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What is SIGP?


The Summer Internship Grant Program was established to support current Northwestern undergraduate students participating in unpaid internships that demonstrate financial need.  This is a funding source for undergraduates who have accepted (or planning on securing) an unpaid internship or summer experience in an industry that traditionally does not pay their interns. However, it is also a career development program to enrich important learning opportunities as students engage in the summer experiences.

Since 2007, the Summer Internship Grant Program has made it possible for undergraduate students to pursue unpaid internships. In 2021, 339 Northwestern students received grants of $3000 to participate in unpaid summer experiences.

Career Development Program

In addition to receiving a grant for living and travel expenses accrued during the summer of an unpaid experience, students will participate in career development activities that include: LinkedIn professionalism and SIGP virtual community participation, informational interviews, networking, and donor appreciation.

Who is Eligible for SIGP?

Current NU full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students who will be:

Although you can apply to SIGP if awarded, it CANNOT be combined with any other summer grants on campus. Students would have to choose SIGP or another grant. Including but not limited to the following most commonly asked about:

Contact Information

Questions? Please contact


Frequently Asked Questions

What does a SIGP application entail?

As part of the SIGP application students will submit two essays and complete an application questionnaire. Questions about your summer experience interests and well as a summer budget are among the questions that will be included. Find the essay questions and steps for how to apply on the SIGP website.

Is there someone I can talk to about my application materials before submitting?

Yes! Students can schedule an appointment to review SIGP application material. Schedule a meeting with your career counselor or adviser via Handshake. Please bring drafts of your materials to your appointment.

Do I need to have a summer internship/experience secured before I apply?

No. At the time of application, students are not required to have a summer internship/experience secured. If selected for an award, recipients who do not have an internship at the time of selection must meet with their NCA career adviser to develop a search strategy. Awardees without a secured internship by June 1 will forfeit their grant.

I missed an information session. Can I view the presentation now?

Upcoming information sessions (Virtual) – Registration available in Handshake

  • Tuesday, February 22, 2022 from 12:00 – 12:30pm
  • Thursday, March 3, 2022 from 4:00 – 4:30pm
  • Wednesday, March 16, 2022 from 5:00 – 5:30pm
Virtual Information Session recording is also available if you cannot attend one of the live events

I applied to SIGP last year. Can I reapply?

Yes. Previous SIGP recipients may apply again for this year’s grant, so long as they meet the qualifications.

When will I find out if I've been awarded a SIGP grant?

Students will be notified if they are selected by Friday, May 6, 2022.

Can I apply to SIGP with more than one opportunity?

Yes. If recipients cannot meet the 250 hour requirement with a single summer experience, they can supplement with a second unpaid career-related experience in order to fulfill the 250 hour requirement for SIGP.

Can I apply to SIGP if I am staying with family/friends during my summer experience?

Yes. Students are still eligible for SIGP even if they will be staying with family or friends during the summer. Students should be sure to note what other financial needs SIGP would be able to assist them with in the summer budget portion of the application.

Can I travel internationally for my summer experience?

Yes. In-person international experiences will be fundable in 2022. For the most up to date travel guidance and a list of locations requiring Travel Permission, students should 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 testing, quarantine, vaccination, or other COVID-19 related requirements. Students planning to pursue an international experience (including students returning to their home countries) must complete health and safety pre-departure requirements including Northwestern’s International Travel Registry. If you are awarded SIGP, more details will be provided.

How can I strengthen my SIGP application?

A few ways to enhance your application include drawing connections between your experiences (academic coursework, leadership, volunteer activities, etc.) and your career field of interest, telling a cohesive story, and demonstrating consideration for your personal learning outcomes for your intended summer experience and how that applies to your career development. Find more tips on the SIGP website.

Are there on campus summer housing options available through Northwestern University?

Yes, please refer to the Residential Services’ Summer Housing webpage to see current rates and information.