Eligibility and Admissions

Applications for the 2018 Humanity in Action Fellowships are now open. Click here to apply.


U.S. Candidates

Applicants to the Detroit Fellowship must be currently enrolled undergraduate students (sophomores, juniors and seniors) or recent graduates. For the 2018 program, we define recent graduates as individuals from the undergraduate classes of 2016, 2017 and 2018 at accredited, four-year undergraduate colleges or universities. Students and young professionals from Michigan, as well as those with strong ties to Detroit or elsewhere in Michigan are strongly encouraged to apply.

American citizens studying at a foreign university are eligible to apply to the Detroit program through the U.S. office. Non-U.S. citizens are eligible to apply as long as they are currently enrolled in or have recently graduated from an undergraduate program in the U.S.

European Applicants

Students and recent graduates from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland and Ukraine are also eligible to apply. Please click here for instructions on how to apply. We encourage applications from candidates who are committed to contributing to Detroit's future.

Senior Fellows

Humanity in Action has also reserved a small number of places for U.S. Senior Fellows. To apply, Senior Fellows must:

  • Be currently enrolled in or have graduated from undergraduate degree programs in 2015, 2016, 2017 or 2018;
  • Have participated in their original program as U.S. Fellows and
  • Have completed their Action Projects.

We particularly encourage applications from Senior Fellows who have a demonstrated interest in entrepreneurship and economic and community development. For more information on the unique role of Senior Fellows in the Detroit Fellowship, click here. 

Characteristics of Successful Candidates and Fellows

Humanity in Action seeks candidates who are passionate about active and responsible citizenship, diversity and human rights. The Detroit Fellowship places particular emphasis on solutions in civic engagement to longstanding challenges. Therefore, we seek Fellows who have the creativity to develop initiatives in activism, social business, public policy and the arts for Detroit and other urban communities. 


The Humanity in Action Fellowship programs provide opportunities for collaborative learning. They are not designed nor are they suitable for those who restrict themselves to a narrow and dogmatic vision and have no intention to enrich or broaden their knowledge and skills with various perspectives. The programs are a testing ground for thinking anew with others about complex issues of diversity in historical and contemporary terms. The programs focus, through educational seminars and site visits, on vulnerable populations and the unfulfilled goals of just democratic societies. The programs do not engage in on-the-ground training for political activism although some programs emphasize campaigns to fight prejudice through social media. 

Applicants should know that the programs are intensely challenging on intellectual, social and emotional levels. Full-time commitment is required from every participant during the four weeks of the program. The Humanity in Action groups in each country represent, on a small scale, the larger societies to which individuals belong. We expect respectful debate and dissent as minority opinions are aired. To probe these matters and engage in learning and growth, the programs expect and require maturity, openness, hard work and a generosity of spirit from each of the Fellows.

Successful Humanity in Action candidates and Fellows possess the following characteristics: 

Intellectual Curiosity: Humanity in Action seeks candidates who are eager to discuss–in international groups–a range of historical and contemporary topics that drive, challenge and impact diverse societies. This means that Fellows should be eager to stretch their understanding of these issues beyond their own national contexts and specific fields of study.

Collaborative Spirit: Humanity in Action seeks candidates who thrive in collaborative settings and enjoy discussing challenging issues in culturally and internationally diverse groups. Humanity in Action’s pedagogy is based upon collective and intellectually demanding discussion with speakers, peers and host families. Fellows must possess the social maturity and skills to discuss sensitive topics. 

Open-Mindedness: Humanity in Action seeks candidates who are open to challenging their personal convictions and eager to explore international perspectives on diversity. The Humanity in Action Fellowship is not a program that serves to confirm the assumptions of beliefs already held by its Fellows. Instead, the program intends to broaden and stretch the Fellows’ understanding of complex human rights issues.

Entrepreneurial Drive: Humanity in Action seeks candidates who are entrepreneurial and innovative in developing Action Projects and careers as active and responsible citizens. 

Selection Process

Admission to Humanity in Action programs is highly competitive. In 2016, the acceptance rate for the Humanity in Action Fellowship program was 9 percent. 

The selection process involves two phases. In the first phase, a panel of Humanity in Action Senior Fellows reads all applications and selects a pool of finalists for further review by a Selection Committee. The Selection Committee is comprised of Senior Fellows, board members, supporters and friends of the organization. During the second phase, the Selection Committee reads and evaluates all finalist applications, and one of its members interviews each finalist. The final selections are based on this second reading and the interview.

Humanity in Action does not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity, religion, political party, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical or financial ability. 

Diversity of Academic Background and Career Aspiration

Humanity in Action encourages individuals from all academic disciplines to apply. The Detroit Fellowship’s academically diverse setting enriches discussion and offers Fellows the opportunity to engage in perspectives outside their own disciplines. Humanity in Action encourages applicants who aspire to careers in business, government, medicine, academia, activism, the non-profit sector, the arts and more.