Centers & Institutes

  • Intergenerational Urban Institute

    For more than 20 years, the Intergenerational Urban Institute at Worcester State University has been providing community service opportunities for students of all ages to meet the challenges that face greater Worcester. We are the outreach arm of the Urban Studies Department, and we invite you to participate in IUI programs through Urban Studies practicums or as volunteers.

    Through IUI programs, you can:

    • Tutor in the Elder English Language Learner Program on campus, the Senior Center, Nu Café, and a Worcester Housing Authority elder housing facility
    • Assist the Hunger Outreach Team, which provides information and application assistance for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) on campus and in the community and coordinates hunger awareness programs and public forums
    • Help maintain the Worcester State University Garden for All Ages with assistance from students from Chandler Magnet School, participants in the Latino Education Institute’s Latina Achievers in Search of Success (LASOS) program, teenagers in Worcester State University’s Upward Bound program, and residents of Bet Shalom
    • Support the work of community agencies like the Worcester Community Action Center, Brigham Hill Community Farm, Worcester Food Policy Council, and local food pantries
    • Apply to become an Intergenerational Community Fellow and open the doors to engagement and connections across the generations

    We also bring community members to campus:

    • Worcester State University’s elder registration program, which offers free classes (waived tuition and fees) to Massachusetts residents age 60 and higher
    • Empty Bowl anti-hunger fundraising event
    • Annual Celebration of Service Across the Ages
    • Guest lectures and panel discussions

    Older Student Registration
    Massachusetts residents age 60 and older are entitled to free tuition courses on a space available basis at all public higher education institutions (by state law). The IUI administers older student registration prior to fall and spring semesters. Eligible older students register directly with the Registrar's Office for undergraduate courses and the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education for evening and graduate courses for winter and summer sessions.

  • How It Works

    In addition to the tuition waiver granted by the state, by vote of Worcester State University’s Board of Trustees, fees for eligible senior citizens who enroll in undergraduate or graduate classes at WSU are also waived.

    If you are an older student, you:

    • Can register during Older Student Registration, which is usually held the Thursday before the start of classes
    • Must bring one of the following forms of identification: valid driver’s license, senior ID, or birth certificate and proof of residency
    • Are responsible for costs of books and materials
    • May select from day or evening, graduate or undergraduate courses if space is available
    • May matriculate (i.e., admitted as a degree candidate) and then register for courses with our traditional students
    • May choose to audit classes (class work only, no exams), but you must get an “audit only” form at registration
    Older Student Registration Day
    The next Older Student Registration Day will be held on Thursday, August 31.


    12 noon - Welcome and Orientation
    12:30 p.m. - Course selection
    1 p.m. - Registration

    Registrar's Office, Room 107 Administration Building

    Intergenerational Urban Institute volunteers will be available to answer questions and help with course selection and registration.

    Classes begin on Wednesday, September 6.
    Instructions for Viewing Courses Online
    1. Visit WebAdvisor to view WSU's online database of classes.
    2. On the bottom of the next screen, under registration, click on Search for Sections (at the bottom of the screen).
    3. On the next screen, select from dropdown menus:
      • Term
      • Search - Day or Evening, Continuing Education, or Graduate
      • Search - Open or Closed
      • Academic level - Select graduate or undergraduate
    4. If you know the subject or general area of study in which you would like to take classes, you can select one of the choices under Subject or Section Type.
    5. If you are interested in viewing all course offerings for the semester you selected, then leave the Subject and Section dropdown menus blank and scroll down to the bottom of the screen.
    6. Now you are ready to click on submit.
    7. A list of the courses you want to view will appear with additional details about each course.
    8. If you want, you can click on the highlighted text to get more information about a course.
    9. Repeat steps to search for additional classes for different times, different academic levels, or different subjects or section types.

    Remember that these classes are only for viewing. You will need to wait until the next Older Student Registration date to register in person. Also some of these classes may be filled with traditional paying students before the next older student registration date, so think about a few courses you may like to take in case your first or second choice is unavailable.

    Note: If you are a matriculated student, you may register for classes prior to the older student registration day. 

  • Collaboration with Urban Studies
    The IUI works closely with the Urban Studies Department, including the nonprofit management graduate program, to conduct community projects, meetings, and programs. In fact, many urban studies courses have launched IUI programs, community forums, and events.