Academic Course Catalogs

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Centers and Institutions

Frances G. Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture

In its mission to enable and foster the engagement between USD’s Catholic identity and its academic mission, the Center for Catholic Thought and Culture seeks to:

  • Develop thought-provoking programs that will engage the university and local community in critical dialogue with the Catholic intellectual and cultural traditions
  • Promote Catholic Social Teaching and its integration into the academic and institutional life of the university community
  • Organize conferences, liturgical and cultural events and exhibits that showcase the Catholic Church’s rich heritage and its contributions to the arts, letters and sciences and to all which ennobles humans to pursue what is right and just
  • Provide faculty with opportunities and support for development and to create quality courses that expose students to the Catholic intellectual and cultural traditions
  • Showcase and Facilitate the many exciting and important areas of USD life that embody the foundational ethos, vision and ongoing mission of the university through collaborative and bridge-building ventures across campus and beyond
  • Contribute to key discussions pertaining to the Christian cultural, ecclesial, intellectual and social life at local, national and international level through research initiatives, projects and the ongoing core activities of the Center

From its inception, the Church has been a community of faith and service. Historically, Catholicism has also always been a community of inquiry, learning and reasoned discourse. The catholicity of the University of San Diego is aptly captured in the gospel-inspired principle ‘all are welcome’. Though the focus of CCTC’s programs and cultural events is Catholic, people of all faith traditions and people of none, are most welcome to attend CCTC sponsored events and benefit from the exchange of ideas.

Center for Christian Spirituality

The Center for Christian Spirituality is an expression of USD’s mission of service to the university and the larger community of which it is a part. The Center’s goal is to address and foster spirituality in four areas: personal enrichment, academic life, professional life, and social justice. The Center pursues its mission by:
offering programs and events of both general and targeted interest which serve both the greater San Diego community and the university providing links and facilitating access to University resources
promoting shared initiatives with faith communities in program and event design and presentation for spiritual enrichment and growth

Rooted in the Roman Catholic spiritual tradition, the Center provides a broad horizon for learning, understanding, dialogue, and appreciation of the diversity of beliefs and cultures which enrich our world.
Open to all. Student participation is welcome. For information, contact the Center for Christian Spirituality, Maher Hall, Room 280, or (619) 260-4784 or go to Center for Christian Spirituality

Center for Educational Excellence

The Center for Educational Excellence (CEE) was established to help faculty in all phases of their pedagogical development from the time they first arrive at USD through their Emeriti years. It is a campus-wide center that offers programming and consultation to faculty on learning, teaching and assessment. CEE facilitates collaboration among curricular programs and student services, and partners with a variety of campus resources, such as the Center for Community Service-Learning, the International Center, and Academic Technology Services. CEE is committed to assisting faculty in promoting the institution’s core values of academic excellence, knowledge, community, ethical conduct, and service. Faculty can choose from a complete schedule of programs, events, and workshops sponsored by the CEE annually. CEE is staffed by the director, the assistant director, support staff, and the Faculty Advisory Committee of academic and administrative representatives. For current information on programs and events and for online registration, go to Center for Educational Excellence or call (619) 260‑7402.

English Language Academy

The USD Division of Continuing Education, English Language Academy (ELA) offers an intensive English language proficiency and cross-cultural program.

The ELA courses for undergraduate and graduate students include language skills for academic and professional purposes. The program currently offers six levels of academic and TOEFL preparation courses. It is a year-round program with small classes and a cultural component.

Students will be tested and placed in courses appropriate to their skill level, needs, and goals.
For more information, contact the English Language Academy at (619) 260-8887.

School of Business Administration

For centers and institutes within the School of Business Administration, see the SBA page. These include:

  • Accountancy Institute
  • John Ahlers Center for International Business
  • Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate
  • Supply Chain Management Institute

School of Leadership and Education Sciences

For centers and institutes within the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, please contact the school. These include:

  • Autism Institute
  • Caster Center
  • Center for Education Policy and Law (CEPAL)
  • Character Development Center (CDC)
  • Community College Leadership Academy (CCLA)
  • Compass
  • Educational Leadership Development Academy (ELDA)
  • Global Center
  • Institute for Nonprofit Education and Research
  • Leadership Institute
  • Manchester Family Child Development Center (MFCDC)
  • Mobile Technology Learning Center

USD Institute of College Initiatives

The University of San Diego Institute of College Initiatives (ICI) introduces local, national, and international communities — especially students and their families — to the university, and provides academic and support services to assist student achievement. The Institute is home to USD’s three TRiO programs: Upward Bound, Student Support Services, and McNair Scholars.

