Civic and Community Engagement Minor

Civic and Community Engagement Minor

The minor consists of a balanced program of fieldwork experience and supporting coursework that is selected with the advice and approval by the campus Civic and Community Engagement minor coordinator.

Administered by a program faculty drawn from across the University, the Intercollege Minor in Civic and Community Engagement (CIVCM) is appropriate to undergraduate students seeking to apply domains of knowledge from their majors or General Education programs to issues of consequence beyond the classroom in a manner that integrates academic and creative development with democratic principles of contribution to the community and nation.

In particular, the minor serves to encourage, recognize, and systematize student participation in public service or problem-based fieldwork and research that:

  • is substantial, sustained, and includes structured opportunities for student reflection and self assessment; and
  • is integrated with and supported by traditional, classroom-based coursework.

Fieldwork experiences are selected from a list of eligible courses and supporting coursework includes a conceptual foundations course (or approved comparable alternatives), that provides students with a critical orientation to contemporary issues and themes in public scholarship.

The minor culminates with an approved capstone project, which may be a significant paper, or annotated portfolio, or other demonstration of substantial reflection upon and integration of the minor experience and the broader issue of application of academic theory and practice in the civic community.

The completion of the minor is reflected by a formal notation of the student's official record at the time of graduation. To enter the program, a student must submit an application with the CIVCM minor coordinator AND apply in eLion*.


CIVCM 211(3)  or  CAS 222 (3)

Select courses from the Penn State Brandywine list of approved civic engagement courses or substitution courses approved by the CIVCM coordinator (a syllabus and explanation is required for substitutions).*

  • Select at least 3 credits of Supervised Field Experience
  • Select at least an additional 3 – 6 credits of Public Issues and Democracy course work
  • Select at least an additional 3 – 6 credits of Related Areas course work
  • Select at least an additional 3 credits of Civic Engagement Capstone work at the 400-level in consultation with the minor coordinator (may be an internship)

For more information, contact: 
Dr. Lynn Hartle, 610-892-1492,
Lab for Civic and Community Engagement, Coordinator at Brandywine

*Steps in the process:

  1. Meet with the Civic and Community Engagement, Coordinator at Brandywine to complete an electronic CIVCM minor form; form signed by student & CIVCM minor coordinator; scanned.
  2. Student fills out a CIVCM Minor application: to alert UPark of intended candidacy for the minor; NEED to include a few lines about why desire the minor
  3. Student enters eLion and chooses the CIVCM Minor (Majors and Minors tab)
  4. Once the Capstone is completed, the student writes a brief essay about Capstone; Capstone experience advisor, the student, and the CIVCM Coordinator signs; then electronically scans
  5. CIVCM Coordinator uploads all documents to designated online portal at UPark for processing the Intercollegiate Minor to the student’s audit and graduation transcript


  • Must have declared a major field of study.
  • Must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.0.
  • May start the CIVCM minor at one Penn State campus and complete the minor at another campus
  • May apply no more than 9 credits toward the minor that also count toward the major. Past fieldwork experiences and completed courses may be retroactively included in the plan of study, but must be approved by the major adviser and the committee.
  • The list of approved courses for the CIVCM minor varies across Penn State campuses and course substitutions may be approved. 
  • A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor.