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 civic engagement part of the Princeton student experience. From civic action break trips and social entrepreneurship, to public service internships and direct volunteerism, students are learning how to do service well and make a positive impact in the community.
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.
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 organization or the Pace Council for Civic Values (PCCV), the Pace Center’s student-led, 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 Princeton Internships in Civic Service (PICS) and the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Internships in Criminal Justice. Graduating seniors can extend service with a post-graduate 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 freshman 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.
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 office 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 spanning four continents.
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 within selective colleges and universities.