The Institute is also a collaborative partner in community-wide projects that introduce students and their families to higher education: The Global Leadership Connection for high school juniors in San Diego (Global Leadership), Expanding Your Horizons for San Diego and Imperial County girls in grades 6 through 10 (Horizons) the US Department of State-funded Afghan and American PreCollege Institute for high school students and teachers, a liaison with Rotary District 5340 (international Rotary scholars enrolled in the Kroc School of Peace Studies, and USD Rotaract), and a spring Botball tournament hosted at USD.

USD Student Support Services

USD Student Support Services (SSS) serves 320 eligible enrolled USD undergraduates from low-income and/or first generation to college backgrounds, those who have documented disabilities, and those who are underrepresented in college. SSS strengthens participants’ abilities through advising, study skills, tutoring, and mentoring; academic, financial, and/or personal counseling; leadership training, special services for students with limited English proficiency, and SSS grant aid to eligible participants. USD SSS provides services to retain and graduate students, helping them to begin careers and pursue graduate education by assisting them in admission and financial aid applications for graduate and professional programs. Admitted first year and transfer SSS students transition to USD during a one-week Summer Bridge program prior to Torero Days. Services are provided year-round trough the senior year. SSS encourages a USD climate that nurtures success for all.

USD TRiO McNair Scholars

The USD McNair Scholars program prepares undergraduate students for doctoral study through research and scholarly activities. It enrolls 25 high-achieving and self-motivated USD undergraduates in a variety of majors, who participate in graduate school preparation, research with faculty mentors, summer research internships, professional academic conferences and visits to potential graduate schools.

Research is at the heart of the USD McNair Scholar program. Participants partner with faculty mentors in their disciplines, formulate research plans, and receive stipends to support their implementation of summer research projects. USD McNair further supports the publication and presentation of participants’ results in journals and professional conferences.

USD McNair provides opportunities for its Scholars to visit graduate schools, and to complete graduate school admissions and financial aid applications. Scholars receive individual tutoring and academic counseling to ensure success. They receive assistance in preparing for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Finally, to aid in all these pursuits, each USD McNair Scholar receives the loan of a laptop computer and instructional technology training as necessary.

Dr. Ronald McNair, physicist and astronaut, dared to dream. An African-American growing up in a poor community in the South, he encountered discrimination early in his youth. Still he pursued his goal of becoming a scientist, achieving a PhD in laser physics from MIT. Selected by NASA for the space shuttle program, he was a mission specialist aboard Challenger. After his death in its explosion, Congress funded this program in his memory.

USD TRiO Upward Bound

USD TRiO Upward Bound provides intensive services to meet the “success beyond high school” needs of 60 eligible low-income, first-generation-to-college students from the Kearny High Educational Complex in Linda Vista. Upward Bound sponsors year-round activities, enhancing the abilities of its participants to enter and succeed in postsecondary education through individualized academic assessment, college preparatory coursework, advising, counseling, tutoring, mentoring, educational field trips, SAT preparation, college admissions and financial aid guidance, financial literacy education, and a five-week summer residential academic program on USD’s campus.

Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice
Fostering Peace, Cultivating Justice, Creating a Safer World

The Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice (IPJ) identifies, employs and disseminates best practices in peacebuilding, using work on the ground to develop effective strategies and techniques. As part of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, the IPJ works in the field and on the USD campus to promote dialogue across political, ethnic, gender, religious and socio-economic divides and to encourage inclusive approaches to conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and post-conflict reconciliation and justice.
Institute conferences and lectures on critical issues such as conflict prevention, human security, transitional justice, and international human rights law serve as a global resource for the rapidly developing field of peacebuilding and for USD students.

International Peacebuilding Programs

Addressing the root causes of violent conflict can clear paths to sustainable peace. The IPJ’s international peacebuilding initiatives, which vary depending on the country context and needs of local partners, bring multiple levels and groups in societies together to end conflicts and break recurring cycles of violence.
The IPJ has worked in Nepal since 2001, during its transition from armed conflict and monarchy to peace and multi-party democracy. Programs have ranged from negotiation training for political party leadership, military officers and policymakers to workshops with civil society, marginalized groups, journalists and victims of human rights abuses.

