Public Service Minor: Research and Community Engagement

Turning Passion into Action


Thurgood Marshall College sponsors the Public Service Minor at UCSD, which encourages students to understand the history and practices of public service and to work towards the development of civic skills. Those skills and practices are essential cornerstones of participation in a democratic society regardless of one’s chosen profession.

The course work for the minor emphasizes the history and emergence of the non-profit sector as a national institution distinct from the private and public spheres. The practicum aspects of the minor couples with the traditional academic work encourages students to see the connection between the deeds of charitable service and the historic worth of citizens participation in the common public franchise.  Through the Public Service Minor, students are able to supplement their education with hands-on experience that can help to prepare them for professional opportunities.

To learn more about the Public Service Minor, please visit with Kristian Austin, Academic Advisor for the Public Service Minor, at the Thurgood Marshall College Academic Advising Office.


Students may choose to add the public service minor once they are officially enrolled in classes at UC San Diego.  In order to successfully complete the minor, students must complete the following for a total of 28 units:

  • TMC 15, Public Service in America
  • Three 4-unit upper-division Specialization Courses (Education, Government, Health, or Social Issues)
  • Three upper-division Academic Internships in Public Service for a total of 12 units (students may enroll in AIP 197P, or pursue other pre-approved Public Service opportunities)

Helpful Resources

Fall 2016 - Courses Offered

The following courses, available fall 2016, have been approved for the Public Service Minor:

Education Track

  • Communication (COMM)102D
  • Economics (ECON) 147
  • Education Studies (EDS) 117, 114, 118, 129A, 130, 136
  • Psychology (PSYC) 101, 151, 180

Health Track

  • Psychology (PSYC) 168, 179
  • Sociology (SOCI) 129, 134
  • Urban Studies & Planning (USP) 144

Government Track

  • Economics (ECON) 135
  • Political Science (POLI) 102E, 104A, 160AA
  • Urban Studies & Planning (USP) 133, 144

Social Issues Track

  • Economics (ECON) 131, 135
  • Ethnic Studies (ETHN) 151
  • Political Science (POLI) 102E, 160AA
  • Psychology (PSYC) 179
  • Sociology (SOCI) 139, 141, 147, 152
  • Urban Studies & Planning (USP) 107

Introduction to Public Service in America - TMC 15

Public Service in America is an opportunity for students to discover what it means personally and collectively to contribute to the greater good. Together, the class will explore what is service and why it is important to our communities, a thriving civil society, and vibrant democracy.  Using one’s own interest, students will examine how the public, private, and independent sectors must work together to solve our society's challenges. During this interactive course, students will have an opportunity to meet community leaders who will share their experience as they relate to the topics we explore in class.   

View TMC 15 Course Syllabus (WI'15) [PDF]

sinayProfessor Patricia Sinay

Professor Sinay has over 25 years of experience working with nonprofits and foundations, she founded Community Investment Strategies, a consulting firm that connects nonprofits, businesses, governments, and foundations’ passions to action. She has worked with civil society organizations and community leaders from the United States, Middle East, Central Europe, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Mexico, and Canada.

Pre-Approved Courses

Education Track (12 units from the list below:

Critical Gender Studies 
CGS 110 Gender And Sexuality In Sports--(4)

Cognitive Science 
COGS 154 Communication Disorders In Children And Adults--(4)

COMM 168 Bilingual Communication--(4)
COMM 128 Education And Global Citizenship--(4)
COMM 110M Communication And The Community--(4)
COMM 169 Deaf People In America--(4)
COMM 102C Media and Design of Social Learning Contexts (6)
COMM 102D (HDP 135) Practicum In Child Development--(6)

ECON 147 Economics Of Education--(4)

Education Studies 
EDS 114 Cognitive Development And Interactive Computing Environments--(4)
EDS 117 (SOC/B 117) Language, Culture And Education--(4)
EDS 118 Adolescent Development And Education--(4)
EDS 126 (SOC/C 126) Social Organization Of Education--(4)
EDS 128AB Intro To Teaching And Learning (Elementary)--(4)
EDS 129ABC Intro To Teaching And Learning (Secondary)--(4)
EDS 130 Intro To Academic Mentoring Of Elementary School Students--(4)
EDS 134 Introduction To Literacy And Numeracy Tutoring--(4)
EDS 136 Introduction To Academic Tutoring Of Secondary School Students--(4)
EDS 138 Introduction To Academic Tutoring At The Preuss School--(4)

Ethnic Studies 
ETHN 140 Language And American Ethnicity--(4)

