Certificate Criteria

Rensselaer’s Certificate in Civic Responsibility will be awarded to students who have been civically engaged over the course of their college career. The certificate will signify that the recipient is able to “apply science to the common purposes of life” to address 21st century grand challenges. To earn the certificate, students will actively engage in one or more of the established pathways below and participate in their choice of CESR-sponsored forums, colloquies and selected readings and reflection activities on issues related to civic engagement. The experience will culminate in a capstone project or portfolio showcasing student civic engagement to address 21st century grand challenges.

The mandatory requirements across all pathways include:

  • Course Requrements > Take 16 credit hours (at least one 4 credit course per year) which meet the certificate requirements;
  • Personal Development > Attend seminars on proposal and grant writing, advocacy letter writing, portfolio development and completion, leadership and professional development; etc.;
  • Personal Profile > Register for the CESR certificate and maintain a profile of participation, with reflections including but not limited to impacting policy.

The individual pathways to earning the CESR certificate align with Rensselaer’s CLASS Core Themes in professional development, leadership development, cultural development, the campus community, and in Communiversity.  By participating and progressively increasing their level of engagement and responsibility in pathway activities over four years, students will earn the following “badges” to display on their portfolios.


Professional Development   badge2   Cultural Development   Campus Community   Communiversity

To get started, students must register to participate in the certificate program. Once registered, you will be provided with  “portfolio” space on this website which will include prompts to guide you to become an actively engaged citizen. At the successful completion of your capstone or final project, your portfolio of engaged work will be archived in Rensselaer’s Digital Collections Archive. And upon graduation, students who successfully submit completed portfolios will receive the Certificate of Social Responsibility and Civic Engagement noting their pathway concentration(s).