Civil Discourse Certificate

Civil Discourse for Citizenship

Civil Discourse for Citizenship
Certificate Program


Why enroll?

In an era of contentious politics and ideological polarization, many students are looking for opportunities to engage more constructively in public life. In the spirit of Ohio State’s motto – “Education for Citizenship” – the Civil Discourse for Citizenship certificate from the Center for Ethics and Human Values (CEHV) offers students the opportunity to learn more about, and to better practice, civil discourse. Students may also wish to demonstrate their commitment to civil discourse to potential employers.

Through coursework, event attendance, and opportunities to participate in a wide range of programming, students earn points toward the Civil Discourse for Citizenship certificate at their own pace. Opportunities to earn points will be regularly updated throughout the academic year, and students can track their progress through our Carmen course.

Students who earn 12 points during their undergraduate career will receive official documentation of their Civil Discourse for Citizenship certification and will be publicly recognized by the Center for Ethics and Human Values. 

How do I get started?

Just fill out the form at the bottom of this page. Once approved, students may submit materials and track their progress on our Carmen website. Those with questions about the requirements should contact CEHV’s Civil Discourse Program Director, Dr. Kathryn Joyce (.173).

How do I earn points?

event approval for civil discourse program certificate

Different civil discourse opportunities are assigned different point totals, depending on the level of engagement involved. Each of the opportunities below is listed on our Carmen website, where students will report their participation or attendance.

For some opportunities, such as attending events, students will be asked to submit a brief 150-word reflection about their experience. Other opportunities, such as coursework or participation in a dialogue facilitation workshop, do not require written reflections. 

12 points

  • Serve as a Civil Discourse Fellow (competitive fellowship; eight fellowships per year)

6 points

  • Take CEHV’s 3-credit ARTSSCI 2400/2400E course on civil discourse

3 points 

  • Take a 1-credit “Difficult Conversations” skill-building course: LAW 4015-10 or LAW 4015-20 
  • Participate in one of IDEA’s “Shop Class for Democracy” online forums
  • Complete the Scarlet Canvas course on the 4Cs [expected early 2024]
  • Work with CEHV to organize an event with a student program or organization
  • Participate in a CEHV-led dialogue facilitation or skill-building workshop
  • Attend 6 or more PPE Society meetings

2 points [requires submission of 150-word reflection]

  • Attend a student-moderated CEHV Civil Discourse Forum
  • Attend the “Education for Citizenship” address*
  • Organize a civil discourse-related outreach or service initiative (e.g., get out the vote)

1 point [requires submission of 150-word reflection]

  • Attend a CEHV-approved civil discourse event (list of approved events is available on Carmen)

Students may also propose coursework, a research project, or other activities to be considered for credit toward the Civil Discourse for Citizenship certificate. Students should submit a proposal through Carmen with a description of the course (including syllabus), research, or other activity, along with a brief explanation of why they believe it should count toward the certificate.

register here