PSYC 101 Introduction To Developmental Psychology--(4)
PSYC 151 Tests And Measurement--(4)
PSYC 152 Conceptions Of Intelligence--(4)
PSYC 180 Adolescence--(4)

Government Track (12 units from the list below)

ANSC 123 Political Anthropology--(4)

Critical Gender Studies
CGS 106 Gender Equality And The Law--(4)
CGS 107 Gender And Reproductive Rights--(4)

COMM 114 Law, Communication, And Freedom Of Expression--(4)

ECON 130 Public Policy--(4)
ECON 135 (USP 102) Urban Economics--(4)

LIGN 105 Law And Language--(4)

Political Science
POLI 100DA Voting, Campaigns And Elections--(4)
POLI 102E (USP 107) Urban Politics--(4)
POLI 102J (USP 110) Advanced Topics In Urban Politics--(4)
POLI 103A (USP 109) California Govt And Politics--(4)
POLI 103A California Government And Politics (USP 109)--(4)
POLI 103B (USP 113) Politics And Policymaking In Los Angeles--(4)
POLI 104A The Supreme Court And The Constitution--(4)
POLI 104C Civil Liberties-The Rights Of Criminals And Minorities--(4)
POLI 150A Politics Of Immigration--(4)
POLI 160AA Introduction To Policy Analysis--(4)

PSYC 162 Psychology And The Law--(4)

Urban Studies and Planning
USP 103 American Cities In The 20th Century--(4)
USP 115 Politics And Policymaking In San Diego--(4)
USP 129 (ETHN 190) Research Methods: Studying Racial And Ethnic Communities--(4)
USP 133 (SOC/C 152) Social Inequality And Public Policy--(4)
USP 137 Housing And Community Development Policy And Practice--(4)
USP 143 The U.S. Health Care System--(4)
USP 144 Environmental And Preventive Health Issues--(4)
USP 147 Health Care/Poor And Underserved Populations--(4)
USP 166 History Of San Diego--(4)
USP 174 Regional Government And Planning--(4)
USP 181 Public Transportation--(4)
USP 193 San Diego Community Research--(4)


Health Track (12 units from the list below)

ANBI 141 Evolution Of The Human Diet--(4)
ANGN 172 Life History Seminar And Practicum--(4)
ANPR 107 Psychological Anthropology--(4)
ANSC 164 The Anthropology Of Medicine--(4)

Critical Gender Studies
CGS 111 Gender And The Body--(4)

COMM 108G Gender And Biomedicine--(4)
COMM 108D Disability--(4)

ECON 140 Economics Of Health Producers--(4)
ECON 141 Economics Of Health Consumers--(4)

Ethnic Studies
ETHN 107 Field Work In Racial And Ethnic Communities--(4)
ETHN 142 Medicine, Race And The Global Politics Of Inequality--(4)
ETHN 183 Gender Race, Ethnicity & Class--(4)

HIUS 115 History Of Sexuality In The United States--(4)

PSYC 153 Psychology Of Emotion--(4)
PSYC 163 Abnormal Psychology--(4)
PSYC 168 Psychological Disorders In Childhood--(4)
PSYC 179 Drugs, Addiciton And Mental Disorder--(4)
PSYC 181 Drugs And Behavior--(4)

SOCI 129 The Family--(4)
SOCI 134 The Making Of Modern Medicine--(4)
SOCI 135 Medical Sociology--(4)
SOCI 136E Sociology Of Mental Illness In Contemporary Society--(4)

Urban Studies and Planning
USP 143 The U.S. Health Care System--(4)
USP 144 Environmental And Preventive Health Issues--(4)
USP 145 Aging - Social And Health Policy Issues--(4)
USP 147 Case Studies In Health Care Programs/Poor And Underserved Population--(4)

Social Issue Track (12 units from the list below)

ANBI 132 Conservation And The Human Predicament (BIEB 176)--(4)
ANSC 125 Gender, Sexuality, And Society--(4)
ANSC 160 Nature, Culture And Environmentalism--(4)

BIEB 140 Biodiversity--(4)

Critical Gender Studies
CGS 101 Gender, Modernity, And Globalization--(4)
CGS 106 Gender Equality And The Law--(4)
CGS 107 Gender And Reproductive Rights--(4)
CGS 112 Sexuality And The Nation--(4)

COMM 129 Representing Race, Nation, And Violence In Multicultural California--(4)
COMM 157 Borderlands--(4)
COMM 131 Communication, Dissent, And Social Movements--(4)
COMM 138 Black Women, Feminism, And The Media--(4)
COMM 111T Cultural Politics Of Sport--(4)

