FAQs

What is CIVICUS?

CIVICUS is a two-year, academic citation, Living and Learning program that is housed in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.  CIVICUS empowers students to become active and engaged citizens through a focus on citizenship, leadership, community-service learning, community building in a diverse society, and scholarship.  CIVICUS Associates are some of the most involved students at UMD, serving the community, acting as leaders in student groups, and participating in numerous campus organizations.

What is a Living and Learning program?

A Living and Learning program houses undergraduate students who live together and attend classes and co-curricular events that support the program's mission.  Living and learning programs focus on student engagement and success by bringing together individuals who share common interests to create a community.

Why was I invited to the CIVICUS Program?

You were invited because your admissions essays, letters of recommendation, and activities in high school and in your community reflect your commitment and interest in leadership, advocacy, and community service. 

How many students are in CIVICUS?

Approximately 100  CIVICUS Associates live and learn in Somerset Hall.

Do CIVICUS students represent a wide variety of majors?

Yes!  Majors of CIVICUS Associates range from Engineering to Computer Science, to Art to Nursing to Government and Politics to Architecture to Business to Education.  In fact, nearly every college at the University of Maryland is represented.  

In what types of activities are CIVICUS students involved?

CIVICUS Associates are some of the most involved on campus, often taking leadership positions in their organizations.  CIVICUS students can be found serving in the Student Government Association, writing for The Diamondback, as well as participating in multicultural organizations, pre-professional programs, service and advocacy associations, Greek life, and club sports.

Do CIVICUS Associates have to live in Somerset Hall?

Living in Somerset is required for all first-year Associates.  Second year Associates do not have to live in Somerset Hall, but many chose to because of the strong community they form.

What is it like living in Somerset Hall?

Somerset Hall is more like a home than a residence hall. It's great to live in a place where people know each other and say "hello" when you pass them in the hallway. Most CIVICUS classes are also held in Somerset Hall, and many CIVICUS Associates study and complete group work together in the residence hall. You always have someone to go with to dinner, watch a movie, go to the Eppley Recreation Center, and support the Terps together at athletic events. 

How will living in Somerset Hall affect my interactions with other first-year students?

Somerset Hall is located on North Hill, which is surrounded by other residence halls that mainly house first-year students and sophomores. CIVICUS Associates are among the most involved at UMD, so you will have lots of chances to meet people outside of the CIVICUS community in organizations, at the dining hall, and in classes.

What is the average class size for CIVICUS courses?

CIVICUS courses range from between 20-25 students per class.  This enables maximum participation, discussion, and student engagement.

How will the CIVICUS course load affect the completion of my degree?

The CIVICUS program only requires fourteen credits over your first two years. It does not affect a student's ability to graduate in four years or fewer. Many students in the program double major and complete minor programs.

Who decides what we do in CIVICUS?

The CIVICUS faculty and staff are committed to making CIVICUS a meaningful place for its students and value student recommendations and initiatives.  The staff works with the CIVICUS Student Advisory Board to support events of interest to students. Additionally, students are encouraged to follow their own interests when pursuing community service, internships, and social activities, and the CIVICUS faculty and staff help students find opportunities that fit their individual interests.

What types of service projects do students complete?

CIVICUS provides a wide range of opportunities for service --from working with children and the elderly to serving the hungry to helping with environmental causes to engaging with communities in College Park and UMD.  Take a look at a partial list of our service partners.  For many of the projects, CIVICUS provides organizational support and transportation.

What is a CIVICUS citation?

The CIVICUS citation is an academic citation on the student's transcript at graduation.  The citation gives students an advantage when applying for jobs and graduate schools, as it demonstrates the student's commitment to service, leadership, and scholarship.  We celebrate our graduations each year with a citation ceremony and reception.

How do I get a CIVICUS citation?

To receive a CIVICUS citation, students complete fourteen hours of academic coursework, including an internship.  Students also complete service hours.  For more information see the CIVICUS academic and service citation requirement pages.

Why should I accept this invitation to CIVICUS?

CIVICUS is a great way to make our large university smaller. You will surround yourself with a diverse community of individuals who, like you, are highly involved and passionate about making a positive change. CIVICUS is also a lot of fun.  There are lots of co-curricular activities - BBQs, trivia nights, DC trips, grilled cheese study breaks. You will meet great people and form friendships that will last a lifetime.