Civic Engagement Certificate

Develop an intellectual framework for effective civic engagement.


Coordinated in conjunction with Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy (SESP), the Civic Engagement Certificate Program gives students a deeper understanding of the forces that affect communities and a more thorough grasp of how to achieve positive change. The two-year, six-credit program is open to all Northwestern freshmen, sophomores and juniors.

Participants earn credit for their community engagement work and gain the skills to understand and improve communities socially and economically. The program incorporates both community engagement and classroom learning — including six credits of coursework, group engagement experiences and a capstone project created in collaboration with a local community organization.

Philosophy and Goals

The Civic Engagement Certificate Program provides Northwestern students with an invaluable opportunity to connect their hearts and minds. Through coursework, community engagement and work on the capstone project, students and faculty form a community of people who are passionate about the same issues, providing numerous opportunities for learning and growth that would not exist outside the program.

This unique program is based on the following understandings:

  • Civic engagement provides important learning experiences.
  • Classes, as well as hands-on experiences, provide useful contexts for learning about communities.
  • Students can use the knowledge and skills gained through a formal curriculum and faculty guidance to improve their communities.

The Civic Engagement Certificate Program is designed to allow a student to build over two years the tools for a lifetime of involvement with communities. That involvement can and should take many forms, including service and research. Students will combine involvement in the certificate program with a course of study in a variety of disciplines.

Get Involved

The Civic Engagement Certificate Program is open to undergraduate students from any Northwestern school. Learn more about the program and how to apply. Questions? Contact Funmi Ojikutu.