Class + Internship

Group photo of students

Course + Internship = The CFS Experience

Chicago Field Studies links academic study and practical experience by combing a course and internship. Students learn through working at an internship of their choosing while taking a related course.

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

  • Full-time courses (Set at 4 credits) allow students to focus solely on their CFS course and internship for a quarter. Topics include business, legal, and the modern workplace. 4-credit courses are held on Mondays and students intern Tuesday- Friday.
  • Variable-credit courses(1-4 credits) allow students to either take as many as 3 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 course days and times change quarter to quarter but are typically on weekday evenings.

The CFS courses offered vary by quarter. See the CFS Course Offerings Schedule for the academic year.

Internships are a requirement of all CFS courses

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

Credit is earned through academic coursework

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 courses 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 course and internship. Read more about how CFS credit works.

When choosing a CFS course, you should consider:

  • What industry or type of internship are you interested in?
  • What CFS courses are you interested in?
  • If you have an internship already, where is it located and which course 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?