NU Public Interest Program

Building a Network of Engaged Citizens to Inspire Change

Application Process

When applying to the NUPIP Fellowship Program, applicants must submit:

  • A sample cover letter for a PIP organization – select an organization from this list and write a cover letter expressing your interest in being a PIP fellow at that organization. This will not be sent to the organization, but will be used in evaluating your fellowship application, and will serve as a template for you in writing cover letters to organizations you are matched with later in the placement process.
  • Your résumé that includes academic achievements, job history, volunteer experience, extracurricular activities, honors & awards
  • Your current academic transcript (official or unofficial) from Northwestern University and any other institution where applicant received undergraduate credit (to be submitted electronically, dropped off or mailed to our office at 1813 Hinman Ave., Evanston, IL 60208)
  • One letter of recommendation from a professional who can attest to the work experience of the applicant, such as professors, academic advisors, former employers, etc. Recommendations should be submitted through our website.
  • The completed NUPIP Fellowship Application

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.

Questions about the NUPIP program or the application process should be directed to

The Fellowship application is available here!