Leadership and Service

The Liberal Studies mission emphasizes students, faculty, and administrators working collaboratively to develop "global leaders that will become agents of change in a changing world". Opportunities for civic engagement, service, and leadership are thus integral to the mission and goals of LS and New York University. Below are a selection of options for making a difference as an LS student.

Service & Civic Engagement

Liberal Studies Opportunities

Social Impact Grants - Social Impact Grants fund student initiatives that involve making a difference in communities and enriching the quality of life. These grants model the idea that contributing back to a particular community is both an important educational experience and critical preparation for the practice of global citizenship. Applicants must be matriculated Liberal Studies students in at least the second semester of their first year. Awards range from $500 to $2000.

First-Year Day of Service - During Orientation, new LS students are invited to volunteer for one of several service projects sponsored on campus and throughout NYC. Each service project emphasizes a particular community or social justice issue, which allows students and other volunteers to contribute toward issues that resonate with them.

LS Alternative Break - The alternative break program provides students with the opportunity to learn about political and social community dynamics while becoming a catalyst for collaborative change. Through both learning and practice, students explore the integration of service, education and reflection to enact change. A cohort of LS students will visit either an international or domestic location each spring semester to undertake a project relevant for that community. NYU Alternative Breaks travel during winter break or spring break.

NYU Opportunities

Project Outreach - A week-long program prior to NYU's Welcome Week that pairs service-minded incoming first year and transfer students with peer mentors to learn about and perform service throughout New York City.

Alternative Breaks - Provides students the opportunity to participate in a year-long experience exploring social, political, and cultural dynamics of a particular community. Through learning and practice, students explore the theory of integrating service, education, and reflection to create meaningful change in their communities.

Service and Volunteer Fairs - At the beginning of each semester, NYU Service and the Center for Student Activities, Leadership and Service (CSALS) host a campus-wide fair to connect students with local non-profit and community-based organizations offering internships and/or volunteer opportunities.

NYU Green Grants - NYU Green Grants are awarded to improve the university’s environmental performance, foster environmental literacy and community engagement, advance applied research and design, and demonstrate the viability of best practices and technologies for sustainability.

NYU Social Impact Week - Social Impact Week is a collaboration between student groups, external organizations, alumni, and faculty with the goal of inspiring positive change in the NYU community. The lectures, discussion panels, volunteering and other programming offered during the week intend to create tangible and sustainable impact.

Opportunities in NYC & Beyond

New York Cares - Various volunteer programs that serve New Yorkers
NYC Service Initiative - Volunteer opportunities that address New York's greatest needs
Jumpstart - Early childhood programs that engage college student volunteers
America Reads & America Counts - Programs that encourage youth reading and mathematics skills
Public Service Internships - Internships with city agencies for work-study students
Community Service Project Grants - Funding for service projects or unpaid internships
Peace Corps - Service opportunity for immersion in a community abroad


Liberal Studies Opportunities

Student Council - The Liberal Studies Student Council (LSSC) represents the interests of Core Program and Global Liberal Studies (GLS) students at NYU and within Liberal Studies. The LSSC also programs events and social gatherings for all students in Liberal Studies.

Student Leaders - A leadership program that engages current and former LS students in sharing their NYU story and experiences with prospective and first-year students, while creating community with fellow students, faculty and staff. Contact ls.studentaffairs@nyu.edu for information.

Liberal Studies Peer Mentorship Programs - Mentorship programs are available for both first-generation and international students enrolled in Liberal Studies, where each students is paired during the first year with an upper-level peer mentor. The mentor helps them transition to college life, while providing academic and personal connections and support. The mentors have volunteered to offer guidance and encouragement, and answer questions about NYU student life and resources. Contact ls.studentaffairs@nyu.edu for information.

Leadership & Service Bootcamp - The Leadership and Service Bootcamp is an intensive and interactive session offered in the spring semester.  The session is designed to equip participants with the knowledge to build leadership skills, engage with service opportunities, and make relevant career connections for local and global impact. Contact ls.studentaffairs@nyu.edu for information.

