Community Service Studies is an interdisciplinary academic program that offers students a context for critically reflecting upon and engaging in service and volunteerism. It was developed in the late 1990s as part of a university-wide effort to extend opportunities for learning through practice into multiple curricula at DePaul. The Community Service Studies academic minor combines courses from several disciplines that provide a framework for viewing community service from different perspectives.
The curriculum relies heavily upon Community-based Service Learning (CbSL) courses which fulfill DePaul's Liberal Studies program's Junior Year Experiential Learning (JYEL) requirement with twenty five hours of service in the community within a ten-week quarter. This form of experiential learning is designed for students interested in developing a deeper understanding and practice of community service either as a prelude to a career after graduation or to enhance their personal sense of social justice as they enter the world of work. In this way, students are provided with the opportunity to integrate progressively deeper and more challenging forms of service and social engagement with more challenging intellectual reflection.