Student directed seminars

Coordinate and lead a small 3-credit seminar on a topic not currently offered at UBC.


The Student Directed Seminars program provides upper-year undergraduate students (in third year or later) the opportunity to propose, coordinate, and lead their own 3-credit seminar class with a small group of peers on a topic not currently offered at UBC-Vancouver.

Each seminar brings together a group of highly-motivated students to explore and investigate a topic through learning activities including group discussions, research papers, presentations, guest lectures, applied problem-solving, and Community Service Learning.

Having the opportunity to coordinate a seminar has instilled a level of personal agency over my learning that I would not have likely obtained from the traditional classroom environment.

former sds coordinator

Get involved

Become a student coordinator

Student Directed Seminars are an expansion of the directed studies option offered by most departments and are a great way to enhance your own learning experience while gaining facilitation and leadership skills. You will also have the unique opportunity to work closely with a faculty member to develop the course proposal and syllabus.

Find out more

Be a student participant

Student participants have a role in shaping many aspects of the course. From helping to edit the course syllabus and choose readings, to peer marking, facilitating learning activities, and leading individual classes, each student builds their own learning experience and contributes to the learning outcomes for their peers.

Check out the list of current Student Directed Seminars to see what courses are being offered this year and what has been offered in the past.

This is an incredible forum for discussion, venturing into meaningful topics that pressed all the students to question themselves, their peers, the authors.

former sds participant

Past Student Directed Seminars

Advisory committee

The Student Directed Seminars Advisory Committee is made up of faculty members from various departments, staff from the Centre for Student Involvement and Careers, the Alma Mater Society (AMS), and a former Student Director Seminars Student Facilitator.

The committee reviews all course proporsals thoroughly for academic rigor, quality of course plans, appropriate marking schemes and assignments, and the overall qualifications and suitability of the student coordinator(s).

Advisory Committee Members 2020-2021

  • Dr. José Rodriguez, 2020-21 SDS Program Chair, Senior Instructor (Chemistry) 
  • Robyn Leuty, Associate Director, Career (Program Sponsor) (CSI&C)
  • Dr. Gail Hammond, Assistant Professor (Land and Food Systems)
  • Pam Garcia, Program Coordinator (CSI&C)
  • Dr. Fernanda Tomaselli, Lecturer and Land One Coordinator (Forestry)
  • Adrija Chakrabarti, Student Coordinator 2020-21 (Integrated Science)
  • Dr. Colleen Laird, Assistant Professor, (Asian Studies)
  • Jeff Miller, Senior Associate Director, Faculty Partnerships (CTLT)
  • Dr. Sarika Bose, Lecturer (English)
  • Emmett Mark, Student Coordinator 2020-21 (Integrated Arts)
  • Elizabeth Wong B.Sc, SDS Student Coordinator Alumnus
  • Kip Chow, Student Coordinator 2020-21 (English and Psychology)

If you have questions