FAQ

Students in lab coats listening to an advisor

How do I apply?

First-year students can apply to join Service Focus during their first year as soon as they have applied to a summer service internship. Students are encouraged to connect to Service Focus staff even before applying to an internship for personalized guidance and information on how to select and effectively apply for internships that connect with their interests. Full acceptance into Service Focus happens after first-year students secure a summer internship.  

How do I get an internship?

Students apply for internships directly through the internship programs at Princeton University that are part of Service Focus. However, we are able to offer advisement to help you decide which Princeton internship is the best fit for you, direct you toward external internship opportunities, and work with you to craft successful application materials. You can make an appointment for advisement anytime by emailing Service Focus Program Coordinator Meg Rooney (mrooney@princeton.edu). 

What internships are eligible for Service Focus?

Service Focus takes a broad approach to service. Internships engaging with anything from direct service to advocacy, politics, research, activism, arts, social entrepreneurship, and beyond may qualify you to participate in Service Focus. Internships may be internal or external to Princeton. If you are not sure if your internship would count for Service Focus, reach out to Meg Rooney (mrooney@princeton.edu) for advisement. 

Once I secure an internship, what do I do?

After you have officially accepted an offer to participate in a summer service internship, you must secure your place in the year-long Service Focus program by filling out the Service Focus agreement form. 

How long is the program?

Service Focus is a year-long program. It runs from the spring of a student’s first year through the spring of a student’s sophomore year. It includes preparation before embarking on the summer internship, the summer internship experience, and connection throughout the sophomore year via coursework, faculty mentorship, and reflection with a close-knit peer group. 

What is a service-related course? 

Just like there are many service internship programs at Princeton, there are a variety of service-related courses at Princeton as well. The Program for Community-Engaged Scholarship (ProCES) connects service and the curriculum at Princeton. All ProCES courses cultivate an understanding of service as one potential response to societal needs and concerns but vary in the way that service in integrated into the course. ProCES courses may include community-based research, volunteer service linked with coursework, or historical and theoretical reflections on service. 

Do I have to take a service-related course?

Yes. You will take a service-related course in your sophomore year as part of the year-long Service Focus program. 

How can I see the full list of service-related courses to choose from?

The Courses page outlines the courses available for Service Focus through the Program for Community-Engaged Scholarship and also provides instruction on how to petition a course.

Who can I talk to about Service Focus?

First-year students with questions about Service Focus can reach out to Meg Rooney, Program Coordinator of Service Focus, at mrooney@princeton.edu, or to set up an appointment for advisement and conversation.