Service-Learning Requirements

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

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 Administrator, or a previously designated member of the steering committee during the course of the internship.

Internship fulfill or partially fulfill the PJHC requirement if:

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

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

Susan McAshan Summer Service Internship

Please email to apply for the Susan McAshan Summer Service Internship.

The Susan McAshan Summer Service Internship offers competitive paid summer service learning experiences to declared minors who will have completed required coursework by the end of the spring semester before their internships. Students may apply for funding before they have com­pleted PJHC 394.

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 highly en­couraged to apply. Most if not all successful applicants will have already fulfilled or partially fulfilled the minor’s requirements.

Learn more about Susan McAshan >

Funded Summer Service Internships

Funding is available for US-based and international internships through a competitive application process. Stipends are based on funds available and student budgets. Only declared PJHC minors are eligible. Applicants must have completed HUMA/SOCI 371 (or HUMA/SOCI 280) and SOCI/SWGS 394 (or SWGS 322/SOCI 372/ASIA 329) prior to the beginning of the internship.

Applicants for international internships must demonstrate proficiency in the relevant language(s). Depending on their proposed project, applicants for US-based internships may also need to demonstrate language proficiency (usually Spanish, but other languages as needed where appropriate).

Students who have already fulfilled or partially completed the minor’s service requirement are highly encouraged to apply for internship funding. The Steering Committee will consider previous service experience favorably when evaluating applications. It is anticipated that most, if not all, successful applicants will have already partially fulfilled or fulfilled the minor’s service requirement.

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 and Rice Developing World Student Scholarship, 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 explained 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 Medical Apprenticeship, 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.

Every summer, the CCL supports up to five Group International Service (GIS) projects. These trips are a minimum of two weeks in length, and past trip locations include Bulgaria, Guatemala, Ghana, and Peru. Additional trip proposals for new locations and projects are accepted from students. Responsibilities largely mirror those of the ASB trips, but also require additional training related to the unique nature and risk of international service. Site leader applications are due in August and participant applications are due in early January of each year.


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

The steering committee will also recognize service learning undertaken as part of electives. Students enrolled in a course that requires service learning may ask the committee if this service will count toward the requirement. Students who have successfully completed Dr. Ruth Lopez Turley’s 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 or Strive for College. 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 manager.

Click here to access the Service Credit Application.