Class + Internship

Group photo of students

Class + Internship = The CFS Experience

Chicago Field Studies combines a class and internship experience to bring academic context to the professional world, expanding learning beyond the classroom and enabling students to pursue both academic and career aspirations.

We have two types of classes: Set at 4 credits and Variable credit (1-4 credit)

  • Variable (1-4 credit) credit classes allow students to either take 1 or 2 other NU courses or focus exclusively on their CFS experience for a quarter. Topics include humanities, civic engagement, social justice, public health, and environment and sustainability. Variable credit class days and times change quarter to quarter but are typically on weekday evenings.
  • Set at 4 credit classes allow students to focus solely on their CFS class and internship for a quarter. Topics include business, legal, and the modern workplace. 4-credit classes are held on Mondays and students intern Tuesday- Friday.

The CFS classes offered vary by quarter. See the CFS class schedule for the year

Internships are a requirement of all CFS classes

Students in CFS classes are required to participate in internships during their CFS quarter, as reflecting on internship experiences provides valuable context to class discussions and assignments. You are welcome to secure your own internship or work with your CFS advisor to find one that is right for you. Your internship does not have to be directly related to your major or minor but should connect to the theme of your CFS class.

Credit is earned through academic coursework

Chicago Field Studies (CFS) follows an experiential learning model where coursework is connected to field experience in the form of an internship.  Students participating in CFS earn academic credit for the work done in their CFS course. CFS classes typically count as general credits toward graduation but may count towards majors or minors. We encourage you to talk with your academic advisors prior to applying for CFS. Students participating for 4 units of credit are expected to dedicate their quarter exclusively to their CFS class and internship. Read more about how CFS credit works

When choosing a CFS class, you should consider:

  • What industry or type of internship are you interested in?
  • What CFS classes are you interested in?
  • If you have an internship already, where is it located and which class topic does it best relate to?
  • How much time you want to commit to your internship?
  • Do you have to take other NU courses during the quarter you plan on doing CFS?


Read more about CFS classes

Read more about internships