PhD Externship Program: FAQ's
When Can I Apply?
Externship listings will be available September 1st, with new positions added, potentially, through the last week of the month. Refer to the Externship Timeline for exact dates.
Before You Apply
An externship is a job shadowing experience, designed to explore a career field. It is not a job or internship, rather a short term exposure to a “day-in-the-life” of an advanced degree professional working in the business, government, nonprofit, or academic sector. These experiences can lead to ongoing mentoring/networking relationships that can be of great benefit moving forward.
Sponsors are advanced degree holders (mostly PhDs and many are also Cal alumni) in the Bay Area who have forges successful careers and are willing to help the current cohort of Berkeley graduate students and postdocs identify and clarify, potential post-Berkeley career paths.
PhD Externships take place in the sponsor's office or place of business. Most are located int he Bay Area, with a few located as far away as Sacramento.
Participants are responsible for all expenses related to the externship: travel, and potentially, meals, etc.
The Application Process
All currently enrolled UC Berkeley Doctoral students and postdocs registered with the VSPA Program are eligible to apply.
Application instructions will be provided in late August. See Externship Timeline for specific dates.
You can apply for up to three PhD externship positions, but will only be granted one externship opportunity. Although we generally try to match students to their first choices, we cannot guarantee that you will receive your first choice. Please make sure that you are interested and willing to follow through with your second and third choices. Once you have been matched you will no longer be considered for your other choices.
PhD Externs and sponsors are matched by the Cal Externship Program Staff based on the individual’s career interests and availability.
Participants will be notified of their placement via email during the last week of September. See Externship Timeline for specific dates.
If You Are Selected
Participants who decline or cancel an externship offer that they have been placed will not be allowed to reapply and will not be re-matched to another opportunity during that year's program.
If an emergency arises and you absolutely cannot participate in the externship, please email xxx
- Read through all the listings before you apply - you may find an unexpected gem.
- Research the organization before you begin your externship.
- Keep an open mind at all times.
- Be actively engaged and ask questions during the assignment.
- Ask for contact information from your sponsor when you finish your externship.