Local change. National networks.

Semester for Impact (SFI) is a full-time, credit-bearing internship program educating and empowering the problem solvers of tomorrow. Open to all UVM students, the SFI program matches students with 30 hour/week internship in Vermont's social change sector and awards up to 15 UVM credits toward your degree.

Drawing from the success and resources of Semester in the City: Boston, the sibling program of Semester for Impact, and in connection with other colleges around New England, SFI students will be forming a diverse and multi-talented national cohort dedicated to social change. 

Apply now!

Any questions? Contact Semester for Impact Director, Alex Johnson, or UVM College of Arts & Sciences Internship Program Coordinator, Kelly Smith.

Faculty - nominate a student here!

Program Components:

3-day Launch Week Workshop

Students will attend a 3-day workshop in Boston at the beginning of the semester to begin building cohort identity, relationships, and start training as problem solvers. 

400-hour Social Change Internship

Students accepted to the program will be matched with an internship in the greater Burlington community that is focused on social change. All internships will be with a nonprofit, social mission business, or government agency. Internship sites are developed and uniquely tailored toward students' interests.

Students will work full-time Monday through Thursday at their internship so that they are on the job enough to do real meaningful work and become part of the team. During the course of the semester, students will recieve direct, intentional mentorship from social change leaders and complete a scaffolded special project for their internship sites. 

Becoming a Problem Solver (Friday workshop)

On Fridays, interns will begin to develop their professional identity and understand how to navigate the workplace as they get a feel for their career path. Interns will interact with peers, identify and leverage their strengths and share their internship experiences. Through the “Becoming a Problem Solver” course, students will get experience solving problems within the workplace and within the nonprofit and social organization sector.

This course will be in a hybrid modality--with part of Friday online alongside students enrolled in Boston and at other New England colleges, and the other part taking place on campus, in-person. 

Social Innovator's Toolbox (optional seminar)

This course will expose students to the concepts and practices associated with social innovation and social entrepreneurship – i.e., the development and growth of new, sustainable, and scalable approaches to the major social economic, and environmental challenges facing society. Students will learn a variety of tools and methods used for the development, implementation, management, and assessment of social solutions that they will be able to use over the course of their careers. This course provides the theoretical foundation and academic counterpart to the Social Innovation Fellowship and Becoming a Problem Solver course. The course will emphasize the systemic, interdisciplinary, and often cross-sector nature of both the problems and their solutions.

Social Innovator's Toolbox will be an online course in which students based in Boston and other New England colleges are also enrolled. If a student would like to take a normal, unrelated UVM course in place of Social Innovator's Toolbox (in order to fulfil a requirement), they may choose to do so. 

Credit Information

UVM students will earn 15 credits for this program: 

  • 9 internship credits under CAS 2991 for the 400-hour internship
  • 3 academic credits under CAS 1990 for the Becoming a Problem Solver course
  • 3 academic credits under CAS 2990 for the Social Innovator's Toolbox course

If a student needs to take a regular UVM course to maintain a trajectory (i.e. SPAN 002 after taking SPAN 001) or to fulfil a requirement, they may do so instead of taking the Social Innovator's Toolbox course. However, the CAS 2991 internship credit and the CAS 1990 credit for Becoming a Problem Solver are both requirements of this program.

SFI is designed to fit into a typical CAS student's curriculum as elective credit. If you have concerns or questions regarding how the program will fit into your schedule, please contact cas.internships@uvm.edu

These credits will count as elective unless the student recieves permission to count some or all credits toward their major or minor from their department chairperson.

Finanacial Information

Students will pay their normal tuition and fees to UVM and maintain their existing arrangements regarding housing, food, personal expenses, etc. 

Students will recieve the following from SFI: 

  • $595 stipend
  • Travel + cost reimbursement in order to attend the 3-day Launch event in Boston

Eligibility requirements

UVM students must meet the following requirements in order to participate in Semester for Impact: 

  • At least sophomore standing during the semester you intend to participate. In some rare cases we will consider a student with first-year standing who is in their second year at UVM. 
  • GPA above 2.0
  • International students who hold F-1 or J-1 visa status must seek permission from the Office of International Education in order to participate.


Check out Semester for Impact's Boston-based sibling program: Semester in the City!


Student Benefits

  1. Experience applied learning - a powerful way to get more out of your college education
  2. Pursue your passions and gain professional skills without leaving your campus community
  3. Supplement your major without the stress - let us find your best-fit internship
  4. Leave a legacy in your local college community
  5. Plug into a national network of changemakers