Undergraduate Curating Opportunity

Have you ever wanted to curate your own museum exhibit? The Institute of Arts and Humanities and the UC San Diego Library’s Special Collections & Archives are offering a curatorial opportunity that will allow you to present your own exhibit in Geisel Library.

Special Collections & Archives holds rare books, manuscripts, and artwork spanning multiple genres and topics. Some of the subject highlights include: Early Pacific Voyages; Culinary History of the Americas; Experimental American Poetry; California, San Diego, & the History of the West; Baja California; Renaissance Literature; Oceanography & Marine Science; Spanish Civil War; Melanesian Anthropology; Contemporary History of Science & Technology; and History of UC San Diego. You can also work with the Library’s extensive visual arts collections. Applicants are encouraged to visit the Library's Special Collections & Archives before applying to generate ideas for the proposed project.

  • Students whose submissions are accepted will enroll for course credit in their home department for two quarters (Independent Study or Group Study in Fall 2018 and Winter 2019). To receive 2 units of academic credit per quarter, each student is expected to complete an average of 5 hours of work per week during each quarter.
  • Students will receive general direction from Library staff and meet with their faculty advisors periodically throughout the Fall and Winter quarters for general oversight and input.
  • The final project will be an exhibition on display for a full quarter in the Library in Spring 2019. The student curator(s) will participate in the exhibit launch event and faculty advisors will be invited. Students will also digitize their materials and prepare an online exhibit. 


  • Applications are invited from UC San Diego undergraduate students with majors or minors in the Arts & Humanities. Students may apply individually or as a team. 
  • Students must be eligible to enroll in a 198 or 199 course (have completed 90 units with at least a 2.5 GPA before Fall Quarter 2018). After award notifications, students will need to submit this form: https://students.ucsd.edu/_files/registrar/special-studies-form197-198-199_6-13-2014.pdf


Applications should be a maximum of two pages, 12-point font, single-spaced. Applications should include the following:

  1. Name
  2. Major
  3. Minor (if applicable)
  4. Proposed Faculty Mentor(s) – this does not have to be confirmed at the time of application
  5. Description of the proposed project
    1. What is the topic you intend to exhibit
    2. What is the story you intend to tell the audience
    3. What kind of objects do you hope to display (books, art, photographs, etc.)
    4. Which collection(s) you are interested in using

The application process for the 2018-19 academic year is closed.