The Urban Studies Program Gordon Fellowship

Application Deadline

March 19, 2021

From the inception of the Urban Studies Program at Penn, connecting theory and practice has been one of our guiding principles. In this spirit, we offer the Gordon Fellowship, sponsored by alumnus Jacques Gordon (URBS1978) and his family. Winners of the Gordon Fellowship will receive a $5,000 stipend to explore careers that would lead to improving the quality of life in cities, whether in the public, non-profit, or private sectors and will benefit from career mentoring through alumni activities during the school year. 

Internships can take place in a wide range of organizations, including public interest, policy research, government, arts & culture, planning and preservation, built environment, community development, education, and advocacy. Internships may be located anywhere in the U.S., including Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories.

Internships should be scheduled for between 8-10 weeks during the summer. Fellows are expected to provide updates about their internship experiences and to participate in fellowship activities during the following school year, such as advising future Gordon Fellowship applicants and participating in alumni/career events.

See the write up of last year’s Fellows for examples of the internship experiences developed by students in the previous summer.

Applicants can be Urban Studies majors or minors finishing their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd year of study. You may apply if you are a 1st or 2nd year student who is strongly considering a major or minor in Urban Studies. Preference will be given to Urban Studies majors. We strongly encourages applications from students who are members of groups underrepresented in careers in urban studies fields. Recipients of the Gordon Fellowship award may not receive any concurrent funding or compensation for their proposed internships.


Due Friday, March 19th, 2021. See link below for on line application. The application asks for a statement of purpose that includes: 

1) a description of activities that the intern will undertake during the summer experience;
2) how the proposed internship supports the mission of the Gordon Fellowship – contributing to improving the quality of urban life; and
3) how the internship will contribute to the student’s scholarly, activist, creative, and/or professional aims. 

The application also requires the student to attach a letter from the internship organization acknowledging its willingness to take on an intern carrying out the described activities. Finally, provide the names and contact information of two academic and/or professional references. The Urban Studies Program will make every effort to notify selected students by mid-March.

Click Here for the Application Portal

Informational Session:
Will be held in the Urban Studies Office (426 McNeil Building, 3718 Locust Walk) on Tuesday, January 28th starting at noon. Lunch will be served!

Students without a site in mind are encouraged to consult with Elaine Simon to discuss ideas and strategies for identifying a placement.  Please write to to indicate your interest, or with any questions.

Brainstorming Sessions:
Stay tuned for info sessions here!

Students without a site in mind are encouraged to consult with Urban Studies anytime to discuss ideas and strategies for identifying a placement.  Please write to o indicate your interest, or with any questions.

Research Offering Type


Research Offering Location

Research Eligibility: 

Undergraduate School

College Engineering Nursing Wharton

Research Offering Source


Contact Information

Urban Studies