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High School Internships: FAQ

  1. Am I qualified?

    This internship is for students who have completed at least one year of high school. Most students who are accepted have completed 2 or 3 years of high school. You must live and attend school in the San Francisco Bay Area, within 25 miles of campus or in San Francisco. No exceptions. This opportunity is for students of all backgrounds. There is no age limit. Interns must be mature and confident to talk to professors.  
    This year we will limit the home range of applicants.  Applicants must live with about 25 miles.  We want interns to be able to get to campus in less than an hour.  We will accept applications from students living in San Francisco, on the peninsula in San Mateo County south through San Jose and Los Gatos, and in the East Bay from San Leandro south to Milpitas.  Students coming from futher away complain that the commute is too much and it impacts their experience negatively.

  2. Is there a cost to be an intern? What is the salary?

    There are no costs to participate in the programs. This is not a camp! The interns are doing real work. Most interns participate on an unpaid basis and several use this experience for community service requirements for school. We do offer diversity honorarium (money) for eligible students. There are limited social events because this is a working internship.

  3. What is the diversity honorarium?

    For the diversity honorarium, students must meet at least TWO of these criteria: (a) from a group underrepresented in science (Hispanic, African American, Native American, or Pacific Islander), (b) from a low-income household, or (c) plan to be the first in their family to attend college. To be eligible students must also be legally entitled to work in the US.  

    For the Biodiversity Option, there will be about 7-10 honorariums of $1800 each.  For the Environment and Geology Options, there will be 2-4 honorariums of $500 each.

    To apply for the diversity honorarium, applicants must write a second essay (at least 2 paragraphs) addressing these questions:

    How does being from a "diverse" group (underrepresented group in science or low income household) affect your view of yourself working in science? What are the challenges you foresee pursuing a career in science? How do you think your "diversity" affects your interest in or perspective of science?

  4. Can I apply if I live outside of the San Francisco Bay Area?

    No. No exceptions. This program is for local high school students only. You must live and attend school in the San Francisco Bay Area, with about 25 miles.- See the area restriction in #1. This is not a residential program. Our interns live at home and travel to campus each day. You can find other research opportunities at this site or youth programs at the Stanford Pre-Collegiate Programs.

  5. How do I apply? Each year, a new application is released by February 1 and is due in mid-March. We do not accept late applications.  Download InternshipApplication2015.pdf. You will have to decide which program to apply to - read about the - read about the different options. Make sure you live within 25 miles or so of campus.  See #1.

    A letter of recommendation from a high school teacher is required.

    To check that your letter of recommendation was submitted, sign back into the application system and click to the reference page and look for status. You should get an email message when your reference letter is submitted.

    Additional information: In the past we have been asked about SAT scores, transcripts and resumes. We do NOT need them. The application lists all the information that we require.

  6. What are my chances of being accepted?

    In 2012, we received 275 applications for 20 positions. In 2013, we expanded the program to include more high school students for a total of 35 positions. In 2016, there were 32 interns in the program and over 175 applications. In 2018, we do not know how many positions there will be, probably about 25.

  7. When do I find out if I got in? When does the program begin?

    by February 1, 2018: Application Available
    March 16, 2018: Applications Due
    March 23, 2018: Letter of Recommendation Due
    About May 1, 2018: Acceptance letters sent out
    Tuesday, June 19, 2018: First day of Internships
    Thrusday, August 9, 2018: Final Presentations

  8. Is there an orientation before the program begins?

    There will be an orientation for all new interns and their parents in the month of May. This evening event will provide parents the opportunity to meet program staff and science supervisors. We will discuss the expectations and projects that students will be working on.  Parents will be given the chance to ask questions about the permission forms and waivers that are required for all interns to participate in the program. The invitation will be sent out to all interns who are selected. We anticipate that the orientation will be held during the last two weeks in May.  

  9. How do I get to campus each day?

    You need to make your own arrangements for transportation to campus. Many interns are driven by their parents. Others ride their bikes, take the train or take the bus. Parking on campus is expensive, yet interns can be sponsored so they can purchase parking permits - talk to the program coordinator.  You must live within about 25 miles from campus.

  10. What are the different options?  How do I know what is right for me?
    Make sure you read the options page to learn about the programs. Be sure that you apply to the program that you are interested in and can make the commitment to.  More about different options.

  11. What am I committing to?

Program Commitment: By submitting my application, I am making a commitment to fully participate in the Earth Sciences High School Internships.

  • I commit to being available from June 19 through August 9, 2018 unless I get permission from my supervisor. I will not schedule other academic or athletic programs during this period.
  • I commit to being safe and abiding by all health and safety rules (I will take the health and safety courses online before the internship begins).
  • I commit to working 15-30 hours per week for at least 7 weeks (depending on the program).  This is a working research internship.
  • I commit to being on time.
  • I commit to participating in the regular activities so that I can learn about the broad field of Earth and environmental sciences.
  • I commit to writing blog posts on time and filling out the surveys.
  • I commit to asking questions when I am unsure of directions and when I’m interested in a new subject.


Return to the main High School Internship page

More Details on the Different Options

Parents are encouraged to let students ask their own questions. If students have further questions, high school students should contact Jennifer Saltzman via email or call her at (650)725-2410. We want mature interns who are ready to work hard (this is not camp).