The Community Development and Social Justice (CDSJ) Program provides AAP undergraduate juniors and seniors with a service learning opportunity that integrates research and community-based practice in preparation for graduate study in social welfare, public policy, urban planning, and public health.

Additionally, students are paired with an AAP Graduate Mentor who provides mentorship in their personal and academic development as well as advisement on the graduate school application process. Scholars also develop their resumes and/or curriculum vitae, write personal and research statements, and obtain strong letters of recommendations from professors and employers.

Learn more about the different CDSJ fields

Students apply for the Community Development and Social Justice (CDSJ) Program in the Fall quarter. The program requires a two-quarter commitment during the Winter and Spring quarters of the application year.

CDSJ Scholars Program Objectives

  • Mentor students on areas of interest, career paths and graduate school planning
  • Provide scholars with opportunities to engage in the community through internships and applied research within their field of interest
  • Expose scholars to theory, research, and practice of social justice within underserved communities
  • Connect students in a supportive CDSJ cohort with access to resources and develop a community of mutual support and collaboration
  • Train students to apply for internships and research opportunities
  • Empower scholars to pursue graduate/professional school within the CDSJ fields and become agents of change in their communities and CDSJ fields

Eligibility Criteria

CDSJ applicants must:

  1. Be an AAP undergraduate student enrolled full-time at UCLA
  2. Be a Junior or Senior
  3. Have the motivation to engage in independent research
  4. Express an interest in graduate or professional school in social welfare, public policy, urban planning or public health
  5. Demonstrate academic potential for graduate study

Program Timeline


  • Submit CDSJ Application


  • Enroll in the weekly CDSJ Scholars Program 2-unit Honors Collegium (HC 193A)
  • Attend weekly one-on-one meetings with the CDSJ Program Coordinator
  • Attend weekly group meetings
  • Learn the nuts & bolts of graduate or professional school application
  • Develop a research proposal and identify an internship site for Spring Quarter


  • Enroll in a 2-unit Civic Engagement 95 course and complete a 40-hour internship at a community site
  • Attend weekly one-on-one meetings with CDSJ Program Coordinator
  • Attend weekly group meetings
  • Develop a small-scale applied research project based on internship experience
  • Present research at the annual UCLA Undergraduate Research Week
  • Receive a stipend upon successful completion of the program

How Do I Apply to the CDSJ Scholars Program?

Apply in the Fall Quarter and schedule a meeting with the CDSJ Coordinator in 1202 Campbell Hall.

For more information and application assistance, please contact: 

TBD, CDSJ Coordinator
1202 Campbell Hall
(310) 794-4186

Information Sessions

If you are interested in learning more about the CDSJ program, the application process, or to get feedback on application materials, come check out one of our information sessions in the Fall quarter before the application deadline. RSVP on MyUCLA. Appointments are welcome year-round by calling 310-794-4186 or visiting 1202 Campbell.