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 makes service and civic engagement part of the Princeton student experience and helps students learn to do service well and have a positive impact in the community.
Through sustained volunteering, community immersion, student advocacy and activism, summer internships and post-graduate fellowships, the Pace Center guides students as they learn to be well-prepared for service, to be intentional about the work they do, and to reflect thoughtfully about the service in which they engage.
First-year students 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 through an immersive week of service.
From exploring a pressing social issue on a Breakout Princeton fall or spring break trip, to joining an ongoing 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 Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Internships in Criminal Justice. Graduating seniors can extend service with a postgraduate fellowship.
Other civic-engagement programs on campus include:
Bridge Year. Launched in 2009, Bridge Year is a tuition-free program that allows incoming students the opportunity to delay the start of their first year to engage in nine months of 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 cultural enrichment activities. Bridge Year placements are offered in Bolivia, Brazil, China, India and Senegal.
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 coordinates the Surplus Equipment Program, which helps charitable nonprofit organizations acquire furniture and equipment no longer used by the University.
Community-Based Learning Initiative (CBLI). 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 more than 400 internship opportunities in about 60 countries, the International Internship Program places students in internships arranged especially for Princeton undergraduates at nongovernmental organizations, private companies and public interest companies around 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.
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). 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 at selective colleges and universities.