Education + Human Services

Help Others Succeed

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Are you passionate about people-centered work that transforms communities? You may want to consider building your future in Education + Human Services.

This career path is for those who want to become future educators, practitioners, scholars, community leaders, and change agents. Together, these professionals strengthen communities, address systemic issues, and support others through direct service, outreach, prevention, and advocacy. They are dedicated to the growth, development, and needs of individuals through work that includes teaching, child development, counseling, psychology, social work, social services, speech-language pathology, human resources, NGOs, and nonprofits. 

If this sounds like you or who you want to become, learn how you can move forward to help others.



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Gain Experience: Psychology and Counseling

For complete information on internships, student jobs, research opportunities, extracurriculars, and more, review our starter tips to Gain Experience in all careers as well as the specialized tips on this page.


As a future professional in a career path related to psychology and counseling, you want to find opportunities to actively gain skills and experiences in counseling, mentoring, and advocacy. Developing fundamental "helping skills" (e.g., active listening, cross-cultural communication, critical thinking, and decision-making) and knowledge about the areas of psychology and counseling that matter to you are key components to beginning your career. 

Some graduate programs have admission requirements for applicants to obtain specific verified hours of field experiences, while others will specify types of experiences. For example, a social work graduate program may require 500 hours of any paid or unpaid work (e.g., volunteer or internship) with a diverse, vulnerable population. As another example, clinical psychology graduate programs require research experiences that align with the interests of faculty members in your desired programs.

For these reasons, it is a good idea to clarify the career path you would like to pursue early on. Participating in various experiences that interest you will demonstrate to graduate programs your commitment, values, and ability to thrive in the profession, but it is always best to be intentional in your plans.


Types of Experience

Whether you are interested in close relationships, mental health, or school psychology, there are many ways for you to learn and get involved as a UCSB student. Click the items below to see more.

Participating in campus organizations is a great way to gain leadership skills, develop a professional network, and obtain industry knowledge about the professions that interest you.

Consider joining a campus organization related to psychology or mental health, such as Active Minds or the Society of Undergraduate Psychologists. You can also look for campus organizations that are related to volunteerism, advocacy, or support services for specific populations that interest you.

Pursuing a position related to peer mentorship often provides an opportunity for you to engage in one-on-one or group interactions with students who may need academic, social, or transitional support.

Here is a list of a few positions that directly relate to mental health professions, advocacy, and applied psychology: 

Beyond this list, you should also consider positions on campus that provide direct student support, such as resident assistant or student mentor positions in a variety of departments. Some examples include the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), Transfer Student Center (TSC), and Veterans & Military Services (VMS)

Given the theoretical underpinnings of most aspects of psychology and counseling, participating in research can be a very useful experience. Your research can relate to psychology, mental health, behavioral interventions, or working with marginalized populations.

Here are a few ways you can find research opportunities at UCSB:

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