Frequently asked questions

Q: What is the Knight-CUNYJ Summer Internship Program?

A: It’s an opportunity for a diverse group of 20 rising seniors and recent college graduates to spend the summer in New York City — all expenses paid — while learning from CUNY Graduate School of Journalism faculty and participating in paid journalism internships, which we help them secure at a local media companies.

There’s also a competitive component: The top five interns will be offered free tuition to study for an M.A. if they apply to and are accepted at the CUNY J-School. These five candidates can defer attending for up to two years.

A generous $1.2 million, three-year grant from the James S. and John L. Knight Foundation made this possible. The Program’s purpose is to help create a pool of excellent diverse candidates to help address the large underrepresentation of minority journalists in newsrooms.

 Q: What is a rising senior?

A: A junior’s summertime status before becoming a senior in the fall.

Q: In the press release, you mention recruiting. Can you explain a little more about that?

A: We are recruiting candidates from four-year Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs); and the New York State and City university systems (SUNY and CUNY). A student attending any of these institutions is eligible.

Also eligible to apply are members of seven minority journalist organizations: the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA); the Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association (AMEJA); CCNMA; the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ); the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ); the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA); and the South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA).

Q: What about the $1.2 million that funds the Program?

A: The Knight Foundation grant covers operational expenses for three summers: 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Q: Do I have to be a journalism major to apply? Are you looking for students with extensive experience in journalism or just an interest? 

A: You do not have to be a journalism major to apply. What is more important is your ability to write and desire to be a journalist.

Q: What if I already have a master’s degree? Can I still apply?

A: A prior master’s degree is not a factor in this situation. To be eligible to apply, you must have received your bachelor’s degree in May 2013 or afterward.

Q: What is covered when you say “all expenses paid”?

A: (1) Free transportation — We will get you to and from New York City; you will also receive a Metrocard for use on the NYC Transit System; (2) Free summer housing — We’ve made arrangements to put you up in a CUNY dorm in June and July; (3) Paid internship — Your salary covers living expenses; but no worries if you are at an unpaid internship because that would qualify you for a $3,000 living stipend.

Q: When does the Knight-CUNYJ Summer Internship Program get underway?

A: We are still finalizing exact dates, but the Program will be in session in June and July.

Q: Is the diversity initiative only open to minority students from particular colleges and universities, or are all minority students encouraged to apply? 

A: Please see below.

 Q: While I identify as Hispanic, my university identifies as a four-year public research institution and not necessarily as Hispanic-serving. Am I eligible to apply?

A: Please see below.

 Q: The National Association of Black Journalists does not have a chapter at my college. Am I still eligible to apply?

A: Please see below.

Here is who is eligible to apply:

(a) A college junior who

1. Will be a senior in fall 2015;

2. Attends an HBCU or HSI;

3. Or is a member of AAJA, AMEJA, CCNMA, NABJ, NAHJ, NAJA or SAJA.

(b) A recent college graduate who

1. Received a bachelor’s degree in May 2013 or later;

2. Attended an HBCU or HSI;

3. Or is a member AAJA, AMEJA, CCNMA, NABJ, NAHJ, NAJA or SAJA.

Q: Will the five students chosen for full scholarships at CUNY be considered based on how well they do during the two-month training/internship? 

A: Exactly.

Q: Does the program offer cultural and mentoring support for the 20 students chosen for the summer program? 

A: Absolutely.