About Chicago Semester


Chicago Semester is an off-campus program rooted in the Christian faith. The program challenges students to integrate their personal, professional and public lives through internships, academic seminars and urban experience.

  • You will experience living in a large city with its possibilities and challenges.
  • You will engage in learning about personal values, vocational goals and collective responsibility to society.
  • You will be working under experienced mentors at internships suited to your career aspirations.

History of Chicago Semester

Chicago Semester was started in 1974 by six Christian colleges in the Reformed tradition to provide an opportunity for undergraduate students to experience the challenges of living and working in an urban environment while pursuing their career goals. Student enrollment grew steadily during the first twenty years of the program. Currently, 100-150 students participate in Chicago Semester each academic year.

Three professional tracks were added to the program to meet the request of sponsoring colleges. In 1992, a MSW-credentialed staff person was hired to supervise social work students whose practicum experience now meets the requirements of the Council on Social Work Education. A certified teacher educator joined Chicago Semester in 1994 to manage the placement and supervision of student teachers in Chicago Public Schools. In 2003, a nursing educator came on staff to facilitate placement and education of nursing students.

In 2002, Chicago Semester was named the Experiential Education Program of the Year by the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE) and celebrated its 30th Anniversary year in 2004.

In 2011, Chicago Semester added the Urban Intensive Track to provide interested students the opportunity to focus their internship experience with a grassroots approach.