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Senior Sequence: Doing Civically Engaged Research

Course Description and Learning Objectives 

All students majoring in Urban Studies and Planning must complete the Senior Sequence during their senior year.

The Sequence is made up of two classes:

  • USP 186: Senior Sequence Research Proposal in the fall quarter (syllabus)
  • USP 187: Senior Sequence Research Project in the winter quarter (SYLLABUS Winter 2017)

Each student also completes 100 hours of service learning in an internship placement of their own choosing.

Over this six-month journey (September to March), students learn how to:

  • Critically review and harvest research literature
  • Devise theoretical informed research questions and investigative strategies--in ways attuned to the value of community knowledge and establishing good community-university relationships
  • Write a scholarly research proposal
  • Execute proposed research ethically with civic and global-mindfulness
  • Analyze, interpret, write, and share research findings while honoring UCSD’s principles of integrity of scholarship and integrity of research
     

The final requirement of the course is a Senior Research Project in the form of a 25 page scholarly thesis. Students share highlights of their Senior Research Project in a poster board presentation at Urban Studies and Planning’s annual Urban Expo in mid-March and in a brief video. In addition to learning research design, methods, and science communication, students gain the ability to critically examine ethical and professional aspects of scholarly research that is civically engaged.