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Public Service Minor: Research and Community Engagement

Sponsored by Thurgood Marshall College, the Public Service minor encourages all UC San Diego students to understand the history and practices of public service. By further developing the civic skills and experiences of the student, the Public Service minor offers a service-learning experience through academic and practicum-based means of civic engagement.

With coursework and opportunities focused on the history, emergence, and importance of public service work, students in the minor will obtain valuable experience and a deeper understanding of the field.

Through the pursuit of the minor, students will be able to supplement their educational careers with a service-learning experience that offers a unique avenue of growth in preparation for the future.

For questions about the Public Service Minor, please contact us through the Marshall College Minor Virtual Advising Center.


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)

Specialization Coursework

Students must select three 4-unit upper division courses from a single specialization track. To review pre-approved courses for a specific track, please click on one of the following links:

Education | Government | Health | Social Issues

The full list can be accessed 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 131 Early Childhood Development and Education --(4)
EDS 133 Counseling, Mentoring, and Academic Advising (Preschool through Twelfth Grade) --(4)
EDS 135 Working with Newcomer Communities in San Diego-- (6)
EDS 136 Introduction To Academic Tutoring Of Secondary School Students--(4)
EDS 137 Introduction to Discipline-Specific Teaching and Learning-- (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)

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 [PDF]

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)

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)

TMC 15: Introduction to Public Service in America

TMC 15. Public Service in America
Hemans, Patricia Ann Benitez

This course is designed to study, discuss, and analyze the history and current role of public service in the United States. Students will be introduced to the different roles held by the three sectors of the American economic structure (government, business, and nonprofit/public service) with opportunity to provide a critical analysis of those roles within American society.

Spring 2024 Courses

Courses offered in Spring Quarter 2024 that can be used toward the minor's specialization requirement.

Education Track [PDF]

  • Communication: COMM 102C, COMM 110M, COMM 168
  • Education Studies: EDS 117, EDS 118, EDS 126, EDS 128, EDS 129, EDS 130, EDS 131, EDS 133
  • Psychology: PSYC 101

Government Trac[PDF]

  • Communication: COMM 114A, COMM 114B, COMM 114E, COMM 114W
  • Political Science: POLI 150A
  • Urban Studies & Planning: USP 193

Health Track [PDF]

  • Ethnic Studies: ETHN 183
  • Psychology: PSYC 179, PSYC 181
  • Sociology: SOCI 135
  • Urban Studies & Planning: USP 145

Social Issues Track [PDF]

  • Critical Gender Studies: CGS 112
  • Ethnic Studies: ETHN 100C
  • History: HIUS 114A
  • Psychology: PSYC 179
  • Sociology:SOCI 139, SOCI 180

Academic Internships in Public Service

The Public Service Minor partners with the Academic Internship Program (AIP) to facilitate credit-bearing public service internships that fulfill the minor's Academic Internships in Public Service requirement. Public Service Internships are completed with a non-profit or government entity that aligns with one of the Public Service Minor's specializations. Public service internships are an excellent opportunity to engage with the community while exploring personal career and academic goals and developing essential professional competencies.

Students may enroll in AIP 197P: Public Service Internship to earn internship credit for application toward the minor, and may opt to intern for multiple quarters at one internship site, or intern at different sites over several quarters.

Students are encouraged to meet with an AIP Counselor to discuss their internship interests and goals and align participation with their overall academic plan. More information about how to identify internship opportunities or how to enroll in AIP 197P can be found on the Academic Internship Program website.  Students may send questions to Academic Internship Program and/or request an appointment with an AIP Counselor via the Virtual Advising Center (VAC). Other inquiries may be directed to AIP at

Internships completed as part of the UCDC Program in Washington, DC or the UC Center Sacramento program may also apply toward the Academic Internships in Public Service requirement. Students may be able to count an academic internship already completed through AIP, UCDC or UCCS towards the internship requirements. 

For alternative pre-approved options that fulfill the PSM internship requirement, please consult with the Public Service Minor advisor via the Public Service minor's Virtual Advising Center (VAC)

Opportunities and Resources


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


Center for Student Involvement 
Identify Community Service opportunities offered by the Center for Student Involvement.  Students can find short-term opportunities or ongoing programs to engage at the local, national, or international level.  Sign up for their newsletter for the most up-to-date opportunities and events. Learn More...

TMC Partnership Schools Program

Intern at the UCSD Partnerships Schools 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 pre K-12 students and schools.  Public service courses provide students with an introduction to theoretical and practical issues in pre K-12 education by incorporating both academic work and fieldwork components into the course structure.
Learn More...

Faculty and Staff


Dr. Angela Booker
Faculty Director & Professor, Communication

Patricia Benitez Hemans
Instructor, TMC 15: Public Service in America

Dr. Caren Holtzman, Specialization Chair-Education
Education Studies

Dr. Anita Raj, Specialization Chair-Health
Health Sciences

Dr. Marisa Abrajano, Specialization Chair-Government 
Political Science

Dr. Simeon Man, Specialization Chair-Social Issues


Sierra Rios
Senior Academic Advisor and Public Service Minor Coordinator, Marshall College

Evelyn Gonzalez 
Operations and Program Analyst

Tricia Taylor Oliveira
Academic Internship Program
858-534-1708 | Website

Ready to declare the minor?

Please use the Major and Minor tool on TritonLink to declare the Public Service Minor.


Students should send any questions they have about the Public Service Minor through Marshall College's Public Service Minor Virtual Advising Center (VAC). Other questions or inquiries may be sent to

Please note: Public Service is not available in the standard department dropdown in the Virtual Advising Center's Ask A Question feature, since it is a minor housed at Thurgood Marshall College.  All students, regardless of their college, should address their questions to the Public Service Minor advisor using Marshall College's Public Service Minor Virtual Advising Center (VAC).