What's Community Studies?

Community Studies is UCSC's premier interdisciplinary learning program. Focused on social justice, it's distinctive pedagogy integrating classroom learning and extended field study is one of the first in the nation. Learn more about the history and philosophy of Community Studies. 

Alumni Reflections

"You can’t wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time."

"I learned the importance of small steps that move forward rather than in small circles."

"What did I learn? The affirmation of community-level social change work."

"I came to understand my responsibility as a human being and citizen to seriously consider issues, take a stand, and work for what I believe in."

"Community Studies taught me to understand the importance of listening to people and learning from them rather than making assumptions about what a person or a community needs. This has informed my life and work ever since."

"It was inspiring to be among faculty and other students who all wanted to make a difference in the world or their community in some way."

"Being a Community Studies major validated that a life oriented towards social change is both legitimate and possible."

"Community Studies provided me with the confidence that change is possible with dedication and teamwork"

"The program encourages (and models, by the faculty) not just ‘involvement’ for its own sake, but ongoing analysis, critical reflection, and learning about one’s activities and choices of action in a given community."

"The major heightened my awareness as to what was going on in the world, as well as in my own community, and the many ways in which I was able to get involved in order to make a difference."

"Community Studies helped heighten my awareness of the structure of our society and the institutions that influence it."

"Community Studies made me a critical thinker!"

"Community Studies allowed me the opportunity to go out into the world and be independent. I came back to the University with a stronger sense of self-identity and got to use my newfound knowledge to inspire other students."

"[With the field study] I was given the opportunity at an impressionable age to learn to listen and respect others with far less education, but more experience."

"The field study gave me practical experience in working as a team centered towards a goal. It is during the field study that I embraced having a vision and putting my energies towards overcoming challenges and keeping focus towards getting things done."

"My field study made me more resilient and realistic about how much influence I can have… It helped me be able to see situations for what they really are rather than projecting my own beliefs and agenda."

"Community Studies gave me a cohort of fellow activists. I am still in contact with many of them."

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