Chicago Field Studies

Mission or Purpose

Chicago Field Studies is the largest academic internship program on campus serving over 300 students a year from all schools and majors. The one-quarter academic internship program allows students to connect seminar readings and discussions to real-world experience.

Why do Chicago Field Studies?

  • Learn valuable practical skills and pursue meaningful academic projects
  • Explore a career and build professional networks
  • Build résumés with relevant career experience

Program Description

The program merges academic study and career exploration by combining a seminar class with an internship experience. The courses, taught on the Evanston campus, connect seminar readings to discussions on the student’s internship, work culture, and current issues. Once accepted into the program, students receive individual career advising to help them identify and apply for internships that match their career interests. CFS staff and instructors are available throughout the quarter to advise students during their internship.


  • Full-time CFS concentrations are open to Juniors and Seniors in all Northwestern schools and majors. Students applying for full-time summer concentrations must have completed their Sophomore year by the beginning of the program.
  • Part-time CFS concentrations are open to Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors in all Northwestern schools and majors. Admission is through application only. All applicants are required to attend a CFS Information Session before submitting an application.

Application Information

Students interested in applying to a CFS undergraduate concentration – with the exceptions of Analysis of Field Experience – should anticipate the following process:

  1. Get informed. Learn about the CFS program by exploring the CFS website. Attend a required information session. Review the application periods.
  2. Apply. Submit your application. You will receive notification of application decision within 48 hours of the close of the application period.

Student Testimonial

“Every student should take advantage of CFS. It is one of those true gems that NU has to offer. This program is the perfect way to get your foot in the door and learn more in- depth about an industry you are interested in, whether you decide to pursue it or not. It is also a great opportunity to start building your network and figure out what you value in a career. I am incredibly thankful for my experience, and hope other NU students choose to take advantage of this opportunity.” - Nancy Dong 2012

“There are many other programs at NU that offer internships for credit; however CFS is unlike any others. CFS prepares you before, checks in with you throughout, and helps you to evaluate your internship. In addition, the CFS staff personally helps you find the work/life balance during your internship. While looking for jobs senior year, I realized that learned skills and work experiences make an applicant stand out more than grade point averages. Most students at NU are successful in the classroom. One tenth of a grade point will not separate you from another. When I was interviewing against other candidates who were applying for the Mercedes Benz USA position, I was able to differentiate myself because of my background with CFS and the internship I completed.” – Jonathan Harris 2012

Contact Information

Chicago Field Studies
Phone: 847-467-0605