NYU Opportunities

NYU Leadership Fellows - A yearlong program for rising sophomores and juniors that builds their leadership skills and prepares them to become changemakers at NYU and beyond.

Global Leadership Summit - The NYU Global Leadership Summit brings together undergraduate students from across New York University's campuses and global sites for a two-day intensive leadership development program.

NYU Leadership Week - An annual week of programming that offers university-wide events and thematic workshops for students to provide opportunities to explore leadership from a variety of perspectives.

Peer Mentorship and Support Programs - NYU offers academic-, community-, and career-based leadership programs for students to serve as a resource for their peers, such as Admissions Ambassadors, Commuter Assistants, and Wasserman Career Ambassadors.

NYU Leadership Studio - The Leadership Studio is a series of four workshops to provide a leadership framework that guides the vision, purpose, and actions of leadership education. It provides participants with the opportunity to practice, exercise, and ultimately gain new skills through collaborative learning (such as empowering others or providing & receiving feedback). 

NYU Women's Leadership Program - The NYU Women's Leadership Program empowers women and gives them the tools to succeed as leaders. The program consists of four experiential workshops focusing on “embodied leadership” and mindfulness, a bold new approach to teaching leadership. The program is customized to help women naturally develop a powerful leadership presence and the ability to match leadership styles to leadership challenges.

Opportunities in NYC & Beyond

Clinton Global Initiative University - To harness the potential of the next generation of leaders from campuses around the world, the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) convenes an annual meeting where students, youth organizations, and renowned experts come together to turn ideas into action. As either individuals or groups, students develop a “commitment to action” plan that addresses a pressing global issue.

Davis Project for Peace - NYU is a Davis United World Scholars Program partner school, allowing undergraduate students to apply for a funding grants of $10,000 each. Davis Projects for Peace proposals are submitted by students, and implemented the following summer to promote peace, build understanding and address the root causes of conflict among parties.

NYU Reynolds Changemaker Challenge - The Changemaker Challenge is an opportunity for NYU undergraduate students to fulfill their visions of sustainable and scalable social change. Through a comprehensive array of workshops and resources, students establish non-profits, for-profits or hybrid organizations that bring about positive social impact in communities across the country and around the world. 

NYU Reynolds D-Prize Social Venture Competition - The Reynolds D-Prize Social Venture Competition unites cutting-edge universities around the world to conduct their own global venture competitions, providing support for their students' efforts to scale and launch sustainable, proven poverty solutions in the developing world. The competition integrates university resources, encourages shared values and curriculum, and multiplies the power of each participating school.

Stern $300K Entrepreneurs Challenge - The $300K Entrepreneurs Challenge is comprised of three individual competitions focused on disruptive ideas with significant impact: new ventures, social ventures, and technology ventures.  Teams participate in coaching sessions, design thinking workshops, business modeling and networking opportunities; and competition winners share a total of $300K in cash and startup services.

NYU Summer Launchpad - NYU Summer Launchpad is a 10-week accelerator for teams of NYU student entrepreneurs that provides $10,000 in grant funding (non-dilutive, zero equity), startup skills bootcamps, individual coaching from NYC entrepreneurs and early stage investors, collaborative workspace for the summer, pro-bono legal incorporation  counsel, web hosting credits and other perks to help get your venture launched.

Presidential Internship Program - The Presidential Internship Program offers rising juniors with paid internship opportunities in higher education administration at NYU, providing meaningful work experiences in various career fields, structured leadership development & professional skills, mentorship from a senior NYU administrator, and learning opportunities about graduate school options.

Civic engagement: Community service, public service and/or volunteerism by individuals and groups that “identify and address community needs and public concerns.” - NYU Office of Community Engagement

Leadership: The process of working with others to "envision a better future, build commitment and align people’s actions toward shared goals, and ultimately, to produce results that make the envisioned future a reality." - NYU Leadership Initiative