Civic Leaders Center

Start your college career with a tight-knit community of Civic Leaders

The Civic Leaders Center (CLC) is a living-learning community for incoming freshman of all majors with a passion for civic engagement and leading for the greater good. You can live together in Briscoe Residence Center, learn together, and develop new leadership skills—all while forming connections that will last a lifetime.

Discover what makes the Civic Leaders Center special

Description of the video:


[Kyle] Right at the beginning I was looking to make sure I could find my close-knit community to make the big campus small and for me that was the Civic Leader Center. There's a huge variety of majors and topics that people are interested in when they come in.

[Emma] I had people all around me who were willing to make new friends and come out of their bubble and talk to, so it was just really nice to have someone to talk to in the first beginning weeks of school.

[Meredith] The Civic Leader Center has something for everyone. When we talk about environmental justice when we talk about voting rights. There's something for everyone as long as they're passionate about the greater good.

[Director Helmke] One of the things I'm most proud of is that when we've gotten Civic Leaders into positions of leadership for IU Student Government or Dance Marathon they've helped other students get into those positions after them and I think it's that networking, that mentoring, that lending that helping hand that really makes the difference.

[Reece] I think what makes the CLC special is how tight-knit our community is, especially since we're all living together. We only take up a couple floors. We all see each other, we have classes together, it really creates a tighter bond between like all of the students within the CLC.

[Thomas] The Civic Leaders Center gives you opportunities to travel. Over fall break we went to DC for a few days and it was so fun, because we got to see some of like the famous places like the Capitol Building, but we also got to meet with people that are making change and making impact in the world.

[Hannah] Summer after my freshman year I studied abroad in Athens Greece with the Civic Leaders Center and just seeing how policy and public management can kind of fit into these situations that like I would have never been able to do on my own.

[Connor] It honestly at times took my breath away and the trips we took to the countryside of Greece or you know into these islands with the Mediterranean, it was an experience I've never had before and something I'm probably going to remember for the rest of my life.

[Kyle] I think I would have been lost without the CLC I really do, because it gave me those that first group of friends that first group of really exciting people that I'm still close with today. I will never forget that freshman year in the CLC.

[Meredith] And it's really just about being a part of something bigger than yourself and contributing to the world at large and for me it's always been important to make change and just to make the world a better place for your peers but also for the people to come [Music]

Why join the CLC?

Live together

  • Live in a single or double room with semi-private bath in Briscoe Residence Center— just steps away from Assembly Hall and a quick walk to the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Kelley School of Business
  • Join a community of like-minded peers who can help you succeed

Learn together

  • Take one of your general education courses right in your residence hall with other members of the CLC
  • Exclusive travel opportunities to Washington, D.C., over fall break and Athens, Greece, over the summer

Lead together

  • Meet influential leaders like elected officials, former ambassadors, nonprofit directors, and social entrepreneurs through our seminar class
  • Get involved with the local community through service projects and volunteer opportunities with other Civic Leaders


With the CLC, you can spend fall break exploring D.C. and networking with alumni.
Over the summer, explore the roots of democracy with an optional three-week study abroad course in Greece.  
Get involved in the community by volunteering with local public and nonprofit organizations.

Learn to lead — and to serve

You can start to develop your leadership skills right away through one of the CLC’s leadership committees, such as the recruitment committee or the service committee. You'll also attend a regular evening seminar series and have opportunies to be mentored by upperclassmen and attend an annual etiquette dinner.

You’ll leave the CLC well-positioned to take advantage of leadership positions at IU and beyond. Our alumni have gone on to serve on-campus through IU Student Government, hold competitive internships in places like Washington, D.C., and receive prestigious honors including Fulbright Awards and Marshall Scholarships.

Earn general education credit with other Civic Leaders

You'll take one of your general education courses together with other Civic Leaders in the fall semester and have the option to take another in the spring. Usually taught in 100-person sections, these courses are capped at just over 30 students—and taught in a dedicated classroom right inside your residence hall.

Course availability varies, but typical choices include: U.S. Policy and Administration, Policy-making around the World: Comparative and International Approaches, and Law and Public Affairs.

You'll also earn one credit for our evening seminar series.













How to apply

  1. Complete your housing application by the priority deadline and list the Civic Leaders Center as your top choice. Once it opens, you can access the housing application through Residential Programs and Services.
  2. Complete the short-answer questions about your interest in the CLC. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.


If you have financial need, scholarships are available to help offset the cost of Briscoe Residence Hall for your first year. You will automatically be considered for scholarships upon completion of the CLC application. Scholarships range from $500 to $2,000.

Meet our team


Director, Civic Leaders Center; Professor of Practice

(812) 855-2275

Associate Director, Civic Leaders Center


Civic Leaders Center FAQ

Living in the Civic Leaders Center involves a $100 activity fee per semester ($200 annually). Also, the CLC is housed in Briscoe Residence Center, which is enhanced housing. You can view the costs of all room types on the Residential Programs and Services website.

If you are accepted into the Civic Leaders Center, you will be matched with a roommate who is also in the CLC and who shares similar interests. If you already have someone in mind who you would like to live with but you would like to live in the CLC, they will need to apply to be in the CLC as well. If they have questions about the CLC, encourage them to reach out to us!

Yes, as long as your roommate also lists the CLC as their first choice on their housing application, submits the short answer requirements, and is accepted into the CLC, you will be matched with your roommate in the CLC.

The CLC is conveniently located near the McNutt Eatery and is a short walk from the SPEA Café and the Hodge Café.

When you are completing the CLC portion of the housing application, you will be asked to describe your perspective on leadership, share an issue that you are passionate about, and talk about what kinds of activities you are interested in getting involved with on campus. We will also ask you for two references, including one from a teacher.

Applications to the CLC will reviewed on a rolling basis and notifications go out monthly beginning in March.