Community Programs

An important part of being a Torero is our contribution to the communities we partner with, locally and globally. Join in our efforts to promote and sustain positive social change!

Find a project or activity through many of our community programs that connects with your passions or ignites your perspective of different issues.

Service learning reflects USD's emphasis on social justice and ethical conduct. As an anchor institution, USD partners with the local and global community on a range of programs.

Begin quote More than 80% of the campus community is involved with public service and community engagement. – Chris Nayve ’98, ’06, ’07, Community Service-Learning Director


Community Service Learning (CSL) offers Toreros the option of taking courses throughout their college career that provide community service opportunities as a part of the course work. Some of these are:

  • CASA (Mulvaney Center for Awareness, Service, and Action) promotes cultural awareness and social consciousness by providing outreach opportunities and making lasting connections between USD and the community.
  • Free specialized legal clinics staffed by USD law students offer legal assistance to lower-income individuals and families.
  • The annual Thanksgiving House Project provides USD business students the opportunity to renovate the home of a deserving family in the nearby Linda Vista neighborhood.
  • The Institute of College Initiatives hosts such college preparation programs as Upward Bound, Expanding Your Horizons, and Global Youth Leadership Connection.

Our University Ministry also provides a series of service trips and service-oriented immersion programs for more faith-based experiences.


USD is an innovator of university-community engagement has been recognized widely, including with such honors as:

  • One of 76 campuses to receive the Carnegie Foundation's "Community Engagement" classification, and one of 62 recognized by Carnegie for curricular engagement as well as outreach and partnership.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for Distinction for Community Service.
  • Chosen as one of four California sites for a $120,000, three-year "Learn and Serve" grant from California Campus Compact.
  • Honored in a Princeton Review/Campus Compact book, Colleges with a Conscience: 81 Great Schools with Outstanding Community Involvement.