Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of time commitment is required for the CFS program?

Time commitment depends on the type of concentration you are participating in, but in general, the more time you have to dedicate to the CFS the better their overall experience.

What are the prerequisites for applying to CFS?

You must be in at least in your sophomore year, have attended an information session, and submit your application during the application period (unless you already have an internship) to be considered for CFS. If you have an internship you may be eligible to apply outside of the application period.

I am a NU undergraduate, but not in Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, can I still apply?

Yes! We welcome students from all schools and majors.

I am an international student studying on a student visa. Am I eligible to participate in the CFS program?

International and exchange students are welcome to apply to participate in CFS.

If I am studying abroad the quarter before I want to do a CFS internship, am I eligible to apply?

Yes, you are typically able to participate in CFS even if you are abroad the quarter before.  We recommend you attend or complete an information session prior to going abroad.

I am a student in a program that requires that I take a core class every quarter I am at Northwestern. Am I still able to do CFS?

Yes! Students in this position are often able to participate in one of our Variable Credit concentrations.

How much does CFS cost?

Costs for CFS include transportation to and from your internship plus tuition and depend on the quarter and the number of times you are traveling to an internship each week.

Is there financial aid available for the program?

Students enrolled in CFS can apply for the assistance from the CFS Scholarships Funds to help reimburse them for the costs of transportation and even lost wages from reduced hours at work-study or off campus jobs.

Do I need to live in Chicago the quarter I am doing the CFS program?

No, most students live in Evanston while doing CFS, though they may reduce their meal plans during that time.

What is a CFS concentration?

Class + Internship = Concentration 

How do I choose a concentration?

To pick a concentration, you should consider which class topics best match the type of internships you are interested in and how much time you have to devote to doing CFS.

Are all concentrations offered every quarter?

Some are, but not all.  Check the Concentration Schedule for the year to see when a concentration is offered.

Can non-business and non-law students apply to BFS and LFS concentrations?

Yes! The concentration you pick does not have align with your major or minor, just the type of internships you are interested in exploring.

How many credits do I get for doing CFS?

You will receive up to 4 credits depending on your concentration choice.

How does variable credit work?

Variable credit concentrations allow students to take one or two other classes if they need to during their CFS quarter.  The hours students are required to intern depends on the number of credits the student is taking their CFS class for.

Do I have to do an internship in the field I am majoring in?

No, you can choose to pursue any type of internship opportunity you are interested in.

Can I count credits from my CFS experience towards my major or minor?

Possibly, you should check with your major or minor advisor.

Do I get credit for my internship?

No, while an internship is required to participate in a CFS class, the internship itself is not academic and therefore is not graded. Your grades come from your CFS class.

Do I take other Northwestern classes the quarter I do my internship?

Additional NU classes can be taken if you are in a variable credit concentration but, for the best experience, we encourage students to dedicate as much time as possible to their CFS class and internship.

What kinds of internships are available through Chicago Field Studies?

CFS maintains relationships with all types of businesses and organizations in the Chicagoland area. Students are also welcome to explore opportunities beyond the ones CFS students have done before. 

What kind of internships can I do in my concentration?

On each class page there are lists of the types of internships that would connect to it.  These can help you decide which concentrations connect to your interests.

How does CFS help me with obtaining an internship?

For our regular concentrations you will work with a CFS advisor who will talk to you about your career goals and help you through the process of finding an internship. For our online classes, students secure their own internships but have an advisor for questions and career goals.  

If I am accepted to CFS, is an internship guaranteed?

While we do not guarantee you will get an internship, with the help of your CFS Advisor you are likely to secure an internship you are interested in.

I've never written a cover letter or résumé. Will I get help?

Yes! All accepted students meet one on one with their CFS advisor to talk about their resume, internship interests, and next steps in finding an internship for their CFS quarter.

When do I need to apply?

You should apply in the application period for the quarter you are interested in participating in. Typically this is about 1 quarter in prior to participation.

How far in advance of applying do I need to attend an information session?

We recommend you attend an information session close to the time you are planning to apply to make sure you are receiving current application instructions. Otherwise, your completed information session is valid for 6 months.

What if I can't make it to an information session?

Everyone is required to either attend or complete an information session prior to applying. At the beginning of the Fall 2016 quarter, CFS launched its Online Information Session, making it more convenient for everyone to complete the information session.

Do you accept applications after the application deadlines?

Yes, under certain conditions we are able to consider applications outside of the application periods.

I've been accepted. Now what?

Now, you will begin your search for an internship with the help of your CFS Advisor.

What if I find an internship on my own and need academic credit?

If you have secured an internship but need to get academic credit while doing it we may be able to consider your application to the program outside of the application period.

How many hours a week will I be working?

The number of hours you will be working per week at an internship depends on if you are in a 4 Credit concentration or a Variable credit concentration.

Is it possible to do CFS for more than one quarter?

Yes, WCAS students are able to do internship programs for up to 6 units of credit. Students from other schools should check with an academic advisor to find out their school’s policy on internship program credits.  Students who do CFS more than once typically do a 4 credit and a variable credit concentration.

Are there any opportunities for graduate students to do the CFS program?

PhD candidate graduate students are able to participate in the Graduate Engagement Opportunities program.

Who should I contact if I have questions?

We are happy to answer any questions you have about the program, please contact us at 847-467-0605 or at cfs@northwestern.edu.