arch light campus tunnel

For Students

Our passionate, dedicated students reach beyond our campus to take part in the life of our city and use their talents to support our neighboring communities.

Each year, thousands of our students work and volunteer in local schools and community organizations in Chicago. On campus and off, our students are empowered to challenge conventional thinking as they confront some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

Working alongside neighborhood partners, our students engage with the broader community, build lasting relationships, and expand their horizons as they bring their energy, enthusiasm, and fresh ideas to classrooms, community centers, and civic institutions across the city.

By becoming active participants in civic life, students make a valuable and lasting contribution to Chicago during their college years. Through these activities, they also hone their skills, broaden their worldviews, and develop a commitment to civic engagement that will shape and enrich the rest of their lives.

Civic Advising

University Community Service Center staff are available to meet with students for one-on-one or small group advising on a variety of topics related to social change and community engagement. Some topics include how to start a program with a community partner, RSO development or support, postgraduate service opportunities, community-engaged research opportunities, devising effective methods for program assessment and evaluation, job skills and professionalism in the nonprofit sector, and many others.

To identify interesting service and civic engagement experiences, individuals may meet with the Civic Match team, a peer-to-peer conversational resource available to all undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Chicago. The team will meet with you to learn about your interests and help you create a path into the kind of civic engagement work that is most appealing to you. Email To discuss partnership development and other kinds of organizational support for RSOs and other student-led organizations, individuals may connect with the Student Organizations team. Email

NSP student at work


Find paid and volunteer opportunities with Office of Civic Engagement programs: Civic Knowledge Project, Collegiate Scholars Program, Community Programs Accelerator, Neighborhood Schools Program, Office of Special Programs-College Prep, and University Community Service Center.

Akanksha Shah student
Akanksha Shah
Maroon Tutor Match

“Maroon Tutor Match helped me learn to work with people — not just students and families, but tutors as well — who were very different from me and had different priorities and struggles. Getting a better understanding of where people are coming from is invaluable.” -Akanksha Shah '17

claire sampson student
Claire Sampson
Neighborhood Schools Program

“As an NSP volunteer, I felt that I was in classrooms to build relationships with students and teachers and schools. It’s all about those 35 kids and what they need, whether that means helping a teacher prep curriculum work, grading papers, or working with a student one-on-one.” -Claire Sampson '19

meera ice skating
Meera Dhodapkar

"Every time you get on the ice, trip on your toe pick, and take a nosedive, that’s a learning experience. The ability to take a hit but also learn from it is one of the most important things I’ve learned from the sport — and it’s a skill I want to pass on to kids through ChicaGO!” -Meera Dhodapkar '19

nora sullivan student
Nora Sullivan

“Being in a different part of the city and interacting with people from different backgrounds is a big part of NSP. Ms. Nixon taught me that you have to be ready to reflect, be vulnerable, be genuine, and have hard conversations sometimes.” Nora Sullivan '19

Vivek Ramakrishnan student
Vivek Ramakrishnan

"I think there is a future where data can be used to genuinely connect people with services who need it the most, and who are currently disconnected from support." -Vivek Ramakrishnan '20

University of Chicago Campus
Yevanit Reschechtko, AB'15, Neighborhood Schools Program

“I felt that the Neighborhood Schools Program was an important stepping stone for me to become more informed about educational policies and gaps that children face in these neighborhoods.”

Jonah Benning-Shorb, SB’20, Chicago Bound

“Chicago Bound has really inspired me and taught me and given me the tools to go forward to not only work on political campaigns, but work on social justice initiatives in the community."

Will Davis, AB'17, Summer Links

"One of the reasons I wanted to join Summer Links was to understand what I had been learning in my classes in a new way, from new perspectives, from community perspectives."

Claire Sampson, AB'19, Neighborhood Schools Program

“As a Neighborhood Schools Program volunteer, I felt that I was in classrooms to build relationships with students and teachers and schools. It’s all about those 35 kids and what they need, whether that means helping a teacher prep curriculum work, grading papers, or working with a student one-on-one.”

Student Civic Engagement Center

Home to the University’s two largest student civic engagement programs – the Neighborhood Schools Program (NSP) and University Community Service Center (UCSC) -- the Student Civic Engagement Center is a central hub for student civic engagement activities on campus. 

Edelstone Center
6030 S. Ellis Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637

Student Civic Engagement Center, Edelstone Center