For Students

For Students

Students can engage with many types of organizations, community partners and clients during their time at UMSI. The following opportunities exist:

A2DataDive: A2DataDive facilitates practical education and service events that increase data literacy in the community. At the annual event, students and community members collaborate with clients (local non-profits) to work with data sets in context. This can include programming, analysis, or data visualization. Participants don’t need to be data experts to get involved - all backgrounds and skill levels are welcome.

When: Two weekend days in November
Ways to get involved: Apply to join client team or participate day of
How to get involved: email

Alternative Spring Break (ASB): Spend your spring break working on an information-related project at a nonprofit organization in Detroit or Washington DC - or propose a self-initiated project in a city of your choice.

When: University of Michigan Spring Break (one week in winter term)
Ways to get involved: Application and pre-work required
How to get involved: email

Citizen Interaction Design (CID): This multidisciplinary program offers School of Information students the opportunity to enroll in two courses focused on designing information tools in the public sector: SI 538: Citizen Interaction Design Studio and SI 695: Mastery Interaction Design: Civic Technology. Students can also participate in summer internships with local Michigan municipalities, attend speakers and participate in events on civic engagement topics, attend conferences, and work with program leadership to initiate their own civic technology project.

When: Events and courses throughout the year
Ways to get involved: Declare your registration for the course via MCompass or view calendar of upcoming events on iTrack
How to get involved: email

Community Impact Projects: Community Impact Projects allow students to build their skills in a real world setting, while helping a non-profit organization. UMSI receives requests from organizations who need assistance with information projects - everything from website redesign (on a platform), to database management, to contextual inquiry. These organizations have reached out to UMSI for assistance because they know the value students can bring to their organization.

When: Projects available now
Ways to get involved: Volunteer to work on a project that fits your area of skill and interest, on a timeframe that works for you.
How to get involved: email

Design Clinic: The Design Clinic provides the opportunity for students to act as design consultants working on fast-paced, semester-long projects for real-world clients. Students are responsible for nurturing creative team dynamics, communicating with clients and managing the progress of projects, all while learning and receiving guidance from mentors and team members with more or unique experiences.

When: Offered every term
Ways to get involved: Apply via MCompass
How to get involved: email

Global Information Engagement Program (GIEP): The Global Information Engagement Program (GIEP) partners non-profit, research, and educational organizations in an international setting with carefully selected student teams. Project teams from UMSI and University graduate programs spend a semester studying and creating plans for implementation of an identified information challenge that has high social impact value in a for-credit class. Then, students travel to Cape Town, South Africa, for nine weeks to work with those non-profit partners and enact their innovative ideas.

When: Semester Course (Winter Term) and travel to Cape Town, South Africa (Spring Semester)
Ways to get involved: Apply via MCompass
How to get involved: email

Michigan Makers: Michigan Makers uses action research and service learning to explore teaching, learning, and evidence of skills in non-classroom settings. The project was conceived by a group of UMSI graduate students and clinical assistant professor Kristin Fontichiaro. The current scope of work falls into four broad categories: Michigan Makers in the Classroom, MakerBridge, Makers as Innovators Book Series, and Digital Badging.

When: Academic year
How to get involved: email

Service Week: UMSI Service Week is a week-long event dedicated to service in the local community. The entire UMSI community is invited to engage with the community by working on identified service projects throughout the week in non-profit organizations around the Ann Arbor area. These projects levy a wide range of skills from the UMSI community, from painting and archiving to cleaning and quick usability analysis. It's a fun and exciting event, and we need you to make it happen.

When: One week in early November
Ways to get involved: Volunteer to work on a project that fits your area of skill and interest, on a timeframe that works for you during the Service Week.
How to get involved: email

Peace Corps Masters International Volunteer Program (MIVP): This program allows students to incorporate 27 months of Peace Corps service into their Master of Science in Information (MSI) degree and apply their skills across fields including education, health, agriculture and the environment. Students who participate in the Masters International Volunteer Program program earn an MSI degree and complete Peace Corps service in four years. Participants also receive language, cross-cultural and technical training prior to embarking on their Peace Corps experience in their host country. Students who complete Peace Corps service as part of the MIVP will receive a full scholarship, with benefits and stipend for their remaining two terms.

See the MIVP program page for more information and how to get involved.

Peace Corps - Coverdell: The University of Michigan School of Information, in partnership with the U.S. Peace Corps, provides Returned Peace Corps Volunteers the opportunity to earn a Master of Science in Information (MSI) through the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows program. The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows program offers financial support to those who have served as a Peace Corps Volunteer, Peace Corps Response (PCR) Volunteer, or Global Health Service Partnership Volunteer prior to enrolling in UMSI’s MSI program. In addition, Volunteers use the skills they developed working abroad to complete internships in underserved U.S. communities, gaining both academic credit and valuable professional experience.

See the Peace Corps - Coverdell Fellowship program page for more information

Global Engagement: A growing number of students take part in a wide range of international opportunities such as fellowship, internships, volunteering, entrepreneurial activities, research, and other self-initiated projects abroad each year. Students have participated in international engagement opportunities ranging from working on the development of national archives in Uganda to ICT development activities with the United Nations in Korea to project management with Lenovo in China.

When: Usually Summer Term
Ways to get involved: Make an appointment via
Contact us at:

Client-based Courses: Are you interested in receiving credit for working on real-world information problems? Learn more about the curricular opportunities to engage with real clients and community partners.

When: Fall and Winter terms
Ways to get involved: See the Client-based Courses page for more information about each course
How to get involved: Register for courses via Wolverine Access

Other Opportunities at UMSI and U-M: While the Office of Professional and Community Engagement offers many opportunities for engaged learning, there are other opportunities at UMSI and the University of Michigan that may be of interest. Make an appointment at to learn more and discover an opportunity best for you.