LSA: Semester in Detroit
The Semester in Detroit mission is to engage U-M undergraduates in substantive, sustained and reciprocal relationships with the people and communities of the City of Detroit. Combining a semester-long residence in the city with rigorous academic study and a comprehensive community-based internship, SiD students become deeply involved in – and committed to – the life, challenges, and promise of this important American city.
The Semester in Detroit program accepts undergraduate students from all schools and departments at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Completion of the fall program plus one additional required course will meet the requirements for a minor in Urban Studies through the College of Literature, Science and the Arts at the UM-Ann Arbor campus. Spring students are required to take 2-3 additional courses to complete the Urban Studies minor.
The most successful program participants typically have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA [Note: those with less than a 3.0 GPA are still eligible to apply but must explain their particular situation.] Applicants should have a strong interest in the city of Detroit and in community-service learning.
The credits you earn in Semester in Detroit count towards the LSA Minor in Urban Studies -- which requires you to enroll in at least five classes for a total of at least 16 credit hours.
If participating in the fall program, one additional core course on the Ann Arbor campus is required (either RCSSCI 330 or UP 424) for the Urban Studies minor; spring students will have to take two additional courses on the Ann Arbor campus to fulfill the minor requirements (including one of the two core courses previously mentioned). Previous SiD students from the winter programs have taken classes like AmCult 301 (“Detroit Politics and Community Organizing”) and History 364 (“History of Suburbia”) to complete the minor.
To learn more about how Semester in Detroit fulfills the requirements of the Urban Studies minor, visit the LSA Urban Studies webpage.
Using information gathered from student surveys and historical costs, a sample budget is available on the LSA website. Although standard U of M tuition rates apply to the Semester in Detroit program, students may find that the expenses of living in the city differ from those in Ann Arbor. Some SID students report spending less than they would in on campus, due to the comparatively low cost of living and free events, while others find that they spend a lot as they explore a new city. As a program, we at Semester in Detroit do everything we can to ensure that cost will not be a barrier to participating for any of our students. If you would like to be considered for SID scholarships, please be sure to fill out the final financial need question on the application form.
To apply, fill out the MCompass required forms and documents. We are now accepting applications for the Sp/Su 2019 program from students from UM-Ann Arbor, and Fall 2019 applications from students from UM-Ann Arbor, UM-Dearborn and Grand Valley State University. Only 20-25 students will be accepted into the program each semester. When the program becomes full, a wait list will be used based on the order by which students applied and were accepted into the program. As we accept students on a rolling basis, there is an advantage to applying early.
The majority of SiD students are from the metro Detroit area (a few each semester are from Detroit itself), so we often get the question "Can I live at home while I do the program?" Our answer to this question, barring extenuating circumstances, is no - living in Detroit and becoming a temporary resident is a pivotal aspect of Semester in Detroit. Even if you are from the city, you will have a very different experience living as an independent adult in the city as opposed to living at home with your family. By putting down roots for a semester, students from outside the city become more deeply invested in ways that don’t happen when they commute in and out of the city. Additionally, we find that living with your peers in the cohort provides opportunities for learning and growth that wouldn't be possible otherwise.
Semester in Detroit helps coordinate housing for students participating in our program. There are generally two housing options:
- Cass Corridor Commons
The Cass Corridor Commons, managed by the Eastern Michigan Environmental Action Council, is a hub of community activism located in a parsonage of an old church on Forest & Cass in Cass Corridor, Detroit. In addition to hosting many of our events and classes, the Cass Commons is home for 6-10 of our students each semester. The third floor apartment includes 5 bedrooms with sparse furnishings, one bathroom, a mid-sized kitchen, and a living room with several couches. Rent costs generally range from $300-$500/month, depending on whether the student chooses a single, double, or triple room.
- Dorms at Wayne State University
In past semesters, students not staying in the Cass Corridor Commons have rented rooms in unfurnished 2-room apartments at Wayne State's University Towers. Apartments include 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, living area, and bathroom. Rent costs range from $375-$650/month, depending on whether the student chooses a single or double room.
Need to Know
Each U-M student accepted into the program works closely with the Associate Director to choose a compelling and challenging internship opportunity with a Detroit-based organization (non-profit, museum, school, small business, elected official, and more). Each year, more than 50 such organizations apply to host U-M students. During the program, students earn academic credit for working 16 hours per week at their internship site (200 hours during winter/250 hours during spring/summer) on a specific project designed by the organization. In addition to the internship credit, SID students also enroll in a required internship reflection seminar taught by Associate Director, Craig Regester and Program Coordinator, Marion Van Dam.
Students accepted into Semester in Detroit choose internships from an array of Detroit community and cultural organizations. The interactive selection process is guided primarily by the student’s interests and the community’s agenda. Successful student applicants play an active role in choosing from among substantive community projects (not simply miscellaneous tasks) where they spend 16-32 hours per week throughout the semester.
For more information, please contact:
Craig Regester SiD Associate Director
3663 Woodward Ave., Ste. 150
Detroit, MI 48201
|Term||Year||App Deadline||Decision Date||Start Date||End Date|
|Spring and/or Summer||2019||01/09/2019||02/01/2019||05/06/2019||07/31/2019|
|NOTE: *Priority deadline for spring/summer applications is December 1st. If you submit your application before this deadline, you will know your participation status prior to the end of fall term on December 21.*|
|NOTE: *Priority deadline for fall applications is February 28th. If you submit your application before this deadline, you will know your participation status prior to final application deadline of March 31st.*|