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  • Engage
  • Impact
  • Inspire

About the Practicum

The Sixth College Practicum is an upper-division, general education requirement that embodies the College’s commitment to active, hands-on learning. Students enroll in courses that have an experiential, service-learning, or community-based component to the curriculum. 

Research has shown that all types of experiential learning, including service-learning, help students acquire essential leadership skills, improve their communication skills, increase self-awareness, and enhance multicultural and global understanding. Employers are also more likely to hire college graduates who have engaged in some type of community service, practical work, or volunteerism.

Practicum Criteria

Practicum courses require:

  • A faculty advisor
  • 4 units of upper division credit*
  • Approximately 10 hours per week spent engaging a professional, research, or community group
  • A culminating capstone project such as a performance, exhibit, or research paper

*PRIME and certain courses to be completed over 2 quarters may be less than 4 units.

Practicum Project Options

Students may choose from ONE of the following options:

Sixth College CAT 124 Course

CAT 124 courses are hosted by Sixth College Academic Programs, but taught by professors from varying disciplines. Class sizes tend to be small, ranging from 6 to 30 students.

Learn more about upcoming CAT 124 courses!

Departmental Course

Students may take a class within their major, minor, or in an entirely new discipline, that fulfills the Practicum requirement. Practicum may overlap with other course requirements toward a major or minor, but NOT other Sixth College General Education requirements.

Learn more about departmental courses you can use for Practicum!

Independent/Group/Special Studies (197, 198, 199)

Special Studies require students to seek out a faculty advisor to supervise an internship (197), group independent study (198), or an independent study (199). Students must obtain and complete a Special Studies form and get both faculty and departmental approval for their plan.

Learn more about Special Studies!

Academic Internship Program (AIP)

Students can intern for credit through the AIP InternBank, or find their own internship. Students must attend an orientation, secure a faculty advisor, and register with AIP.

If considering an academic internship, keep in mind that you will need to apply to AIP in addition to the Practicum Proposal, so pay attention to AIP deadlines.

Learn more about the Academic Internship Program at aip.ucsd.edu!

Study Abroad

Studying abroad can involve more than taking classes in a new place! Participate hands-on experience in another country and gain an international understanding of how the world works. There are many study abroad Practicum options available-- check out the Study Abroad Pre-approved Course List and take a look at the choices below:

  • UCSD Global Seminars - 5 week study abroad experience led by a UCSD professor
  • CAPA London, CAPA Sydney or Arcadia University - Custom internships and service opportunities in London, Sydney, New Zealand, or South Africa. Discounts are available for Sixth College students! Visit OAP to find out more about how courses transfer.
  • Participate in an Academic Internship Abroad - Many UC Centers abroad, as well as some host universities, offer internships abroad for academic credit. Just make sure to verify that you will receive at least 4 units for practicum purposes.
  • Take a Departmental Course equivalent - Once you've selected a study abroad location through the Programs Abroad Office, find a class offered at your host university that will transfer back to UCSD as a Practicum Departmental Course. See past classes students have taken here.
  • Archaeological Field School - Participate in one of the archaeological projects across the world offered by UCSD's Anthropology Department for academic credit - up to 16 units for some projects! Again, only certain seminars are pre-approved, so check out the Study Abroad Pre-Approved Course List above.

Go to the Study Abroad as a Sixth Student website to find out more about the process as well as Scholarships for Sixth College Students. For all study abroad options visit the Programs Abroad Office and/or come to a Sixers Abroad Info Session to start your adventure!

Practicum Partner Programs

The Sixth College Practicum Program has partnered with a number of programs at UC San Diego. Check out links to each below:

  • Teams in Engineering Service (TIES) - Not just for engineers, the TIES program offers students the chance to find creative solutions for major humanitarian issues
  • Academic Enrichment Program (AEP) - Get involved in summer and year round opportunities to do research with professors from all disciplines.
  • Global Health Minor - Learn about health issues facing populations all over the world and prepare careers in research and teaching, immigrant services, government, health sciences, or law. 
  • UCDC - Intern for academic credit in Washington, DC. Internships are available for all majors and disciplines.
  • UCSC - UC Sacramento Center offers opportunities for students to get involved in policy, journalism, and many other topics at the state level.
  • Partners at Learning (PAL) - Mentor or tutor pre-school, elementary, or high school students, or help develop arts curriculum through Artsbridge.
  • Community Schools with CREATE and TMC - Get a tutoring or administrative educational internship at a UCSD partnership school by taking TMC 198.

Once you have a project in mind, you will need to submit a Practicum Proposal online by Friday of WEEK 8, the quarter BEFORE you will begin your Practicum project. No retroactive credit is offered! To find out more about the Practicum Proposal process, click here.

If you have any questions, please see the Practicum Frequently Asked Questions page or contact Sixth College Academic Programs at (858) 822-2275 or via the VAC at http://vac.ucsd.edu.


Walk-in Hours

Summer 2014

Tuesday - Thursday
9:30-11:30 AM
or by appointment via the
Virtual Advising Center

Academic Programs
Pepper Canyon Hall
Room 257
(858) 822-2275

Virtual Advising Center

Tuesday: 1:30 – 3:30 PM

Wednesday: 10:00 AM  - 12:00 PM

Thursday: 1:30 – 3:30 PM

“I have had the privilege of being involved in various student leadership organizations both on the Sixth College and university-wide levels, however, this experience has been one of the most meaningful, for the impact that a wonderful resource such as the Writing Studio produces can be seen almost immediately.”

-CAT 124: Coaching the Craft of Writing student, Fall 2012

“A strong background is the most important thing that everyone, not just a student, needs.  My practicum helped me realize this.”

-EDS/Partners At Learning student, Spring 2012

Practicum Spotlight

Use one of these great opportunities for your Practicum