Scholarly Activity and Career Preparation

Research and Scholarship

All students are encouraged to take every opportunity to demonstrate research skills and to present the results of their scholarship at meetings and conferences.  Such demonstrated experience can be critical in the later job search or application for graduate school, law school, and other post-bac degrees and programs.

Faculty Mentors

In nearly all cases of research, the faculty mentor is the "sounding board" -- critiquing the proposal, suggesting sources of theory and data, assisting with human subjects protocols, and helping to locate funds to support the research activity.  The faculty-student collaboration might begin in a course, but students should feel free to seek out faculty with expertise in an area outside of courses.


Internships come in all sizes and shapes -- paid and unpaid; local, State, and national; in businesses, law offices, and non-profits; menial work or participation in critical policy-making.  Every internship provides possibilities, some leading directly to job offers.  Every student should do at least one internship during undergraduate studies, and the Department and Community Engagement Center assist in locating the internship that works best for each individual student.

Career Preparation

Research, faculty-student collaboration, and internships are all forms of career preparation.  However, there may be other activities falling outside those three categories that are critical to getting you where you want to go.  That might include basic language studies (e.g. re-starting Spanish) or even just travel to other States and nations to learn more about politics on the ground.  Indepth conversations with your advisor and other mentors may be necessary to define what else is needed under this important area of resume-building.

Post-Bac Degrees and Programs

Did you start a community college or CSU without "competing" for admission?  If so, you need to re-orient yourself about post-baccalaureate degrees and programs, including law school.  Admission is often high competitive, and receiving fellowships even more so.  Admissions tests and personal statements are standard.  First of all, get good grades in all your courses, but then do your homework about the entrance requirements for the degrees and programs that would fulfill your aspirations.

Many Roles of Faculty

Gitika Commuri has a strong research agenda, but is also a mentor to students such as Rogelio Caudillo, who headed for Sacramento legislative internship after 2013 graduation.