Q: Is there a fee to apply to the program?

A: Semester in the City does not charge an application fee. However, your college may have fees associated with participating in a study away/abroad program. Check with your university program administrators. 

Q: Are there any benefits to applying by the early or priority deadline over the final deadline?

A: Yes! We encourage all students to apply by the early or priority deadlines. The early deadline is usually two semesters prior to the start of the program, and the priority deadline is a few weeks before the final deadline. We accept students on a rolling basis, so there are only a limited number of spots left in the program by the time we are evaluating final deadline applicants.

Q: What is the eligibility process?

A: Every college/university has its own eligibility process that students must complete to participate in a study away program.  Please contact your college’s program administrator for information about the process and deadlines.

Program Administrators:

University of New Hampshire: Paula DiNardo: semester.city@unh.edu 

Clark University: Study Abroad/Away Office: StudyAbroad@clarku.edu

Q: Is there any financial aid available for housing?

A: There are three ways for students to receive assistance for housing costs.  

  1. Any financial aid funds not needed to cover tuition for the semester can be used by students for housing and meals. Please contact your financial aid office to get information about this option.

  2. Students can apply to be a Community Advisers (CAs) in one of the apartment buildings - there will be up to two CAs selected a semester. Selected CAs will receive a 50% reduction in housing cost. Students can indicate interest in becoming a CA on the application.

  3. There are limited part-time positions (10 hours a week max) available for students who are participating in the program.

Q: Do I have to living in program housing?

A: All of our Fellows are required to live in Boston during their participation in Semester in the City. The vast majority of our Fellows choose to live in our apartments, however, a small few have permission to opt out because they have family they can stay with in Boston. If you have family or friends that live within the MBTA service area or if you want to make other arrangements, please note that on your application and someone from our Program Staff will be in touch with you to discuss your options.

Q: Will I receive academic credit for participating in the program?

A:  Your college/university has agreed that Social Innovation Fellows will receive full-time credit for their participation in the program. Credits can be applied to electives, in some cases to major or minor requirements and other graduation requirements. Students must get approval for the application or distribution of credits from their academic advisor and/or department chair.

Q:  What does a typical program week look like?

A: Monday through Thursday, Fellows are working in their social change organizations. Wednesday evening students take a seminar course titled The Social Innovators Tool Box, which will is a foundation course on social change, innovation, and entrepreneurship. On Fridays, Fellows are in two workshops — one to reflect on their internship and the other to develop and hone leadership skills. The weekends are unscheduled though there will be occasional field trips and other social activities organized by and for Fellows.

Q: What type of social change organizations will I be placed in?

A: Fellows will be matched with carefully selected nonprofits, innovative government agencies, and/or social mission businesses. Check out the list of our current social sector partners here!

Q: Can I participate if I attend a university that is not currently partnered with this program?

A: Unfortunately, we only allow students from our current partner universities to participate. We do this to ensure each student is receiving a full semester of credit and stays on track to graduate. If you are interested in getting your school to partner with us, please contact our Co-Founder & Managing Director, Lisa Jackson.


College for Social Innovation: a nonprofit organization that partners with college/universities to offer the Semester in the City Program.

Semester in the City: a program that offers undergraduate students the opportunity to study away in Boston for a semester, work in a social change organization, take courses on social innovation and entrepreneurship, and receive full-credit while doing so.

Student: an undergraduate student who applies to the Semester in the City Program.

Social Innovation Fellow: an undergraduate student who is accepted and participate in the Semester in the City Program.