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The 2024 Social Impact Fellowship application is now closed. Join the Columbia World Projects newsletter to be notified when the next application cycle will open.

Social Impact Fellowship

The Social Impact Fellowship is a summer and academic year program for rising Columbia University juniors and seniors who desire to explore careers in social impact and use their talents to engage in and lead on solving complex global challenges.

Students at Columbia College, School of General Studies, School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Barnard College are eligible to apply.

This year's program begins in July 2024 with a fully-funded, five-week summer session of interactive programming designed to provide students with an opportunity to deepen their knowledge of key topics for effective social impact and build new skills and capacities to pursue social impact initiatives and careers. The summer session is a competitively paid opportunity that will run from July 8 to Aug. 9, 2024, at Columbia World Projects on the Manhattanville campus of Columbia University. The program will provide each participant a $4,800 stipend, offer summer housing for students who need it and cover the cost of travel to and from New York City for the summer session.

After the summer session, students will remain engaged during the academic year to gain exposure to our work, meet and learn from social impact leaders – including participants in the Obama Foundation Scholars Program – participate in gatherings with thought leaders from a variety of sectors and fields, and engage in a mentorship relationship. The program will culminate in a capstone project where students will be asked to utilize a human-centered design approach to problem solving and present their proposed solution at the end of the fellowship.

What are the eligibility criteria for the Social Impact Fellowship?

The Social Impact Fellowship seeks applications from students at Columbia University who meet the following criteria: 

  • Are currently enrolled in a program at Columbia College, School of General Studies, School of Engineering and Applied Science, or Barnard College that will lead to a Bachelor’s degree
  • Will be rising juniors or seniors at the start of the Fellowship 
  • Will have completed at least one full semester on Columbia University's campus by the start of the Fellowship 
  • Are in good academic standing, as described by Columbia University’s Grading and Academic Standing
  • Are passionate about expanding their knowledge of social impact topics and exploring various fields/career paths within and beyond their social impact areas of interest

In addition to the eligibility criteria above, the program is looking for students who:

  • Possess clarity of purpose in what they hope to gain from the program and ways they may pursue their social impact interests during and after completing their studies at Columbia University
  • Intend to contribute their skills, talents, and perspectives to the program as participants and as alumni
  • Bring a diverse set of perspectives and experiences to the program

2024-2025 Social Impact Fellows


Scholar Showcase

2023-2024 Social Impact Fellows


Scholar Showcase

2022-2023 Social Impact Fellows