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Service Learning Opportunities

Earn Credit and Make a Difference!

The Department of Psychology offers multiple ways to become involved in the community while earning credit toward your degree. Each of the Service Learning Courses below fulfills the experiential lab requirement for the Psychology major. Both Psychology and BCN majors will find the Service Learning Courses to be a rewarding experience that allows you to apply your knowledge outside of the classroom.

Please see the sections below for more details regarding our Service Learning Courses.

Detroit Initiative- Psych 325

Detroit Initiative- Psych 325

Established in 1995, the Detroit Initiative seeks to provide opportunities for students to engage in further education, service, and research in the Detroit area through a focus on community-identified priorities.

Each Detroit Initiative course contains an internship component, where students spend 2-4 hours each week working with a community-based organization in Detroit. At these sites, students participate in such activities as tutoring or supervising children in after-school or summer programs, working on community education projects or on community research projects, and or doing outreach into the community. Internships are supervised by the instructor and program staff, as well as by a staff person at the community-based organization.

The Detroit Initiative offers three undergraduate psychology courses during Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer terms under the course Psych 325. These classes are also cross-listed with American Culture. For more information regarding these courses, please visit the Detroit Initiative website.

Project Outreach- Psych 211

Project Outreach- Psych 211

Project Outreach offers an opportunity for UM students to provide meaningful service to others while learning about psychology in action. The purpose of Project Outreach is to allow students to learn about themselves and psychology by becoming involved in community settings. Outreach students engage in real work in the community,
designed to meet community needs.

With five unique sections, Project Outreach allows students to identify a particular topic of interest, learn about psychology as it relates to their section topic, and volunteer in relevant environments.

Please see the blue drop-down sections below for more details about the five Project Outreach topics:

  • Early Childhood Development
  • Mental Health
  • Social Justice
  • Biopsychosocial Medicine


Attendance at lectures and small group discussions, two hours per week
Discussion participation
Responsible participation in placements, four hours per week
Completion of a weekly journal
Class project

Transportation: M-Bus, AATA, personal vehicle, or a UM vehicle.

Any questions regarding Project Outreach can be sent to

Project Outreach Group Leading- Psych 306

Project Outreach Group Leading- Psych 306


Psych 306 gives students the opportunity to take on a leadership role within Project Outreach. Once enrolled in Psych 306, students are trained to be Group Leaders for Psych 211 students. Group Leader responsibilities include facilitating small group discussions, maintaining a relationship with a placement site, grading assignments and providing feedback, demonstrating sensitivity to multicultural differences in a classroom setting, and more.

While it is helpful to have previously taken Psych 211 before enrolling in Psych 306, it is not required.

Students may become a Group Leader for any of the following sections:

  • Early Childhood Development
  • Mental Health
  • Social Justice
  • Biopsychosocial Medicine

Enrolling in Psych 306 requires a short application process. You may apply to be a Group Leader here!

Any questions regarding Project Outreach can be sent to

Please see the sections below for more information regarding specific sections of Project Outreach.

Psych 211-002: Early Childhood Development

Lectures and discussions for this section occur on Tuesdays from 4:00-5:50 p.m.

Experiences during early childhood are critical to a child's future well-being.How do young children learn to navigate the world on their own? Students in this section volunteer as mentors tochildren (ages 2-5) in community preschools and daycare centers. Assisting preschoolers and teachers requiresholding intentions in mind, being present in moments of interaction, and building connections over time. Students observe first-hand the change and growth in preschoolers' cognitive and social development over the term.

Examples of Placement Sites:

  • Community Day Care
  • First United Methodist Cooperative Nursery
  • Michigan Medicine Children’s Center
  • Washtenaw Promise

Psych 211-003: Mental Health

Lectures and discussions for this section occur on Tuesdays from 4:00-5:50 p.m.

Most people experience mental health issues at some point in their lives, but many are unableto access effective treatment. Students in this section learn about activities shown to improve mental wellness inempirical studies. The site placement for this section is a peer-led community mental health program deliveredthrough small-group sessions. Students are trained in small group facilitation skills and rotate through participant,assistant, and facilitator roles. Students are eligible to apply as facilitators to work with students in future terms.

Examples of Placement Sites: 

  • Students in this section train with student peer groups at UM.

Psych 211-004: Social Justice

Lectures and discussions for this section occur on Thursdays from 4:00-5:50 p.m.

How does the allocation of resources, opportunities, and privileges by society impact thepsychological health of individuals? In this section, students explore individual and structural barriers to equality inU.S. society and their consequences. Students serve as community volunteers for non-profit organizations and socialwelfare agencies to gain first-hand experience in social change strategies in real-life settings. This semester willparticularly address issues of equity in the U.S. criminal justice system.

Examples of Placement Sites:

  • Center for Forensic Psychiatry
  • Cooper Street Correctional Facility
  • Guiding Harbor
  • Monroe County Youth Center
  • Washtenaw County Jail
  • Washtenaw County Youth Center

Psych 211-005: Biopsychosocial Medicine

Lectures and discussions for this section occur on Thursdays from 4:00-5:50 p.m.

How does basic and clinical science address the psychological concerns arising in healthcare experiences? Volunteer placements at Michigan Medicine and other healthcare providers allow students to gain direct service experience with patients receiving medical care. Students contribute social and practical support to improve the quality of patient experiences while observing first-hand how clinical care aligns with psychological needs. Topics address physical and mental health and illness in science and practice to connect academic knowledge to healthcare experiences.

Examples of Placement Sites:

  • Chelsea Retirement Community Senior Living and Preschool
  • Sophie's Place
  • Story Point Senior Living
  • Vibrant Senior Living

Barger Leadership Institute

The BLI is the home for immersive and interdisciplinary undergraduate leadership experiences at the University of Michigan. Below are a couple of opportunities.

Leadership Grant Opportunities:

Leadership grants allow BLI members to receive up to $4,000 to support short-term projects, events, or leadership development opportunities. Applications are reviewed throughout the academic year on a rolling basis.

  • Amount: up to $500 for members
  • Amount: up to $4,000 for members who complete any BLI LEARN experience

Social Transformation Fellowship Grants:

Members who complete the Social Transformation Workshop Series are eligible to receive up to $15,000 in project funding and to receive ongoing coaching & mentorship. 

  • Amount: up to $15,000 for members

For more information on the Barger Leadership Institute