Undergraduate Discovery Experiences

The Berkeley Undergraduate Discovery Experience is a campus-wide initiative to engage and support more undergraduate students in scholarly and experiential learning. The broad term “Discovery Experience” intentionally references a wide range of immersive learning projects - from substantial research experiences and artistic production to entrepreneurial initiatives and community-engaged projects.

This portal serves as a launching point to begin exploring the wide range of discovery experiences available in the Arts & Humanities division:

Honors and Senior Thesis

Each major in the Arts & Humanities division offers students the opportunity to conduct an honors thesis in consultation with the department faculty.

Academic Discovery Courses in Arts & Humanities

Academic discovery takes place in many classes offered throughout the Arts & Humanities. Below is a sampling of a few specific courses that incorporate immersive learning experiences: 

  • HUM 196 Mentored-Research and Discovery Courses
  • Compass Courses for first-year students
  • Arts & Humanities gateway courses
  • Art Practice 185: Senior Projects - This studio-based course is required for Art Practice majors.
  • Classic N172A and N172B: Archaeological Field School - These summer courses involve travel and hands-on work in archeological excavation and museum study in Greece.
  • Film 180 and 181: Screenwriting - These workshop-based courses include development of a feature-length narrative screenplay.
  • Film 184-187: Film Production - These practice-based courses focus on the essential techniques of film production, including filming, sound, lighting, and editing.
  • Music Performance Courses
  • Music 107: Independent Projects in Computer Music - Students in this course will develop, in consultation with the instructor, a semester length project that focuses on creating a piece of music, and/or researching and building new software tools for music
  • Music 128V and 128VM: Songs and Song-writing - Students in this course will gain experience writing and recording original songs.
  • Advanced Study (Capstone) Opportunities in Theater, Dance & Performance Studies

Undergraduate Research

Read more about research opportunities in the Arts & Humanities.

Other Academic Discovery Experiences

Global Urban Humanities undergraduate certificate, including interdisciplinary research studio

Berkeley Certificate in Design Innovation, including a required advanced design course to address a problem through interdisciplinary design

Course Threads at UC Berkeley, including participation in research symposium

Study Abroad

Study abroad is highly advised for all students studying the Arts & Humanities. Financial aid(link is external) and scholarship(link is external) opportunities are available. Berkeley Study Abroad also offers advising for undocumented students(link is external).

The UC Education Abroad Program (EAP)(link is external)(link is external) is the University of California's official study abroad program, offering a wide variety of summer, semester, and year options in over 40 countries.

Berkeley Summer Abroad(link is external)(link is external) offers dozens of programs in the summer, including several programs sponsored by Arts & Humanities departments.

The Berkeley Global Internships(link is external) summer program offers project-based in-person and virtual academic internships in a variety of industries in both domestic and international locations.

The Huang Scholars Program(link is external)(link is external) provides the opportunity for Chinese language instruction at UC Berkeley and in China, covering travel and living expenses as well as partial tuition.

Foreign Language and Area Studies(link is external) (FLAS) Fellowships provide funding to students to encourage the study of critical and less commonly taught foreign languages in combination with area studies, international studies or international aspects of professional studies. The purpose of the FLAS program is to promote the training of students who intend to make their careers in college or university teaching, government service, or other employment where knowledge of foreign languages and cultures is essential. At UC Berkeley, funding for FLAS Fellowships is available from eight Title VI National Resource Centers representing various world areas: Africa, East Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Russia/Eastern Europe/Eurasia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Western Europe.

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program(link is external)(link is external) is a fully-funded overseas language and cultural immersion program.


Over 50% of Arts & Humanities majors participate in at least one internship before graduation.

Read more about finding an internship in the Arts & Humanities.

Teach a Decal

Developing and teaching your own class is a fantastic way to expand and reflect upon your educational experience at UC Berkeley. DeCals are offered in most departments in the Arts & Humanities, with dozens each semester. Here is just a small sampling of some DeCals offered in past semesters: