Skip to main content

How to Apply

Applications for 2024 are now closed

SIGP will support in-person, remote, and hybrid summer experiences for 2024.

In-person international experiences will be fundable in 2024. For the most up to date travel guidance and a list of countries requiring Travel Permission, please review the Office of Global Safety and Security’s Undergraduate Travel Policies. Students planning to pursue an international experience will be responsible for any associated requirements.

Should the University’s policies around international travel change, the guidelines for SIGP will be updated.

Students planning to pursue an international experience must complete health and safety pre-departure requirements, including Northwestern’s International Travel RegistryIf you are awarded a SIGP grant, NCA will provide additional details, including a timeline to complete requirements.

Step 1: Qualifications

Current Northwestern undergraduate students who meet all of the following criteria:

  • A current undergraduate student who will be enrolled for at least fall quarter of the following academic year and is a full-time degree seeking student in one of the following schools/colleges: Bienen, McCormick, Medill, NU-Q, School of Communication, SESP or Weinberg.
  • Demonstrate financial need. If you do not receive financial aid from Northwestern, or you receive a minimal amount of financial aid, you can explain your financial need for the summer in the application.
  • Pursing an unpaid or low-paid summer experience. Low-paid is defined as less than $1500 for the summer. Priority is given to students with financial need pursuing unpaid internships.
  • Summer experience meets the required 280 hours of work between June-September and has a designated supervisor. Required hours must be completed no later than Friday, September 6, 2024.
  • Receiving 0.25 or less credit. SIGP CANNOT be combined with programs within Northwestern that offer credit including but not limited to GESI, Chicago Field Studies, Engage Chicago; they offer their own funding opportunities.  In addition, SIGP funding CANNOT be used for academic programs or coursework including, but not limited to study abroad or certificate programs.
  • Not receiving any money from the employer or other summer grants/awards from Northwestern.
  • Has a summer experience secured by May 31. Students are not required to have the summer experience secured at the time of application. If selected for an award, recipients who do not have an internship must meet with an NCA career adviser to develop a search strategy. Awardees without secured internship by May 31 forfeit their grant.
  • Students can apply for SIGP and other grants on campus, but SIGP CANNOT be combined with any other grants. If awarded both SIGP and another campus grant, students must choose between the opportunities.  Examples include but are not limited to:

Please note: previous SIGP recipients CAN reapply.

Step 2: Attend Information Session and Review Resources

Information sessions will be at the below times. Registration for sessions will be posted in Handshake.

Make a virtual appointment through Handshake (Career Center > Appointments > Schedule A New Appointment > Northwestern Career Advancement (NCA) > SIGP Appointment Types).  These appointments will become available after the application start date. 

  • SIGP Program Information - Any questions on qualifying experiences or the program itself. 
  • SIGP Application Review - Essay review and summer experience search questions

Step 3: Write 2 Essays with Supplemental 3rd Essay

The SIGP application includes two essays. Students should focus on writing strong essay responses; quality of application is a significant part of the selection process. Students should write these essays in a word processing program and copy and paste them into the text box in the application portal. The total length of the 2 essays should not exceed 900 words.  The optional 3rd essay will be pasted into a separate text box and not counted in this word count.

  • Essay 1: Describe the summer internship/experience that you have secured or would like to secure this summer. What do you hope to learn or gain from this experience? Please be specific and provide multiple examples. How will this experience impact you or the Northwestern community? If you have applied to multiple opportunities, choose one to focus on this essay.
  • Essay 2: How does this internship/experience connect to your academic studies and/or extracurricular activities? How does this internship/experience align with your academic and/or career goals?
  • Supplemental Essay 3: If you have any financial information or additional details about personal or family circumstances that are not reflected on your One Form General Application or in your financial aid package from Northwestern, please elaborate on your financial need, and provide any relevant information you are comfortable sharing. We encourage any student who is not on full scholarship to respond to this optional essay. Your response provides the SIGP review committee with relevant details to best assess your application. NCA will have access to your level of need based on your current financial aid package. Many students already receiving aid will not have additional details to share.

Step 4: Resume and Budget

  • Update your one-page Professional Resume
  • In the application, you will be asked for your summer budget.  Please be sure to consider all your living costs and enter each expense as the questions are asked. You will also be asked to total your expenses. The purpose of the budget is to show the selection committee that you’ve considered what living and travel expenses you might incur during the summer.

Step 5: Submit Your Application

  • The application is a two-step process: 
    • Step 1. You must first complete the General Application on the SES One Form. **If you have never logged into the SES One Form before, the system will automatically start you here upon log in.**
    • Step 2. After completing the General Application, you MUST complete the “Northwestern Career Advancement - Summer Internship Grant Program (SIGP)” Application. **Please note: the SIGP questions are different from the General Application Questions**
    • If you have technical issues with your application, please email

Don’t forget this year’s application for SIGP is due on Wednesday, March 27, 2024 at 11:59PM CST.

  • Please note: The SIGP timeline for NU-Q students differs from the timeline on the Evanston campus. The deadline for NU-Q students is Thursday, March 14, 2024 at 11:59PM CST.