UChicago Youth Internship Program

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The UChicago Youth Internship Program is a paid, virtual, six-week summer employment opportunity at the University of Chicago for local Chicago Public Schools students. 



In this program, interns will work closely with a University staff person in one of several departments including, but not limited to, the Office of Civic Engagement, the Polsky Center, the Economic Inclusion Lab, and Commercial Real Estate and Operations. In addition to having a meaningful work experience, interns will also participate in weekly professional development workshops, be paired with a mentor, and have opportunities to socialize with other interns in the program.

Over the course of six weeks, the internship program aims to:

  • Encourage students to prepare for post-secondary pathways by leveraging the University’s unique strengths including mentorship, college readiness and access activities, and career advancement programming.
  • In partnership with local CPS partner schools, help students prepare for a career by developing employability and social and emotional learning (SEL) competencies and skills that are in high demand in the workforce of the future.

How it works

Interns hired for the UChicago Youth Internship Program will support the strategic area of work for the office into which they are placed. For Summer 2021, all internships will be virtual. Interns will work approximately 20 hours per week and will receive a $2,500 stipend. Work responsibilities include:

  • Attend all required meetings/events including the internship orientation, professional development series, and end-of-summer final presentations
  • Complete a self-directed, research-based summer internship project throughout the duration of the six-week program
  • Provide ongoing support to the internship supervisor by delivering the main internship project, communicating project updates throughout the summer, asking questions, and documenting important project milestones
  • Collaborate with other internship program participants, staff, and faculty on a variety of tasks and activities
  • Complete other duties as assigned.

Important dates

Students must submit an application by May 9, 2021.

For Summer 2021, the internship program will run from July 6 – August 12, 2021.

Virtual info session (parents/legal guardians strongly encouraged to attend): April 27, 2021 at 5pm.

Interview dates (a 30 minute interview will be scheduled during this date range): May 18-27, 2021 between 4pm-7pm.

Welcome/Orientation for summer interns (parents/legal guardians required to attend): June 29, 2021 from 6pm-7:30pm.

Qualifications and how to apply

The UChicago Youth Internship Program is looking for motivated, hardworking students who:

  • Attend one of the following four high schools: Kenwood Academy, UChicago Charter - Woodlawn, Hyde Park Academy, or King College Prep, or receive a referral to the internship program through Centers for New Horizons
  • Are at least 16 years old by July 6, 2021 and authorized to work in the United States
  • Are a current high school sophomore or junior
  • Have at least a 2.7 unweighted GPA
  • Want to have a fun and educational summer experience!

Interns will be required to submit a timely application and participate in an interview to be selected.

Click here to apply by May 9, 2021.

About the University of Chicago

The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

The University of Chicago is enriched by the city we call home. In partnership with our neighbors, we invest in neighboring communities on the South Side across such areas as health, education, economic growth, and the arts. Together with our medical center, we are the largest private employer on the South Side.

About the Office of Civic Engagement

The Office of Civic Engagement (OCE) is UChicago’s gateway to the South Side and the city, connecting the University to our neighbors.

We work to inform, support, and advance the community engagement of our faculty, students and staff. Working with community partners, OCE strengthens community organizations and small businesses, improves access to education, and connects residents to jobs —all with the goal of advancing economic and social progress in our neighboring communities and the city as a whole.

Frequently asked questions

When is the application due?

Applications will open April 15, 2021 and close on May 9, 2021 at 11:55 pm. Decisions will be sent out on or before June 7, 2021.

I have a 2.7 GPA. Can I still apply?

Interns are expected to have a minimum 3.0 GPA in order to participate in the program. However, if a student is below a 3.0 GPA but has at least a 2.7 GPA, they can write a personal statement or provide additional information.

What if I don’t have a laptop?

If you do not have a laptop or internet access, the University will provide you with a laptop and internet hotspot.

Do I need my parent/legal guardian’s approval to participate?

Yes, all participants will need their parents or legal guardians to fill out a participation waiver.

What kind of work will I be doing as an intern?

While specific tasks will vary between departments, all interns will have assignments that support projects or initiatives of the department. These assignments could include conducting research, assisting with scheduling, attending meeting and taking notes, and supporting social media marketing. Regardless of where a student is placed, all interns will have an updated resume and a personal statement or short reflection piece about their internship that can be used for future job searches or college applications.

What is the benefit of participating in this program?

Interns who participate in the program will have a meaningful work experience that prepares them for office-based work, whether they want to work immediately after graduation or attend college. Interns will also develop one-on-one relationships with their mentor and supervisor, who will support the intern throughout the program and can serve as a professional reference once the program is over. Lastly, interns will develop several transferrable skills through the weekly professional development series that they can apply to any work setting.

Does participating increase my chances of getting into UChicago?

Participation in this program does not guarantee admittance to the University of Chicago.

I am getting an error message when trying to complete the application. What kind of email address do I need to use to submit my application?

The UChicago Youth Internship Application form will need to be completed using a Gmail/Google account (if you do not have a Gmail account, you can set one up for free by going to www.gmail.com and creating an email address). We recommend logging out of your CPS account, signing into your Gmail/Google account and then clicking on the link for the UChicago Youth Internship Program application. Please note, all communication for this program will be sent to the email address used to submit your application. Please be sure to monitor the email account regularly for updates from us.

May I submit a screenshot of my current course load as my transcript?

No. A full transcript should include all classes/credits received since you started high school and the corresponding grade achieved in the classes. The transcript should include your full name, high school, and cumulative grade point average.

How old do you have to be to participate in this program?

Students must be at least 16 years old by July 6, 2021 and authorized to work in the United States to be considered for this program.

Program contact

For more information about the internship program, please contact Ann Merrell at amerrell@uchicago.edu.

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