Civic Engagement and Public Service

Inspired by Princeton's unofficial motto "In the Nation's Service and in the Service of All Nations," Princeton University's students participate in numerous civic engagement and public service programs. These initiatives enrich communities extending from campus to locations across New Jersey and beyond. The following information highlights areas in which graduate students can volunteer their time.

Pace Center for Civic Engagement

Recognized as the hub of the University’s cocurricular service initiatives and the facilitator for sustaining and expanding Princeton’s long tradition of public service, the Pace Center for Civic Engagement supports the extended Princeton community in identifying and addressing issues of public concern through engaged scholarship, active citizenship and effective public leadership for the purpose of building stronger local and global communities and societies.

The Pace Center works with graduate students in a variety of ways, including support for their current and new civic engagement activities and help in identifying existing opportunities for involvement. Programs like the Prison Teaching Initiative (PTI) are geared exclusively towards graduate students and their skills, knowledge, schedules and experiential interests.  Other opportunities for graduate students include civic action break trips and direct volunteer service.

For more information about the Pace Center, visit their website or contact them directly. 

Address: 201D Frist Campus Center

General contact information: pace@princeton.edu, (609) 258-7260

Community House

As a community action center, Community House served the specific needs of the local residents and centralized the efforts of students and existing campus organizations working in the area. Today, relocated to the Carl Fields Center, Community House maintains its commitment to local residents in the Princeton community. Community House is a diverse gathering of Princeton University students and staff committed to responding to needs identified by the community to enrich, empower and renew the lives of underserved children and families in Princeton by providing educational, cultural and recreational programs. Programs within organization include: Big Brothers/Big Sisters; SAT Prep; ESL Tutoring; Preschool Reading Readiness; One-Time Annual Projects; and more.

For more information, visit the Community House website or contact them directly.

Address: Fields Center, 86 Olden St., Princeton, NJ 08540
General contact information: house@princeton.edu, (609) 258-6136

Student Volunteers Council

The Student Volunteers Council promotes an ethic of community involvement and works to foster and strengthen partnerships within our community. SVC builds upon the assets of students and other community members and encourages a holistic vision of our community through awareness, action and reflection. Founded in 1967, the SVC has grown to become Princeton's largest student-run organization. SVC facilitates discussion on community issues, sponsor service trips around the country during breaks, host the annual Community Action pre-orientation program, and coordinates over 40 weekly service projects in Princeton, Trenton and Greater Mercer County.

Programs within organization: The SVC sponsors more than forty projects which work with community organizations in Princeton, Trenton and surrounding areas each week of the academic year. Projects are grouped into seven categories: (1) Education and Tutoring; (2) Elderly Outreach; (3) Health; (4) Mentoring & Tutoring; (5) Social Action & Emergency Services; (6) Special Needs; and (7) Youth Outreach.

For more information about the Student Volunteers Council, visit their website or contact them directly.

Address: 22 Murray-Dodge Hall
General contact information: svc@princeton.edu, (609) 258-5557

Princeton Internships in Civic Service

Princeton Internships in Civic Service, open to Princeton students in all classes and recent graduates, offer placements in national and international community and public service organizations involved in a wide variety of areas, including community development, education, the environment, group advocacy, health and social services, housing, legal services, public policy, youth services and the arts.

The Fund provides Princeton students the opportunity to explore possible careers in public service and the non-profit sector by bringing their creativity, skills and energy to their internships. Through real-world experiences with their sponsor organizations, interns, produce effective, meaningful work for their organizations. Internships focus on projects emphasizing work in the field, in research or in personal interaction rather than in routine office work.

For more information about Princeton Internships in Civic Service, contact them directly.

Address: 12 Stockton St., Princeton, NJ 08542
Contact information: info@69csf.org, (609) 921-7948

Community and Regional Affairs

The Office of Community and Regional Affairs (CRA) serves to link the "gown" or University with the "town" or the non-University communities that surround the University. Implementing the town/gown connection means that the CRA team is the liaison to state and local government officials, as well as to residents living in the region. The Office of CRA sponsors numerous community outreach activities and programs that respond to the general public.

For more information about the Office of Community and Regional Affairs, visit their website or contact them directly.

Address: 22 Chambers St., Suite 101, Princeton, NJ 08542
General contact information: pucra@princeton.edu, (609) 258-3204

Graduate School, Student Life

In addition to the areas above, students can also take advantage of the volunteer opportunities put forth by the Community Associates (CA), community programs coordinator (CPC), and assistant dean for student life. Recent opportunities put forth by the aforementioned individuals of the Graduate School include: 5K walk-a-thon with the Pace Center; volunteering at the NJ Food Bank in Newark, NJ and volunteering at Loaves & Fishes Soup Kitchen in Trenton, NJ. The CA, CPC and assistant dean will continue to provide community service opportunities throughout the academic year.