Trans-Border Opportunities Certificate

The Border Beyond the Headlines

Too frequently, the U.S.-Mexico border is framed as a dead zone, a breeding ground for crisis and tragedy, and a symbol of political division. Yet the border is a vibrant space, a source of boundless creativity and hope, and a vital economic hub. Reframing the border as an opportunity rather than a threat, building bridges not barriers, and engaging with the region’s economic and cultural possibilities requires a new set of knowledge and skills. The Kroc School’s Trans-Border Opportunities Certificate Program prepares working professionals, students, and aspiring civic leaders to help shape the future of the border region.

Participants in the certificate will learn to identify unique possibilities for business, entrepreneurship, activism, and public problem-solving presented by the border environment. Structured in five modules highlighting politics, people, products, places, and culture in the border region, students will gain substantive knowledge about a range of border issues.

Interactive evening and weekend seminars will teach key border-related skills including awareness of relevant data and information sources, provide contact with local leaders and decision makers, and offer an understanding of the spatial dynamics of the border region.

Taught by Trans-Border Institute staff and featuring exciting guest speakers who are regionally and nationally known experts and practitioners, students will interact with those who best understand the border and are on the front lines of shaping its future.

How it Works:
To earn the certificate, participants will complete a minimum of 5 classroom seminars of their choice, one from each thematic module (politics, people, products, places, and culture), and 4 field seminars from any of the modules. Participants in the certificate program may take additional classroom seminars at no additional cost, as well as additional field seminars for a nominal fee.

Full Certificate: $1,800*
Early Enrollment: $1,700* (enroll by May 1)

25% discount available for NGOs and University of San Diego students and alumni. 

*Meals included

Enroll Now

Summer 2018 Schedule


June 6: Classroom Seminar (5:30 PM - 9:30 PM)

Immigration and Politics in the United States

Greg Prieto, USD


June 9: Field Seminar (9:00 AM - 5:00 PM)

Walls and Bridges: The Otay Mesa Border Crossing and Detention Center, and the Cross-Border Xpress


June 13: Classroom Seminar (5:30 PM - 9:30 PM)

All Politics is Local: Cross-Border Stakeholders and Political Culture

Denise Ducheny, Fmr. State Senator

José Larroque, Baker McKenzie



June 16: Field Seminar (9:00 AM - 5:00 PM)

On the Frontlines of a Humanitarian Crisis: Migrant Shelters in Tijuana


June 20: Classroom Seminar (5:30 PM - 9:30 PM)

Invisible and Indispensable: Mexican Migrants and the U.S. Economy

Leo Chávez, UCI


June 23: Field Seminar (5:30 PM - 9:30 PM)

The Desert is for Deep-Sea Fish: Visit to Holtville, CA with Border Angels


June 27: Classroom Seminar (5:30 PM - 9:30 PM)

Dreams and Nightmares: Immigrant and Refugee Youth




July 11: Classroom Seminar (5:30 PM - 9:30 PM)

Supply Chains, the Innovation Economy, and the Cross-Border Boom

Don José Galicot, Tijuana Innovadora


July 13: Field Seminar (9:00 AM - 5:00 PM)

Visit to Tijuana Call-Center and Electronics Manufacturing Hub


July 18: Classroom Seminar (5:30 PM - 9:30 PM)

The Other Supply Chain: Understanding the Cross-Border Drug War




August 1: Classroom Seminar (5:30 PM - 9:30 PM)

Hipster Visionaries: Re-Building Tijuana’s Zona Norte

Miguel Marshall, Centro Ventures


August 4: Field Seminar (9:00 AM - 5:00 PM)

Urban Planning 2.0: Visit to the Escuela Libre de Arquitectura and downtown Tijuana


August 8: Classroom Seminar (5:30 PM - 9:30 PM)

 The Perils of Progress in Greater California: The Cross-Border Water Crisis

Kristen Goodrich, Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve


August 11: Field Seminar (9:00 AM - 5:00 PM)

Ecology has no Borders: Visit to the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve




August 15: Classroom Seminar (5:30 PM - 9:30 PM)

Border Vogue: Hybrid Styles, Tastes, and Traditions


August 18: Field Seminar (9:00 AM - 5:00 PM)

The Border Crossed Us: Barrio Logan Walking Tour


August 25: Field Seminar (9:00 AM - 5:00 PM)

Visit to a series of art co-ops in Tijuana, and the Centro Cultural Tijuana


August 31: Classroom Seminar (5:30 PM - 9:30 PM)

The Future is Now: Closing Conference and Gala