One requirement of the B.A. program in Environmental and Urban Studies is completion of either an internship or a field placement (hereafter “internships”) or Chicago Studies Certificate. This hands-on experience is intended to help students hone their academic focus (B.A. and beyond) as well as increasing their preparation for employment after graduation.

Many types of internships/field placements can satisfy the program’s requirement, for example:

  • Working at an environmental law firm in New Mexico with a focus on indigenous communities…
  • Measuring and addressing lead levels in Englewood (about a mile away from campus)…
  • Working for an advocacy organization on water shortage issues in Mumbai, India…

Students should consult UChicago Handshake for internship opportunities and Chicago Studies for more information about the certificate program.  

Internship information and program requirements

Environmental and Urban Studies majors who plan to do internships this school year or summer should contact Matthew Knisley to learn more about the internship program requirements and placement process.

Upon completion of their internship, students are required to fill out an evaluation form (including a brief itemization of expenses) and prepare a 500-750 word reflection on their experience. The current deadline for the form and reflection paper is October 1. (Download the evaluation form.)


Environmental and Urban Studies majors are required to complete an internship before graduation. Most often, the internships are undertaken during the summer between third and fourth years, but there are other possibilities, and Chicago-area internships can be done while enrolled in courses.

For any additional questions about internships, please contact Matthew Knisley.

Open Internships

To search and apply for open internships, visit UChicago Handshake.

Fund for the Public Interest | Internship with Environment Illinois
Deadline: ASAP
Location: Chicago, IL
Open to all current undergraduates, paid position

This summer, the Fund for the Public Interest is hiring paid summer staff to work with Environment Illinois to run a grassroots campaign protecting wildlife! You will be to pass a statewide ban on polystyrene (or what a lot of people think of as styrofoam). Foam is one of the most egregious forms of plastic pollution. Not only because it can't be recycled and doesn't degrade, but it also is very harmful to wildlife- injuring or killing animals from earthworms to whales because they confuse the foam with food.

If you're interested in protecting the environment, earning $11-16/hour, gaining campaign & leadership skills, or if you are looking for a fun summer job you should fill out your contact info at or call (312)-559-4701.

Apply here

Big Green | Social Media Intern
Deadline: ASAP
Location: Chicago, IL 
Open to all current undergraduates

Big Green is an exciting, young, nonprofit organization who is looking to grow! We started in 2011 working in one school in Denver, Colorado and have since grown to 450 schools in seven cities across the country. Founded by Kimbal Musk, Big Green is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that believes that real food should be available to everyone. We building Learning Gardens in schools, adding outdoor classrooms and community gathering places that connect kids to real food and empower them to make healthier food choices. 

Big Green is looking for a Social Media Intern. The Spring 2018 Social Media Interns will work in the field, visiting Learning Garden schools to capture photos, video, and stories, and work with our marketing team to create beautiful, engaging, memorable content. The social media interns will have the opportunity to stretch their creativity, build their portfolio, work on brand partnerships, try new things, hone their photography skills and help Big Green grow! The ideal candidate is highly visual with an eye for design, has skills in photography, videography, or graphic design, is self-directed, and already has an awesome social media presence.

Apply here

Opportunities for Graduating Students

Chicago Wilderness | Independent Contractor: Chicago Wilderness Alliance Coordination
Deadline: May 24, 2018
Location: Chicago
Open to graduating students

The Chicago Wilderness is a regional alliance leading strategy to preserve, improve, and expand nature and quality of life in the Chicago Wilderness Region, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. CW has a 20-year legacy of collaboration tackling challenging conservation issues to ensure a resilient future. CW is seeking an independent contractor that is energetic, self-motivated, committed and skilled to coordinate and support the work of the Chicago Wilderness Alliance.

Apply here