Below are answers to common questions about the City Scholars program. If you have a question you do not see answered below, send us an email.

COVID-19 Related FAQs

  • Will the Spring 2023 program be cancelled?
    • We have not cancelled any semesters during the entire pandemic and have no intention to do so. Please know that the University is making all decisions based on safety first, and we are certainly committed to that same mindset.
  • Will internships be remote during Spring 2023?
    • No, we expect in-person internships for Spring 2023. Each individual company will make their own decision about the number of days students are required in the office, between 1-3 days per week. 
  • Can I live in Urbana while I participate in the Spring 2023 City Scholars session?
    • No, this is an in-person program in Chicago. Classes, work and activities will be in person. Additionally, we feel that it would be a good work environment for you to be separated from your normal routine in Urbana-Champaign. Adding 20 hours per week of serious remote internship work to your normal living situation and social schedule—on top of doing most other things virtually and likely having less routine and structure—is not recommended.
    • At this time, Chicago is has reopened  businesses, restaurants and other establishments. As long as a resurgence of the virus does not occur, more of the city’s amenities and attractions are available. 
    • Some of our smaller courses may offer optional in-person meetings. This will allow you to meet with your instructor and classmates at our facility, while maintaining proper distancing. 
  • Where should I live?
    • UIC Housing has spaces set aside for City Scholars in their SSR building. In Spring 2020, students who wished to leave UIC housing early due to COVID-19  were able to do so and were appropriately refunded. This is highly unlikely to happen in private housing in the city. UIC Housing is very accommodating to City Scholars students and provides a reliable and safe housing option. We strongly recommend this option.
    • If you are from the Chicagoland area and/or have family in the area, you may live with them.
  • What parts of this plan might change in the future?
    • As we have learned, the spread of the pandemic and the subsequent consequences of that spread are very hard to predict. We will keep all interested students updated via this website and our email distribution list.

Application Process

  • What do I need to apply?
    • 3.2 GPA recommended
    • Junior standing
    • Required courses:
      • CS and CS+X students should have completed CS233 or CS340 by the time they participate in the program. Completion of CS341 is highly recommended.
      • ECE students: there are no required courses.
    • An updated resume
    • Statement of Interest that explains why you are interested in the Engineering City Scholars program. Limit your submission to approximately 200 words.
  • What majors can apply?
    • Currently, City Scholars is open to students in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, CS+X and Electrical Engineering.
  • When is the application due?
    • The application deadline for Spring 2023 is September 21, 2022.
  • Where do I apply?
    • Applications are submitted online.
  • What are the next steps?
    • All applications are reviewed by a faculty committee. After review, selected students are notified if they have been advanced to the next step in the process, which is attending the Networking Event on campus. Following the event, students will interview with companies and submit their preferences. Submitting internship preferences commits you to accepting any offer you receive.
  • How are matches made?
    • To better understand the matching process, we suggest watching this video that describes a process like the one we use.
  • When will I know for sure if I have been matched?
    • Matches for the Spring 2023 cohort will be announced by November 17, 2022.
  • Are all students who submit internship preferences matched with a company? 
    • A match is not guaranteed. Students are encouraged to rank as many companies as possible in order to maximize their chance of matching.


  • What classes are being offered?
  • How are the classes delivered?
    • There are three ways City Scholars courses are delivered:
      • fully-online classes
      • classes are taught Urbana-Champaign’s campus, lectures are recorded for City Scholars to view and faculty provide special discussion sections for City Scholars
      • in-person at Discovery Partners Institute in Chicago, specifically for City Scholars
  • Are my engineering classes taught by UIC?
    • No. All classes are University of Illinois courses and are taught by Urbana-Champaign faculty.
  • Where are the classes located?
    • If the course is delivered in person, classes will be held at Discovery Partners Institute, 200 S. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606.
  • When will I know what classes will be offered online?
    • The course schedule will be posted around the same time as the regular campus schedule is posted.
  • Can I take classes at UIC?
  • Do I become a UIC student for the semester?
    • No, you remain a student at Urbana-Champaign but have access to UIC student facilities (i.e. recreation center, health center, libraries).
  • Do I pay tuition during my semester as a City Scholar?
    • Yes, you pay tuition just as you would if you were on campus.


  • What companies are participating?
  • What will my work schedule be like?
    • You will arrange your work schedule with your employer, based on your course schedule and City Scholars activities.
  • How much will I be paid?
    • All City Scholars are paid the same rate of $25-45 per hour.
  • Where will my work location be?
    • Most City Scholars will work inside “the Loop” or close-by. Some City Scholars may be offered jobs at suburban locations that are public transit accessible.

Living in Chicago

  • Where will I live?
    • City Scholars are encouraged to live in the block of UIC student housing that is specially reserved for City Scholars. More details are provided on the Housing page and upon acceptance into the program.
    • Participants may also secure housing off-campus or live with family/friends.
  • Can I use student services at UIC?
    • Yes. City Scholars may use UIC Libraries, Recreation Centers, Health Centers and other student services included in campus fees.
  • How will I get around Chicago? 
    • City Scholars are charged for a U-Pass, which provides unlimited rides on CTA trains and buses during the semester.
  • Can I bring a car to Chicago?

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