Deans' Service Scholars

This Year... Learn. Travel. Serve!

The Deans’ Service Scholars (DSS) program is a collaborative initiative between the the dean of arts and sciences, the dean of students, the Office of Student Life and the Academic Resource Center. This unique collaboration allows students to actively engage in Shanghai, Chinese, and Asian communities while looking at service issues through an academic lens.

One highlight of the DSS program is the winter and spring break service trips where students will be able to fully experience a new culture and community while giving back to those in need.

The DSS program attracts enthusiastic students who are committed to making a difference in the lives of others. One main goal of this program is to create effective citizens who will take the experiences from their break and utilize those experiences to bring about proactive social change in their own community. It is meant to be challenging, but certainly a life-changing experience is guaranteed.

Deans' Service Scholars have responsibilities that they will be expected to uphold. Scholars are expected to attend regular meetings to prepare for the DSS-sponsored trip and participate in pre- and post-break service projects, fundraisers, and other events to help advance understanding of the community that the NYU Shanghai groups will serve. Students will also be responsible for participating in all group activities and service during the trip, which will include daily discussions and reflections on experiences.

The DSS offers a unique collaboration between service and scholarship. Scholars should expect to produce a high level of academic work through the writing reflections before and after the trip as well as through the capstone project. Scholars will be required to submit their pre-trip reflections to their staff advisers. For the post-trip reflections, scholars will have a workshop led by a writing faculty member to work through the post-trip writing prompt. They will also be required to meet with a writing Global Academic Fellow to go over their writing draft before submitting the final paper. The capstone project will require a group effort and all scholars will be expected to participate equally. 

How to Apply

Applications open at the beginning of each Academic Year, with selected applicants invited for interview in October. 

Interested students should contact for more information. Please note that the Deans' Service Scholars Program does have an associated fee to help cover the expenses of the intensive winter or spring break service experience.  The fees will cover transportation, lodging, cultural experiences, and food. Scholars will work with staff advisers to create fundraising initiatives throughout the year to help support the cost of these trips.

Check out our DSS information portal on OrgSync for more details. 

For more volunteer opportunities, visit our community service portal