Student Experience

Fellowships and Internships

Upper School Fellowships

Deepening Scholarly Pursuits

In the spirit of our mission to prepare students for “the lifelong transformation of self and the world with purpose, passion, and perspective,” the Upper School offers distinct opportunities for students to pursue their academic passions through four unique fellowship programs.
These programs each share a commitment to providing students a structure for independent research, discipline-focused skill development, and camaraderie with peers in a multi-year cohort model. Relying on the dedication and expertise of experienced faculty, both from Spence and beyond, students in these programs work with mentors to guide them through their individual journeys in the program. Upper School students who participate in a fellowship program are selected through an application process and asked to commit to the full expectations of their program. 

4 Fellowship Programs

Total Fellows in 2023-2024: 101

List of 4 items.

  • 15

    Art Scholars
  • 22

    Eco Fellows
  • 25

    History Research
  • 39

    Science Research

ART SCHOLARS (Grades 10-11)

Art Scholars is a two-year program that runs from Grades 10-11. The aim of the Art Scholars Program is to allow students who have a strong interest in Visual Arts to expand and deepen their experience in art-making, and increase their opportunity for multidisciplinary or cross-curricular work. Faculty from outside the Visual Arts Department may help inform and support students as they develop their independent projects. Students participate in studio visits, museum and gallery trips, and programs from visiting artists. As part of Art Scholars, students are required to take either Senior Studio or Advanced Art Portfolio during their senior year.

ECO FELLOWS (Grades 10-12 or Grades 11-12)

The Eco Fellows Program trains environmental leaders who will forge new solutions—solutions that are ambitious, audacious, aesthetic, and attainable. In this interdisciplinary program, students develop knowledge of environmental science, political ecology, environmental sociology, ecological movements, sustainable agriculture, environmental justice, eco-criticism, and environmental psychology. In the first year of the program, students investigate global environmental governance, with a specific investigation of interwoven landscapes. In the following years of the program, students explore environmental injustice with a focus on the intersection between colonialism, marginalization, and nature in New York City and develop an interdisciplinary thesis project. Thesis projects align with students’ unique interests. Past projects have included launching nonprofit and for-profit organizations, art installations, podcasts, and scholarly papers.

In 2023–2024, there were…

22 Eco Fellows

List of 3 items.

  • 6

    Eco Fellows in Eco Fellows I
  • 8

    Eco Fellows in Eco Fellows II
  • 8

    Eco Fellows in Eco Fellows III

Eco Fellows Research Sample Titles

“Is Green Gentrification a Real Problem in NYC?”

“Uniting for Change: Inspiring Environmental Action Amongst NYC Students”

“Water Wisdom: Influencing Green Votes”


A two-year commitment open to rising juniors that offers students an opportunity to research a topic of their own choosing under the direction and guidance of members of the history department. Guided by The Spence School History Department’s Transfer Goals, the purpose of the program is for each student to gain a deeper understanding of the historian's craft and to produce an original work of scholarship based on secondary and archival primary source research (at local archives as well as digital collections) that can be submitted for publication (e.g. Concord Review) or competition (e.g. History Day).

INDEPENDENT SCIENCE RESEARCH (Grades 10-12 or Grades 11-12)

Students begin this program in tenth or eleventh grade and finish in the spring of twelfth grade. Students set their own path and create their own curriculum. The first year of the program is dedicated to students identifying their topic of research and conducting an extensive review of the scientific literature on that topic. During the school year, juniors and seniors continue their research, analyze their data, share their results with their classmates, and mentor students new to the program. In the final year, students enter local, state, and national science competitions while creating a final paper and presentation that documents the entire experience. During all three years, students share their ongoing research with each other, as a community of researchers, through formal presentations during regular class meetings.


Finding New Opportunities In the World

The Spence School Internship Program matches Upper School students with a host of internship opportunities in the greater New York area.
Internships foster self-exploration and professional interests and provide valuable work experience for our students as they begin to explore life beyond the Red Doors. With the strong support of Spence parents and alumnae, the School has forged strong partnerships throughout the city to provide opportunities for these outstanding young women who are eager to learn about various businesses or industries while making meaningful workplace contributions each summer. In addition to internships, the Spence Upper School students gain insights into a wide variety of professional careers.
“I have had the incredible opportunity to intern for the Honorable Rachel Pauley at the New York Criminal Court. Each day, I eagerly make my way to 100 Centre Street, where I observe a wide array of trials. One of the highlights of this experience has been when Judge Pauley invited me to sit beside her on the bench. In this position, I got to ask questions and receive thoughtful explanations about her decisions. Her mentorship has helped shape my understanding of the legal process and the thinking behind delivering just outcomes.” 
“Spence has helped me be a proactive and organized intern who strives to find unique ways to promote creative messaging and brand awareness. I focus on social media planning and content development for Caire Beauty which is a newly launched clean skin care brand for grownup women. After my initial June meeting with the female founders, Lorrie King and Celeste Lee, I spent time researching the menopausal skin care market and investigating online marketing strategies. The final video I produced had over 1,000 views in the first 24 hours!” 
A K-12 independent school in New York city, The Spence School prepares a diverse community of girls and young women for the demands of academic excellence and responsible citizenship.


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