Public Service and Civic Engagement Minor

This interdisciplinary minor offered through the Office of Civic Engagement is designed to build capacity in personal and organizational action, management and guidance in addressing public and societal problems. Through study and application, students build real world skills and knowledge for effective and ethical public service. The minor is designed to complement a variety of majors and is intended for students seeking to address systemic social problems.

Learning Objectives


  • Understand societal and public problems and formulate creative, realistic solutions to these problems
  • Identify stakeholders and strategies for engagement in addressing public problems
  • Understand theoretical concepts related to community capital, power, voice, and structural inequalities and learn to apply these concepts in practical ways to solve problems
  • Understand the importance of inquiry, informed action and effective policy in addressing social problems
  • Understand the importance of service, community engagement and informed citizenship to address systemic community issues
  • Tie their understanding of community engagement to their career and life plans


  • Demonstrate an ability to engage in respectful, civil dialogue with diverse viewpoints
  • Strengthen public leadership and advocacy skills
  • Work effectively as members of diverse teams to address community issues
  • Demonstrate an understanding of personal values, ethics and responsibility and their impact on personal , professional and civic decisions and actions
  • Demonstrate effective research skills to develop feasible solutions to public problems
  • Take action on their personal plan for lifelong community engagement and public leadership

Course Structure

Students are required to complete 9 hours of foundation courses along with a selected Area of Specialization. Within the Area of Specialization, students must take 9 credit hours.

Required courses (9 hrs)

IDS 1101 - Citizenship to Address Global Challenges
Explore knowledge and skills of globally competent citizenship and public service to address global challenges faced in the 21st century with special emphasis on localized application.

IDS 2201 - Applications in Civic Engagement
An overview of strategies for civic enrichment that engage various forms of community capital to address defined civic issues.

IDS 4495 - Capstone Internship in Public Service and Civic Engagement
A 300 hour internship based at a community agency, healthcare facility, school or government agency focused on application of student’s personal plan for community engagement and public leadership.

After Application in Civic Engagement course, student will select Area of Specialization and takes one course in three learning categories. See department for list of courses.

  • Context (1) - A context course frames civic engagement through history or theory. These classes provide background for issues of contemporary relevance.
  • Public Issue (2) - Public issue classes use the discussion or exploration of a public issue, or a topic of social justice as an element of the course (prejudice, immigration, poverty, etc.).
  • Skills, Tools and Methods (3) - these courses build skills, tools, and methods that are useful for public service and civic engagement. Examples include: communication, debate, deliberation, leadership, interpersonal relations, group dynamics, group learning, diversity, community planning, community organizing, problem solving, policy analysis, conflict resolution, public speaking.

Examples Areas of Specialization

See department for list of courses for each Area of Specialization.

  • Media and communication
  • Community and societal change
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Public service
  • Diversity and multicultural studies
  • Or students may design their own content area with approval of the program coordinator.

Benefits of the Minor

Students completing the Minor in Public Service and Civic Engagement will build competencies in the following areas:

  • Identifying public issues and their causes
  • Formulating creative, realistic solutions to various civic issues
  • Public leadership and advocacy skills
  • Project management and teamwork skills

For more information contact:

Avery Livingston | Office of Civic Engagement
122 Eldridge Hall | (334) 808-6349 |

Apply Now!