Today is Monday, Nov. 20, 2017

Undergraduate Program in Medical Sciences

Service Learning



UC students serving Cincinnati Public Schools

What is Service Learning?

Service learning is a form of experiential learning in which volunteer community service is integrated with faculty-directed lectures, readings, discussions, and reflection activities. The purpose of SL is to use a real-world setting to help students refine their skills in problem solving, critical thinking, data analysis, civic and ethical responsibility, and interpersonal development.

How Does Service Learning Work?

Prior to the start of the semester, the student works with the Center for Community Engagement to identify a community organization of interest to the student. The student will then be challenged to work with their community partner to conduct a needs assessment for the agency and to develop a community service proposal that will be implemented by the student over the duration of the course.

Throughout the semester, volunteer service will be paired with opportunities for individual reflection, guest lectures on volunteer service from faculty and community partners, and opportunities for communicating project outcome to faculty, community members and peers. Working with diverse and marginalized populations as part of the service learning experience informs both student learning and future practice, which helps students meet the challenges of their chosen career path.  
UC students building houses

Service Learning in the Curriculum

Students in the Medical Sciences major can participate in service learning opportunities in two ways:

  • Health & Community: Service-Learning Rotation (MEDS3050) is a one-semester course designed to provide an SL experience to students interested in health-related careers. The course is also open to students outside of the medical sciences major, with permission of the course directors
  • Health & Community: Service-Learning Capstone I and II (MEDS5050, MEDS5051) is a two-semester capstone experience restricted to students in the medical sciences major. Medical Sciences majors must select either the SL capstone or the biomedical research capstone (MEDS5030, MEDS5031). Since the skills necessary for success in biomedical research and community engagement are both relevant to careers in healthcare, medical sciences students who intend to participate in the the biomedical research capstone are encouraged to also take a one-semester SL experience as an elective. Conversely, those who intend to take the SL capstone are encouraged to take a one-semester biomedical research experience as an elective.


Annie Fitzgerald Award

The Annie Fitzgerald Award for Leadership and Service is awarded each year to University of Cincinnati undergraduate students who have shown leadership and possess a passion for service.

Past Medical Sciences winners include:

  • Zoha Mian, class of 2020
  • Anna Layman, class of 2019
For more information about the award, visit the Center for Community Engagement.

Medical Sciences Contacts

Anil Menon, PhD
Program Director

Dave Wieczorek, PhD
Director of Major Admissions

Beth Shelton, MEd
Program Coordinator

Rachel Shah, MEd
Academic Advisor