Skip to main content

Fitz Center for Leadership in Community

Who are the Dayton Civic Scholars?

Dayton Civic Scholars are students who have taken a three-year commitment to engaging and serving the greater Dayton community. The interdisciplinary group of students follow an intentional pathway from the classroom to community leadership and public service. The Dayton Civic Scholars program accepts students from all majors and backgrounds. Their commitment includes attending a weekly mini-course, taking the three credit hour Leadership in Building Communities course and engaging with the community at least 30 hours per semester. The intent is to enable up to 45 University of Dayton students to have high community impact in the community by preparing each 15-student cohort for meaningful civic leadership roles as students. Students meet local leaders and engage in internships with local community organizations and government offices. Scholars also receive an annual scholarship.

About Us

The Dayton Civic Scholars program (DCS) is a co-curricular scholarship program administered through the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community at the University of Dayton. The DCS program strives to shape students into civic leaders through a rigorous academic track, sustained civic engagement and several professional development opportunities.  Fifteen students are selected at the end of their first-year to become a cohort that will embark on a three-year commitment together.

Dayton Civic Scholars brochure

Now Accepting Applications for the 2027 Cohort

The deadline for all applications is Feb. 15, 2024. See links to the online application form and the essay question document below.

More information

Dayton Civic Scholars prepare to become civic professionals and citizen leaders through sustained interdisciplinary civic engagement and scholarship with a focus on the City of Dayton.

To become a national model for institutions of higher education by utilizing an interdisciplinary approach to civic engagement and scholarship. This model will connect students with their existing environments and professional opportunities that will guide them throughout their academic careers and beyond to become leaders who build communities.

  • Students will gain a better understanding of cities and local government
  • Students will have a strong knowledge base of the City of Dayton
  • Students will have a renewed sense of responsibility as a citizen
  • Students will become civically engaged in community
  • Students will understand urban issues and the leadership necessary to work on issues.

  • 5-day program orientation held the week before classes begin
  • 30 hours of community engagement each semester
  • A semester-long internship
  • Leadership in Building Communities seminar (three credit hours)
  • Dayton Civic Scholars mini-course both semesters of sophomore and junior year (one credit hour/semester)
  • Cohort capstone project

  • $1,000 scholarship for each year of involvement (not applicable for students with full award amounts from enrollment management)
  • An honorary certificate
  • Official transcript notation
  • The opportunity to network with local community leaders and UD faculty
  • Recognition in graduation program


Dayton Civic Scholars

1401 S. Main Street
Dayton, Ohio 45409