Lake Forest College In The Loop

Lake Forest College In The Loop is the College’s residential Chicago semester. Students complete up to 300 internship hours while completing coursework at the Loop campus, at our Loop partner universities and colleges, or on Lake Forest College’s main campus. Students reside in downtown Chicago and study distinctive aspects of the city through academic programming and co-curricular activities. This program is offered during both fall and spring semesters.

To be eligible to participate in this program, students must have and/or be:
  • A strong interest in experiencing the many resources offered by an immersive Chicago experience.
  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application and time of participation in program.
  • A priority minimum GPA of 2.5 for the academic program. Students with less than a 2.5 GPA are encouraged to apply; however, an overall improvement in academic performance must be reflected on their transcript.
  • Completed at least two semesters of study and hold junior status or above at Lake Forest College by participation. Transfer students must have completed at least one semester on campus and hold junior status or above by participation.
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s start date.
  • Able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam periods.
Students must reside at The Flats, a residential building located in the South Loop in the heart of the Wabash Arts Corridor.

Through the academic program and co-curricular activities, students learn about various distinctive aspects of Chicago, including the city’s history, economy, politics, architecture, art and relationship to the natural environment.

Students acquire a broader perspective and learn to relate their Chicago-based semester to their overall Lake Forest education.


Lake Forest College In The Loop offers a wide-ranging, flexible, yet focused academic program featuring internships, courses taught by Lake Forest faculty, and courses from our Loop Partner Institutions: Roosevelt University (RU), Columbia College Chicago (CCC), the School of the Art Institute (SAIC).

The academic program is a full-semester, four-credit curriculum. While participating in the In The Loop program, students complete an academic internship of up to two credits, with a two-credit internship totaling 300 hours over the course of the semester. Given the experiential/immersive nature of the program, an Academic Internship is a key component of the In The Loop program.

Students also complete up to two additional academic credits, chosen from:

1. ITL option: Courses offered by the Lake Forest College In The Loop program (ITL) and taught by our faculty at our Chicago Residential space.

The In The Loop program always offers LOOP 202: Professional Development in the 21st Century (1 credit).

2. Lake Forest Campus option: Courses offered at the College's main campus. When choosing this option, students must work with the Director of the In The Loop program and their Academic Advisor(s) to help ensure adeqaute time to complete the hours required for their internship in the city.

3. Partner Institution option: Courses offered at our Loop partner institutions: Columbia College Chicago, Roosevelt University, the School of the Art Institute.

Students may enroll in up to two Partner Institution courses provided those courses are not offered as part of the Lake Forest College curriculum. Self-Designed majors, for example, may use the In The Loop program as an opportunity to complete courses required for their major that are not offered at Lake Forest. Courses must support your academic programs and be approved by your Academic Advisor(s).  

Incoming ISEP students must take ITL courses and/or courses taught on Lake Forest College’s main campus.


All students are required to complete an Academic (credit-bearing) Internship as part of the In The Loop program.

Students work with their assigned Career Advancement Center Internship Specialist with assistance from Loop staff. Past internships include:

Business and Finance Pathway:
  • Chicago Board of Trade
  • World Bicycle Relief
  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • Satori Energy
  • Pro Sports Experience
Creative Arts Pathway:
  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • The Newberry Library
  • The Goodman Theatre
  • Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Leslie Hindman Auctioneers
Law and Public Service Pathway:
  • Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Domestic Violence Legal Clinic
  • NFL, Pro Sports Experience
  • WorldChicago
  • John Marshall Veteran’s Clinic
Science and Health Care Pathway:
  • The Shedd Aquarium
  • The Field Museum
  • Designs for Dignity
  • Chicago Area Runners Association
  • Chicago Smell and Taste Treatment & Research Foundation
Build Your Own Pathway:
  • National Kidney Foundation
  • 826Chi
  • Splash Magazine
  • University of Chicago Press
  • Lyric Opera of Chicago
Housing and Meals
Financial Information

For all programs, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee. The program fee for the In The Loop program includes housing, a U-Pass for CTA travel, and a meal stipend.

Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 semesters: 

Budget Item Amount
Lake Forest College Tuition $27,750
Program Fee $7,000
Program Deposit (non-refundable) $500
Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College $35,250

Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of May 2024.

Every student receives a meal stipend as part of the program. The 2024-25 meal stipend amounts to $1,520 and will be distributed in eight installments over the course of the semester. Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate.

Loop students must live at The Flats, and the program cannot accommodate commuter students. Therefore, while the program costs are structured to be comparable to those for on-campus students, on-campus commuters will pay additional costs for Loop room and board.

Do check your student account on my.lakeforest for your aid awards, as most of this will go with you. If you want to compare your program to the cost of being on campus, those numbers can be found here.

Program Type
Lake Forest College Sponsored Program

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Languages of Instruction
English (multiple other languages may be offered for study)

Academic Disciplines