FAQs

What is a living and learning program?

A living and learning program houses undergraduate students, where students take classes together, participate in extracurricular activities, and revolve around tenets of that particular program.  Living and learning programs bring together individuals that share a common interest in a broader topic to engage in academic and social activities creating a community centered on that topic.

What is CIVICUS?

CIVICUS is an academic citation program centered around 5 themes of civil society: citizenship, leadership, community-service learning, community building in a diverse society, and scholarship.  CIVICUS associates are aware and engaged in the civil society around them by participating in the community service and various organizations.  Through these tenets, a strong community prevails amongst the 130 associates living together in Somerset Hall.  Associates are often leaders of student groups, involved in community service, and involved in numerous campus organizations.

Do you have to live in Somerset Hall?

Living in Somerset is required for first-year students.  All CIVICUS courses except SOCY105 are taught in the classroom on the ground floor of Somerset Hall.

How many students are in CIVICUS?

130 CIVICUS associates live and learn in Somerset Hall, creating a diverse community of students.<

What is the average class size for CIVICUS courses?

CIVICUS courses range from between 25-30 students per class.  This enables maximum participation and discussion, fundamental in each CIVICUS course.

What majors are required to be in CIVICUS?

No one major is required for CIVICUS, in fact nearly every college at the University of Maryland is represented in the CIVICUS program.  Majors of CIVICUS associates range from Engineering to Government & Politics to French Language & Literature.

What other activities are CIVICUS students involved in?

CIVICUS students are some of the most involved on campus, often taking leadership positions in their respective organizations.  CIVICUS students are involved in club sports, writing for The Diamondback and other publications, Student Government Association, Greek life, sketch comedy groups, and many more.

Why was I invited to the CIVICUS Program?

You were invited because your admissions essays, letters of recommendation, and activities in high school and your community reflect your positive leadership, involvement, and motivation. CIVICUS looks to invite students who will continue to strengthen and broaden their leadership skills within the campus and local communities.

Why should I accept this invitation to CIVICUS?

CIVICUS is a great way to make our large university a little smaller. You will be surrounding yourself with a diverse group of individuals whom you will become very close to during your years in Somerset Hall. These individuals, like you, are highly involved in a variety of activities including intramural sports, service organizations, student government, Greek life, and major and pre-professional organizations. This will give you the opportunity to get involved on campus in ways that would not otherwise be available to you. CIVICUS is also just a lot of fun. You will meet a lot of great people and form friendships that will last a lifetime.

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

The CIVICUS program only requires 14 credits over your first two years. Therefore it does not affect a student's ability to graduate in four years or less, and many students in the program double major.

What is it like living in Somerset Hall?

Somerset Hall is more like a home than a residence hall, and you will get to know everyone who lives there. It's great to live in a place where people know each other and say hello to you when you pass them in the hallway. Most CIVICUS classes are also held in Somerset, and many CIVICUS associates study together in the residence hall. In addition to always having someone to go to dinner or a watch a movie with, CIVICUS students also support the Terps together at athletic events. Go Terps!

How will living in Somerset Hall affect my interactions with other freshmen?

Living in Somerset offers you many opportunities to meet other people. Somerset is located on North Hill, which is surrounded by other residence halls that mainly house freshmen and sophomores. CIVICUS Associates are among the most involved in the University community, so you will have lots of chances to meet people outside of the CIVICUS community in organizations, at the dining hall, in classes, and at the Campus Recreation Center (CRC). You will probably find that your friends will want to come to Somerset to visit you.

Who decides what we do in CIVICUS?

The CIVICUS faculty and staff is committed to making CIVICUS work for its students and highly values student recommendations and initiatives. While there are some programs and service events planned by the faculty and staff, students' input is essential. Additionally, students are encouraged to follow their own interests when pursuing community service, internships, and social activities, and the CIVICUS faculty and staff works to help students find opportunities that fit each student's individual interests.