Getting Started!

Welcome to Brown, a university with many diverse opportunities to explore community engagement and social impact that will deepen your education in and out of the classroom.

The Swearer Center for Public Service is a hub of advising, knowledge, and connection for social change on campus. We approach our work with a strong commitment to social justice, collaborative community partnerships, engaged scholarship, and advising. But don't take our word for it, hear what our students and partners have to say!

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We hope you’ll explore all of the incredible opportunities to make a difference here on and off campus by clicking on the links below and visiting us at 25 George Street.

See you in Providence!
The Swearer Center

Connect with Community: Get to Know Providence and the Swearer Center

We host several events at the start of the semester that introduce students to the many resources and opportunities to explore service and scholarship at the Swearer Center. Hear from students involved in our work at an Information Session or our Open House; explore Providence on two feet with community members and alumni through our Community Walking Tours; meet student leaders and representatives from community agencies looking for volunteers at the Community Services Opportunities Fair; and more! 

Volunteer or Lead With a Community Program

The Swearer Center’s 15+ Providence Community Partnerships are built on strong, long-standing partnerships with schools and community agencies that work on critical social issues throughout the greater Providence area. Each year, over 500 Brown students volunteer or lead programs alongside peers, faculty, and local residents; learn more about Providence's many unique neighborhoods; and develop skills, knowledge, and relationships needed to create social change in real-world settings.

Explore Fellowship and Funding Opportunities

We award over fifty fellowships, internships and prizes each year to support undergraduate projects related to service and scholarship. In addition to receiving financial support, fellows actively participate in learning communities that bring students, faculty, and community members together to explore questions of practice, purpose, ethics, and impact.

Discover Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The Social Innovation Initiative is a hub for social innovation and entrepreneurship that supports the develop of social ventures; builds opportunities to explore innovation through classes, campus activities, and careers; and sparks new relationships and ideas for social impact. They host several events every semester and offer a funded fellowship and internship to explore social innovation; sign up for their weekly newsletter!

Become an Engaged Scholar

The Engaged Scholars Program supports students and faculty who seek to integrate teaching, research, and practice in order to advance scholarship and benefit the world beyond Brown. Students that enroll must undertake significant experiential work with community and other non-academic stakeholders, take additional courses defined by their department, and participate in programming and activities with other Engaged Scholars from a variety of departments and disciplines. Visit the ESP page to see which departments are currently involved and how to enroll in the program.

Teaching, Research, and Impact at TRI-Lab

The TRI-Lab is an initiative that brings together students, faculty, and community practitioners to engage with a complex social issue and collaboratively develop, refine, and test solutions. Students are welcome to apply for future Labs and attend events throughout the semester.

Hear Our Stories

The Swearer Center is located in a cozy house not far from the Main Green at 25 George Street. We invite you to meet with our staff during their Office Hours and visit the Swearer Sparks website to explore more stories of students, alumni, faculty, and staff within Brown’s social change community.

Still Have Questions?

Explore our Commonly Asked Questions sheet or join us at an upcoming Information Session.

Again, welcome to Providence!