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Community Service

As Whitman students, you are required to apply your management skills and knowledge outside the classroom, completing both community service and at least one internship. For information about community service requirements, see below. To learn about internship requirements, click here

Community Service Requirement
Students are required to apply their management skills and knowledge to community problems through unpaid volunteer experience equal to 75 hours at up to two separate nonprofit locations in the Syracuse community (unless otherwise approved by your advisor).  See acceptable experiences below.

What kinds of service will fulfill the requirement?
Community service is unpaid, voluntary work intended to help other people in the community; it is not office work, fundraising, or relays, and it is strictly volunteer – you cannot be paid for your service. Student clubs, Greek affiliation, and athletic service requirements are excluded. Unless otherwise authorized by your advisor, service must be completed in the Syracuse community at a non-profit organization or program, and supervised by an employee/leader of that organization (students may not serve as supervisors for your hours). Service outside the US will not be accepted. The requirement is documented through the Community Service Learning Agreement [PDF].

Service that would count:

Service that would NOT count:

Picking up trash in the community as part of an organization.

Designing a webpage/marketing for an event (like a blood drive, or race).

Serving meals to the homeless at a homeless shelter.

Office work for a community organization.

Volunteering at a literacy or sports organization for children in a community (through a public school or other non-profit afterschool-type program).

Picking up trash/cleaning/chores as a favor for a friend, family member, Greek affiliation or other work done outside of a non-profit organization.

Volunteer hours you’ve completed from the time you matriculated to Syracuse University, which did not also fulfill requirements for a Greek affiliation, club*, athletic team, or class.

Volunteer/philanthropy experiences you already must fulfill as a member of a Greek organization, athletic team, club, course you registered for.  Any volunteer hours you completed prior to starting as a Syracuse student. 


*The following Syracuse University clubs may have their service hours counted:  Enactus, NABA, Balancing the Books, Beta Gamma Sigma (business honor society), Alpha Phi Omega (service “fraternity”).

Where can I find more information on obtaining the experience?
The Mary Ann Shaw Center for Public & Community Service is located in Room 237 of the Schine Student Center. Shaw Center staff can provide information about volunteer opportunities in a wide variety of local settings, and work to create successful community partnerships through carefully matching students’ interests and community needs. Fill out or download the Volunteer Interest Form here. With prior approval from their academic advisor, students may also fulfill the Community Service requirement through volunteering in their own community.

You may also visit VolunteerCNY for more information. Volunteer opportunities are listed and searchable on this site.

After I complete service hours, how do I get credit for them?
After you have completed your service hours, you will need to fill out the Community Service Learning Agreement (available online and in the Undergraduate Office). Your volunteer supervisor will have to sign-off on the hours you’ve completed and include their contact information so that our office can confirm the experience.  Then turn in your hours to the Whitman Undergraduate Office.

Can I graduate if I don’t complete 75 hours?
Students with outstanding community service hours cannot be certified to graduate (receive their degree) until all hours have been signed-off on and turned-in to the Undergraduate Office.