For Students

What is Service Learning?

Each semester at MU, thousands of students enroll in service learning courses that connect them to credited service opportunities in the local community. Through service, students are able to apply their classroom knowledge to real-life situations. Service learning allows students to meet real needs in the community while developing important personal and professional skills that will allow them to learn and grow.

Is it just about Volunteering?

The purpose of service learning is to give you opportunities for experience that will help you learn and grow professionally and personally. You will reflect on these experiences within your course work to better understand the impact that of your hard work. You will be given tools to help articulate what you accomplished and how to communicate the skills you learned in interviews and resumes.

MU Serves: GivePulse is our portal for matching our students, faculty, and staff with our partners.  There, you will find all our service-learning opportunities, including other volunteer opportunities with our partners. While service-learning projects generally have a longer-term commitment and an educational goal, many of the regular volunteer needs can be shorter and are often fun, so feel free to browse often!

Kara Krus

How will I benefit?

Participating in Service Learning will help you:
Develop practical skills relevant to future careers
Foster personal growth and self-awareness
Build empathy and understanding of diverse communities
Enhance civic engagement and responsibility
Gain networking opportunities with professionals and organizations
Strengthen academic learning through real-world application with immediate results
Increase sense of fulfillment and purpose in education and in the local community
Learn how to apply NACE competencies to your real-world experiences to better communicate your skills to employers, schools, and more

Our office runs the Civic Leaders Internship Program (CLIP). If you are interested in pursuing a nonprofit or government internship, please consult your advisor about schedule feasibility and then reach out to our office. You can view partners on our GivePulse site or find one yourself. We regularly post about this program and application deadlines on our MU Engage page.

To find a list of places to volunteer, students can visit MU Serves: GivePulse. GivePulse is an online database dedicated to connecting student volunteers with needs in the Columbia community. It lists over 150 agencies located in the Mid-Missouri area offering a wide range of volunteer opportunities, both short and long term. To navigate, select “Community Partners” to view partner organizations.

Students may meet individually with an Office of Service-Learning staff member to discuss their service interests, personal and professional goals, and find the right volunteer opportunity. Appointments can be set up on MU Connect or by emailing us at

Please visit this page for more information:

As of Spring 2022, the requirements are 15 credits, 9 in service-learning courses, and two electives.