Stanford University

Summer Undergraduate Research in Symbolic Systems

[updated March 9, 2023]

The Symbolic Systems Summer Internship Program allows students who will be continuing their undergraduate study to work as research assistants on projects defined by Symbolic Systems faculty.

The Internship Program is made possible through a combination of external research grants to faculty and a Departmental Grant to the Symbolic Systems Program from the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE).

Full-time (35+ hours/week), paid internships are available in the Summer only. But it is also possible to do a part-time (10 hours/week) internship during either Spring or Summer Quarter while a student is enrolled for classes. Part-time research internships may be done for credit (e.g. under SYMSYS 196 (Independent Study) or for pay if the faculty supervisor has funds available to pay the student. Research done for independent study credit may be applied toward the Capstone Experiential Requirement of the undergraduate major Core.


Only Stanford University undergraduates may apply.  Priority is given to students who have declared a major in Symbolic Systems. 

Pay and Commitment

  • Full-time internships come with a base stipend of $7500, with additional needs-based supplements (up to $1500) available with certification from the Financial Aid office.
  • In addition to their project duties, interns will be expected to:
    • Attend special events for all interns during the summer quarter
    • Submit evaluations to VPUE by the deadline at the end of summer
    • Participate in a student poster session at the beginning of Autumn Quarter.

How to Apply

The application form for the 2023 summer internship program was emailed to declared SymSys undergraduates on Tuesday afternoon, February 21, 2023, and has been posted for all Stanford undergraduates as of March 9, 2023. Through March 17, 2023 (the Priority Period), only declared Symbolic Systems majors may be hired for internships if funding is provided by the program. After March 17th, remaining internships and funds can be allocated both for SymSys and non-SymSys Stanford undergraduates hired by faculty with the approval of the Symbolic Systems Program.

To submit an application, go to

If you have general questions about the summer internship program, please contact the student services officer for Symbolic Systems (symsys-sso [at] (symsys-sso[at]stanford[dot]edu)).

Preparing to Apply for SSP Internships

Below is the current schedule for SSP Internships in 2023:

  • February 21 (PM) - Faculty-submitted internship descriptions are posted, and declared SymSys majors are invited to submit their profiles, including a resume/CV and unofficial transcript, and up to 5 preferred projects. A link to the application form will be sent to all declared SymSys undergraduates on this day.
  • February 22 (12 noon) - First Visibility: Student profiles and internship preferences become visible to faculty
  • February 22 - March 17 - Priority Period: SSP Internships may only be offered to and accepted by current students who are declared majors in Symbolic Systems who meet VPUE eligibility criteria (current undergraduates who will not receive their Bachelor's degree before Summer Quarter 2023).
  • March 18: Post-Priority Period begins: SSP Internships may be offered to any current undergraduate who meets VPUE eligiblity criteria if funds are still available.
  • April 21: Final Deadline for faculty to notify the Symbolic Systems Program office that a student has accepted an internship offer.
  • Early or Mid-June - Stipend checks issued to students with Summer Internships.
  • June 26 - September 1 - Summer Quarter internship period (may be time-shifted one week earlier by mutual agreement between the student and their supervisor)
  • Early Autumn - Symbolic Systems Forum: Summer Internship Research Fair (participation is mandatory, either in person or virtually/asynchronously, for all SSP Interns)

Other Summer Research Opportunities

In addition to the SSP Internship Program, there are a number of other ways in which SymSys undergraduates can get involved in research, both on- and off-campus. Internship funding is competitive --- there are more students interested than there are funds to support undergraduate research. You are therefore urged to investigate the opportunities below in addition to the SymSys Internships described above, if you are interested in doing research this Spring and/or Summer: