The College has found many ways to recognize, encourage and reward special talents and to help students extend their academic interests into the realms of research, the arts, internships, educational travel, public service and employment. Some of the most prominent opportunities are described below.

Student-Faculty Collaboration

Summer Scholars Program

This summer research program, administered by the Office of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty, was established in 1984 by William M. and Lucille M. Hackman. Since that time, other funds have been made available for additional students to enjoy the Summer Scholar experience. This program brings students and faculty together to work on challenging, high-level research projects. Ranging from astrophysics and chemistry to sociology and art, awarded students receive a $12.50/hour (working 40-hour work weeks for periods ranging from five to 10 weeks) to experience first-hand the excitement and challenge of collaborating with professors in advanced scholarly work. The program is open to all current Franklin & Marshall students. Participants must be nominated by the faculty members with whom they wish to work. Typically, about 70 students and 50 faculty members participate each summer. Applications must be made by faculty sponsors to the Committee on Grants in early February.

Leser and Nissley Student/Faculty Partnership

The Leser and Nissley awards, established in 1993 by Walter and Martha Leser and J. Richard and Anna Ruth Nissley, support research conducted by students in true partnership with faculty members. Leser awards (in the natural sciences) and Nissley awards (in other disciplines) of up to $1,000 are given three times annually; both are administered by the Office of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty. Applications must be made to the Committee on Grants.


A number of upperclass students are invited by faculty to serve as student preceptors in courses for first-year students. More details about these opportunities may be obtained from the Office of the Provost.

Production in the Arts

Each year, there are numerous productions in venues such as the Green Room Theatre, Barshinger Center for Performing Arts and the Roschel Performing Arts Center, sponsored by the Department of Theatre, Dance and Film, the Department of Music and the Department of Art and Art History. Students, including non-majors in these areas, have the opportunity to perform or to become involved in working behind the scenes to help produce these performances and exhibits.

Other Partnerships

Many other academic-year and summer research positions are available through departmental and faculty grants.

The Office of Student and Post-Graduate Development 

As part of its mission to provide a world-class liberal arts education that empowers students to pursue their dreams and goals for life, Franklin & Marshall has transformed the traditional concept of "career services" by creating the Office of Student and Post-Graduate Development (OSPGD), which engages students beginning in their first year with programs on financial literacy, public speaking, leadership development and advisement on field and industry exploration, and continues to support them through and beyond their time at F&M by helping them compete for summer and post-graduate opportunities no matter which pathway and career they choose.

OSPGD prepares students for their lives and careers beyond college and continues to support them as alumni by:

    •    Helping them explore and clarify potential career pathways;

    •    Exposing them to extraordinary opportunities;

    •    Preparing them to compete for the opportunities they seek; and

    •    Helping them sustain trajectories of success beyond college.

The Ware Institute for Civic Engagement

The Ware Institute for Civic Engagement creates opportunities for students to explore what it means to be a thoughtful and active member of a community.  Our programs and service opportunities connect students to non-profit organizations and inspiring community leaders.  By working directly in the community to address challenges, students develop a deeper understanding of societal issues while also gaining important professional skills. The Ware Institute for Civic Engagement was founded in November 2000 through a generous gift from Trustee Paul W. Ware ‘72. Among the Ware Institute’s flagship programs:

Pre-Orientation Program

       •  Putting It Together in the Community (PIT): PIT is a community service program for first-year students who have demonstrated a sincere commitment to service, leadership and/or civic engagement in high school and wish to continue these pursuits while in college. PIT is a great way to bond with other first-year students who share the same interest in community service. Announcements are sent to all incoming students in May and applications are due by June 15.


       •  Public Service Summer Internship (PSSI): This summer internship experience enables 14 students to make significant contributions to the community while learning meaningful job skills. Students are paid by the College and work full-time through June and July. Every Wednesday, interns come together on campus for discussions, reflection, and to participate in service projects. The application is made available in late January through an email announcement from the Ware Institute.

       •   F&M Works in Lancaster Internship: F&M Works in Lancaster is a year-long paid internship opportunity for students who are passionate about making a positive impact in the local community. Interns learn valuable work skills, explore potential career paths and are mentored by dedicated community leaders. Interns also attend professional development workshops, networking dinners and reflection sessions. Applications are made available right before Spring Break through an announcement from the Ware Institute.

Alternative Break Trips (Not for Credit)

       •   Spring Break in Honduras: The spring break trip to Honduras is health-related and may be a good option for students who are interested in medicine, public health, and service to others. There is no course credit for this program. Spanish is not required. The Ware Institute partners with Central American Relief Efforts (CARE) for students to facilitate dental hygiene workshops and eye exams, and assist in the creation of rural self-sustainable pharmacies.

       •   Winter Break in Ghana: The winter break trip to Ghana is education-related and may be a good option for students who are interested in teaching. Students spend about two weeks at the Heritage Academy teaching lessons they have developed based on their interests or areas of study. This trip not only provides valuable teaching experience but it also exposes students to global education issues and immerses them in another culture. The Heritage Academy was founded by Kwesi Koomson '97 to provide a progressive, empowering and life-changing education in Ghana that is in stark contrast to the antiquated and underfunded public school system.

Volunteer Opportunities

The Ware Institute helps students find volunteer opportunities that are fulfilling, meaningful and safe. While most opportunities take place in the Lancaster community, the Ware Institute offers three on-campus programs for students who are interested in committing to at least one semester. Background checks and clearances may be required before volunteering so students are encouraged to contact the Ware Institute for assistance.

        •  Squash A.C.E.S. (Attitude, Community, Excellence and Service): Squash ACES is an after-school enrichment program that combines academics, service and the exciting game of squash. Members of the F&M squash teams provide on-court coaching support while other F&M students volunteer to tutor and mentor the middle and high school students from the School District of Lancaster.

        •  F&M S.L.A.M. (Sports, Leadership, Athletics and Mentoring): F&M student volunteers work with Reynolds Middle School students on a one-to-one basis, providing homework help, mentoring and planned athletic activities.

        •  V.I.T.A. Program (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance): V.I.T.A. is an IRS program designed to help low and moderate-income taxpayers complete their annual tax returns at no cost. F&M partners with the United Way of Lancaster County to offer an on-campus site open on the weekends throughout tax season. Recruitment for volunteer tax preparers begins in September. Two training seminars are offered in November and then students are directed to complete training online during winter break.

Community-Based Learning (CBL) Course Support

Community-based learning is a method of teaching that integrates hands-on learning in the community with traditional in-classroom instruction. Students are challenged to link the theories they learn to the realities in the community through reflection and classroom discussions. The Ware Institute works with faculty members to identify appropriate opportunities for their students and provides logistical support to facilitate placements. Students should look for the CBL designation in the course catalog to identify the various courses that are offered.

Center for Liberal Arts and Society (CLAS)

The Center for Liberal Arts & Society (CLAS)'s programs endeavor to provide opportunities for faculty, students and professional staff, as well as the general public, to explore the connections between our academic studies in the liberal arts and sciences and the cultural and social questions that confront us all.

CLAS provides an intellectual space for our collective and open-ended consideration of pressing civic challenges, such as increasing democratic participation, the ethics and politics of war and peace, the complex intersection of science and public policy, and the relevance of the liberal arts to society.

 Through its signature programs, lectures, and colloquia, CLAS aims to enrich the curriculum, foster interdisciplinary collaboration, and to demonstrate the critical relevance of liberal learning to our lives as citizens in a democracy.

The Floyd Institute for Public Policy

The mission of the Floyd Institute is to improve the quality of public policy through research, training, and constructive interactions between the academic and policy-making communities. The Floyd Institute is a gathering place for faculty, policy makers, students and the public to discuss policy issues via colloquia, conferences, lectures, workshops, and research.  The Floyd Institute’s mission is carried out through the work of the Center for Opinion Research and the Center for Politics and Public Affairs.

 The Center for Opinion Research seeks to provide empirically sound research solutions and opportunities for academic and public policy researchers and the local community.  The Center designs innovative and thoughtful research solutions to help its clients answer important questions and make strategic decisions.  It also aims to produce and disseminate information that supports learning by students, researchers and the general public.  The Center designs and conducts the Franklin & Marshall College Poll, the oldest Pennsylvania statewide poll exclusively directed and produced in the state.

 The Center for Politics and Public Affairs fosters the study of politics and public policy. It seeks to stimulate discourse on political and policy issues. Its activities include fellowships and internships, public policy and political research, publishing research on policy and political topics and overseeing the Franklin & Marshall College Poll. The center also hosts political debates and policy fora by having political leaders and policy experts on campus to address and interact with members of the F&M community.

The Clinic for Special Children 

In 2007 Franklin & Marshall and Lancaster General Hospital entered a partnership with The Clinic for Special Children, located in Strasburg, Pennsylvania. The clinic is a non-profit medical and diagnostic service for children with inherited metabolic disorders that occur in the Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonite communities in Pennsylvania. The clinic provides comprehensive medical care for children with chronic, complex medical problems due to inherited disorders. The mission of the clinic is to advance methods of newborn screening, to improve follow-up services, to develop better diagnostic methods and to further clinical research in an ongoing effort to improve treatment and outcomes for children who suffer from rare inherited disorders. 

The Writing Center 

The Writing Center provides assistance for students working on college writing assignments and oral presentations through one-on-one tutorials and, at the request of faculty, in-class writing workshops. The Center’s trained staff of student writing assistants, mostly juniors and seniors, represents a wide range of majors and career interests. Students should prepare for a conference by bringing all available materials: any data being used, a rough plan or formal outline, a few sketched-out paragraphs, a complete paper, or even just the assignment itself. Writing assistants can help you at any stage of the writing process! Although assistants will not edit a paper, they can help writers recognize errors and make the necessary changes.