Prospective Students for Community Semester NYC

Community Semester NYC is a full-time intensive academic and service-learning program that provides students with an opportunity to share their commitment to supporting local movements as well as community organizing, outreach, constituency support, and policy research while analyzing their experiences in the field with practitioners working within New York City communities.  Community Semester NYC is focused on preparing students for leadership positions in nonprofits serving urban populations.  

Applications for Fall 2018 due by July 19, 2018– Apply Now

All Community Semester applicants must complete the supplemental application for the experiential learning program. Download the application here.

To participate in Community Semester:

Frequently Asked Questions

To speak with the Community Semester NYC Coordinator, Crystal Joseph, call (212) 857-1966 or email

How do I apply for Community Semester?

In order to qualify for admission to Community Semester, undergraduate applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.0; and meet the University’s College Readiness Requirements in reading, writing, and mathematics. Graduate applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and at least a 2.5 GPA or higher from an accredited undergraduate institution.

Qualified applicants will be contacted by the Program Coordinator for a phone interview.

If you have questions about whether the program is a good fit for you, contact the Community Semester Program Coordinator at (212) 857-1966 or email

Applications for Fall 2018 due by July 19, 2018 – Apply Now

What if I’m already a CUNY Student?

In addition to completing the supplemental application, CUNY students can apply via e-permit and spend one semester at the Murphy Institute.  Prospective applicants must be working toward a degree at a CUNY campus, have earned 24 credits, and have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.

What if I have been nominated?

As a nominated candidate, your nominee serves as your first of two required letters of recommendation.  In addition to completing the supplemental application, if you are a new applicant, please refer to "How do I apply for Community Semester?"  If you are a current CUNY student, refer to "What if I’m already a CUNY Student?"

When should I apply for Community Semester?

Applications for Fall 2018 due by July 19, 2018.  Applications can only be submitted electronically and are accepted on a rolling basis. Early applications are given priority.  There are a select number of placements and the program coordinator will match the student with the best-fit for their service learning placement. 

Where are Community Semester NYC students placed?

Community Semester students work alongside a NYC community-based organization; a multi-organizational, issue-based campaign or; city agencies or political offices focused on constituent services, legislative policy and community outreach for 28 hours each week.

Placements vary by semester and are contingent upon the needs of the organizations. Current host organizations work on a range of issues including:

  • Economic justice and job creation
  • Community empowerment
  • Racial justice
  • Immigrants’ rights and education
  • Housing rights
  • Homelessness
  • Neighborhood housing and preservation
  • Youth development
  • Cultural revitalization

Do Community Semester students get paid?

Students accepted to Community Semester receive a $7,000 financial award to use toward educational expenses.  This is paid out in two checks during the semester. 

How much does the program cost?

All tuition charges and fees are subject to change by action of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York without prior notice.  In the event of any increase in tuition charges and fees, payments already made to the CUNY School of Professional Studies will be treated as partial payment, and notification will be given of the additional amount due and the time and method of payment.  Students are responsible for their travel to and from New York City, their tuition and fees, housing, and other living expenses. Students who have concerns about managing their finances may speak with the Community Semester NYC Program Coordinator who can answer questions, give suggestions and help students develop a budget. 

Will my college or university accept the credits that I earn as a Community Semester NYC student?

Students who successfully complete Community Semester earn a total of 16 undergraduate credits and 12 graduate credits.  It is their responsibility to follow the procedures of their college or university for transferring these credits.  Upon acceptance to the program, it is recommended that students consult with their faculty advisor and registrar concerning transfer credit policies.  Students who participate in Community Semester while they are not attending a college or graduate program will need to discuss transferring credits should they be accepted into a program. 

I have a BA, but not sure I want to go to graduate school. Can I do the undergrad program?

Yes, you have the option of doing either the undergraduate or graduate program. However, the Advanced Certificate will give you the option of potentially transferring credits into a graduate program, should you decide to pursue graduate studies.

If I participate in the graduate program, does it count towards the Master’s degree in Urban Studies?

Absolutely! In the graduate program of Community Semester, students earn 12 credits.  The MA in Urban Studies at the Murphy Institute requires 30 credits and earned credits can be applied to this program.  If you are interested in the MA, contact Cherise Mullings, Enrollment Specialist.