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Experiential Learning Opportunities

Study Abroad, Research, and Internships


If you receive academic credit for your experience, you may be able to apply that credit toward your degree requirements.

Students may use applicable credit from study abroad, research, and internships toward applicable Programs of Concentration, Area Studies, or upper-division non-contiguous requirements.  Students may also earn elective credit from any credit-bearing program.  

Warren Writing, Ethics and Society, and DEI may not be fulfilled through experiential learning opportunities, except for applicable Global Seminars.

Students may also be able to use experiential learning opportunities toward their major requirements - consult with major advisors for more information. 

Study Abroad - UCEAP and OAP

UC San Diego’s Study Abroad Office should be your first stop when researching study abroad programs.  

When choosing courses for a Program of Concentration, Area Study, or upper-division non-contiguous requirement, choose courses within an appropriate department.  For example, courses listed in the UCEAP Course Catalog under the Psychology department apply to a Psychology PofC/Area Study or a Social Science upper-division non-contiguous requirement.  Meet with a Warren academic counselor for approval of your course selections before you go abroad.

Students must complete at least 8 units for each PofC or 4 units for each Area Study at UC San Diego.  Students may complete up to 16 more units for a PofC, or 8 units for an Area Study outside of UCSD.  Credit outside UCSD includes AP, UCEAP, and/or OAP credit.  Global Seminars count as credit taken at UCSD.  Transfer students with upper-division non-contiguous requirements may only fulfill these requirements with coursework from Global Seminars, UCEAP or other UC summer programs.

When applying for a UCEAP or OAP study abroad program, students are required to visit Warren Academic Advising for approval of prospective course selections.  Students participating in Global Seminars are also encouraged to visit advising, though it is not required. 

Study Abroad - Global Seminars

Any Global Seminar can provide elective courses/units towards graduation. Each program contains two courses, and each course is worth 4 units.

If you have already declared your Programs of Concentration or Area Studies, use this chart to see how Global Seminars fit into those requirements. More options may be available upon petition; see an advisor for details.  Transfer students: meet with Warren Advising to verify what GE requirements you have. 

Courses marked with an asterisk are approved for the DEI requirement.

See Global Seminars' website for the most up-to-date list of programs and details. 

Download a PDF of the 2021 Global Seminars GE Chart here.



Most departments at UCSD offer research opportunities for credit.  Consult the course catalog to find out more about academic departments' undergraduate research opportunities.  Look for courses numbered 190-194, and 196-199.

General information on undergraduate research can be found on TritonLink; research opportunities can also be found on the REAL portal.  The Study Abroad office also has information on research opportunities abroad - contact Study Abroad for more information. 

Generally, choosing a course from a department approved for your PofC is acceptable.  For example, PSYC 196A could be used for a Psychology PofC, Area Study, or social science upper-division non-contiguous requirement.  Students may use a maximum of one Special Studies course (197-199) toward their upper-division non-contiguous requirements.

Meet with a Warren academic counselor to determine how  research credit may be applied to your GEs.  

Internships and UCDC

The Academic Internship Program (AIP) helps students find and receive credit for internships.  When students enroll in the AIP program, they typically receive AIP 197 credit.  Depending on the content of the internship, that credit may be applied to appropriate PofCs, Area Studies, and upper-division non-contiguous requirements by petition.

AIP also administers the UCDC program, which offers courses and internships for credit in Washington, D.C.  Students in the UCDC program usually receive credit for AIP 197, and Research Seminar Credit: POLI, COMM, USP, COGS, HITO or SOCI 194.  Research seminar credit may be applied to any appropriate GE requirement without a petition – i.e. HITO 193 may be used for a History or Humanities PofC/Area Study, or Humanities upper-division non-contiguous requirement.

The UC Sacramento program is also an excellent opportunity for students seeking an experiential learning opportunity within California.  Two of the courses offered, POLI 192A and POLI 196E, may be used for Political Science or Perspectives of Social Science Programs of Concentration or Area Studies.  These courses can also be used for social science upper-division non-contiguous requirements.  

The Study Abroad Office also offers research opportunities abroad - contact Study Abroad for more information. 

Before embarking on an internship program, be sure to meet with an academic counselor in Warren Advising if you plan on using the credit for your GE requirements.