office hours.



Who can apply?

Applicants must be undergraduate students, including graduating seniors, and must be enrolled at UC Merced. All applicants must have an interest in working on social and economic justice issues with unions or community-based organizations.

Do I have to be in a certain major or field to apply?

No. Previous interns have studied political science, biology, psychology, public health, sociology and more. You must have an interest in working on social justice initiatives with labor organizations and be able to articulate why in the application.


Application deadline has been extended to February 9, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. You can submit your application here.

* The application does not auto-save. (If you are not ready to submit, then draft answers in a separate document before submitting.)

Will interviews be conducted in-person or through zoom?

Interviews will be conducted in-person.

When will I be notified if I will receive an interview?

Applicants receiving an interview will be contacted by February 16, 2024 for an interview the week of February 19, 2024.

When will I be notified if I am accepted into the program?

Successful candidates will receive an offer by the week of February 26, 2024.

Placement details

Where will I work?

Summer Internship 2024 is an in-person program. Your work location will be determined by your host sites. Host sites are typically located in the Central Valley area. Interns are responsible for their own transportation to their host site during work days. Some host sites may require access to a car to visit worksites, interview workers, or attend meetings not accessible by mass transit.

When and where is the intern orientation?

Orientation will be Monday, June 17 to Friday, June 21, 2024. It will be in-person at UC Merced.

How will interns be matched to their projects?

Internship staff consider the needs of host sites, such as languages, location, and any specific software/research skills, and try to match interns who meet requirements and have similar interests to the host sites.

What type of support will I receive during the internship?

You will be assigned a supervisor at your host site who will manage your work assignments and provide training within the field. You will also be assigned to an academic internship coordinator who is familiar with the Summer internship program. UC Merced Community and Labor staff will check in with you throughout the program to ensure that everything is on track.

Are there requirements to complete the program?

Interns are required to attend the orientation week and internship coordinator check-in sessions throughout the summer. At the end of the program, interns are expected to prepare a capstone project on their work and attend a graduation event scheduled for Friday, August 9, 2024.

Time Commitment

How many hours per week will I work?

Summer interns may work up to 40 hours per week. Interns are not permitted to work over 40 hours per week.

Can I take a class or work another job, and still do the internship?

No. Student Interns work 40 hours per week. Hours are set by your host site and can fluctuate week to week depending on work assignments. It is a full-time commitment. We recommend students to not take classes during the program.

I have a part-time job. Can I still participate in the internship?

No. Student interns work 40 hours per week. Hours are set by your host site and can fluctuate week to week depending on work assignments.

I have family obligation (wedding,reunion etc.) scheduled during the summer. Can I leave for a few days?

You will need to receive approval from an internship coordinator. These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

What if I cannot stay the entire time?

Student interns are required to commit to the full eight weeks of the program with their host organization. If you cannot stay the entire summer, we encourage you to apply in a future year when you are able to commit to the entire program.

Do we have any days off over the summer?

Yes, student interns will have off Wednesday, June 19 for the Junteenth federal holiday and 4th of July as well. Generally, interns will have weekends off. If a host site requires you to work on the weekened, you will receive a day off during the week.