ECON 114 Economics Of Immigration--(4)
ECON 130 Public Policy--(4)
ECON 131 Economics Of The Environment--(4)
ECON 135 (USP 102) Urban Economics--(4)
ECON 139 Labor Economics--(4)

Environmental Science
ENVR 110 Environmental Law--(4)
ENVR 130 Environmental Issues: Social Sciences--(4)

Ethnic Studies
ETHN 100 Theories And Methods In Ethnic Studies--(4)
ETHN 105 (USP 104) Ethnic Diversity And The City--(4)
ETHN 118 Contemporary Immigration Issues--(4)
ETHN 151 Ethnic Politics In America--(4)
ETHN 152 Law And Civil Rights--(4)

HILA 104 Modern U.S. - Latin American Relations--(4)
HISC 105 History Of Environmentalism--(4)
HIUS 114 California History--(4)
HIUS 121 American Politics And Society--(4)
HIUS 124 (ETHN 125) Asian-American History--(4)
HIUS 139 (ETHN 149) African-American History In The 20th Century--(4)
HIUS 147 (USP 165) History Of The American Suburb--(4)
HIUS 149 United States In The 1960s--(4)

LTCS 125 Cultural Perspectives On Immigration And Citizenship--(4)
LTCS 130 Gender, Race/Ethnicity, Class And Culture--(4)

PHIL 148 Philosophy And The Environment--(4)
PHIL 162 Contemporary Moral Issues--(4)
PHIL 167 Contemporary Political Philosophy--(4)

Political Science
POLI 100 H Race And Ethnicity In American Politics--(4)
POLI 102 E Urban Politics--(4)
POLI 110 DA Freedom And Discipline: Political Thought In The 20th Century--(4)
POLI 126 AA Fundamental Of Political Economy: Modern Capitalism--(4)
POLI 160 AA Introduction To Policy Analysis--(4)
POLI 162 Environmental Policy--(4)

PSYC 179 Drugs, Addiction, And Mental Disorders--(4)

SOCI 113 Sociology Of The AIDS Epidemic--(4)
SOCI 134E Making Of Modern Medicine--(4)
SOCI 139 Social Inequality: Class, Race, Gender--(4)
SOCI 140 Sociology Of Law--(4)
SOCI 141 Crime And Society--(4)
SOCI 147 Organizations, Society, And Social Justice--(4)
SOCI 148 Political Sociology--(4)
SOCI 152 Social Inequality And Public Policy--(4)
SOCI 153 Urban Sociology--(4)
SOCI 154 Religious Institutions In America--(4)
SOCI 155 The City Of San Diego--(4)
SOCI 180 Social Movements And Social Protest--(4)

Urban Studies and Planning
USP 103 (HIUS 148) American Cities In The 20th Century--(4)
USP 107 Urban Politics--(4)
USP 109 (POLI 103A) California Government And Politics--(4)
USP 110 Advanced Topics In Urban Politics--(4)
USP 137 Housing And Community Development Policy And Practice--(4)
USP 166 History Of San Diego--(4)

Academic Tracks


TMC Partnership Schools Program

Intern at the UCSD Partnerships Schools during the fall 2013 and receive 4 units and hand on experience in the community.
Learn more..

Partners at Learning (PAL) Program

The PAL program, through UC San Diego's Education Studies, provides opportunities for UCSD students to work with underserved preK-12 students and schools.

Public service courses provide students with an introduction to theoretical and practical issues in preK-12 education by incorporating both academic work and fieldwork components into the course structure.
Learn More...

Visit this page for a valuable list of resources that includes scholarships, internships, journals, and related research institutes.

Faculty and Staff


  • Dr. Brian Goldfarb
    Faculty Director & Professor, Communication
  • Patricia Sinay
    Instructor TMC 15:Introduction to Public Service in America
    Thurgood Marshall College
  • Luz Chung
    Specialization Chair
    Education Studies
  • Steve Erie
    Specialization Chair
    Political Science
  • Larry Palinkas
    Specialization Chair
    Family and Preventative Medicine, School of Medicine
  • Joel Robbins
    Specialization Chair
  • Mike Cole
    Distinguished Professor Emeritus


  • Kristian Austin
    Senior Academic Counselor
    Thurgood Marshall College
  • Kerry Shannon Ott, M.A.
    Counselor, Academic Internship Program
    858-534-1708 | Website
  • Tylar Pendgraft
    College Operations Specialist
    Thurgood Marshall College

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Public Service Minor
Thurgood Marshall College
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