Choosing a Chicago Field Studies Class

Every CFS class connects theory and experience through analysis, discussion, coursework, and reflection on internships with classmates. These thematic seminars are typically limited to 16 students to allow the maximum time for students to share their experiences and ideas in class and ensure close working relationships between students and instructors. Students explore Chicago through their internships, field trips, guest speakers and educational opportunities. Although classroom experience and grading varies by class, students should expect to participate in classroom discussion, do course reading, write reflective essays or blog posts, and create a final project, presentation, or paper.

When choosing a CFS class or classes to apply for, you should decide:

  • which class themes match your internship interests - the Modern Workplace and Humanities classes have the broadest topics and are able to connect with the widest range of internships while classes such as Business and Legal are more restricted
  • the amount of time you have to dedicate to your CFS class + internship experience - can you dedicate a whole quarter or do you have to take 1 or 2 other classes while doing CFS?

We have two types of classes:

  • Set at 4 credit classes allow students to focus solely on their CFS class and internship for a quarter. 4 credit classes are held on Mondays and students intern Tuesday- Friday. These classes are typically limited to juniors and seniors.
  • Variable credit (1-4 units) classes allow students to either take 1 or 2 other NU courses or focus exclusively on their CFS experience for a quarter. Variable credit class days and times change quarter to quarter but are typically on weekday evenings. These classes are open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

The number of credits you chose to take the CFS class for will dictate both the amount of coursework and the number of hours per week that you are expected to work at your internship. CFS classes typically count toward general graduation credits, but students should check with their departments or programs to see if CFS credits can count toward their major or minor. Read more about how CFS credit works

CFS Classes that are set at 4 units of credit:

CFS Classes that are Variable Credit (1-4 units):

The webpage for each of these classes includes key information such as which quarters the class is offered, the course description, instructors for the year, and the kinds of internships the class theme connects best with.

CFS also offers two summer-only classes: