Published: Jan. 30, 2020

Do you enjoy volunteering for a cause you’re passionate about? Do you like to meet and work with other people? Do you hope to work for a non-profit someday? Your personal interests outside the classroom can help you find your academic path. If you’re interested in volunteering, service or helping society, here are ways to explore this semester.

1. Go to these events

Spring Volunteer Fair

Connect with various non-profit organizations at this event on Monday, Feb. 3 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Explore volunteer opportunities and other ways to get involved through service work in Boulder.

SKOServe workshops

This series of trainings explore various topics related to volunteering, and social and environmental justice issues. This semester’s workshop topics include natural disaster response, voluntourism and ethical photography.

Center for Inclusion and Social Change workshops

The Center offers monthly trainings to share best practices for creating inclusive learning and work environments in the areas of gender and sexual diversity, race and colorism, and intersectionality.

2. Check out student organizations and programs

students volunteeringBetween local student groups and CU chapters of larger organizations, there are many opportunities to get involved with volunteering and service. Browse the “Community Service” category on BuffConnect or visit the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) to get involved this semester.

Got plans for spring break? Alternative Breaks sends teams of college students to engage in community-based service projects. This weeklong journey over spring break allows you to partake in meaningful service, reflect upon your experiences and create long-lasting connections with others. Trips for spring 2020 will visit places including Tennessee, Nevada and California. Learn more, or plan to attend the next info session on Feb. 5 at 5 p.m. in UMC 415-417.

You can also check out the INVST Community Studies program. INVST has been weaving meaningful community engagement together with the theory and practice of community leadership since 1990.

INVST programs and events develop community leaders who engage in compassionate action as a lifetime commitment. Learn more about INVST.

3. Consider these academic programs


Sociology is the scientific study of human social behavior. It considers how society influences individuals, and how individuals influence society. Sociology majors may work as government researchers or data analysts, business managers, writers or editors, public health interviewers or demographers or conflict resolution mediators. You could also work in social services, or in community relations as neighborhood organizers.

International Affairs

Begin your studies with a survey of the most compelling global issues of the day. You’ll then go on to detailed analyses of international relations and economics. Courses also focus on problems of international development, the environment, international economic relations and United States foreign policy. This major prepares students for careers in the federal government, international organizations and agencies, international nonprofit organizations, international businesses and the Peace Corps.

Leadership & Community Engagement

Develop a deep understanding of theories of leadership, public policy and social change. This degree prepares you for careers in community or non-profit organizations, higher education, international development, urban planning, social work, government and more. It is the only program of its kind in Colorado, and part of a small number of emerging community engagement degrees nationwide.

Political Science

A degree in political science provides you with the ability to think critically about challenges facing the world today. You will develop research, writing and analytical skills to prepare you for careers in fields such as business, journalism, government, civil service and more.

Elementary Education

If you’re interested in a rewarding career as an elementary teacher, the BA in Elementary Education with the advanced endorsement in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Education could be for you. You’ll gain skills through coursework and extensive, hands-on classroom experience. As Colorado and the nation continue to face teacher shortages, this degree provides tools for examining the social foundations of education and working with diverse populations - an area of high demand.

Foreign language programs

These majors and minors help you learn skills and information that are relevant to careers in nearly every area. A knowledge of foreign language is extremely useful in business, industry, commerce, the civil or foreign service, law, library science, the media, the natural sciences, economics, public administration, government, the health professions, the social sciences and teaching.

Women and Gender Studies

This major or minor offers you a rigorous but flexible program of study that examines women, gender and sexuality in relation to race, class, national identity and ability. Graduates have gone on to careers in fields such as law, medicine, government, public health, public policy, social work, teaching, counseling, advocacy, media, public relations, education, politics, fundraising, small business development, librarianship and arts administration.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer Studies

This certificate program is the academic investigation of sexuality in established fields such as literature, history, theatre, law, medicine, economics, sociology, anthropology and political science. As an academic discipline, LGBTQ Studies examines the history of queerness, the politics of sexual oppression and empowerment, the relationship of sexual identity, the representation of sexualities in music, literature and art and the meaning of queerness in individual identity and the examined life.

Peace, Conflict and Security Program

This certificate program is designed to help you explore why conflict and violence occur and to learn how conflict can be managed and transformed to accomplish constructive ends. After graduation, career paths may lead you to graduate study and a growing number of organizations working to moderate conflict and build peace and justice at all levels of national and global society.

Public Health Certificate

Graduates with a public health background may work in academic settings, government agencies or nonprofit and advocacy organizations. The nature of the work may entail environmental and occupational monitoring, health communication and marketing, and intervention programs developed at the city, state, federal or international level. Additionally, graduates of the certificate program can be prepared for serving in the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps.

Visit your advisor to find out more on how your interest in helping others can shape your journey at CU Boulder.