Internships and Volunteering

Psychology students follow a wide range of career paths. One way to figure out which paths are best for you is to get some practical, hands-on experience in fields you find intriguing. In addition to allowing you to explore career interests, this can help you see links between your academic studies and real-world issues. It can also become a valuable credential when you apply for a job or for graduate study.

Many psychology students do internships for academic credit through Northwestern’s Chicago Field Studies program. See below for more on CFS options for psychology students, including sites where psychology students have worked. Other students find paid or unpaid summer internships through University Career Services.

Many work experiences not labeled as “internships” provide similar opportunities and benefits. If you’re interested in entering a health profession, volunteering in a hospital is one good choice. If you want to work with children, consider volunteering in a school or working as a camp counselor. Are you thinking about pursuing a doctoral degree in psychology? Doing research for course credit with a psychology faculty member is an excellent idea.

Two good resources for learning about volunteer opportunities are the Center for Student Involvement and the student-run Northwestern Community Development Corps, which provides lists of service organizations grouped by focus and, often, names and contact information for Northwestern students familiar with an organization and its work. 


Psychology and Chicago Field Studies

Internships are a great way to connect your studies with practical experience. Chicago Field Studies provides students majoring or minoring in Psychology with internship opportunities in legal organizations, health clinics, environmental organizations, and other service non-profits, as well as marketing, market research, consulting, start-ups, financial services, social media analytics, and more.

CFS is the largest academic internship program on campus, serving close to 300 students a year from all schools and majors.  The program merges academic study and career exploration by combining a seminar class with an internship experience. The course, taught on the Evanston campus, connects seminar readings to discussions on the student’s internship, work culture, and current issues.

Once accepted into the program, students receive individual career advising that helps them identify and apply for internships that match their career interests.

Through CFS, Psychology Majors and Minors have interned at:

  • American Psychological Association
  • Blue Canyon Partners (B2B consulting)
  • Cease Fire (violence prevention)
  • Center on Wrongful Convictions (Legal Clinic, NU Law School)
  • Companies that Care
  • Denuo (Razorfish)
  • Digitas (Digital agency)
  • Dignitas (wealth management)
  • Fenix Family Health Clinic (community health)
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Harris Theater for Music & Dance
  • HighSight
  • Jan Schakowsky | Constituent Services
  • J.P. Morgan
  • LiquidThread (Entertainment branding)
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Mesirow Financial Services
  • Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness of Chicago
  • Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation (health management)
  • Northwestern Settlement House
  • Position-Tech (Start-up)
  • Proact Search (Education search and training)
  • Sapient Nitro (start-up)
  • Syndio Social (start-up)
  • Teach For America Administrative Office
  • UBS Financial Services Inc.
  • US Empowered (now OneGoal) (Education persistence)
  • VivaKi (Communications and project consulting)
  • Walgreens Market Strategies
  • Warming House Youth Center (Youth drop-in center)
  • Wolters Kluwer (global information services and publishing company)
  • World Chicago (international visitors center of Chicago)
  • YouthMuse (Museum consulting)

Find more information on the Chicago Field Studies website.