Student Directed Seminars


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. Review the Program Guide (pdf) for more information.

If you're a student from UBC Okanagan, please review the Okanagan Student Directed Seminars guide.

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.

You must be a third or fourth-year undergraduate student to register in a Student Directed Seminar.

Browse course list

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 Community Engaged Learning, the Alma Mater Society (AMS), and a former Student Director Seminars Student Coordinator.

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

2023/24 Advisory committee members

  • Dr. José Rodriguez (he/him), 2023/24 SDS Program Chair, Associate Professor of Teaching (Chemistry)
  • Adrija Chakrabarti (she/her), Student Coordinator 2020/21 (Integrated Science)
  • Jeff Miller (he/him), Senior Associate Director, Projects and Faculty Partnerships (CTLT)
  • Dr. Sarika Bose (she/her), Lecturer (English)
  • Emmett Mark (he/him), Student Coordinator 2020/21 (Integrated Arts)
  • Kip Chow (they/them), Student Coordinator 2020/21 (English and Psychology)
  • Kyle Nelson (he/him), Community Engaged Learning Officer (CCEL)
  • Sheker Mammetgurban (she/her), Learning Initiatives Coordinator (CCEL)
  • Alex Martin (he/him), Student Coordinator 2022/23 (Forestry)
  • Dr. Santokh Singh (he/him), Professor of Teaching (Botany)
  • Dr. Nesrine Basheer (she/her), Assistant Professor of Teaching (Asian Studies)
  • Sunny Gong (she/her), Student Coordinator 2021/2022  (Science)

Acknowledgement of support

Thank you to the Centre for Teaching and Learning and Centre for Student Development and Leadership for supporting the program.

We are grateful for the support offered by the Centre for Teaching and Learning who offer their expertise and mentorship to student coordinators throughout the year, including:

  • Jeff Miller
  • Jason Meyers
  • John Cheng
  • Hailan Chen
  • Bosung Kim
  • Lucas Wright
  • Jens Vent-Schmidt
  • Sunah Cho

If you have questions