"Get out and see the world… To tackle an issue effectively, you need to understand it—and it’s impossible to understand an issue by simply reading about it. You need to see it firsthand, even live in its midst." Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

Through service-learning and internships, students gain first-hand experience of the wide variety of influences on well-being beyond income, such as gender, racial and ethnic disparities, health status, education, human rights, political freedoms, and material necessities like food and shelter. Students are placed with organizations where they work directly with clients and gain experiential knowledge that broadens their perspectives on human lives and capabilities. Active mentorship throughout the internship process prepares students for their internship placements, ensures that they fully comprehend the social justice aims and the ethical responsibilities of their work, and provides critical support during service-learning experiences. As part of their service-learning, students explore what it means to represent and be represented and how to bear witness and advocate for those most marginalized in societies. The minor’s required Capstone course further considers these questions and facilitates student creations of polished Digital Stories about their service-learning experiences.

For questions about service-learning, please contact the Program Mentor, Lindsay Graham.

Service-learning Work Log

Download the required Service-learning Work Log to track your service-learning hours and weekly reflections.

Service Credit Application

Click here to access the application.


Minors have several options to fulfill the PJHC service learning require­ment. Each experience carries 1, 2, or 3 service credits:

• Internships, including summer service internships and internships for academic credit

• Center for Civic Leadership (CCL) service trips (Alternative Spring Break and Group International Service projects) that serve a disadvantaged human community

• Coursework, including SOCI 469/470, SWGS 494/496/497, and SOCI 301

• Student clubs and activities such as the Baylor College of Medicine Patient Discharge Initiative (BCM PDI)

PJHC minors are required to complete a total of three service credits. Service options provide one to three service credits, as described below.

Service Credit Value


Service Credits

Approved Internships

Summer service internship (full-time, eight weeks) 3
Service internships for academic credit Varies; students wil receive one "service credit" for each academic credit earned

CCL Service Trips

Participate in an ASP 1
Lead an ASB 3
Participate in a GIS trip 2
Lead a GIS trip 3


SOCI 469/470 Inequality and Urban Life (Community Bridges) 2
SWGS 494/496/497 Seminar and Practicum in Engaged Research Varies depending on the proposed project; students will submit a project description to the program director in the fall semester.
SOCI 301 Social Inequity 1

Student Service Clubs



The Program Director must approve all internships that are used to fulfill or partially fulfill the service requirement. Students should ensure they have preliminary approval before beginning the internship and remain in contact with the Director, Program Mentor, or a previously designated member of the steering committee during the internship.

An Internship may fulfill or partially fulfill the PJHC requirement if:

  • 60 percent of the intern’s time is spent in direct community service.
  • The organization serves an under-resourced community and is nonprofit.
  • The work does not include proselytizing or evangelizing.

The PJHC maintains a list of possible internship sites and helps students secure placements that meet their interests.

Susan McAshan Summer Service Internship

The Susan McAshan Summer Service Internship offers competitive paid summer service-learning experiences to pledged or declared minors who will have completed PJHC 371 before their internships or who are currently enrolled in the course.

Students may seek funding for international or US-based internships or apply in both areas.

Students who have already fulfilled or partially completed the minor’s service requirement are welcome to apply. Please note, though, students cannot be selected as a McAshan Intern more than once.

Susan McAshan Summer Service Internship Application >

Learn more about Susan McAshan >

The Steering Committee encourages students interested in funded summer internships to pursue other opportunities for Rice students, including Loewenstern Fellowships that focus on international service, the Leadership Rice Mentorship Experience, and the Global Health Technologies International Summer Internship (Beyond Traditional Borders), and Houston community programs such as the ExxonMobil Community Jobs Program and the Shell Summer Intern Program. As noted above, internship plans must be approved in advance to ensure they fulfill PJHC service-learning requirements.

Service Internships for Academic Credit

Internships for academic credit are also available. UNIV 295 “Exploring Careers through an Internship” is open to all undergraduates. Declared PJHC minors who have completed a minimum of nine credit hours in their major can enroll in SOSC 421/422.

Advanced Spanish students who are eligible to enroll in SPAN 323 “Spanish Professional Practicum” can apply for service credit for an internship that serves a disadvantaged community.

Minors may also fulfill or partially fulfill the requirement through service internships conducted as part of study abroad programs. Students studying abroad should seek preliminary approval of the internship and ensure that the academic credits will transfer as soon as possible.

CCL Service Trips

Each year 150–200 Rice students, including many PJHC minors, take part in 11–15 one-week Alternative Spring Break service trips. A pair of student leaders organizes each ASB, and they are responsible for all aspects of the trip development, including pre-trip education and service, fundraising, participant recruitment and selection, service organization, and post-trip reorientation activities. Site Leader applications are due in early September and participant applications are due in early November each year.


The PJHC recognizes the service work that minors undertake in elective courses. Students may receive 1–2 service-learning credits for service completed as part of the SOCI 469/470 (Community Bridges) and SWGS 494/496/497 (Seminar and Practicum in Engaged Research). The number of credits awarded will be determined by the amount of service work required by the student’s placement.

Students enrolled in any course that requires service-learning may ask the committee if this service will count toward the requirement. Students who have successfully completed SOCI 301 “Social Inequality” will receive one credit for service work undertaken for this course.

Student Service Clubs

Students may receive service credit for their work with student clubs such as the Baylor College of Medicine Patient Discharge Initiative. Credit awarded varies depending on the amount of service completed. Students who are interested in earning service credit for other student service clubs and activities should contact the Program Mentor.