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Information on this page is for Fall 2020 applicants. If you were admitted prior to Fall 2020 please click here to view information accurate to your curriculum.
National Community Scholars Program

National Community Scholars Program

As one of our Community Scholars Programs, the purpose of the National Community Scholars Program (NCS) is to prepare professionals for enabling young people and adult allies to create community change.

Approximately six scholars will be selected each year to participate in the program. National Community Scholars will gain skills to organize groups for social action, plan programs at the local level, advocate for socially just policies, and develop community-based services.

National Community Scholars Program Funding

  • Nonresident Award: $8,500/semester plus one-time $6,000 in spring-summer ($40,000 total for four terms or $31,500 total for three terms)
  • Resident Award: $3,500/semester plus one-time $6,000 in spring-summer ($20,000 total for four terms or $16,500 total for three terms)

Special Fieldwork Placements

The program offers unique opportunities for students to collaborate with leading practitioners. Previous summer placement sites have included the following areas. Additional sites may be added for fall 2020.

  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Central Appalachia
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Midwestern Communities
  • Mississippi Delta
  • San Francisco Bay Area, a culturally diverse urban area with a dense concentration of community youth organizations.
  • Washington D.C.

Program Requirements

  • Commitment to program objectives, demonstrated potential for youth and community work, and fit with community partners.
  • Interest in youth participation, community change, community-based participatory research, and/or social justice.
  • Enrollment as a full-time MSW student in the 16-month, 12-month (Advanced Standing, MicroMasters MSW, or UM Sociology & SW) curriculum.
  • Selection and completion of program requirements for one of the following pathways: Community Change, Management & Leadership, Policy & Political Social Work, or Program Evaluation and Applied Research.
  • NCS scholars begin field in the first fall term and enroll in 7-8 field credits in spring/summer term at a designated agency. 16-month students will begin field 'Out of sequence' in the first fall term.
  • Scholars will be directed to specific sections of the Introduction to Social Work course and Social Work Capstone.
  • Participation in formal and informal extracurricular cohort activities.

Due to course and field requirements, dual MSW/MPH students are not eligible to participate in this program.


  • All potential MSW applicants who are interested in youth participation, community change, community-based participatory research, and social justice are invited to apply.
  • Application deadlines: December 1, 2019 (early application), February 1, 2020 (priority), March 1, 2020. Selection of applicants will be made from all dates with priority given to those applicants that meet the December and February deadlines.
  • Deferred admits planning to enroll in fall 2020 must submit their special program application by November 1, 2019.
  • Financial need will be considered in the review of special program applications.
  • Your MSW application must be complete by the scholarship application deadline.
  • If you would like to apply to the National Community Scholars Program, then please answer "yes" to the question, "Do you plan to apply to an SSW Special Program?" found on the Financial Assistance page of the MSW online application and then select the National Community Scholars Program checkbox. The NCS application pages will be added to the end of your online MSW application.

For more information about this program, contact the Office of Student Services at (734) 936-0961 or

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