Civic Leadership Program

Section 1

Civic Leadership Program

The Program

The Civic Leadership Program (CLP) is designed to appeal to students with interests in American politics, public policy, and civic engagement. It offers students an informed appreciation of American democracy, the values and structures on which it is based, its successes and its weaknesses, and the challenges it will face in the 21st century. Because the potential benefits of democratic governance cannot be realized without an abundant supply of capable and committed civic leaders, the Civic Leadership Program takes on the mission of generating a stream of highly motivated, exceptionally capable, ethically aware, and broadly-trained individuals who will be prepared to assume leadership positions in civic affairs in both the private and the public domains.


Undergraduate students participate in the Civic Leadership Program through two paths: the Civic Leadership Concentration (for political science majors) and the Political and Civic Leadership Minor (for students majoring in other fields). Successful completion of either the concentration or the minor requires three components: foundational coursework in political science and/or related disciplines, specialized coursework in civic leadership, and an internship.


Admission to the program is competitive and based on academic performance, demonstrated leadership achievement, and the potential for meaningful civic engagement. To be eligible for admission, students must have completed at least nine hours of on-campus CLP courses, three of them at the 300-level or higher with a UIUC GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students are encouraged to submit their applications in the semester in which they will meet these requirements, with admissions decisions made after semester grades are submitted.

Applications are available at the links at the bottom of this page. The application packet consists of an application form, a resume, a transcript, a personal statement, and a writing sample from a political science or other social science course.

Career and Networking Opportunities

The Civic Leadership Program provides numerous opportunities for concentrators and minors outside the classroom, including workshops on career development and graduate school, events with civic leaders in government and the private sector, and participation in the annual Cline Symposium. There are also scholarship and funding opportunities targeted at Civic Leadership Program students.

Program Information

CLP Application