Engage Democracy is a university-wide initiative that educates the campus community about the  processes and civic skills needed to participate in a thriving democracy.

Engage Democracy includes voter engagement in all elections, public policy education, civic dialogue, and civic skills workshops.  Explore opportunities for involvement below, and connect with us to further engage the campus community and increase political participation throughout the year.   

Voter Engagement

Voting is a vital form of civic engagement that helps make our communities stronger. Learn about WashU Votes, our student-led volunteer initiative, voter registration, election dates,  ballot issues, and other ways to engage with public issues.

American Democracy Lab Podcast

Our podcast brings together experts from different fields to talk about an aspect of our American democracy and where different perspectives may converge.

This Civic Moment Podcast

In this podcast, we engage diverse local and regional civic and community leaders on what inspired them to engage this civic moment and better understand what is next for our civic future.

Common Ground Grants

Common Ground Grants are designed to catalyze the campus community in developing strategies to repair, address, and prevent polarization at the university and in the St. Louis community. Opportunities range from $500-$1,500.

Political Science Courses

The Gephardt Institute and the Department of Political Science collaborate to offer one credit courses that teach students to leverage the political process to promote civic engagement.

Workshop Series

We offer workshops to equip students and campus partners with knowledge and skills to engage in the process of democracy, including “civics 101,” media literacy, and citizen tools for communicating with elected officials.


Washington University has been recognized as a top institution for voter engagement efforts and for making civic learning and democratic engagement a part of every student’s college education

2020 Census

The 2020 Census counts the total population of the United States, gathering crucial data that informs government funding, congressional representation, and cutting-edge research. Learn how to be counted.

‘Engage Democracy’ In The News

First-year student Caleb Saffold votes in the 2020 general election on Nov. 3. Caleb was one of about 2,600 WashU students who registered to vote and more than 1,100 St. Louis County residents who cast their votes in the WashU Field House. (Photo: Whitney Curtis/Washington University)

The Engage Democracy Initiative is generously funded by Bruce Levenson, AB ’71, and Karen Levenson.