• Citizenship and Civic Engagement Undergraduate Major

    The signature major of the top-ranked Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs – where students create meaningful change on the path of their choice!

    Citizenship and Civic Engagement (CCE) is a nationally unique interdisciplinary undergraduate double-major program, through which students design their own learning experience in collaboration with community partners and Syracuse University faculty. CCE students create meaningful change while honing their skills as productive and engaged scholar-citizens.

    Each CCE student completes a rigorous course of study on their way to earning a Bachelor of Arts in CCE (33 total credits). For a complete list of course requirements, please visit the online Course Catalog. Along the way, CCE students become part of a close-knit, diverse group of motivated students, develop leadership skills and discover opportunities for responsive engagement in the community.

    CCE students attend intentionally small classes.  They also receive individualized advising from CCE Staff and Faculty, and guidance and support from the CCE Peer Mentor Program.  Each student also has the potential to create an enduring relationship with a community partner organization, thus demonstrating to future employers and graduate school admissions readers their ability to make a sustained long-term commitment to collaborative work.  This gives students a change to acquire the real-world experience needed to succeed in any chosen path after graduation.

    Career success after graduation

    Around 30% of CCE majors continue their education in graduate or law school. Another 25% find employment in the private sector, while about 40% hold jobs in the public and nonprofit sectors right of college.

    The sectors and focus areas they work in include:

    • Corporate social responsibility
    • Education policy and reform
    • Environmental and energy policy
    • Global economic development
    • Health advocacy
    • Human rights and labor
    • International law
    • Immigration reform
    • International relations
    • Law
    • Nonprofit management
    • Public administration
    • Urban planning and community development
    • Veterans affairs
  • After completing my undergraduate studies, I was accepted into Princeton’s Joint Degree Program (JDP) in Social Policy. I applied to this program so that my research would better address the practical and moral considerations of combating inequality. I came to think of and value these aspects of research more intensely through CCE. I was also drawn to the JDP program because it’s cross-disciplinary—a curricular strength I first recognized through my CCE coursework.

    Brown-Weinstock, Rachel

    ~ Rachel Brown-Weinstock, '17 BA (Sociology/Policy Studies/CCE)

    Sociology/Social Policy PhD Candidate, Princeton University

  • CCE is different from a traditional undergraduate major.

    Students create a personalized program of study that builds incrementally and iteratively by “keeping the end in mind”—preparing for the Senior Action Plan project.  They start brainstorming about this project from the moment they enter the major.  The main component of the CCE major is the “Upper Division Course Sequence”—three semesters of community, research, and action during which each student digs into an issue about which they have great passion.   All through this sequence, students work in and with community organizations, or at the offices of elected officials, or with government agencies.  They learn how to bring their classroom work to life in ways that can have a real impact on the community.

    Design your own course of study.

    In CCE, students work closely choose courses that best support their  work – they choose almost half of the required credits and can include courses from across the entire University.  This gives students the flexibility to blend a concurrent major with CCE and to develop the skills and subject mastery that will enrich their particular CCE Senior Action Plan.

    Respond to the pressing community issues that concern you.

    CCE’s faculty and professional advising staff ask every CCE student the following questions: “What societal issue or world’s problem energizes you? Where do you want to make a difference?” Syracuse University’s location in Central New York serves as a good place for students to begin putting their answers to these questions into practice. CCE students have thus worked on many issues, including education, healthcare, aging, environmental sustainability, voter participation, government accountability, economic disparity, racial equity, and refugee resettlement.

    Apply your classroom learning to real-world experiences.

    By partnering with a community organization during the second year of the program, CCE students learn how nonprofit organizations, the offices of elected officials, and government agencies actually work—backstage. Through a second-year community placement, they become part of the routine work that supports fulfillment a mission and realization of a vision. They begin seeing opportunities where there junior-year Research Project and senior-year Action Plan will make a difference. Check out some examples of the collaborative work that CCE students have been doing in Central New York on our Community Partners page.

    Apply now to join this selective program.

    Spaces are limited to 30 students per class year cohort. Prospective Syracuse University students who are still in high school can apply to CCE as part of their Common Application to the university. Or, they can apply on campus during their first or second year.

    Learn more about how to apply.