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 analyze their experience in the field by studying community organizing, community development, government, and non-profit leadership. As part of the Community Semester Program, up to $7,000 in direct support is paid to student 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, if admitted to either program.
Students participate in Community Semester to:
- Develop a deeper understanding of social movements
- Gain experience working for a community-based organization
- Receive financial support toward educational expenses.
- Sharpen their analytic skills in order to be more effective in their studies or on the job
- Obtain professional experience that can help build a career path in social justice
- Develop leadership skills
- Begin building a lifelong professional network
- Earn credits that may apply towards a baccalaureate or graduate degree
At the beginning of the semester, students meet with mentors from several organizations to determine the best placement for them.
**Applications for Fall 2021
Applications for Fall 2021 are due by July 15, 2021
Community Semester NYC accepts applicants for Fall and Spring semester ONLY. Each semester consists of a one-week orientation, fifteen weeks of a service learning experience and classes, and a finals week.
Community Semester is open to undergraduates, recent college graduates, and graduate students.
- Community Semester NYC is a 15-week, full-time commitment. Program participants will not have time for additional classes and/or work a second job.
- 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 for 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.
- Qualified applicants will be contacted by the Program Coordinator for a phone interview.
If you have questions about whether the program is a good fit for you, contact the Program Coordinator at CommunitySemester@slu.cuny.edu.
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 CS Recommendation Form.