The Urban Semester Program offers students a tremendous opportunity for service learning and public service in Hartford, Connecticut. Nowhere are American urban challenges any greater than in Hartford, a city full of contrasts that embody need and potential, struggle and hope, and wealth and poverty. It is a city rich with diversity and urban cultures, home to people from all over the world. For over 50 years, UConn students have participated in this unique semester-long program that combines classroom study, service learning through an internship, and urban living in the state’s capital.

As a participant in the program, you are offered the opportunity to work in the heart of the city’s community and non-profit organizations and government agencies. Depending on your area of interest and major, your internship can address issues facing the city, ranging from education to homelessness and youth issues, the criminal justice system, and economic development, to name just a few. Previous internships have been in school-related programs, shelters, advocacy organizations, political offices, state and local government and many other settings.

Urban Semester placements include the following areas: Health and Human Services, Federal, State and Local Government, Community Organizing, Social Work, Advocacy and Research, Peace and Justice, Civil Rights, Environmental Rights, Community Media, Urban Problems, The Justice System, Welfare Rights, Women’s issues, and Youth Development.

The program is offered during the fall and spring semesters.

How to Apply - Fall or Spring Semester

Please read all information on this page carefully. When you are ready, email Professor Phil Birge-Liberman to arrange a meeting to discuss what questions you may have and learn more about the application process. Complete the online application to apply for the Urban Semester program.


In this program, you are required to participate in the following 15 credits:

INTD 3590: Urban Field Studies: Supervised Field Work (9 credits) Students choose to work in a Hartford organization that meet their interests. The Program Director assists each student in understanding the activities of internship and deciding what placement best meets his/her needs. Students have full choice in selecting the internship. You spend 3 1/2 days a week in the field and are supervised by agency staff. The Program Director in consultation with the agency staff evaluates students’ performance. Students are required to analyze their experiences in written journals.

With departmental permission, students may elect to count 3 credits toward HDFS 3080, POLS 3991, PSYC 3880, SOCI 3990/3991 or other department internship credit.

INTD 3594(W): Urban Semester Field Work Seminar (3 credits) Open only to students in the program. Must be taken concurrently with INTD 3590 and INTD 3584. Students make analytic presentations of their field experiences, relating these to the pertinent available literature. Particular urban problems are discussed with invited experts and guest speakers from outside the university.

May be taken for W credit.

INTD 3584: Seminar in Urban Problems (3 credits) Open only to students in the program.  Discussions are based on assigned readings and led by invited speakers from within the university.

The seminars are designed to help you put theory into practice and to increase your knowledge and understanding of urban issues and how Hartford’s social service organizations and political bodies respond. Classes are held at the UConn Hartford campus. Student should be second semester sophomores to participate in the program.

Student Life:

Student are highly encouraged to live in Hartford to immerse themselves in the urban experience, to take part in all that it has to offer (i.e., multicultural cuisine, world-class arts, theater and entertainment venue events, etc.)   However, university arranged housing is not available. Students who do not reside in Hartford may choose, if they wish, to arrange housing with other participants in the program.

For information about the program or housing,  contact the Urban Semester Program Director phil.birge-liberman@uconn.edu.

Information Subject to Change

All information listed on this page is subject to change. Please contact the Urban Semester Program for the most updated details.

Program Flyer with FAQs

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab