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.

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

  • When: University of Michigan Spring Break, March 2nd - March 6th, 2020.
  • Ways to get involved: Application and pre-work required. Applications for ASB 2020 will be available on M-Compass in December.
  • How to get involved: email

Citizen Interaction Design (CID): This multidisciplinary program offers School of Information students the opportunity to enroll in a course focused on designing information tools in the public sector: SI 538: Citizen Interaction Design Studio. 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: Submit an application for a course (links coming soon) or view calendar of upcoming events (coming soon)
  • 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

Global Information Engagement Program (GIEP): The Global Information Engagement Program (GIEP) partners South African-based non-profit organizations with teams of interdisciplinary graduate students from the University of Michigan. The objective of GIEP is to leverage appropriate technology and information management skills and tools to address a contemporary social concern. Students will scope their projects in a Winter semester half-term course, then spend two months in Cape Town, South Africa working full-time to address their information challenge by partnering with an organization to adopt a user-centric, capacity-building solution.

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

infoLab: infoLab 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 to be a Design Team Leader, Designer, or Design Apprentice 
  • How to get involved: Apply via MCompass

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.

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: Fall 2019
  • 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. Applications coming fall 2019.
  • How to get involved: email

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.

Study Abroad: Undergraduate students have the opportunity to study abroad as part of the BSI program. Schedule an appointment or attend our various workshops to  receive advising and guidance on selecting programs in various location that are well-suited to degree progress.  

  • When: Fall Term, Winter Term, Summer Term or Academic Year
  • Ways to get involved: Make an appointment via
  • Contact us at:

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 Engaged Learning Office offers many opportunities for engaged learning, there are other opportunities at UMSI and the University of Michigan that may be of interest.

UMSI Alumni in Public Sector Jobs: Many UMSI alumni work in public sector jobs.