The Clinton Global Initiative University is looking for higher education student leaders who are committed to take action in their community to address a pressing challenge. We are looking for undergraduate and graduate students across the world who are motivated to make a positive change in the areas of education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health. Students accepted into CGI U will participate in a year-round program that includes access to: high-touch mentorship; a social impact curriculum; funding streams; and student engagement events, including the CGI U 2021 virtual annual meeting hosted by Howard University.
Additional programming will also be offered to students through partnerships with the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, with a focus on civic issues and fiscal sustainability; IBM to help students develop app-based projects that address COVID-19 and climate change through Call for Code; and Verizon to help students develop innovative technology solutions to pressing domestic issues, with the opportunity to win a spot in an accelerator program and pitch for seed funding.
The application deadline for CGI U 2021 is Friday, January 29 at 11:59pm ET.
Application and Selection Process
Applications will be reviewed by the CGI U Selection Committee. All applicants will be notified of admissions decisions in February 2021. The CGI U Selection Committee is committed to selecting a diverse cohort of students - representing different backgrounds, experiences, regions, institutions, academic studies, and project areas - that demonstrate the motivation to tackle specific challenges, the capacity to develop their leadership skills, and a dedication to CGI U's year-long program.
Please note, you are eligible to apply to the CGI U Class of 2021 if you have never previously been accepted to CGI U, you are at least 18 years of age, and you are currently enrolled in an institution of higher learning at the time of application. Students may only submit one Commitment to Action; duplicate applications will not be considered.
If you have a disability and need a reasonable accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, or otherwise participating in the selection process, please contact the CGI U team at [email protected].
CGI U 2021 Program Schedule
All accepted CGI U students are expected to be available for the entirety of the scheduled dates of the four online modules outlined below. Accepted students are required to attend and fully participate in all online module activities. The average time commitment is 3 hours per module.
Online Module One
February 2021 - March 2021
Online Module Two
Online Module Three
May 2021 - June 2021
Online Module Four
July 2021 - November 2021
CGI U Graduation Requirements
Through the online platform, Commitment Mentors will review and monitor student engagement in the CGI U curriculum and ensure that students are fulfilling requirements for graduation. To complete the CGI U program and become eligible for CGI U’s Commitment-Maker seal, letters of recommendation and other opportunities, students must complete the following over the course of the 2021 program:
- Participation in one, hour-long small group discussion per module (4 in total) (to be scheduled by Commitment Mentors)
- Review of CGI U’s 30-minute webinar recordings and readings, which will be housed on the online platform, and completion of all accompanying exercises
- Completion of one 30-minute individual coaching session with their Commitment Mentor per module (4 in total)
- Completion of Commitment to Action progress report
Submitting a Competitive Application
To be considered for CGI U, students must apply with a Commitment to Action: a new, specific, and measurable initiative that addresses a pressing challenge.
- Topics: Learn about CGI U's Focus Areas and Keywords to determine the scope of your commitment.
- Development: Use our Commitment to Action Toolkit to design a thoughtful social impact project.
- Preparation: Utilize the Application Preview to draft your application answers before submitting them online.
- Webinar: Join an application information webinar to have a better understanding of the CGI U 2021 application process.
- Motivation: Emphasize in your application how you are connected to the problem you are trying to solve.
Want to help us promote CGI U?
- Nominate a student who would make an excellent candidate for this opportunity.
- Utilize our Outreach & Application Toolkit for access to social media templates, an information deck, and more.
- If your college or university is interested in partnering with CGI U to support social innovators on your campus, fill out the CGI University Network interest form.