FAQ

Declaring the GPP Minor

How do I declare the Minor?

The first step to declaring the GPP Minor is submitting a Declaration of Intent form. Visit the Requirements page for the deadline to submit the form. Once you have submitted this form, you will be invited to attend a mandatory GPP Orientation to complete the declaration process.

How competitive is it to get into the Minor?

The GPP Minor is open to all students who are able to demonstrate that they are committed to fulfilling the requirements by the time they graduate.


Course Requirements

I am a Transfer Student. Do I have enough time to complete the Minor?

The GPP Minor typically takes at least 3 semesters to complete, but in some cases, it can be completed within two semesters. Each year many transfer students successfully complete the minor. Incoming transfer students who are interested in declaring the minor are highly encouraged to enroll in the first GPP core course, GPP 115, during their first fall semester. This will allow more flexibility in determining when to complete the rest of the requirements for the minor. Transfer students should meet with a GPP Advisor to discuss your timeline for completing the Minor.

Can I take GPP 105 and 115 concurrently?

Yes, as long as you have declared the GPP minor and submitted a practice summary form before the semester begins, you can take GPP 115 concurrently with GPP 105. The practice summary form requires that you have identified what your practice experience will be.

Can I take GPP 105 and 196 concurrently?

No. GPP 105 prepares students for their practice experience, while GPP 196 is a reflection course meant to follow the practice experience. It would be difficult to both prepare for and reflect on a practice experience concurrently, so this overlap is not permitted.

Can I take classes not listed on the Global and Area Studies or Sectors and Methods lists to fulfill these elective requirements?

Yes, you may submit a course substitution form along with a syllabus for the course to request approval to count it as one of your electives.

Can I take a course for P/F and count it for the minor?

No. All courses taken for the GPP Minor must be upper division and taken for a letter grade.

Can I combine a senior thesis project with my practice?

Yes, you may use your thesis as the reflection component of the GPP minor, but it is important that the thesis be grounded in your practice experience. Also, if you choose this option, it WILL count toward the one overlapping component between the minor and your major (which means that no other classes may overlap for certain colleges).


Practice Experience

What is the purpose of the Practice Experience?

The Practice Experience is meant to be a learning experience for students to connect the theories and practice of poverty action and to experience first hand the complex challenges of poverty action.

Where can I do my practice experience?

Students engage in practice experiences internationally and domestically with a wide variety of organizations committed to some dimension of poverty action. When you are in the process of determining your practice experience, it is essential to reflect deeply on what kind of poverty action you want to work on most at this stage in your life (public health, education, food security, economic development, housing, and so forth). Likewise, think deeply about where you want to do your practice experience (locally, domestically, internationally) and what kind of organization (community based, government, private sector, non profit). There are considerable resources to help you find the best practice experience for you including: the GPP Peer Advisors, other GPP students, our GPP database of organizations (made available to students after declaring), and Cal faculty and graduate students with expertise in your field of interest or region. For local and domestic practices, the UC Berkeley Public Service Center can also provide valuable support.

How long does my Practice Experience have to be?

The minimum time requirement is 6 consecutive weeks and 240 hours, though students are encouraged to spend as much time working at their practice site as possible.

I will be doing 2 weeks of my practice experience in the winter. If I do 4 weeks in the summer do these together add up to the 6 weeks requirement?

No, we require that practice experience have continuity over time. This is important both for your learning experience and for the benefit of the organization you are working with.

How do I fund my Practice Experience?

The GPP Minor offers a fellowship to help cover the costs associated with students’ practice experiences. Additionally, many student receive funding from other grants and scholarships at UC Berkeley and elsewhere. See the Funding Opportunities page for more information.

How do I know if my practice experience fulfills the requirements for the minor?

If your practice experience meets the minimum time requirements and you are able to articulate how it will help you further learn about a particular approach to poverty action, it likely satisfies the Minor requirement. We require that you to speak with a GPP advisor before you settle on a particular Practice Experience.

How do I learn about and prepare for my practice site / issue / organization before starting work?

GPP 105 is designed to support you in preparing for your practice experience. This course will highlight the variety of ways you can prepare for your experience. Additionally, we hold a day-long “Pre-Departure Orientation” during the spring semester to help students understand how to maintain their safety and health during the PE. Facilitators who have done fieldwork and research in various regions of the world are invited to this event to also answer questions students may have about living and working in the areas they will be completing their PEs in.

Can I teach English abroad as part of my Practice Experience?

No, teaching English courses abroad does not qualify as a valid Practice Experience. Please see the Practice Experience page for more details on what may not count as a Practice Experience.

Can I volunteer with a religious organization such as my church or synagogue?

You may volunteer with a faith based organization as long as your work for the institution does not involve religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, maintaining facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, or engaging in any form of religious proselytization.

What are some examples of previous Practice Experiences?

The best way to find out about the practice experiences of former students is to visit the student stories portion of our website and, if you are declared in the minor, access the GPPorgs database which catalogs past student experiences.

Can I be paid for my Practice Experience?

Yes.

I am conducting my practice experience at a site I have been volunteering with already. Can I count hours I have volunteered prior to joining the minor as my Practice Experience?

You may only count hours towards your Practice Experience starting from the first day of your GPP 105 course. This is because GPP 105 is designed to help prepare you for your practice experience and give you a set of questions to go into the experience with.

I would like to combine my study abroad trip with my Practice Experience. Is this possible?

It is possible to complete a practice experience while studying abroad. However, it is important to understand that the practice experience requires significant time, focus, and dedication, and it may be difficult to give it the attention needed while also taking a full load of courses abroad. You are encouraged to speak with a GPP Advisor if you are interested in combining your practice experience while studying abroad.

Can I conduct my Practice Experience over Winter Break?

The practice experience must be a minimum of six weeks and 240 hours of work, so winter break is not adequate time to complete the practice experience. However, students completing their practice experiences in the Bay Area may begin their practice during the winter break and complete it over the course of the spring semester.