The Civic Scholars Program application for the Class of 2026 opens on Thursday, October 6, 2022. Students with a demonstrated interest in civic or community engagement, social justice, or future career in the public interest should consider applying. Applications will close on November 6, 2022, at 11:59 PM.

Application for the Class of 2026 are now open!

Apply Here

Please note that recommendations will be accepted through Friday, November 11, 2022. Please email Khadijah Seay ( with questions.

Admissions Process

Up to fifteen first-year students join the program each year.  Undergraduates from the four undergraduate schools are all eligible for admission to the program.  We also have several Civic Scholars in dual-degree or interdisciplinary programs.  If you have questions about admission to the Civic Scholars Program, please contact the program’s directors at 215-898-4831.

Step 1: Written Application

 Applicants will be asked to submit the following as a part of their written application

  • Basic Demographic Information
  • Short response (250 words or less) essays
  • Peer Recommendation (from an undergraduate at Penn)
  • Faculty/Staff Recommendation (includes Graduate Assistants)

Step 2: Group and Individual Interview

A select group of applicants will move forward to the interview stage of the admissions process.

Group Interview

The group interview is a 45-minute workshop facilitated by current Civic Scholars. 

Individual Interview

The individual interview is an opportunity for applicants to share more about their specific interests in the program and academic plans with Program Staff and current Civic Scholars.

Step 3: Admission to the Program

Following the individual and group interviews, a 2026 cohort of Civic Scholars will be selected. Applicants will be notified via email. If an applicant is offered admission, they should accept or deny the offer. We strongly encourage applicants selected for the program to consult with their pre-major advisors for academic planning.

Prospective Civic Scholars

If you have questions about the program or admissions process, please contact Civic House at 215-898-4831.