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ACTIVATE: Summer Internship Program

Lake Forest College’s ACTIVATE: Summer Internship Program is an all-access Chicago summer internship program that puts you in the career driver’s seat. You’ll reside in downtown Chicago at the College’s Chicago Loop campus, receive cutting-edge career preparation and mentorship, and benefit from an internship at a Chicago internship location.


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 minimum GPA of 2.8 for the academic program. Certain internships may require higher GPAs or specific coursework/experience.
  • Completed at least two semesters of study and hold junior status or above at Lake Forest College before 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 program.

ACTIVATE is a 8 - 10 week program, depending on the internship.

The ACTIVATE: Summer Internship Program is a selective enrollment program, where admitted students participate in professional development opportunities before and during the program, receive personalized guidance to secure an internship, and earn up to two academic credits.

ACTIVATE is open to students from all majors who are interested in clarifying personal and professional goals, gaining career-building experiences, and getting to know fellow interns, as well as gaining access to alumni and friends of the College who are leaders in their chosen fields. Unlike doing an internship on your own, you will be surrounded by people with similar experiences, as well as program staff who are able to help you maximize the value of your summer.


All students are required to complete an academic internship as part of the ACTIVATE: Summer Internship Program. While participating in the ACTIVATE: Summer Internship Program, you will complete an internship of up to two credits, totaling 300 hours over the course of the summer.

Admitted students will receive hands-on guidance from the Career Advancement Center to secure a Chicago internship. Both the Career Advancement Center and ACTIVATE staff will assist you in honing your career goals, while collaborating closely with you on the internship search and selection process to ensure you have the training and skills to make a great impression on your summer employer.

Once you have your internship in hand, you will continue to receive mentoring and professional development throughout the summer.

You may also elect to complete 1, 1.25, 1.5, or 1.75 credits upon approval of the Career Advancement Center and ACTIVATE staff.

Housing, Meals, and Transportation

Program Cost

The fee for the ACTIVATE: Summer Internship Program includes tuition, orientation, housing, internship supervision, professional development activities, and a U-Pass for unlimited CTA travel. ACTIVATE includes two credits of internship for 300 hours over the course of the summer.

Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year and the cost for the 2021 ACTIVATE program will be determined and published shortly. Financial Aid may be available for those students who currently receive need-based aid.   

In the meantime, questions regarding the ACTIVATE program, including program cost, should be directed to Director of the Center for Chicago Programs, Jennie Larsen (

  • Program Type
    Lake Forest College Sponsored Program
  • Locations
    Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Languages of Instruction
    English (multiple other languages may be offered for study)
  • Academic Disciplines