Welcome to your hub for the Gephardt Institute civic leadership programs! Below you will find information about our Civic Scholars and St. Louis Fellows programs, as well as the link to apply.

The Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement supports student learning, engagement, and leadership in civic life

Our civic leadership programs provide powerful experiences that support experiential education, civic leadership development, internship opportunities, and help you explore how to align civic and community engagement with your own passions and skills.   

We encourage you to apply if you are interested in deepening your understanding of and experience with nonprofit work, public policy, grassroots organizing, public health, the arts, and more, through the lens of civic and community engagement.

Civic Leadership Program Application

The application period for Civic Scholars and St. Louis Fellows is currently closed.

The application form will open again in Fall 2024.

Submit a Student Recommendation

Recommendations are required for all programs and cannot be written by undergraduate students.

The recommendation form will open again in Fall 2024.

Civic Leadership Programs Overview

Civic Scholars ProgramSt. Louis Fellows Program
Program FocusCivic Scholars is a rigorous two-year academic program that includes four semesters of coursework (6 credits total), leadership training, mentorship, experiential learning, overnight immersion trips, and a funded Civic Summer project completed between junior and senior year.St. Louis Fellows is a cohort experience featuring a 10-week, full-time summer internship at a St. Louis area nonprofit or civic organization and an experiential curriculum that explores St. Louis’ history, culture, politics, challenges, and opportunities. 
Program EligibilityRising juniors.  
(You must be enrolled as a third-year undergraduate in fall 2024). 
Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors. (You must be enrolled as an undergraduate student in fall 2024). 
Regional FocusCivic Summer projects can be completed nationwide or internationallySt. Louis Metro Area
Program LengthCivic Scholars is a two-year program completed during junior and senior years (Fall 2024-Spring 2026) Our St. Louis Fellowships are completed June 2024 through August 2024, with required events in the spring and fall.
Funding or Stipend$6,500 base stipend + $1,000 supplemental stipend for students with families of $75,000 or less in total parent income. To check your eligibility, contact your SFS Counselor. Civic Scholars may also apply for up to $1,000 to cover Civic Summer project expenses.$6,500 base stipend + $1,000 supplemental stipend for students with families of $75,000 or less in total parent income. To check your eligibility, contact your SFS Counselor.


Are international students eligible for Civic Scholars and St. Louis Fellows?

Yes, international students are encouraged to apply for all Gephardt Institute civic leadership programs. Upon being selected, additional follow-up will be required through OISS to complete the appropriate documentation.

I am applying to Civic Scholars. Do I need to have my Civic Summer Project pre-determined before applying?

No, and in fact, much of your junior year experience in Civic Scholars will be spent focused on preparing you for your Civic Summer.

If I am applying to St. Louis Fellows, do I need to have my internship identified before applying?

No, and while it helps to have a particular issue area or professional focus that you’re passionate about exploring in your internship, the Gephardt Institute team will work with you to identify and find the best internship for you in your fellowship.

Is the St. Louis Fellows summer internship paid?

Fellows will secure an unpaid internship with a local community partner organization, but will receive funding from the Gephardt Institute in the form of a $6,500 base stipend in lieu of summer earnings and to help offset living costs and expenses. Students with families of $75,000 or less in total parent income will receive a $1000 supplemental stipend. To check your eligibility, contact your SFS Counselor.

I’m currently studying abroad or planning to study abroad. Can I apply for a civic leadership program?

St. Louis Fellows – Yes, and please contact our team if you have specific questions about the timing of the internship and completion of your study abroad. If you are selected for a finalist interview while abroad, your interview can be conducted virtually.  

Civic Scholars – Since participating in this program requires completion of academic courses in Fall 2024, Spring 2025, Fall 2025, and Spring 2026, participants planning to study abroad during those semesters are ineligible for the program. Many students who hope to participate in Civic Scholars as well as have a study abroad experience plan to study abroad during the summer after sophomore year (Summer 2024).  

How do the recommendations work?

Recommendations are required as part of the application process for each St. Louis Fellows or Civic Scholars applicant. You can include more than one recommendation, but only one is required to submit your application. Recommendations are completed by filling out a quick form, as opposed to writing a conventional letter. For Civic Scholars only: recommenders must be WashU faculty or staff.

For questions about a civic leadership program or the application process, please contact Sonia Sequiera, Director of Programs and Operations, at soniasequeira@wustl.edu

Application Process

The application process is common across both civic leadership programs. To submit a complete application, please do the following: 

  1. Submit your online application, including your resume and short essay responses, by Jan. 19, 2024 at 9 p.m. CST.

    We advise that you draft your short essay responses in a Word document first. Then, copy and paste your responses from the Word document into the online form to avoid any potential technical issues. Gephardt also provides a fillable PDF to help you draft your application, but final responses must be submitted through the application form on our website. Please include all Washington University affiliations, including student organizations, scholarship programs, and work/internship commitments on your resume. Additionally, your resume should highlight any significant civic and community engagement experience.
  2. Ensure your recommender has completed the required recommendation form by Jan. 27, 2024 by 5 p.m. CST.  Applicants should solicit one recommendation as part of your application. Your recommender cannot be a current undergraduate student at WashU. View sample request email >>

    For Civic Scholars applicants, the recommender MUST be a WashU faculty or staff member.

    For St. Louis Fellows applicants, the recommender can be anyone who can speak to your engagement in a community setting, with a strong preference for either a WashU faculty/staff member or someone who is familiar with your interests, work, and involvement in the past year.

Extended Program Details

Information Sessions and Drop-In Hours

We encourage attending one or more of the following information sessions or drop-in hours. These sessions provide an opportunity to learn more about our programs, preview the application process, ask questions, and connect with Gephardt staff.  

Information sessions and drop-in hours will be made available in-person and virtually. If you are not able to attend, please contact us with any questions. 

Civic Leadership Program Information Sessions

These information sessions are an ideal opportunity to learn more about our St. Louis Fellows Program and Civic Scholars Program.

Times and dates for information sessions will be announced shortly.

Program2023 Information Sessions
All Civic Leadership ProgramsNov. 17, noon – 1 p.m. at Stix House 
Civic ScholarsTBD
St. Louis FellowsTBD

Virtual & In-person Drop-In Hours

Virtual drop-in hours are available for applicants to learn more about all civic leadership programs. Gephardt Staff and program alumni will be available to answer questions about each program and can give feedback on application drafts.

More details can be found on our events calendar.

Session Date and Time
St. Louis Fellows, virtualFriday, Dec. 15, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
Friday, Jan. 5, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
St. Louis Fellows, in-personMonday, Nov. 27, 3-5 p.m. 
Tuesday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. 
Thursday, Dec. 7, 3-5 p.m. 
Wednesday, Jan. 17, 3-5 p.m. 
Civic Scholars, virtualTuesday, Dec. 12, 3-5 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 21, 1-2 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 4, 3-5 p.m.
Civic Scholars, in-personFriday, Nov. 17, 1-3 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 4 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 19, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.


In addition to information sessions and drop-in hours, applicants are encouraged to take advantage of WashU resources to support your application. The following offices offer one-on-one appointments, available to all WashU students: 

Resume & Interview SupportEssay Writing
The Career Center
DUC 110
The Writing Center
Mallinkrodt Center, Lower Level