Be a leader. Put your passion for social justice to work inside and outside the classroom.

Community Semester is a full-time, intensive academic and service-learning program that provides students with an opportunity to put their passion for social justice to work. Students learn first-hand how community-based organizations fight for environmental justice, housing rights, immigrant rights, tenants’ rights, economic justice, youth engagement, neighborhood resilience, civic justice, and community empowerment by contributing to the movement themselves. Students develop leadership skills and analyze their experience in the field by studying community organizing, community development, government, and non-profit leadership. The Community Semester program subsidies your tuition and fees up to $7,000. Any amount in excess of tuition costs are issued to interns for living and other personal expenses.

Upon completing the program, undergraduate students earn 16 credits and are awarded a Certificate in Community Leadership. Graduate students earn 12 credits and are awarded an Advanced Certificate in Community Leadership. These credits can be applied toward the BA in Urban and Community Studies and the MA in Urban Studies program.

Experiential Learning Timeline

**Applications for Fall 2022

Applications for Fall 2022 are due by July 1, 2022

Community Semester NYC accepts applicants for Fall and Spring semester only.  During the semester, students complete a fifteen week service learning experience along with the four courses of the Community Leadership Certificate or Advanced Certificate, depending on academic level.


Community Semester is open to undergraduates, recent college graduates, and graduate students.

  • To qualify for admission, undergraduate applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. They must have completed 24 college credits before the start of the Community Semester NYC. Graduate applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and a GPA of 3.0 or higher in a post-baccalaureate program.
  • Applicants must complete the Supplemental Application [Community Semester]. Once complete, please upload as an attachment to the Undergraduate/Graduate application.
  • Community Semester applicants enrolled at other CUNY campuses should request an e-permit from their home school prior to submitting this application. Please contact your academic department or advisor to be sure you understand the ePermit guidelines, procedures, and deadlines. Colleges need ample time to review and approve ePermit requests. The applicant’s ePermit for each of the four courses must be submitted to SLU at least 10-days prior to the semester’s first official day.

If you have questions about whether the program is a good fit for you, contact the Program Coordinator at

Nominating a student for Community Semester

If you are a CUNY professor, academic advisor, or program coordinator, advocate, or community group partner you may nominate a student who would be an ideal Community Semester program candidate. Please download and complete the Community Semester Recommendation Form

Community Semester F.A.Q.s