VCU Transforming Federal Work-Study Internship Program

students at work

We're expanding select VCU Federal Work-Study (FWS) roles into on-campus internships to boost student access to valuable career experiences. With over 1,000 students taking on FWS positions annually, this initiative aims to bridge equity gaps in internship opportunities, improving retention and career readiness. By providing internships on campus, students can pursue both paid work and relevant learning, fostering socioeconomic mobility in an accessible, supportive setting. With a focus on sustainability and growth, the Transforming FWS Internship Program provides comprehensive support for a cohort of student supervisors to ensure positive experiences for all VCU FWS Interns.

the 2024–2025 supervisor/mentor applications are closed.

For any other questions, please review FAQs or email

Program Expectations & Benefits

Students: How To Apply To A FWS Internship

Students who have been offered and have accepted their FWS award for the 2024–2025 academic year via eServices may begin applying in Handshake starting June 10th, 2024. (Filter by “work study” and then by “internship” as the job type.) If you are a continuing student, you will receive notification of your financial aid package in late June/early July and may begin applying then.

Apply starting June 10, 2024


2024-2025 Program Timeline

  • Friday, April 19: Applications open for supervisors to apply to participate in grant program
  • Friday, May 10: Applications close
  • Friday, May 17: Applicants notified of selection to participate
  • Friday, May 24: Supervisors engage in FWS on-campus employer training (for all FWS supervisors, not just those in the grant program)
  • Thursday, May 30 or Fri, June 7: Supervisors engage in grant program orientation
  • Friday, June 28: Deadline for supervisors to post FWS Internships on Handshake
  • Internships begin by Tuesday, September 3

REAL Level 3 Experiences

These internships have been approved by the REAL Curriculum Committee as a REAL Level 3 Experience and offer the following three REAL components:

  • Hands-on learning that engages the student intern in applying or exploring disciplinary knowledge in real-world or simulated contexts. 
  • Guided reflection activities or assignment as an intentional metacognitive practice where student interns articulate personal, civic, social, or academic learning; identify values and attitudes developed through the activity; and/or explore and clarify career goals.
  • Mentored experiences wherein the supervisor responds regularly to student intern work, supports their reflection and integration of learning throughout the activity, and encourages their goal-setting for future learning.

A student’s successful completion of the Transforming FWS Internship Program in 2024–2025 will satisfy their REAL graduation requirement.

What is REAL? VCU REAL courses and activities provide students with career building activities that connect classroom knowledge to real-world experience, create novel approaches to complex problems, and contribute actions that benefit our educational, professional, and civil communities. Learn more about REAL at


For answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the FWS Internship Program FAQs document. For additional questions, please contact