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REAL (Research Experience and Applied Learning) opportunities allow you to apply academic knowledge in real-world settings. There are many places to find research and applied learning opportunities if you are proactive in your search. Here are some ideas and resources to help you get started.

Making the most of the REAL Portal

  • Find your saved opportunities and advice for making your profile under My Profile.
  • Find more information on campus resources, profile management, and application tips from faculty under
  • When searching the listed Opportunities, make sure to use filters to narrow your search to your interests and

How do I manage my profile?

You can create and maintain an online profile to have opportunities find you. The REAL Portal connects you to UC San Diego faculty, research scientists, industry partners, and the public.  Maintaining an up-to-date profile on the Portal will increase your visibility to potential advisors and employers.



  • Login to the profiles page.
  • Enter the requested information or, if you have a LinkedIn account, import your profile information.
  • Keep in mind:
    • your profile should clearly present your relevant experience, competencies, and future goals;
    • the statement of purpose or other narratives should be authentic, thoughtful, and concise; and
    • typos and grammatical errors reflect poorly on an applicant’s professionalism and attention to detail.
  • LinkedIn provides additional guidance on creating a complete online profile.


The Co-Curricular Record & 12 Competencies

The 12 UC San Diego Competencies are the transferable skills you gain in and out of the classroom which are useful to the workforce and graduate schools. See details on each competency at

The Co-Curricular Record is an official record that captures participation in on-campus jobs, sports teams, student organizations, internships and more. The CCR can be used as a tool for reflection when writing cover letters or resumes as well as an official record you can cite when applying for jobs or any further schooling opportunities.Students can request an official copy of the record with their academic transcript or they can request an unofficial copy any time at

Quick tips from Faculty

Contact your professors and other faculty by email or during office hours to discuss or express interest in their work
  • Make a list of faculty members with whom you have taken courses and whose work has influenced your academic interests
  • Attend lectures on campus to familiarize yourself with faculty members outside your major
  • Check departmental websites for up-to-date information on faculty research and publications
  • Look at recent course listings for both undergraduate and graduate in relevant departments to find out what faculty members are teaching
  • Do your homework before you go to office hours to understand the faculty member's interests. Read an article and think of a couple of interesting questions. 

What are the other campus resources?

Career Center

The Career Center is a great resource for narrowing down your opportunity search and getting further advice and guidance in your journey to experiential learning opportunities.

The career center can coach you on how to find that ideal job, internship or experiential outcome. Boost your skillset and become better prepared now.


Writing Hub 

The Writing Hub is a great resource for getting help writing, editing, and targeting resumes and cover letters.

The Writing Hub, a unit within the Teaching + Learning Commons, supports all writers on campus- every writer, any project-and promotes writing as a tool for learning.