First Year focus

What is Chicago Field Studies?

CFS is a competitive one-quarter academic internship program open to students from all Northwestern schools and majors in which students connect seminar-style class to real-world experience. It is a chance to:

  • Develop advanced skills in analysis, research, problem-solving and writing
  • Learn to think critically about the civic and professional world
  • Explore a field in which you may be interested in pursuing a career

The CFS program is made up of two components: 

  1. A seminar class: Participation in the CFS program involves choosing a themed seminar class that relates to your internship field or industry. This weekly seminar class allows you to engage in discussion about your course theme, complete assignments that bring together theory and experience, and reflect on your internship experiences with your classmates. Classes cover a variety of topics from business to civic engagement and are either set at 4 credits or are variable (1-4) credit.
  2. An internship: Once accepted into the program, CFS staff assists students in finding internships in a wide variety of fields at Chicago-area organizations. The internship does not have to be directly related to your major or minor.

Who does CFS?

The CFS program is open to students from all Northwestern schools and majors who wish to connect academic learning and practical experience.

When do students do CFS?

4 credit classes are typically done in the junior or senior year. Variable (1-4) credit concentrations can be done as early as sophomore year.

Where do students intern?

CFS assists students in finding internships in a wide variety of fields at Chicago-area organizations.

What now?

It is never too soon to be thinking about Chicago Field Studies (CFS)! Participating in the CFS program requires some planning. Talk to your academic advisor early to ensure you can fit CFS into your degree program.