Building economy by serving the community


Tulane has been widely recognized for the breadth and depth of its commitment to community service. In 2006 Tulane became the first major research university in the U.S. to formally require undergraduate students to engage in community service, and community-based learning is central to many of its graduate and professional programs as well. Many university centers, research institutes and individual faculty members are also deeply engaged in efforts to address some of the most pressing challenges facing New Orleans and the surrounding region.

  • During the 2012-2013 academic year, Tulane students performed more than 242,000 hours of community service—through service-learning courses and internships and as volunteers. The total number of hours worked in 2012-2013 represented an increase of more than 150 percent since 2006-2007.

  • Since 2007, the Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives has been engaged in multiple efforts aimed at strengthening public education in New Orleans and expanding educational opportunity for the city’s young residents.

  • The Cowen Institute has also taken the lead in developing a comprehensive strategy for addressing the needs of the city’s “opportunity youth,” young people age 16 through 24 who are neither in school nor employed. As both a leading employer and a leading educational institution, Tulane is leading an “Earn and Learn” pilot project that provides both jobs and educational opportunities for these young New Orleans residents.

  • Tulane is participating in rebuilding both the physical and social foundations of neighborhood life in New Orleans. The School of Architecture’s Tulane City Center assists community organizations in planning, designing and executing a wide range of neighborhood improvement projects.

  • Through its programs that support both student and faculty engagement in social innovation and social entrepreneurship, Tulane is encouraging the development of innovative responses to some of the region’s most difficult problems.