Meaningful Partnerships. Astounding Opportunities.

The College’s proximity to downtown Lancaster fosters meaningful partnerships between city agencies and F&M.


Students participate in local research, internships and service projects in both the city and county each year.


Businesses, nonprofits, organizations and schools partnering with F&M to create meaningful off-campus opportunities for students and faculty.

“Learning in Lancaster allows me to not only have endless opportunities to experience things that I love learning about in a hands-on manner, but it also lets me form connections with people outside of F&M.”

— Kaitlyn Stauffer '24


The cornerstone of the F&M educational experience is students working and learning side-by-side with faculty who want to help you test ideas — not just talk or read about them. F&M’s location in Lancaster provides the perfect landscape for research in a variety of disciplines, including biology; earth and environmental science; history; linguistics; public health; women's, gender and sexuality studies; and more.

Learn more about research at F&M and explore a few of our students' stories to discover what research in Lancaster can look like. 

Measuring the Performance of Lancaster City’s Rain Gardens

A group of students trekked into Lancaster City for a unique research opportunity: measuring the performance of the city's rain gardens, an environmentally friendly installation designed to counteract the sometimes damaging effects of stormwater runoff.

Uncovering Lancaster's Secret Side

Curious about the more salacious side of Lancaster in the 1910s? Alongside Alison Kibler, professor of American studies and women's, gender & sexuality studies, two students researched and developed a walking tour surrounding Lancaster in America's progressive era, a time of intense social and political reform.

Quantifying Social Justice

Two students collected data to create a Lancaster City-specific social justice index. The index considers economic well-being, urban planning and development, refugee resettlement and integration, and gender, racial and environmental equity.


Internships not only enrich your academic journey, but also allow you to immerse yourself in the day-to-day life of your field prior to entering the workforce. Our Office of Student and Post-Graduate Development (OSPGD) will help you discover and land these positions, guiding you through the internship search, application, and interview processes, and facilitating connections with F&M alumni, parents and friends of the College for potential opportunities. Many of these opportunities can be found in our home city of Lancaster.

Reece Chang '24 spent a summer working with Lancaster nonprofit Music for Everyone (MFE).

Making Music for Everyone

Music major Reece Chang '22 interned with Music for Everyone (MFE), a Lancaster nonprofit that provides resources and experiences in support of music education to transform lives, schools and communities. He completed administrative work, assisted at youth summer camps, and helped coordinate countywide musicians for the organization's monthly "Music Friday."

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An art installation on Strawberry St. in Lancaster, Pa. Image Credit: Yarlyn Rosario

Engaging the Community Through Art

Studio art major Sarah Sutter '22 interned with Public Art Community Engagement (PACE), a City of Lancaster program that builds community through art. She worked on several projects, including designing posters for a city hall research project and assisting with an art installation with Artful Intersections, an initiative that engages local artists in creating street murals and art installations throughout the city.

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“I interned at a local company, thanks to an alum who was working there at the time. That turned into my first full-time job after college.

"The experience helped me develop vital skills — specifically in marketing, but also just general professional skills. My longest-running work is actually with an F&M alum I met through my first job after college and has since started their own company!” — Juliana Lawrence ’17



You'll find a plethora of opportunities to explore what it means to be a thoughtful and active member of the Lancaster community. F&M's Ware Institute for Civic Engagement partners with Lancaster community benefit organizations, government agencies, and schools to create meaningful off-campus opportunities for students, staff, and faculty. The Diplomat impact can be spotted everywhere, from city stormwater gardens built by students to Lancaster-based businesses and nonprofits started by alumni.

“If you live in a place, if you exist in a place, you should be doing something to have a positive impact on that place.

"My advice to all F&M students and local alumni: dive right into something. Get involved in a local initiative that means something to you. Don't sit on the sidelines. Just sign yourself up, show up, learn as you go, and offer suggestions for improvement when you can. The F&M community is wonderful, but the Lancaster City community is even better. Get to know the real Lancaster City. Don't just ‘study it,’ become a part of it and your F&M experience will be 10x better.”

Will Kiefer ’14, founder of the Lancaster nonprofit Bench Mark Program, an organization that uses exercise, academic support and career counseling to propel at-risk youth toward successful futures.

Will Kiefer ’14, founder of the Lancaster nonprofit Bench Mark Program

F&M students volunteer at The Common Wheel.

“My recommendation for any young adult who’s moved to a new place: find a nonprofit that interests you.

"In terms of what you get back, on a personal level, and the personal and professional connections you’re going to make – I found that to be a very fulfilling part of what I do, and how I would define my life in Lancaster.”

Emily Wilson ’11, F&M research lab manager & technician, who volunteers with The Common Wheel, a nonprofit bike shop lead by F&M alumna, Adriana Atencio '10. 


A Thriving Lancaster

F&M’s Center for Sustained Engagement with Lancaster (CSEwL) is a hub for generating rich and meaningful collaboration between F&M and our vibrant home county of Lancaster. Many CSEwL projects become integral components of the F&M curriculum. Our professors often weave their ongoing projects into — and out of — the classroom, offering students valuable opportunities for hands-on learning while witnessing the impact these initiatives have on a real community.

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