Service Learning and Community Engagement 

Apply what you learn in the classroom to understand and pursue solutions to real-world challenges. Departments and programs across UC San Diego offer opportunities for students to engage meaningfully with the community, expanding your education through hands-on learning in collaboration with community partners. Through participation in well-structured programs that combine active learning and reflection, you can:

  • deepen your knowledge of academic concepts through practical experience
  • build essential professional competencies
  • grow as an individual and a socially responsible member of society
  • belong to a community collaborating on purposeful work
  • become a Changemaker

 Service learning comes in many forms, and different levels of commitment. Some options for participating include:

 Take a class: Make connections between theory and practice through classes that incorporate service learning, like Partners at Learning (PAL) courses in Education Studies, and Global TIES in the Jacobs School of Engineering. 

Do research: Participate in co-producing knowledge with community partners through involvement in projects like the interdisciplinary UCSD Cross-Border Initiative

 Focus your studies: Academic programs including the Public Service Minor, Urban Studies and Planning, and the Global Health Program integrate community engagement into the core of their curricula through fieldwork and internship requirements. 

Get involved: Co-curricular service learning  facilitated by the Center for Student Involvement or Student Life in the colleges offers the chance for every student to engage with the community, whether you go on a week-long Alternative Break abroad or become a Community Health Associate serving for a year. Check out the Research Experience and Applied Learning (REAL) portal for additional service learning opportunities.