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Experiential Learning & Practicum

Featured Experiential Learning Opportunities

What Is Experiential Learning?

Experiential learning is an approach to education that purposefully engages learners in direct, applied experiences and focuses on reflection and critical analysis in order to increase knowledge, develop skills, clarify values and career interests, and develop students' capacity to contribute to their communities (Association of Experiential Education).

Experiential learning is at the heart of Sixth College's mission to prepare our students to become dynamic global citizens of the twenty-first century. The Practicum requirement embeds this value into our curriculum and general education requirements.

Examples of experiential learning activities at UCSD include:

  • Conducting research in a lab or field setting.

  • Doing an internship.

  • Studying abroad.

  • Developing a special study project with a faculty member.

  • Enrolling in a course that incorporates service learning or community engagement.

  • Volunteering on campus or in the community.

  • Participating in student government.

What Are the Benefits of Experiential Learning?

  • Develops critical, independent thinkers: Allows students to take ownership of their learning, engage in problem solving, challenge their assumptions, and develop new knowledge.

  • Links theory to practice: Gives students opportunities to apply the knowledge and theories learned in the classroom to real-world situations and environments.

  • Enhances perspective-taking and empathy: Enables students to learn from and with community members, colleagues, and professionals, which facilitates greater understanding and awareness of the world around them.

  • Improves career preparation: Provides students with avenues to engage in career-related work and develop their skills (for example, communication, networking, problem-solving, and critical thinking) necessary to succeed in future endeavors.

  • Increases learning retention: Helps students retain and recall information in the future through a learn-by-doing model.

How Do I Find Experiential Learning Opportunities at UCSD?

  • Study Abroad: Provides students with everything they need to know about studying abroad at UCSD.

  • Academic Internship Program: Provides courses that allow students to receive academic credit for internships. Includes tips, resources, and information on finding internships.

  • Academic Enrichment Programs: Provides resources and opportunities for students interested in research at UCSD.

  • The Basement: Provides students with support, mentorship, and opportunities to pursue entrepreneurial ideas and projects.

Search the database of experiential learning opportunities at UCSD!

How Does Experiential Learning Relate to the Practicum Requirement?

Experiential learning is at the heart of the Sixth College Practicum requirement. To learn more about how to fulfill it, please check out the Practicum Requirement page.


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