How does the Program work?

Who is qualified for the Citizen Scholars Program? 

If you are a first-year or second-year student with a major in a degree program in the College of Arts and Letters, then you are qualified! 

Citizen Scholars are oriented toward achieving social justice, fostering an equitable, inclusive society, and contributing to positive social transformation.

We welcome any student willing to push themselves to reach their own academic best while completing CS program experiences and projects. We especially seek to bring in and support students from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Contact us to join!


What are the requirements? 

  • Enrollment in CS foundational course, AL270, in your first fall semester after joining  the program.
  • Completion of a funded Citizen Scholars Experience and mini-course that links coursework to experiential learning, whether through an internship, research or creative activity mentored by faculty, study abroad/away, or community engagement. 
  • Option to extend your experience into a Citizen Scholar Project that offers in-depth guided research in an area important to the student and to the world or development of a community engagement project with tangible effects. 


What are the benefits? 

  • The time, funding, and encouragement to pursue your passion, and develop your sense of purpose
  • Collaboration with peers, faculty, and community partners
  • Access to up to $5,000 of funding for a CS Experience and CS project
  • Publicity for student work 
  • Personal attention with a focus on wellness 
  • Access to faculty mentorship, high-impact learning experiences, and community involvement
  • Support in building career opportunities and strengthening resume
  • Recognition at College of Arts and Letters Commencement

Major Program Experiences


One core course taken in the fall semester introduces CS students to the values, purpose, and requirements of the program. Students begin to explore who they are in relation to others, where their passions lie, and what motivates them to contribute to social change.  The core course helps students to chart their path through MSU.

Immersive Experiences

CS Experiences are especially intensive learning contexts that help  students regularly document their growth. CS students are  eligible for CS financial support to participate in such opportunities. Immersive experiences challenge students, increase their global awareness, and ignite their passion to walk the path of meaningful contribution.


 Co-curriculars activities allow students to engage outside of courses, through everything from social events to public lectures to CS projects. CS helps students approach such activities purposefully, with the intention of learning from them and documenting their growth. Students participate in co-curriculars throughout their time as Citizen Scholars.

Student Projects

CS students have the chance to pursue a mentored ‘discovery project’ in which they develop in-depth understanding of an issue or question that is especially compelling to them. Students partner with faculty and community leaders to  explore positive social transformation while addressing a significant community need or concern. 

communicate your Success

Learning through Reflection

Citizen Scholars learn to archive and reflect on their experiences in a range of media

Tracking and Documenting Learning

The Citizen Scholars program records student growth across curricular and co-curricular activities using the Spartan Experience Record, or My Spartan Story

Celebrating and Recognizing Learning

Citizen Scholars articulate what they have learned, how, and what skills they can bring forward