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Photos by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

UC San Diego Goes Beyond the Classroom to Create Futures for its Students

UC San Diego enables students to move from their dream college into dream careers through transformative resources that range from excellent career centers to undergraduate research programs, as well as civic engagement opportunities and a strong alumni network. As a result, high numbers of UC San Diego students graduate with outstanding job offers and many are accepted to post-graduate studies at first-rate institutions. The campus recently garnered recognition as a college with both outstanding academics and experiential learning opportunities by the Princeton Review, which included the university in the guidebook, “Colleges That Create Futures: 50 Schools That Launch Careers By Going Beyond the Classroom.”

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“As a student-centered university, UC San Diego is committed to providing a wide range of opportunities and the best possible student experience,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “There are vast resources on our campus for students to get practical, hands-on learning that complements their classroom work and enables them to explore their areas of interest and achieve personal and academic success.”

The campus’s many programs that give students real-world advantages outside the classroom include:

  • Academic Internship Program: The program allows students to merge their academic theory with real world applications through hands-on professional experience while earning students course credit.
  • Campus Community Centers: The Black Resource Center, Cross Cultural Center, Intertribal Resource Center, LGBT Resource Center, Raza Resource Centro and Women’s Center are vital in retaining diverse and underrepresented communities on campus and empowering them to graduate and pursue their dream careers.
  • Career Services Center: The center is integrated with Alumni and Community Engagement, which has enabled it to increase outreach to employers, as well as alumni advocates. It provides students with an array of opportunities to advance their careers.
  • Center for Student Involvement: The center facilitates rich opportunities for learning, community building, civic engagement and service outside the classroom.
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In addition, the campus’s outstanding academics are unmatched. Among the UC San Diego students surveyed by the Princeton Review, the most frequent praise was for the school’s faculty. Their enthusiasm is understandable; they learn from leading researchers, authors and scholars (sixteen Nobel laureates have taught at UC San Diego in the past five decades).

Alumnus Sheldon C. Engelhorn agrees. Englehorn, a 1972 graduate in biology who went on to co-found biotechnology research tools company NOVEX, recalls, “I really enjoyed and benefited from the research experience. . . the excitement and passion for discovery that professors brought to the classroom was inspirational.”

According to Barbara Sawrey, associate vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and dean of Undergraduate Education, UC San Diego doesn’t just seek faculty—it seeks innovators and thinkers who are interested in conducting complex, question-driven research in an interdisciplinary environment, and in contemplating big questions and important issues.

Innovative faculty contribute to the evolution of UC San Diego’s curriculum which is constantly shifting and reinventing itself based on the needs of both students and the world they are entering.

Melissa Famulari, a professor of the economics department added: “By the time students leave UC San Diego, they tend to have a deep understanding of what they are passionate about learning and where their talents lie. Not only have our students acquired the tools of a specific major, but they have also learned to apply those tools in diverse settings.”

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UC San Diego’s distinctive academic resources include:

  • College System: The six-college system merges the campus’s world-class education with a sense of community amongst students, ensuring that each student’s academic needs are satisfied so that they can successfully pursue careers after college.
  • Teaching and Learning Commons: Both a concept and a physical presence, the Teaching & Learning Commons creates new programs utilizing the best educational strategies to energize teaching and learning on campus.
  • UC San Diego Library: The Library plays a critical role in advancing and supporting the university’s research, teaching, patient care and public service missions. Providing access to more than seven million digital and print volumes, journals, and multimedia materials, the Library provides the foundation of knowledge to advance cutting-edge discoveries in a wide range of disciplines.