Cardinal Quarter FAQs
The following information applies to Cardinal Quarter opportunities that are sponsored or co-sponsored by the Haas Center for Public Service. For more information about Cardinal Quarter opportunities sponsored by other Stanford departments, please visit the sponsor's website.
Who can I speak to about Cardinal Quarter or the Haas Center’s Undergraduate Fellowships Program?
Who should I talk to about Stanford in Government Fellowships and Stipends?
What is the difference between placement types?
- Group experience - An international service experience with 4–8 fellow Stanford students.
- Prearranged - An internship at a community partner identified by the sponsoring campus program.
- Project - A student-implemented project designed in consultation with a community partner to provide immediate impact, tangible deliverable, and sustain service to that community. Project-based fellowships include the Donald Kennedy Public Service Fellowship and the Alexander Tung Memorial Fellowship.
- Research - Research done in partnership with faculty and a community partner to address community-identified needs.
- Self-Designed - An unpaid internship at a community partner identified by the applicant.
Please see individual fellowship descriptions for more details about which fellowships offer structured placements, which allow students to propose their own placements, which have students finalizing placements post-selection, and which enable students to develop their own projects.
How do I apply for a fellowship? What are the steps? What resources are available?
Read all of the application information online completely and carefully, and consult our Resources for Fellowship Applicants. If you have questions, email the Cardinal Quarter team to request an advising appointment.
You may also want to get in touch with a former fellow to find out more about the program. You can use Stanford Who to find specific e-mail addresses. If you need assistance, please contact program staff.
Talk with professors and advisors about your plans. Seek input from fellow students and build an authentic relationship with a community partner/organization. Before submitting an application, bring it to the Hume Center for Writing and Speaking for a critical review; doing so will ensure that you have done everything possible to make a good application great! You can make an appointment at the Hume Center or take advantage of their drop-in service. BEAM is another excellent campus resource. Staff there can help you to polish your résumé and sharpen your interview skills.
May I apply to more than one public service fellowship? Can I submit the same application if I am applying for more than one fellowship?
Applicants may apply to more than one fellowship, but students can receive only one Cardinal Quarter opportunity in any given summer. Students who are selected for more than one Cardinal Quarter opportunity must choose which one they want to pursue by designated deadlines. Please refer to each individual fellowship or opportunity for application requirements.
How do I request a Stanford transcript?
Students must request and submit an unofficial transcript as part of the fellowships application. Unofficial transcripts may be requested online via Axess. Once you have received your unofficial transcripts, save as a PDF and upload to your application. Please contact the Registrar's Office for additional information.
Who should write my recommendation letter?
Complete applications will include a completed recommendation form. Recommenders can include Stanford faculty, staff, graduate teaching assistants, residence fellows, appointed lecturers, former employers and internship supervisors, teachers etc. Fellow undergraduate students should not serve as recommenders. Please feel free to contact program staff for more information.
How are fellows selected?
Applications will be screened by a committee and finalists selected to be interviewed (for approximately 20 minutes) with the goal of awarding fellowships prior to spring break. The selection committees, which may comprise of faculty, staff, former fellows, and community partners, look at the whole application and reach decisions by consensus.
Selection criteria can be found on the fellowships website along with individual program descriptions. All committees will be instructed to consider the presentation of the application in their decision (clarity, high quality writing, accurate spelling and grammar), as well as a candidate’s interview skills. Applicants will be evaluated on their commitment to public service, relevant experience, leadership, and communication skills.
For applicants proposing project-based fellowships, additional criteria are used including the applicant’s ability to identify true community needs and their ability to design and implement a project to meet those needs with measurable outcomes, feasibility, and innovation. For applicants applying for international service fellowships and/or projects, committees also consider language skills, familiarity with the host country’s culture and history, and contacts within the host country.
How competitive are the fellowships?
Competition for each fellowship program varies from year to year. Competition is based on the applicant pool and it is impossible to determine in advance how many students will apply for each fellowship. The amount of funding available for each program determines the number of fellowship awards available each year.
If I am selected to receive a fellowship, when must I notify the Haas Center Fellowships staff of my decision to accept it?
We generally require all selected students to accept or decline fellowship awards within 48 hours of email notification.
What if I require a disability-related accommodation and/or disability access information to participate in a summer fellowship?
Haas program staff will work with you, your host organization, and Stanford’s Diversity and Access Office to ensure you are provided with accommodations in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Please inform Haas program staff as soon as possible, but no later than one week prior to starting your summer fellowship of your accommodation request.
Where can I find information about other fellowship opportunities?
If I find out that I have received an unpaid internship after the Cardinal Quarter deadline, is there other funding to support me?
The Community Service Work-Study Program has a late April/May deadline, and is an excellent option for students who have not yet secured funding for domestic internships. Eligibility is different than for year-long work-study, so contact Yvette Zepeda to determine your eligibility.
The Stanford in Government Stipend Program has a Round 2 application deadline in early April, and is another great option for students who have secured policy internships.
Depending on funding availability for a particular year, some undergraduate summer fellowships may also have a Round 2 application deadline in late March. Note that it is not guaranteed that a Round 2 application deadline will be available each year, and students are strongly encouraged to apply by the February application deadline. Please email program staff for more information.