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Community Research & Service Minor

Skills developed in the Community Research and Service (CRS) minor complement and enhance training provided in all academic majors. Students can apply the concepts and research methods they have learned in engineering, natural sciences, social sciences, humanities or arts to improving the quality of life locally, regionally and more broadly.

Of equal importance, the minor engages students with community members (especially those experiencing and addressing poverty, inequity and social justice) as essential sources of education and training. Hands-on opportunities to learn through academic and community experiences prepare students for their professional goals and for personal and community leadership.

The following three themes define the minor:

  • Analytics of Prosperity: understanding data and using scientific methods to ensure that research and community work effectively improve societal goals for equity and social justice;
  • Sustainability: taking environmentally, economically, and socially sound approaches to growing prosperity; and
  • Community-engaged innovation: identifying new problems and solving old problems in new ways through collaboration that values local knowledge, especially of those experiencing the target problems or concerns.

CRS coursework and field experiences engage students in these themes while working with nonprofits, government and civic organizations and industry partners on real-life problems in the San Joaquin Valley and nearby Sierra Nevada. Problems within these regions often have analogs in other national and international emerging economies, which may facilitate collaboration and training opportunities outside UC Merced's region. Central to the CRS minor is an experience that provides students with practical research and collaborative problem solving that is intended to enhance professional development including skills that are sought out by professional and community leaders.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates with a minor in Community Research and Service will demonstrate the knowledge, skill, ability, attitude and disposition to:

  • Analyze core knowledge about local San Joaquin Valley and Sierra Nevada conditions including global analogs as related to the transformation of poverty to prosperity;
  • Apply the key concepts of analytics of prosperity, sustainability and community-engaged innovation;
  • Organize scholarly questions of significance, and synthesize evidence to answer these questions; and
  • Communicate scientific and scholarly information to academic and non-academic audiences.


Lower Division Minor Requirement [4 units]

  • CRS 10: Introduction to Community Engaged Research [4 units]

Upper Division Minor Requirements [16 units]

  • Upper Division “Methods” Course [4 units]
    • Complete one upper division course in the area of “methods”. “Methods” refers to the fundamental course(s) in each academic discipline that prepare students in ways of designing and conducting research; asking and answering questions and analyzing results; and producing creative works. This list is illustrative and not exhaustive. Students must receive approval from the CRS Minor Faculty Advisor for any course not listed here.
      • ANTH 170: Ethnographic Methods [4 units]
      • BIO 175: Biostatistics [4 units]
      • BIOE 150: Bioengineering Design [3 units]
      • CSE 100: Algorithm Design and Analysis [4 units]
      • CSE 170: Computer Graphics [4 units]
      • ECON 100: Intermediate Microeconomic Theory [4 units]
      • ENVE 105: Environmental Data Analysis [3 units]
      • ENVE 155: Decision Analysis in Management [4 units]
      • ENVE 190: Environmental Engineering Capstone Design [3 units]
      • ESS 132: Applied Climatology [3 units]
      • GASP 133: Theory and Method of Ethnomusicology [4 units]
      • GASP 171: Museums as Contested Sites [4 units]
      • GASP 172: Curatorial Methods and Practices [4 units]
      • GEOG 141: Environmental Science and Policy [4 units]
      • HIST 100: The Historian’s Craft [4 units]
      • ME 170: Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design [3 units]
      • MSE 120: Materials Capstone Design [3 units]
      • PH 111: Social Epidemiology [4 units]
      • PH 112: Research Methods: Health Services Research and Public Health [4 units]
      • PH 115: Research Methods for Public Health: GIS Mapping [4 units]
      • POLI 170: Theoretical Models of Politics [4 units]
      • POLI 175: Advanced Analysis of Political Data [4 units]
      • SOC 170: Qualitative Research Methods [4 units]
      • SOC 175: Topics in Advanced Sociological Research Methods [4 units]
      • SPAN 107: Spanish for Health Professionals [4 units]
      • SPAN 108: Spanish for Business and Management [4 units]
  • Sustainability, Analytics of Prosperity, or Community Engaged Innovation [8 units]
    • Complete two upper division courses that explore sustainability, analytics of prosperity, or community engaged innovation. This list is illustrative and not exhaustive. Students must receive approval from the CRS Minor Faculty Advisor for any course not listed here.
      • Sustainability
        • ECON 120: Economics of the Environment and Public Policy [4 units]
        • ENGR 180: Spatial Analysis and Modeling [4 units]
        • ENVE 160: Sustainable Energy [4 units]
        • ESS 141: Environmental Science and Policy [4 units] or
        • ENGR 141: Environmental Science and Policy [4 units] or
        • GEOG 141: Environmental Science and Policy [4 units]
        • WRI 115: Topics in Science Writing [4 units]
      • Analytics of Prosperity
        • ANTH 120: Introduction to Medical Anthropology [4 units]
        • ECON 156: Urban and Regional Economics [4 units]
        • HIST 123: Comparative Race and Ethnicity in the United States [4 units]
        • HIST 127: Local Harvest, Global Industry: History of the Production and Consumption of Food [4 units]
        • PH 110: Environmental Health [4 units]
        • PH 113: Latino and Immigrant Health [4 units]
        • PH 125: Emerging Public Health Threats [4 units]
        • POLI 106: Urban Politics [4 units]
        • PSY 124: Health Disparities [4 units]
        • SOC 110: Social Movements, Protest and Collective Action [4 units]
        • SOC 132: Sociology of Education [4 units]
        • SOC 180: Advanced Issues in Race and Ethnicity [4 units]
        • WRI 140: Topics in Ethnic Writing [4 units]
      • Community Engaged Innovation
        • ANTH 110: Migration, Diaspora and Transnational Belonging [4 units]
        • ANTH 112: Political Anthropology [4 units]
        • ANTH 114: Social Memory [4 units]
        • ANTH 116: Indigenous Activism in the Americas [4 units]
        • ENG 117: Literature of California [4 units]
        • MGMT 197: Service Learning: Engineering Projects in Community Service [1-3 units]
        • PH 102: Health Promotion [4 units]
        • PH 103: Health Communication [4 units]
        • PH 108: Health Care in the San Joaquin Valley [4 units]
        • WRI 115: Topics in Science Writing [4 units]
        • WRI 140: Topics in Ethnic Writing [4 units]
  • Community Engaged Research (CEnR) course* [4 units]
    • Four total units, chosen from the following:
      • CRS 100: Doing Community Engaged Research [4 units]
      • CRS 195: Community Research and Service Experience [1-4 units]
      • SSHA, SOE, or SNS discipline-based 195 course
      • PH 181: Public Health Research [4 units]
      • ENGR 197: Engineering Service Learning [1-2 units]

* Students must complete CRS 10 prior to completing the undergraduate research experience in order for it to count toward the CRS minor. For any exception, students must submit a petition to be approved by Community Research and Service faculty advisor.

For a course to count as Community Engaged Research (CEnR), it must have the following criteria:
a) Non-academic/community collaborator(s)
b) Relevance to the population where the research will take place
c) Engages non-academic/community collaborator(s) in research process
d) Has a clear plan for sharing the results of research with relevant community stakeholders

Updated 2021