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Academics & Courses

Plunge into the Chicago Program’s dynamic mix of academic and experiential learning to become an active, engaged citizen.

See Chicago through the different lenses of arts, entrepreneurship, and social justice. In your seminars, an internship, and an independent study project, you’ll explore the vital issues facing cities and the people who live and work in them. Then you’ll dig deeper to relate these issues to your personal life, education, and career aspirations.

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Chicago is your textbook and your classroom

Chicago Program faculty draw on a wide range of resources to provide context and content for your studies, including guest speakers, events, site visits, readings, observations, and research. What you study is always tuned in to what is currently happening in the city – politically, socially, and culturally.

“I learned to think critically about the institutions that surrounded me and to seek out resources and connections throughout the city. It was the most relevant, applicable, and important academic experience I’ve had.”

Katie Derrah, Carleton College, American studies major

To give your studies greater perspective, your classes will often meet in locations across the city. You might tour the murals and the National Museum of Mexican Art in the Pilsen neighborhood, visit the chambers of the Chicago City Council, or meet with staff at an immigrants’ rights organization on the city’s North Side.

Learn directly from people in all walks of life who are contributing to the fabric of Chicago.

You’ll learn directly from people in all walks of life who are contributing to the fabric of Chicago. Talk about business strategy with owners of small startup companies, visit artists in their studios to find out what motivates their creativity, and discuss current issues with experts from government, the media, social service agencies, and community organizations.

Gain real world experience

Throughout the semester, you can test out a career direction and gain valuable professional experience by working at an internship twice a week with a non-profit organization, business, governmental or social service agency, or arts or cultural institution. Supplemental workshops and panel discussions will help you build up your resume and kick-start your development as a young professional.

An independent study project, guided by a faculty member, is your opportunity to pursue your passion and draw on Chicago’s vast resources to create an original project related to your academic interests.

As you live, work, and study in Chicago, you will begin visualizing how to integrate your experiences in the city with your courses on campus.