Project for Under-Served Communities

Give students cross-disciplinary and hands-on experience while improving conditions in communities in need

About Projects with Under-served Communities

Projects with Under-served Communities (PUC) is a unique program at The University of Texas at Austin that combines the two challenges of community need and student enrichment in an innovative project-based, service-learning collaboration between Texas Global, the Cockrell School of Engineering, and the School of Social Work.

History of impact

Launched in 2010, PUC uses an innovative yearlong course sequence to hone students’ leadership skills and cultural competency—both vital when competing in an increasingly global job market—while providing much-needed services to communities in developing countries. Projects have been successfully implemented in partnership with communities in Peru, Ghana, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea and India.


A map showing the PUC locations around the world.

Teams have served more than 14,850 people with projects including

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Creating access to clean water sources


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Improved and more sustainable cooking stoves


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Increased accessibility for handicapped community members


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Improved sanitation


How it works

PUC combines rigorous coursework with hands-on, practical experience. Engineering and social work students participate in a year-long course while researching and designing projects in response to community needs. They collaborate with a local partner and travel to the community to implement the project during the summer following the completion of the academic course and gain skills in

  • Project management
  • Project Design
  • Budgeting
  • Fundraising
  • Collaboration with partners in the local communities
  • Cultural awareness
  • Community engagement event coordination
  • Public speaking and presentation

From solving water shortages to building boarding rooms at a school and community centers, you can explore what our 2016 teams accomplished in Guatemala, India, and Tanzania.

Get involved

Make a gift

We need support to cover the costs of project materials. All donations are tax deductible and every dollar goes a long way toward making these projects a reality.

Give online now or mail a check, payable to The University of Texas at Austin, to

Dean Clement
Development Associate
The University of Texas at Austin
Cockrell School of Engineering
1 University Station C2100
Austin, TX 78712

Donate frequent flyer miles

Airfare is often the largest expense in the project budgets and we hope to save money by purchasing tickets using frequent flyer miles. None of the donated money is used for student travel.

Contribute your time

Provide technical expertise and oversight and/or travel with the team to provide support on the ground.

To learn more about getting involved or supporting Projects with Under-served Communities, please contact the PUC program coordinator.