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Chicago Program: Arts, Entrepreneurship, & Social Justice

Chicago, Illinois

United States

Live and learn in a spirited, innovative city. Gain hands-on internship experience, explore a mosaic of cultures and neighborhoods, and conduct independent research related to Chicago’s dynamic cultural landscape.  (Final Session: Fall 2018)


See full schedule

  • Fall semester (late August–early December)

Living arrangements

Students live in suite-style student housing in the city provided by the Chicago Program.

Courses & credits

Recommended credit is 16 semester credits or the equivalent for a semester. See course descriptions

  • Internship
  • Independent Study Project
  • Seminars — Choose two from topics offered in areas such as arts, entrepreneurship, human rights and social justice, and Chicago neighborhoods

Students on the quarter/trimester schedule do not complete an independent study project.

Language requirement

No prerequisites


Program brochure

Application deadlines

If the deadline has passed and you are interested in applying, contact the ACM Office immediately. Late applications may be accepted on a space-available basis.

Explore the program

Discover a new layer of Chicago

“I learned that everything is connected, and you can’t possibly think you know everything about one issue if you haven’t examined all of the issues that influence it. If you’re looking to gain a new perspective while getting to be part of a bustling urban center, this program will be everything you want.”

Sarah Stinson, Monmouth College, psychology major

See a city like you never have before. By speaking with Chicago residents, exploring new communities, and studying relevant issues facing the city, you’ll understand all of the complex elements that make up a large urban center.

Gain exciting, real world experience

“My final project was not only a culmination of my experience in Chicago but an artistic articulation of the academic themes I had studied at Grinnell College.”

—Brigid Carmichael, Grinnell College, undecided major

Find topics that make you tick and put them into action! Through an independent study project and a semester-long internship, you can explore subjects and industries that interest you. You’ll develop new skills and walk away from this experience with more confidence—both personally and professionally.

Become a resident of the third largest city in the US

“I love that the Chicago Program allows students to fully explore the city. I feel confident that I could move back to Chicago and thrive.”

—Elaena Hoekstra, Luther College, theatre and management major

Have you ever wanted to live in a city, but not as a tourist? The Chicago Program gives you the unique opportunity to become a well-informed resident of the city while enjoying everything it has to offer. Once you explore many of Chicago’s various restaurants, museums, and cultural centers, this city will truly start to feel like home.

Once-in-a-lifetime experiences

Jim Gregory
Hanover College

I would not have the motivation, determination, and vision toward achieving my business goals had I not experienced this entrepreneurial program in the extremely supportive and approachable city of Chicago. It changed my life.

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Eric Boyken
Luther College

I have immensely enjoyed living in the city of Chicago, and I look forward to applying how much I have developed personally, professionally, and academically to my educational experience going forward.

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Ian Gacheru
St. Olaf College

My Chicago Program semester will undoubtedly be one of the best experiences of my college career, because I have learned so much about myself, business, urban issues, and arts.

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More student experiences »

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