Housed in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, CIVICUS is an invitational citation program that empowers first- and second-year students to become active and engaged citizens through a focus on community service learning, political engagement, and leadership development. CIVICUS students seek to understand complex problems in their communities and the nation and act as leaders in the development and implementation of meaningful, sustainable solutions. CIVICUS students are some of the most involved students at the University of Maryland, serving the community, acting as leaders in student groups, and participating in campus organizations.
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.
You were invited because your admissions essay, letters of recommendation, and activities during high school reflect your strong leadership and your commitment to community service learning and civic engagement.
The CIVICUS Citation is an academic citation on a student's transcript at graduation. The citation gives students an advantage when applying for jobs and graduate schools, as it demonstrates the students' commitment to service, leadership, and scholarship. We celebrate students' completion with an annual citation ceremony and reception.
The CIVICUS cohort includes approximately 100 first- and second-year students.
Yes! CIVICUS students' majors include engineering, computer science, art, nursing, government and politics, architecture, business, education, biology, and many more. In fact, all thirteen schools and colleges at the University of Maryland have been represented among CIVICUS students.
The CIVICUS program only requires fourteen credits over your first two years at the University of Maryland. BSCV 301 fulfills three credits of the General Education: Diversity-Cultural Competence requirement, and BSCV 302 fulfills three credits of the Scholarship in Practice requirement. The coursework does not affect a student's ability to graduate on time. Many students in the program are double majors and complete minor programs.
The hallmark of CIVICUS is community service learning. CIVICUS provides a wide range of opportunities for service including tutoring and mentoring elementary students, hosting activities for seniors, preparing food for and serving the hungry, planting trees, restoring wildlands, canvassing for political candidates, registering voters, creating socially engaged art, and more. Our partial list of service partners includes examples of organizations with whom we collaborate. For many service projects, CIVICUS provides organizational support and transportation.
CIVICUS students are among 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, and participating in multicultural organizations, pre-professional programs, Greek organizations, the marching band, service and advocacy associations, the Residence Hall Association, and extramural sports.
Because developing a strong community is foundational to Living and Learning programs, living in Somerset Hall is required for all first-year students. For Fall 2021, if you have an exceptional circumstance and must live at home, please reach out to us to discuss the possibility of an exemption from the residency requirement. All first-year students living on campus are required to live in Somerset Hall. Second-year students are not required to live in Somerset Hall, but many choose to do so because of the strong community they form.
Somerset Hall is a four-story, coed building that accommodates approximately 120 residents. Rooms are comprised of singles, doubles, triples, and quads. Many academic buildings, libraries, residence halls, and the dining hall are less than a five-minute walk away.
Students describe Somerset Hall as more like a home than a residence hall. Most CIVICUS classes are held in Somerset Hall, and many CIVICUS students study and complete group work together there. It's easy to find someone to join you for movies, workouts at Eppley Recreation Center, meals at the dining hall, or athletic events.
Many incoming students meet prospective roommates on the Facebook page for Prospective and Incoming CIVICUS students. Please follow the Department of Resident Life process for requesting to room with a fellow incoming CIVICUS student. If you request a roommate who has not been accepted to CIVICUS, the Department of Resident Life will determine if space allows for that request to be fulfilled. CIVICUS does not have any involvement in the roommate or room assignment process.
CIVICUS is a great way to make a large university feel small. You will be surrounded by 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 co-curricular activities: barbecues, trivia nights, trips to DC, and grilled cheese study breaks. You will meet great people and form friendships that will last a lifetime.
We recognize that not all students highlight their interest in civic engagement in their applications to the university, and we may miss them in our review. If you did not receive an invitation to CIVICUS but are interested in being considered for the program, please fill out the self-nomination form.
Although things looked a little different, CIVICUS remained committed to its mission of civic engagement and to maintaining a strong community in a safe environment.
Many service projects shifted to online work and students engaged in activities such as remote tutoring, mapping, and transcription. CIVICUS held a hybrid class so students living on campus and students participating remotely could simultaneously learn together and connect with their cohort. Our annual retreat, held over Zoom at the beginning of the semester, was a success with a lot of opportunities to bond.
Throughout the semester we had a range of team building and co-curricular activities over Zoom and, for students on campus, in-person (adapted to fully abide by all safety protocols). Even with the challenges, we still had a lot of fun!