Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs

What is Service-Learning?

Service-learning combines experiential learning and community service by engaging students in activities that address human and community needs together with structured opportunities for reflection. These programs offer students the opportunity to collaborate, support, observe and learn how local communities address different issues with their available resources.

Service-learning and volunteering are very similar. Through both experiences, you are able to devote time to a community project, and through the process, help solve problems, learn new skills, and experience personal, professional, and intercultural growth. However,  service-learning is more than just volunteering. Service-learning involves classroom sessions along with volunteer work in order to connect theory and practice. By completing service work in tandem with a course, you are able to share your learnings, troubleshoot difficulties, participate in meaningful classroom discussions, and engage in critical reflection in order to better apply your education to the real world.


For any service learning program that is a UC program, you will receive UC credit. To determine if coursework taken on an independent service-learning program is eligible for transfer credit, request pre-approval by submitting a Proposed Program Evaluation to the Office of Admissions. You are limited to no more than five courses for review from a single program. Approval is at the discretion of the Office of Admissions. If the Office of Admissions approves your coursework for transfer credit on the Proposed Program Evaluation and if you would like to see if these courses may satisfy major or minor requirements, we encourage you to speak with your major or minor advisor. Approval is at the discretion of your major/minor departments.

Service Learning Programs and Opportunities

UCEAP Programs with a Built-In Service Learning Component

UCEAP Community Health in Mexico

CUCEAP Community Public Health, Santiago

UCEAP Public Health and Society in Ghana

UCEAP New Delhi Summer

Volunteering Resources

Student Advisory: The organizations listed below are not affiliated with, endorsed by, or vetted by UCSC. The list is to be used as reference only and it is your responsibility to make an informed decision about participation. 

Volunteering Resources