Public Interest Internship Experience (PIIE)


The Public Interest Internship Experience (PIIE) is designed to connect CU Boulder students to paid non-profit and government internships every summer. The majority of internships in these sectors are unpaid so PIIE provides the rare opportunity for students interested in civic engagement to pursue their passion while being compensated.

If you still have questions after reading through the information below, please contact the PIIE Director (Dylan Mark).

The CU PIIE Application Deadline has passed. Please check back next fall for summer 2017 applications!


Internship grants of $4,320 are awarded to fellows in the PIIE program. Grants are distributed in the form of stipends by both the host organization and PIIE. Students will receive portions of their stipends in monthly increments. 

Internships are expected to last 360 hours over the course of 9-12 weeks over the summer. The hourly rate equals approximately $12 per hour.


Applicants must:

  • Be full-time undergraduates enrolled at CU Boulder. Students must also be continuing full-time enrollment the following fall semester (study abroad counts).
  • Be in good academic standing with a GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • Be in at least their second year of college (not just in credit total) at the time of application.

Awardees must:

  • Be able to fulfill the responsibilities of their internship including travel to and from the host organization.
  • Be able to complete 360 hours at the host organization over the summer. In many cases students have studied abroad, taken vacations, or missed parts of the summer due to other reasons but have been able to meet the 360 hour mark.
  • Attend the PIIE orientation, mid-summer reflection, and recognition dinner as well as another summer event to be determined.
  • Fill out an internship learning plan at the beginning of the summer, an evaluation at the end of the summer, and send thank-you letters to donors and the CU PIIE Board.

*The CU PIIE Advisory Board reserves the right to refuse any internship based on the consensus of the committee*

Applications opened on December 1st, 2015 for the following summer. Students will need to submit all application materials (see below) by January 29th, 2016 in order to be considered. Included in the application materials will be your cover letters to your top two choices from the options listed in the "Host Organizations" drop down.  

Once students submit their application, there will be an initial review of applications by the PIIE board to identify candidates. Successful applications will then be sent to host organizations and organizations will set up interviews with their candidates.

By the beginning of March, most if not all of the PIIE internships will have offers made and accepted. The CU PIIE Director will work with applicants who don’t receive an internship offer to find alternatives in PIIE or elsewhere.

December 1st, 2015: Student applications open.

January 29th, 2016: Student applications are due.

January 29th – March 4th, 2016: Organizations review applications and interview candidates.

February 11th, 2016: Students must decide which offer to accept if they’ve received more than one.

Applications have closed. Below is information about the application process.

To apply, please be sure to submit the following in person or by e-mail (

  • Review internship descriptions below
  • The completed PIIE application 
  • A resume
  • Cover letters to your top two internship choices (see below for a list of host organizations) - note you can simply address cover letters to the host organization as a whole rather than a specific individual.

The quality of your resume affects your application. Get your resume reviewed.

2016 PIIE Application

Internships in 2016 were offered at the following sites and some organizations offered more than one opportunity. PIIE applications for 2016 are closed and will reopen in fall for the 2017 summer program.

  • B-Lab
  • Bayaud Enterprises
  • Boulder Housing Partners
  • Boulder Valley Women’s Health
  • City of Boulder: Energy Strategy and Electric Utility Development
  • Colorado Education Initiative
  • Community Food Share
  • Eco-Cycle 
  • The Davis Phinney Foundation
  • Humane Society of Boulder Valley
  • I Have a Dream Foundation
  • Imagine!
  • Intercambio 
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center
  • YMCA of Boulder Valley

For more information, please contact the PIIE Director at

Donate to CU PIIE