Students during a MLK Jr. vigil on campus.

Learn while you help others

92% of business leaders believe volunteering expands an employee's professional skill set.

Be a changemaker

What interests you? What is your passion? Are you ready to help implement change in corporate America, in the local economy, in rural and remote regions, in busy urban spaces, or on a much wider global scale? Being civically engaged requires a deeper understanding of the world around you and a passion for improving it. Volunteering your time and your skills can make an impact in peoples' lives and in your own. 

The civic engagement minor helps you align your interests with your passion in order to bring about change. Expect to deepen your knowledge in:

  • Ethical principles
  • Political systems
  • Social issues
  • Direct service
  • Advocacy
  • Public scholarship and policy
  • Activism

Take action

Through coursework and community involvement, you will achieve an increased awareness of and comfort with society's challenging problems. Through a course in applied civic engagement, you’ll gain direct experience working with a community organization, progressing from learning about social problems to actively working toward a resolution.

Cornell’s distinctive block plan provides you with the opportunity to experience aspects of civic engagement and service learning that are outside the reach of some undergraduates at colleges on a traditional semester plan. Experiential learning means you meet people working in the real world on issues you care about. You’ll get the chance to directly observe them in action. In other words, you aren’t anchored to just reading about policy and its impact, you will see it firsthand.

Get your dream job

Three in four employers say they want strong critical thinkers. Service learning opportunities at Cornell are constructed to hone your critical thinking skills. And 91% of the Class of 2015 reported that their service learning experiences contributed to their personal development in critical thinking. 

Perhaps this is why 82% of business leaders are more likely to choose a candidate with volunteer experience, because they know they are gaining highly valued employees who can think through challenges and know how to implement actions that work toward a solution.