Capstone Experiences

Capstone experiences are unique opportunities for undergraduates to demonstrate their growth as scholars and citizens as a result of their UCSB education. The Office of Undergraduate Education directly sponsors the following capstone opportunities.

Undergraduate Research

Integrating discovery into the college experience moves students from being consumers of knowledge to creators of knowledge. The Office of Undergraduate Education supports undergraduate research in the many forms that it can take: pursuing independent projects, assisting faculty with existing research efforts, and presenting and interpreting the results of research in classroom, group, and public settings.

Faculty Research Assistance
Program (FRAP)

Faculty Research Assistance Program (FRAP)

The Faculty Research Assistance Program (FRAP) is a gateway to undergraduate research. In it, students work on research projects designed by faculty. They  gain valuable research experience, connect with leading UCSB researchers, and earn academic credit through special research courses.

Example programs from directory

Professor Patricia Fumerton, English

Research Project:
“English Broadside Ballad Archive, This project is devoted to mounting online facsimile images, citations, transcriptions, and recordings of broadside ballads of the seventeenth century and earlier. Broadside ballads are large sheets (hence “broad) on which are printed many illustrations, a song, and a tune title.”

Undergraduate Contribution:
“Undergraduates work alongside graduate students to create “facsimile transcriptions” (in which the student opens up a facsimile of the ballad in Photoshop and a transcription in Word, and then carefully replaces the original text of the ballad with the transcribed text, matching font size and spacing and preserving the ballad’s ornamentation). Students also help catalogue ballads and convert ballads into TEI/XML using a handy easy-to-follow program called X-Balled. Students in the process learn much about early printing techniques, popular culture, Photoshop, and text encoding.”

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Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Award (URCA) & Transfer Student Research Award (TSRA)

Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Award (URCA) & Transfer Student Research Award (TSRA)

The Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Award (URCA) and Transfer Student Research Award (TSRA) provide support for undergraduate research. Grants cover expenses, supplies, and travel. To apply, students submit a summary of their research, letters of support from faculty mentors, and a full budget.

URCA and TSRA enable to participate in the full cycle of university-level research, from proposal to presentation. Grant recipients create written or oral presentations for the Undergraduate Research Colloquium, Undergraduate Slam, or Colloquium Unbound.

Sample URCA projects as presented during the Undergraduate Research Slam

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Off-Campus Experiences

Off-campus experiences enable students to apply their UCSB educations to the world beyond the campus. These opportunities support students’ development by exposing them to new perspectives and ways of thinking. Experiences can range from small excursions and field trips, to quarterly academic internship experiences, to year-long study abroad programs.

Capital Interships

Academic Interships

University of California Washington Program (UCDC)

Participants in the University of California Washington Program (UCDC) apply their learning to work in the nation’s capital through internships in Washington, D.C. for the duration of the program, students live, work as interns, and study in our nation’s political and cultural epicenter.  
Internships are the core of the UCDC Program. Students intern in government, non-governmental organizations, cultural institutions, and other locations around the capital area.

University of California Center in Sacramento (UCCS)

The University of California Center in Sacramento (UCCS) provides a unique experiential learning opportunity for UCSB students. Participating students not only engage in stimulating internships and coursework, but also have the opportunity to observe public policy processes firsthand in our state’s capital.

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UC Natural
Reserve System

UC Natural Reserve System

UC Natural Reserve System

California Ecology and Conservation brings together 27 students from across the UC system for seven weeks of intensive learning at NRS reserves. Guided by experienced field instructors, undergraduates transform into scientists by conducting independent research studies.

Students hone their research, public speaking, and scientific writing skills with constant practice and feedback. All the while, students gain a working familiarity with California’s diverse ecosystems while immersed in the NRS’s classrooms without walls.

"My best ideas came during down time, just taking a hike with a few friends or sitting by the river and reading. Disconnecting from most of the outside world was priceless and I think that allowed me to grow and learn a lot over the course."
 - Thomas Lenihan, UC Santa Barbara, Spring 2018 UCNRS Participant (from UCNRS website)

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Education Abroad

Education Abroad Program

Education Abroad Program

Founded in 1962, the Education Abroad Program is the University’s preferred way of providing an international dimension to students’ education. EAP supports students' international study through over 150 programs offered across the world.

We believe that study abroad is the most powerful educational experience that students can have. Students who seek out the opportunities EAP offers them are the most intellectually curious, personally resourceful citizens of our university. They return from study abroad with a new sense of themselves and the world they inhabit. The consequences are immeasurable in their future lives and careers.

"Studying abroad is the greatest investment you could give yourself, opening up opportunities for your future, your career, and giving you a global outlook that you can carry for the rest of your life." - Eduardo M., UCSB EAP Spain (from UCSB EAP website)

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