NU Public Interest Program

Building a Network of Engaged Citizens to Inspire Change

Application Process

Candidates for the NUPIP Fellowship Program must submit:

  • The completed NUPIP Application, including two short answer questions
  • A sample cover letter – select an NUPIP Host Organization from our list of past partners and write a cover letter expressing your interest in an NUPIP placement with the organization
  • A current resume that reflects relevant academic achievements, work and volunteer experience, leadership and extracurricular activities, and professional skills
  • A current academic transcript (official or unofficial) from Northwestern University and any other institution where the applicant was awarded undergraduate credit
  • One recommendation from a professional who can attest to the applicant’s work experience and skills, such as a job or internship supervisor, club or organization advisor, etc. – preview the recommendation form


Evaluation Process Overview

The NUPIP Fellowship Program has a three-step evaluation process to determine the NUPIP Fellow class.

  1. After submitting applications, transcripts, and one letter of recommendation, NUPIP Finalists are chosen by a selection committee based on the strength of the application. The selection committee is made up of Northwestern faculty, staff, and former NUPIP Fellows.
  2. NUPIP Finalists go through a one-on-one interview process with former NUPIP Fellows. This gives candidates the opportunity to ask questions about the program, and enables the NUPIP placement coordinator to make better judgements when matching candidates with potential host organizations.
  3. NUPIP Finalists become NUPIP Fellows when a host organization with whom a finalist interviews extends a job offer, and the finalist accepts the position.

The third round of evaluation is mutually selective: the interview enables the organization to see if the NUPIP Finalist will be a good fit for the organization, and the NUPIP Finalist can decide if that organization matches their needs. The NUPIP selection committee and placement coordinator have no involvement at this evaluation stage, except to act in a supportive role if the applicant has questions or concerns about the process.


  • Applicants are not necessarily guaranteed a position at an organization if they are selected as an NUPIP Finalist.
  • If a finalist elects not to take a position offer that is extended, s/he will likely not be given additional placement sites with whom to interview.

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