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How to Get Credit

Special Studies courses

Special Studies courses are ways to earn credit other than enrolling in a regularly scheduled class. Special Studies 97, 98, and 99 are for lower division (>30 units) students and Special Studies 197, 198, and 199 are for upper division (> 90 units) students. Most students that work with NRS do research under the course number Special Studies 199, the credit given for students doing independent projects.

For the Special Studies 199, most departments* require a 2.5 or better GPA. Students work with a faculty advisor, which the student arranges. There is paperwork to be filled out and turned in to the students’ major department. All these arrangements are typically made well in advance of the quarter, but the absolute deadline for most departments* is the add deadline – the end of the second week of the quarter.

*Note: The Division of Biology handles Special Studies courses differently. You must have a 3.0 GPA and you must submit your paperwork by week 8 of the preceding quarter. (For fall, this is week 8 of spring quarter.) See the Division of Biological Sciences Research for Academic Credit page for more details.

Environmental Systems (ESYS) Program

The Environmental Systems (ESYS) Program requires all students to complete a Senior Internship/Project (ESYS 190A-B). These projects are typically interdisciplinary in scope and encourage students to apply their skills to real environmental issues. Many ESYS students have addressed topics in conservation or natural resource management at one of the UCSD Natural Reserves.

Urban Studies and Planning Department

The Urban Studies and Planning Department has a senior thesis requirement (USP 186-7) for all USP majors. Students interested in environmental planning should consider research through the Natural Reserve System.

Academic Enrichment Program

The Academic Enrichment Program has numerous programs designed to encourage undergraduates to participate in research. Many of these programs provide a stipend and other benefits for students that qualify.

Academic Internship Program

Academic Internship Program “offers students an opportunity to apply their academic knowledge and analytical skills in diverse professional settings while earning academic credit.” Students apply by week 6 of the previous quarter and summarize their experience in a research paper due at the end of the quarter.