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Opportunities for Residents

Live together.

Civic Leaders live together in the recently renovated Briscoe Residence Center in IU’s northwest neighborhood, just steps away from Assembly Hall and an easy walk—or bus ride—to SPEA. But, we encourage applications from students from any major at IU.

In residence, you’ll enjoy:

  • An academic support center and computer lab
  • A dedicated classroom just for Civic Leaders
  • A library
  • A kitchenette
  • A fitness center
  • A game room
  • Free laundry on every floor
  • Air conditioning
  • Lots of social lounge space

Living options include single rooms with private bathrooms, or double rooms with a semi-private shared bath. You'll also get to move in early and participate in a special orientation before the rest of the freshmen class arrives.

Learn together.

Civic Leaders meet with elected officials from all levels of government, former ambassadors, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, lobbyists, nonprofit leaders, and influential members from the arts community.

You'll take two classes together per semester. In the one-credit-hour Civic Leadership Seminar lead by Director Paul Helmke, you’ll meet with speakers who cover topics ranging from education to energy policy. Past guest speakers include:

  • Richard Lugar, former Senator and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
  • Lee Hamilton, former Congressman and Vice Chairman of the 9/11 Commission
  • Former U.S. Ambassadors Richard W. Graber & Victor Ashe
  • Ben Rhodes, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting
  • Charlie Savage, The New York Times
  • Grace Meng, Human Rights Watch
  • Caroline Brewer, international education consultant and author of 10 books
  • Omar Eaton-Martinez, Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History
  • Robert Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts
  • Kevin Murphy, Public & Government Affairs Manager of ExxonMobil’s Natural Gas & Power Marketing Company

SPEA faculty teach the second required class. These three-credit-hour courses are only open to Civic Leaders and are smaller sections of general education courses.

Beyond the classroom, you'll take trips together to places like Washington, D.C. or study abroad in Greece. Throughout the year, Civic Leaders also meet with student mentors, receive support preparing for internships, and participate in professional workshops on networking, resume writing, and dining etiquette.


Lead together.

Being a part of the Civic Leaders Center means connecting with other like-minded students who have a passion for serving their communities, whether local, national, or international. Civic Leaders not only give back to their community through service projects, but also learn how to maximize their Indiana University education and launch careers that include a meaningful civic or service component.


SPEA offers scholarships from $2,000-$10,000 to Civic Leaders. Scholarships are awarded using the Selective Scholarship Application or the Civic Leaders application.

Learn more about SPEA scholarships>> 

Photo of Elisa Dickey   "As an international studies major, I was attracted to the versatility and intellectual diversity of the Civic Leaders. By living in a community that encourages all its members to engage themselves with issues they are passionate about, I’m learning valuable skills that I can directly relate to my field of interest, African NGO work."

— Elisa Dickey, Wells Scholar who worked with a nonprofit and studied in Ghana for a year