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The General Studies 200 and 400 programs at San Diego State University are distinctive academic courses designed to provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to earn credit through meaningful professional experiences. Specifically, the courses will involve working with the SDSU Digital Innovation Lab (DiLab), where students are trained to serve as digital innovation consultants.

In collaboration with DiLab faculty, who will act as advisors, students will support local and student-led startups on campus. This hands-on experience is intended to complement the student’s academic work and enrich their understanding of digital innovation and entrepreneurship.


Role and Expectations in the DiLab

The nature of the work that students will undertake as part of the General Studies 200 and 400 programs is multifaceted, with opportunities to collaborate with startup founders, conduct research into emerging digital technologies, design innovative solutions, and contribute to the growth of startups. It’s essential to note that the academic credit awarded for participation in these programs is based on a structured, typically research-based analysis of the work experience and outcomes rather than the activity itself.

Enrollment Process

To enroll in these programs, students are required to obtain an application and schedule an appointment with a DiLab faculty member and the Director of General Studies. After this, they will need to fill out a contract outlining their proposed activities. This contract, once signed by a DiLab faculty advisor: Kaveh Abhari  <kabhari@sdsu.edus>, to validate the work description, must be submitted to the Director of General Studies, Jose Preciado, <preciado@mail.sdsu.edu>  for final approval. Upon approval, students will receive an add code and schedule number.

Contract Specifications

The contract for these programs must include a reading list related to digital innovation, a description of the final project, a tentative schedule of weekly appointments with the DiLab faculty advisor, and an explanation of any additional academic assignments and examinations. Practical work is considered on the same basis as laboratory work, i.e., 3 hours per week per credit unit. A maximum of six units of total credit can be earned in General Studies 200 and 400, with no more than three units being taken per semester.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility for these programs requires that the student be an undergraduate who has completed at least 12 units of college work, with a minimum cumulative and SDSU grade point average of 2.2. They also need to have made arrangements for participation in an appropriate field placement. Upper-division students (juniors or seniors) are eligible to enroll in General Studies 400.

Application Form and Credit Transfer

The course provides a contract application form that needs to be filled out by the student and the DiLab faculty mentor. This form indicates the specifics of the concurrent work situation, learning objectives, and evaluation criteria. Students should be aware that other colleges and universities may not permit the transfer of credit earned through this program. Nevertheless, the program offers an exciting opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the real-world digital innovation landscape while contributing to the growth of startups on the SDSU campus.