Frequently Asked

Q: How do I declare the Certificate in Civic Leadership?

A:Step 1) Discuss your plans for satisfying the Certificate requirements with a CCL Advisor (available on Zoom office hours Mon-Thurs or by appointment) or fill out the intent to complete form on InfoReady in order to be assigned an advisor and invited to meet.

Step 2) Submit a declaration form to the registrar. You may get a signed copy of this form from a CCL Advisor after you fill out the intent to complete form.

Step 3) Complete the application to the program via a progress report on InfoReady by the end of the spring semester prior to the fall semester in which you are starting the Capstone course. This will be assigned to you via email after you have declared your intent to complete the Certificate.

Q: Does my social issue course have to be on the same topic that I do my Capstone on?

A: No. The purpose of the social issue course is to learn how to examine a social issue through an academic lens. You may choose to focus on the same topic for your Capstone project or may have developed other interests through your Learn/Act programs or elsewhere. The focus of your Capstone is entirely up to you!

Q: Do I have to know what my project is or have a partner before starting the Capstone?

A: No, the course is designed to help you identify a partner and develop a project through the curriculum and informational interviews. If you’re signing up for Capstone in the fall it’s good to start thinking about what you’d like your focus to be and what you’d like to get out of the experience, but you’ll also be prompted to reflect on that after you sign up for the course.

Q: Do I have room in my schedule for the Certificate?

A: Well, you’ll have to come to advising for that and also discuss with your other academic advisors. One aspect to consider is the timing of the Capstone, you can complete the Civic Leadership Capstone either junior or senior year, so if you’re looking to complete a capstone or thesis in your major as a senior, consider taking the CCL Capstone as a junior.

Q: Who is eligible to participate in the Certificate in Civic Leadership?

A: All Rice University undergraduate students are eligible to participate in CCL programs and courses. Students are encouraged to get involved in a CCL Immersion Program and CCL Action Program, as well as speak with the CCL Undergraduate Advisor early in their Rice careers to take full advantage of the range of opportunities available through the CCL. There are a variety of paths to completion of the Certificate in Civic Leadership, but students must formally apply for acceptance into the certificate program.

Q: Can I still study abroad if I want to complete the certificate requirements?

A: Yes, absolutely, and we actively encourage students to find ways to connect this experience with other academic experiences, whether on campus or abroad. The one component that requires an on-campus presence is the Civic Leadership Capstone Course (LEAD 402), which must be taken in the fall semester prior to the Civic Leadership Capstone Project (LEAD 403) in the spring semester.

Q: I am already completing an honors thesis or other significant work product for my major, minor, or other academic program. Can I count that as my Civic Leadership Capstone Project?

A: The Certificate in Civic Leadership is structured in a manner such that it recognizes the completion of unique intellectual efforts. As such, certificate participants may not receive credit or meet certificate requirement through activities that have already received formal recognition for another endeavor.

There may, however, be opportunities for students to expand projects, deepen their understanding of issues, or utilize new approaches to solving problems previously addressed. The end result must be a unique intellectual product and meet the high standards of academic rigor associated with the certificate and plans to pursue this path should be discussed with an Advisor in advance of applying to the certificate program.

Q: Can I take any of the required credits as Pass/Fail?

A: No. As is the case for majors and minors, all required curricular components must be taken with a standard grading -- either letter grade or S/U. Classes taken on neither a Pass/Fail nor Audit format may be accepted as meeting certificate requirements. 

Q: Can courses not on the list of sample electives be considered to meet the social issue and leadership electives requirement?

A: The list of electives is intended to serve as an aid to students who wish to identify courses that have already been determined to have significant components of issues-specific content knowledge or leadership theory. They are not, however, exhaustive or fully representative of the wide range of expertise available from Rice University faculty. Student's wishing to substitute another course should consult with the Undergraduate Advisor and be prepared to submit a course syllabus and statement of how the course met the intent of the electives requirement. Decisions on substitutions will be made by the CCL Undergraduate Advisor in consultation with the Faculty Director of the Center for Civic Leadership.



Monday - Friday
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Center for Civic Leadership
Rice Memorial Center, Room 208
6100 Main St.
Houston, TX 77005


Phone: 713-348-2223
Fax: 713-348-5885


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