Skip to main content

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

Community-engaged learning comes in many forms with 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. 

Conduct research 

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


 Do fieldwork or an internship 

Academic Internship Program logo

Academic programs including the Public Service MinorUrban Studies and Planning, and the Global Health Program integrate community engagement into the core of their curricula through fieldwork and internship requirements. UCDC and UC Center Sacramento allow students to continue their studies while gaining valuable on-the-job experience through extraordinary internship opportunities in a wide variety of fields. 

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 REAL (Research Experience and Applied Learning) portal for additional community-based learning opportunities.