About PICS

Our Mission and Scope

Our mission is to develop and support, through active alumni involvement, paid summer internships in civic service for Princeton undergraduates that positively impact the public interest and result in the personal growth of the students themselves.

Our vision is to expand the PICS program to serve more Princeton students, exposing them to the rewards and challenges of careers in the nonprofit sector, and promoting their continuing commitment to public service whatever their eventual career choices may be.

We provide Princeton undergraduates paid summer internships in nonprofts that allow them the opportunity to experience and live the Princeton vision of "in the Nation's Service and the Service of Humanity" by

  • Engage in meaningful civic service opportunities
  • Benefit community partner organizations in the U.S. & abroad
  • Learn from their partner organizations 
  • Apply their academic learning to actual experiences
  • Develop leadership skills

PICS is an alumni founded and funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is supported through the generosity of individual alumni, clubs and associations.  We engage alumni through the efforts of our active alumni board of directors to source internships, act as alumni partners to interns, and develop summer programming.  PICS has served as an incubator for similar programs at other high achieving Universities whose goals are to provide experiential learning opportunities for students and develop civic activism and leadership.

Since its start in 1996 as the Class of 1969 Community Service Fund, PICS has placed close to 1000 undergraduate interns with hundreds of nonprofit organizations. Our former interns have gone on to careers in public service, become leaders on nonprofit boards, have started their own nonprofits, and have become alumni partners to the next generation of young Princetonians.

Just the Facts

  • Founded in 1996 by the Princeton University Class of 1969.
  • 8-10 week summer paid  internships with nonprofits promoting a civic service mission and providing experiential learning experience.
  • Over 600 undergraduates apply for PICS internships each year, representing  more than 15% of the eligible undergraduates.
  •  Over 160 interns are placed each summer.
  • Interns work in a wide variety of nonprofit organizations including: medical, health care services, social services, legal aid, education, housing, the arts, advocacy, government and public policy.
  • Organizations apply in the Summer and undergo a detailed review process by our Internship Operations committee to determine which organizations will qualify for a PICS intern.
  • Students apply in November and are interviewed by either the organization or our alumni interviewers.  We manage the offer and acceptance procedure.
  • Interns are given a formal Professional Leadership & Development program to prepare them for their internships.
  •  Interns are paired with an alumni partner to support their summer experiences & introduce them to the alumni network.
  • Interns' progress  is monitored through the summer, and  PICS provides any needed support.
  • Interns are welcomed back at a Fall Reception where they share their experiences with the Board, invited alumni and many University administrators.
  • Interns and their supervisors are required to complete a written evaluation to help prospective interns in subsequent years choose the internship(s) that best suit their interests, and to insure that  every internship provides the most meaningful experience possible for the interns.
  • Interns complete a summer project highlighting their work at their host organization.