high impact practices

High Impact Practices are practices students engage in, where learning goes beyond the classroom to be applied in their personal and work lives. Internships, Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities, Service Learning and Study Abroad are all considered High Impact Practices. Students who are engaged in HIPs see improvement in their GPA, are more engaged in their education, and obtain their degree more quickly. In a high impact learning experience students will actively pose and solve problems, work collaboratively in a community of peers, experience real-world applications of knowledge, and reflect on your learning experience.


Internships are experimental learning opportunities in a professional setting that allow you to apply your academic knowledge. Through hands-on experiences, internships allow you to explore your passion and career options while developing your professionalism and building your professional network. Internships are a great way to decide the major you would like to pursue, as well as if the career field you are interested in is a good fit for you.

Service Learning

In these programs, field-based "experimental learning" with community partners is an instructional strategy -- and often a required part of the course. The idea is to give students firect experience with issues they are studying in the curriculum and with ongoing efforts to analyze and solve problems in the community. A key element in these programs is the opportunity students have to both apply what they are learning in real-world settings and reflect in a classroom setting on their service experiences. These programs model the idea that giving something back to the community is an important college outsome, and that working with community partners is good preparation for citizenship, work, and life.

Study Abroad

SDSU offers Study Abroad programs that help students explore cultures, life experiences, and worldviews different from their own. These studies -- which may address U.S. diversity, world cultures, or both -- often explore "difficult differences" such as racial, ethnic, and gender inequality, or continuing struggles around the globe for human rights, freedom, and power. Frequently, intercultural studies are augmented by experiential learning in the community. Some majors and programs require study abroad, and in order to ensure you meet your graduation and major requirements in a timely manner, start planning early so your study abroad experience does not negatively impact your ability to graduate on time.

Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate research involves working on important projects under the supervision of a professor, and it does not only include science and engineering. SDSU continues to develop multiple pathways to undergraduate research. Traditionally, undergraduate research happens when students connect with professors with whom they share common research interests. However, students can also take one or more courses to help them plan and complete undergraduate research in a more structured pathway. General Studies 290: Introduction to Undergraduate Research and General Studies 490: Undergraduate Research are courses that both support the undergraduate research experience. SDSU also offers an annual two-day Student Research Symposium (SRS) to recognize the outstanding scholarly accomplishments of SDSU students. The SRS provides a public forum where SDSU students present their research, scholarship or creative activities. Attending SRS is an excellent way to learn more about undergraduate research and possibly meet students and professors who can help you figure out if undergraduate research is right for you.