Service & Outreach
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 Pace Center for Civic Engagement helps make civic engagement an integral part of the Princeton experience by connecting students with experiential service opportunities to sustain lasting and meaningful change in the community and around the world. From civic action break trips and social entrepreneurship, to public service internships and direct volunteerism, students are learning beyond the classroom, being exposed to new perspectives, stretching their own views and leading the way to make a positive impact.
The Pace Center’s programs are centered on four core values: engaged discovery, impactful programs, community focus and student leadership. Freshmen can start a path to civic engagement at Princeton during Orientation with the Pace Center’s Community Action program, which introduces students to Princeton University and the community with an immersive week of service.
But it doesn’t end there. From tackling a pressing social issue on a Breakout Princeton fall or spring break trip, to joining an ongoing service project with the Student Volunteer Council (SVC) and Community House, or working with a student advocacy group through the Pace Council for Civic Values (PCCV), the Pace Center’s student-led, student-driven initiatives offer a wide array of ways to get involved and make a difference.
Over the summer, students can continue to learn and engage through an internship. The alumni-driven Princeton Internships in Civic Service (PICS) program, in partnership with the Pace Center, connects students to careers and Princeton alums in the nonprofit and public service sector. The Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Internships in Criminal Justice and the Interfaith Summer Internship Program offer additional opportunities to learn more about a variety of social issues. Graduating seniors can extend service with a post-graduate fellowship, while graduate students can teach with the Prison Teaching Initiative.
Other civic-engagement programs on campus include:
Bridge Year. Launched in 2009, Bridge Year is a nine-month, tuition-free program that allows incoming students the opportunity to defer their enrollment for a year to engage in community service work in another country. While abroad, Bridge Year participants volunteer in nongovernmental organizations, schools, clinics and other institutions serving the needs of local communities. Participants also study the local language, live with local host families and engage in a variety of cultural enrichment activities. Bridge Year placements are currently offered in Brazil, China, India, Peru and Senegal.
Community and Regional Affairs, Office of. Members of the Community and Regional Affairs staff serve as liaisons between the University and the communities in which it resides 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. The Surplus Equipment Program, which helps charitable nonprofit organizations acquire furniture and equipment no longer used by the University, is coordinated by Community and Regional Affairs.
Community-Based Learning Initiative (CBLI). The Community-Based Learning Initiative (CBLI) connects students’ academic work with their interest in and concern for the communities around the University. Working with local nonprofits, students develop research projects, collect and analyze data, and share their results and conclusions, not just with their professors, but also with organizations and agencies that can make use of the information.
International Internship Program. Offering high quality, eight-week service internships arranged especially for Princeton undergraduates, the International Internship Program carefully designs placements in which the work of interns leads to tangible impacts for local communities in resource-poor contexts across the world.
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 spanning four continents.
Princeton Internships in Civic Service (PICS). Founded and supported by alumni with the student interface administered by the Pace Center, Princeton Internships in Civic Service places students mentored by Princeton alumni in summer internships in nonprofit organizations where they work in issue areas ranging from public policy, community development, and health and social services to education, sustainability and the arts. Established by the Class of 1969 Community Service Fund, PICS also involves other alumni classes and regional associations and alumni from other classes.
Princeton University Class of 1969 Community Service Fund. The fund established and administers, in partnership with the Pace Center, the Princeton Internships in Civic Service program. The fund also provides both financial and logistical support for service projects initiated by students and alumni, which have included Princeton in Africa, Princeton in Latin America, the Princeton student chapter of Engineers Without Borders and the Princeton University Summer Journalism Program.
Princeton University Preparatory Program (PUPP). Founded in 2001 by the Princeton University Program in Teacher Preparation, the Princeton University Preparatory Program 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 within selective colleges and universities.
Program in Teacher Preparation. For nearly 50 years, this nationally accredited program has provided an opportunity for Princeton University undergraduates, graduate students and alumni to obtain a New Jersey teaching license through a combination of academic courses and field-based learning experiences. Teacher Prep also manages the High School Program at Princeton University that allows exceptional high school students who have completed their secondary coursework and met the admission criteria to enroll in University courses at no cost. In addition, the program offers enriching professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators in area schools through the Teaches as Scholars and Administrators as Scholars seminars.