City Semester Philadelphia

Fall and Spring Application Procedures

For the Summer program, please apply here.

City Semester Philadelphia: An Urban Immersion Program

The City Semester Philadelphia Program is a semester-long place-based program in Philadelphia intended to provide residential and World Campus students with an immersive and rewarding experience focused on social justice issues in the city. The program emphasizes involvement of students in collaborative projects with community-based organizations, non-profit advocacy groups, social service agencies, health care providers, multidisciplinary design firms, socially responsible businesses, and government in Philadelphia. Students are active participants in Penn State University’s efforts to renew the land grant mission for the urban context. Still considered the United States’ poorest big city, co-creating solutions to disparity and polarization is the rich terrain on which to build programs for research and learning.

The Fall and Spring program is designed with sufficient flexibility to meet the needs of a variety of majors and minors at University Park.


  • Recipients will be undergraduates in good standing at Penn State University.
  • This program is open to students from any major.
  • Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis for the Fall 2020 and future semesters.
  • Students can use financial aid to participate in this program.

To apply, University Park students must submit the following by the application deadline:

  • A personal statement (2 pp.) outlining your area(s) of study and your career interests.  You should explain (a) which practicum you’re interested in working with, (b) which qualifications you possess  to match with this practicum, (c) how your academic work would benefit from the City Semester Philadelphia program, as well as (d) the contributions you feel that you could make to the program.
  • A letter of recommendation from a faculty member/administrator in your major or minor, or an employer.
  • Your resume (PDF) including prior work experience, previous community experience, skills (research skills, web design, analytical skills, foreign language, etc.).
  • Completed application form.

Apply now

Grants and Fellowships

Pepsi Urban Sustainability Fellowship (Fall and Spring only)

The Sustainability Institute and Penn State Center Philadelphia invite undergraduate students in good standing to apply for Pepsi Urban Sustainability Fellowships.  Pepsi Urban Sustainability Fellows receive a stipend of $2,500 for one semester of study in the City Semester Philadelphia Program.  A limited number of grants will be awarded each semester. To apply, simply check the fellowship box on the program application form.

Student Engagement Network Grants
Awards are contingent upon the availability of funds and the number of applications received. Students are strongly encouraged to seek additional funding sources, including matching funds from their campus, college, department, and/or external sources. Efforts to obtain additional funding will be viewed positively by the review committee. The grant application and review process has been designed to create a fair and equal opportunity for students to receive funding. Any funding requests outside the established application and review process will not be considered. Check the website for deadlines: