Be the change in your community

This exciting and innovative Bachelor's Degree program integrates college courses with work in real world settings. The major helps students develop as culturally responsive and ethical leaders who collaborate with community partners to tackle society’s big challenges. The major builds on expertise in the School of Education to help you understand how people learn, how to bring about lasting social change, and how to measure impact. 

As the only program of its kind in Colorado and part of a small number of emerging community engagement degrees nationwide, this degree places you at the cutting edge of social innovation. It can help you launch your career in nonprofit organizations, K-12 or higher education settings, international development, urban planning, social work, or government organizations.

Imagine yourself in a class where you...

  • learn about democracy and education by helping young people organize a public action project.
  • learn to facilitate difficult conversations across social differences.
  • learn to design and carry out participatory research with community members. 
  • design and implement year-long senior project that makes a big public impact.


  • A small learning community- you will receive personal attention and be in small classes with the same group of students throughout college.
  • Community-based learning opportunities in each year of study.
  • Focus on social justice.
  • Advanced coursework in community-based research methods and learning sciences.
  • The dual degree program, which allows you to combine your Leadership and Community Engagement Major with select majors from the College of Arts and Sciences.

Next Steps 

Frequently Asked Questions


The Leadership and Community Engagement Major is a four-year degree program open to incoming first-year students and transfer students.  Students interested in applying as a first-year or transfer student for fall 2018 should contact the University of Colorado Boulder Office of Admissions for more information.

The dual degree program allows students to major in Leadership and Community Engagement simultaneously with one of the following majors: Anthropology, Ethnic Studies, Geography, Political Science, Sociology, Women and Gender Studies, Asian Studies, English, Jewish Studies, Philosophy, and Spanish or Portuguese.  


Choose this major when you apply to CU Boulder. Visit the Admissions website to apply.


The major and the minor share a commitment to developing students as culturally responsive and ethical leaders through rigorous academics and real-world experiences.

The minor embraces a wide variety of approaches. After a common foundations course on ethical and culturally competent leadership, students craft their own pathway through disciplinary study or affiliated programs (ROTC, Multicultural Leadership Scholars,President’s Leadership Class, and INVST Community Studies). For the capstone experience, students from all tracks are asked to collaborate on a Leadership Challenge posed by a local non-profit, company, or government agency.

The Leadership and Community Engagement Major has a distinct approach and a more intensive curriculum. It focuses on developing students as leaders who work with communities to build the collective capacity to address public challenges. Because the focus is on working with people, students study the science of how people learn and are engaged in public life. This educational frame is then put into a larger context of investigating different approaches to bring about social change. In the senior capstone, students work in teams to design, implement, and evaluate a project that makes a major public impact.

Given these distinctions, students in the Leadership and Community Engagement Major are unable to declare the Leadership Studies Minor in addition to the major. 


The Leadership and Community Engagement Major is housed in the School of Education. For advising on the major, please contact the School of Education. Choose this major when you apply to CU Boulder. Visit the Admissions website to apply.

 To apply, visit the CU Boulder Admissions website. To visit campus, sign up for an Explore CU event.