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Information for Students

The Community Service Fellowship Program (CSFP) supports students fulfilling a professional degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Design by providing an $8,000 living allowance to students partaking in an immersive summer experience at domestic nonprofit organizations that address key issues, causes, and design in today’s changing world.


During this 10-week, full-time immersive program, students will explore the connections between their research/academic interests and community-based needs. This opportunity for learning and professional growth will offer expansive insights, valuable connections, and the skills necessary to become an informed and impactful practitioner in one's chosen field. 


Students may select an experience they find on their own, or choose a CSFP-eligible role listed on CREATE.

Important Dates

Applications for Summer 2024 are now closed.

Stay tuned in early 2025 to learn more about deadlines for Summer 2025. 

Eligibility Requirements

  • To apply, students must have secured a summer internship at a domestic non-profit, public service, or government agency/organization.

  • Current GSD students committed to attending classes post-fellowship who have secured an internship, at a qualifying domestic organization. 

  • Students who are on a leave of absence, or planning to take a leave of absence in the fall after the summer experience, will not be considered.

  • Paid or unpaid experiences can be proposed. Priority for funding will be given to unpaid roles. 

Application Requirements

  • Students must demonstrate and detail the reasons for pursuing this experience, what they hope to gain, and how this will impact their future endeavors. 

  • For students who apply and propose/submit an alternative host site (not from CREATE), please plan to include a list of duties and expectations in the application.

  • In addition, students will need to submit a current resume, names, and contact information for two references, and a current transcript. 

  • Within the application, students will be required to select the funding source that most closely correlates with the work they plan to do.  Please check out our funding sources.

What should a Community Service Fellow (CSF) should expect leading up to and during the summer experience?

  • Students selected are expected to be working on-site (or remotely) with their chosen organization for 10 weeks, in a full-time capacity (35-40 hours per week). 

  • All work must end before the first week of fall classes.

  • Students agree to a chosen start and end date before the experience begins. 

  • Students agree to complete mid-summer and final evaluations regarding their experience. 

  • Students will take part in up to two meetings with the GSD Career Team (virtually).

  • Based on the organization's needs, international students may need to apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Fellows needing to complete this process should email the GSD Registrar's Office as soon as possible.

  • Any payments from Harvard would be considered a living allowance to cover temporary relocation or other living expenses.

  • The Fellow and the Host Organization will be provided with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and agreement with Harvard, before the start of the Fellowship. No stipends will be awarded without the MOU on file at the GSD.

  • Students will share photos of their CSFP experiences as well as a personal headshot with the GSD Career Services Team to be used for future marketing materials on the website and social media. 

  • Students agree to take part in marketing the program in future semesters (in person, digital marketing) and connect with funders who underwrite the CSFP for Harvard when possible.

  • Students will need to enroll and complete Buy2Pay paperwork before the start of the fellowship to receive their stipend.

  • Recipients of CSFP stipends may be subject to tax implications. In general, payments to U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, to the extent paid directly by Harvard, will result in no tax withholding or reporting by Harvard, but must be self-reported by the recipient. For tax purposes, nonresident aliens are treated differently, and the “no reporting no withholding rule” does not apply. Tax treatment will be based on the location of the activity, visa status, and if a tax treaty applies. General information on taxes and fellowships at Harvard.

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