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Petitioning for Credit

Students can petition for various experiences to fulfill their public service graduation requirement. Public service independent studies and honors thesis are educational experiences based upon a collaborative partnership between the university and the community. Students can also petition to have experiences completed at other universities or through Tulane approved study abroad programs approved for public service credit.

Independent Studies

All public service independent studies must meet the following requirements:

  • Apply academic knowledge and critical thinking skills to meet genuine community needs;
  • Include community-based research under the supervision of a Tulane faculty member;
  • Require direct engagement with a community partner/organization;
  • Community engagement must connect with the academic field for which credit is being earned; and 
  • Research findings must benefit and be shared with the community partner. Students are expected to provide their community partner with tangible products of work that benefits the partner organization.
  • Semester-long volunteer assignments will not be approved for public service credit.

Application process:

  • Public service independent studies must first be approved by the student's academic department and must include faculty supervision. Students should check with their academic or faculty advisor to learn more about the independent study approval process.
  • Once the student has received approval to complete an independent study, the student must contact the Center for Public Service to petition for public service credit. Students must complete the Public Service Independent Study Petition form.
  • Faculty advisor statement of support is required before individual petitions will be reviewed.
Honors Theses

All public service honors theses must meet the following requirements:

  • Apply academic knowledge and critical thinking skills to meet genuine community needs;
  • Include community-based research under the supervision of a Tulane faculty member;
  • Require direct engagement with a community partner/organization;
  • Community engagement must connect with the academic field for which credit is being earned; and
  • Research findings must benefit and be shared with the community partner. Students are expected to provide their community partner with tangible products of work that benefits the partner organization.
  • Semester-long volunteer assignments will not be approved for public service credit.

Application process:

  • A student must receive approval by their department and the Honors program to complete an honors thesis. For more information of this approval process, please see the Honors Program website.
  • Once the student has registered for the honors thesis, has selected a thesis director, and has completed their thesis prospectus, the student must contact the Center for Public Service to petition for public service credit. Students must complete the Public Service Honors Thesis Petition form.
  • Students should petition for public service credit during the second semester of their honors thesis project. Credit will be posted during the semester the student defends their thesis.
Transfer Credit

Students can have service-learning experiences completed at other universities reviewed to determine if they fulfill the Tulane public service graduation requirement. These experiences may include internships, research projects, or traditional service-learning courses.

For an experience to be considered, the service-learning program must have offered academic credit for the service experience. Community service hours alone will not be accepted.  Petitions should only be submitted after academic credits (whether transfer or study abroad credit) have been posted to student’s transcript. Students should submit the Petition for Transfer Public Service Credit form.

Study Abroad Credit

Students who have completed service-learning experiences through their Tulane approved study abroad program can petition to determine if they fulfill the Tulane public service graduation requirement. These experiences may include internships, research projects, or traditional service-learning courses.

For an experience to be considered, the service-learning program must have offered academic credit for the service experience. Community service hours alone will not be accepted.  Petitions should only be submitted after academic credits (whether transfer or study abroad credit) have been posted to student’s transcript. Petitions should be submitted after the student returns. Students should submit the Study Abroad Petition form.

Submission Deadlines

The Petition process has a rolling deadline. However, petitions must be submitted by: 

  • April 15 to be reviewed by the end of the Spring semester
  • November 15 to be reviewed by the end of the Fall semester

All petitions will be reviewed by the CPS Petitions Committee. If approved, these petitions will be forwarded to Newcomb-Tulane College. This process may take several weeks, and does not need to be completed before the beginning of classes. The Petitions Committee reviews requests each Fall and Spring semester (September to April). The committee will not review petition during the summer months.  If a student intends to complete an independent study over the summer to graduate, petition materials must be submitted prior to April 15.