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Frequently Asked Questions

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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.

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

Everyone is required to attend an information session prior to applying. If you can't attend in-person, we have an Online Information Session, making it more convenient for everyone to complete the information session.

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. You will need to complete an information session. You can either go to an in-person information session before going abroad, or if you're already abroad, you can take the Online Information Session. You will also need to make sure that you have access to phone and/or internet so that you can meet with your CFS advisor and interview with companies that you are interested in.

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 courses.

How much does CFS cost?

Costs for CFS include transportation to and from your internship plus Northwestern tuition. Additionally, you may need to buy lunch close to your internship site and purchase professional clothing. Please see our Costs and Financial Aid page for more info.

Is there financial aid available for the program?

Students with demonstrated financial need are eligible to receive additional financial aid to help defray some of the costs associated with unpaid CFS internships.  These stipends will be awarded by the Financial Aid Office to students at the beginning of their CFS quarter. 

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.

How do I choose a CFS course?

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

Are all courses offered every quarter?

Some are, but not all.  Check the Schedule of CFS Course Offerings for the year to see when a course is offered.

Can non-business and non-law students apply to Business Field Studies (BFS) and Legal Field Studies (LFS)?

Yes! The course 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 may receive between 1 and 4 credits depending on your course choice.

How does variable credit work?

Variable credit courses 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 course 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 course 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?

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

How does CFS help me with obtaining an internship?

After you are accepted to CFS, 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 course, 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 complete an information session?

We recommend you attend an information session (online or in person) 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.

Do you accept applications after the application deadlines?

Yes, under certain conditions we are able to consider applications after the deadline.

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 how many credits you are taking CFS for.

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.

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

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