In Kenya, the IPJ is working with marginalized communities around Nairobi to prevent another round of electoral violence, as occurred in 2007, during the upcoming presidential elections.
In West Africa, the IPJ is working with local human rights groups to strengthen their ability to advocate for reform and accountability.

In Guatemala, the IPJ is working to strengthen access to justice through legal empowerment of civil society and communties. The IPJ is also conducting policy advocacy for a strategy to end the half century armed conflict in Colombia.

Women PeaceMakers Program

Research has shown that the inclusion of women in peace processes leads to more sustainable and just post-conflict societies. Since 2003, the IPJ’s Women PeaceMakers Program has been documenting the lives and work of women on the frontlines of peacebuilding around the world. Each year, four exceptional women peacebuilders come to the IPJ for an eight-week residency. The creative solutions they develop in conflict situations are captured in narratives and film. The PeaceMakers also interact with students and the community.

To advance collaboration among international scholars and practitioners on issues of human security and peacebuilding, the Women PeaceMakers Program includes annual conferences, such as a global court of accountability for conflict-related gender crimes. USD Women PeaceMakers have increasingly been active in promoting peace through regional advocacy in Cambodia, Nepal and the Philippines.

WorldLink – Connecting Youth to Global Affairs

Today’s youth are tomorrow’s peacebuilders. The IPJ therefore offers a year-round student-led program for young people to engage with leaders and experts on global issues. Emphasizing active participation through forums, class presentations and internships, middle and high school students explore potential solutions to challenging issues like poverty, global warming and causes of conflict.

The program’s keystone event, the annual WorldLink Youth Town Meeting, brings together more than 700 student delegates from Mexico and the U.S., along with exchange students from around the world. As a result of their exposure to global issues and policy makers inspires many delegates to work for positive social change.

Distinguished Lectures and Public Programs

The IPJ offers the USD and San Diego communities a variety of distinguished lectures and public programs on peace and justice issues. To learn more about the IPJ at USD, go to Peace Studies

Manchester Family Child Development Center

The primary goal of the Manchester Family Child Development Center is to offer a safe and enriching environment in which children can grow and learn. It offers a rich, stimulating setting that is warm and supportive of each child’s individual learning pace.

Affiliated with USD’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the center serves as a practicum and research site for members of the university community. The center accepts all children between the ages of 2-1/2 and 5 years, with the availability of both full- and part-time enrollment options. Each class of 12-14 mixed-age children is staffed by two full time teachers.

The Center operates from 7:15 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., Monday through Friday, 48 weeks per year. Volunteers are welcome and encouraged to inquire. For additional information, including current tuition rates, please contact the center at (619) 260‑4620 or go to Manchester Child Development.

Trans-Border Institute

The mission of the Trans-Border Institute (TBI), founded in 1994, is:

  • to help the United States-Mexico border community in ways consistent with the nature and mission of the university;
  • to position the University of San Diego in the United States-Mexico border community;
  • to address multinational characteristics and to help stimulate exploration of the concepts and contexts
  • of border within the curricular, research, and service modes of activity of the university;
  • to serve as a vehicle for communication, dialogue, exchange, and collaboration in order to break down
  • the barriers between peoples, with special attention to the United States-Mexico border region.

In order to accomplish these goals, the Trans-Border Institute provides the students and faculty of the university, as well as the people of the United States-Mexico border community within which the university is located, information, contacts, and opportunities for study, research, internships, academic exchange, partnerships, and service learning.

The Trans-Border Institute is organized to encourage participation of students, faculty, staff, projects, and the community. TBI welcomes those who would like to be involved in developing the Institute as it helps develop USD’s growing involvement with its surrounding communities on both sides of the border.

TBI’s current program areas include security and rule of law, sustainable economic development, migration and immigration policy, and cross-border collaboration and understanding. TBI works with USD faculty, staff, and students to pursue research and activities that advance the border and bilateral relationship between the United States and Mexico.

Among TBI’s institutional partners in the San Diego/Tijuana binational region are the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at UCSD, the Institute for Regional Studies of the Californias at SDSU, the Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF), and other border studies institutes in Europe and Mexico.