Princeton offers all members of its community a wide range of opportunities for volunteerism, outreach and work in public service. In addition to the programs listed below, individual graduate and undergraduate organizations, residential colleges, eating clubs, academic departments and alumni classes promote service through various activities.
The John H. Pace, Jr. ’39 Center for Civic Engagement makes service and civic engagement part of the Princeton student experience. Through sustained volunteering, community immersion, student advocacy and activism, summer internships, and post-graduate fellowships, the Pace Center helps students learn to serve well and have a positive impact in the community.
First-year students can start a path to civic engagement with the Community Action and Service Focus programs. During Orientation, Community Action introduces students to the University and the community through service. Service Focus prepares first-year students for service-related internships and helps them explore service courses, engage with faculty, and connect with peers throughout the sophomore year.
From exploring a pressing social issue on a Breakout Princeton fall or spring break trip, to joining a service project with the Student Volunteers Council (SVC) and Community House, or serving with a student advocacy organization or the Pace Council for Civic Values (PCCV), the Pace Center’s student-driven initiatives offer many ways to get involved and make a difference.
Over the summer, students can continue to learn and engage through internships with programs like the John C. Bogle ’51 Fellows in Civic Service, Projects for Peace, and the Guggenheim Internships in Criminal Justice. Graduating seniors can extend service with a postgraduate fellowship with the High Meadows Environmental Fellowship program.
Other civic-engagement programs on campus include:
Office of Community and Regional Affairs. Members of the Community and Regional Affairs staff serve as liaisons between the University and surrounding communities on a wide variety of local and regional issues. Community and Regional Affairs staff members participate in the creation of special events such as Communiversity, Community and Staff Day, parades, workshops, symposiums and other programs enjoyed by tens of thousands of campus and community members each year. The office partners with campus and community organizations to provide service opportunities and initiatives. It also facilitates access to the Resource Recovery Program by charitable nonprofit organizations so they can acquire at no charge furniture and equipment no longer used by the University.
Novogratz Bridge Year Program. Launched in 2009, Bridge Year is a tuition-free program that allows incoming undergraduate students to begin their Princeton experience engaged in nine months of community service work in another country. While abroad, Bridge Year participants volunteer with environmental groups, health organizations, schools, art cooperatives and other institutions serving the needs of local communities. Participants also study the local language, live with local host families and engage in cultural enrichment activities. Bridge Year placements are offered in Bolivia, China, India, Indonesia and Senegal.
Program for Community-Engaged Scholarship (ProCES). ProCES connects students’ academic work with their interests in and concerns for our local, regional, national, and international communities. Students may participate in community-engaged learning in courses or, in a more in-depth manner, as part of program-funded junior or senior independent work. The program used to be known as the Community-Based Learning Initiative (CBLI).
International Internship Program. Offering hundreds of internship opportunities in over 50 countries, the International Internship Program places students in internships arranged especially for Princeton undergraduates at nongovernmental organizations, private companies and public-interest companies.
Princeton AlumniCorps. This independent, alumni-led nonprofit organization inspires and builds civic leadership among Princetonians of all ages by engaging them in public-interest initiatives. AlumniCorps programs include the flagship Princeton Project 55 Fellowship Program for recent graduates, Emerging Leaders for aspiring nonprofit leaders, and the ARC Innovators program for alumni or class projects interested in short-term, skills-based pro bono work.
Princeton in Service Programs. Three independent nonprofits affiliated with the University—Princeton in Asia, Princeton in Africa and Princeton in Latin America—place Princeton students and/or recent graduates in service internships and fellowships.
Princeton Internships in Civic Service (PICS). PICS is an alumni-founded organization whose high-quality internships are sourced and supported by Princeton alumni, classes and regional associations, with the student interface administered by the Pace Center.
Princeton University Preparatory Program (PUPP). PUPP is a rigorous academic- and cultural-enrichment program that supports high-achieving, low-income high school students from local districts. The multiyear, tuition-free program prepares participants for admission to and ongoing success at selective colleges and universities.