Civic Engagement Minor
Civic Engagement Minor
students painting a house

Students partner with Habitat for Humanity to revitalize a house in San Antonio’s Eastside neighborhood, improving the quality of life for its residents



students in food bank

Students at the San Antonio Food Bank, working to eliminate hunger

What is Civic Engagement?

Civic Engagement develops your awareness of social issues through active participation and service-learning in your community.

Why should I minor in Civic Engagement? What’s in it for me?

  • As a student, you will develop leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, and professional development skills to be successful in a wide array of industries.
  • More and more companies are placing high importance on corporate responsibility to help their businesses grow and sustain.
  • With a Minor in Civic Engagement, you become more marketable in the workplace, setting yourself apart from your peers.
  • The program enables you to be a well-rounded applicant who can think critically and solve real-world problems.
students volunteer at community garden

Students work together to tackle food insecurity by volunteering at a community farm and garden, making health food more accessible for low-income residents.

About the Minor

The Minor in Civic Engagement is an interdisciplinary program that examines strategies for social change. It allows students to critically think of their role in advancing a diverse democracy through sustained community engagement and active participation. This minor can be combined with any major.

Here’s what students had to say…


Bharath RamAs a future physician, I aim to work with populations in need. I plan to go into healthcare policy, and the courses for the Minor in Civic Engagement have allowed me to gain some of the advocacy, policy, administration, and communication skills necessary for that career. I aim to use the skills that I have learned to lead sustainable and long-lasting community improvement, especially for global communities in need.” 

–Bharath Ram
Bachelor of Science, Biology
UTSA Top Scholar
Class of 2019

Briana Diaz

“One of my career goals is to go into educational research, and it was valuable to work with students and hear about their school experiences. I will have to understand school politics and the policy implications of my research.” “Practicing different leadership and communication skills as a session facilitator will benefit me as I eventually shift my career focus from education research into local policymaking.”                                 

 –Briana Diaz
Bachelor of Arts, Psychology
UTSA Top Scholar
Class of 2019

Minor Requirements

  • Required Courses (6 credit hours) 

PAD 2073 – Foundations of Civic Engagement

PAD 3073 – Civic Leadership Integrative Seminar

Electives: Students must complete 12 hours of electives.

Courses that apply include courses in African-American Studies, Anthropology, Biology, Political Science, Communications, Marketing, Sociology, Geography, and so much more!

Visit the catalog to see the full list of required courses and electives.

Register thru ASAP.

Read the examples below of how civic engagement applies in other disciplines.

community meeting

Students in the Foundations for Civic Engagement class, taught by Associate Professor Francine Romero, led a mock trial on climate change and invited members of the community to be a part of the policy making process to see whether or not the City should adopt a heat island policy.

Civic Engagement in Engineering

Some universities are requiring engineers to have a civic engagement experience. This allows them to work with the community and develop an understanding of the civic bodies who oversee projects that impact the public. For example, while working on an engineering project for Sanborn County Park in California, engineering students of Santa Clara University were able to apply their knowledge of civic engagement principles, which gave them an understanding of the environmental impact in the community to help save a dying pond.

Civic Engagement in Business

Spectrum Cable is working inside the community to bridge the digital divide and improve digital literacy for underserved communities. Many low-income residents who live in public housing do not have access to broadband internet. Spectrum is training individuals to use technology to help them meet their financial and economic goals. The San Antonio Housing Authority and the Digital Inclusion Alliance of San Antonio are working hard to achieve this goal as well.

Civic Engagement in Architecture

student at community meeting

Stephanie Flores gathers input from residents for District 8’s inaugural participatory budgeting project. Members voted on which project would receive funding based on the needs of the community.

old building in san antonioCivic participation is one aspect of the city’s health.  Design strategies can build civic engagement by translating into actionable designs for neighborhoods and buildings. The Concordia project team in Alexandria, Virginia designed and led a community engagement process aimed at strengthening the relationship between municipal government and the City’s residents. Concordia held a series of public meetings to ask residents to envision and design the process through which the City should engage its citizens. The focus of the project was aimed to strengthen and nurture the relationship between the City and the community.





The Outcomes

  • Residents who feel connected to the places they live are more likely to participate in local politics and identify with a civic mission.
  • No matter what profession you choose, you can improve the quality of lives and the health of the community.
  • You develop partnerships with organizations to build pathways of success for underserved populations through service-learning opportunities.
  • You develop connections with professionals and community members for learning and career opportunities.
  • You enjoy stronger relationships with faculty and a greater satisfaction with college.
  • You have the ability to apply what you have learned in “the real world.”
  • You gain improved social responsibility and citizenship skills.