Sixth College

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Coordinates: 32°52′42″N 117°14′00″W / 32.878201°N 117.233209°W / 32.878201; -117.233209

Sixth College
Motto Preparing Effective Citizens for the 21st Century
Established 2001 (Sixth)
Status undergraduate, liberal arts, Current Enrollment at Sixth College 4,262
Provost Daniel Donoghue
Dean of Students
Diane LeGree
Asst. Dean of Students
Debbie Deas
Dean of Academics
Christine Fraser
Interim Resident Dean
Anthony Jakubisin
Major events Festival: Chocolate Festival, Kuncocshun, Spirit of the Masters
Core course Culture, Art, and Technology (CAT)

Sixth College is the sixth and newest college of the University of California, San Diego. Opened in September 2001, Sixth College seeks to create student scholars that are dynamic, cutting edge, and well-versed in modern technology. Sixth College's core writing course is called Culture, Art and Technology (CAT). The series is a 5-course sequence that attempts to integrate writing skills within a greater technological and modern era context.


The Visual Arts Facility and Pepper Canyon Hall

Sixth College is so named because it is the sixth undergraduate college at UCSD. As per university tradition, it uses a numerical name until it gets a proper name, which will occur in the order that the colleges are created. The names of prominent persons who fit the college's theme of Culture, Art, and Technology, such as Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Leonardo da Vinci, and Mark Hagler, have been proposed by students but never seriously considered by the administration.[citation needed] The naming process has been stopped indefinitely.[citation needed]

Ethos and Philosophy[edit]

Sixth College prepares students to become dynamic and engaged citizens of the 21st century — innovative, creative and interconnected. Core academic programs develop skills in both traditional and emergent media literacy, emphasizing essential writing fundamentals as well as the latest forms of digital communication.

In the Culture, Art and Technology sequence of courses, students acquire innovative interdisciplinary approaches that they will need in a rapidly evolving world. The Practicum is a unique upper-division requirement that promotes civic engagement and global consciousness, and embodies the College’s commitment to active, experiential learning. It is designed to assist students in preparing their professional portfolios and refining their presentation skills as they prepare to enter the post-graduate world.

The paramount aim is to provide a learning community that is nurturing and stimulating, while equipping students to face the challenges that lie ahead.[1]

Experiential Learning[edit]

Sixth College is committed to experiential learning on many different levels. Beginning in 2012, Sixth College has hosted the biannual Experiential Learning Conference. Sixth College is also the only college at UC San Diego with an explicit upper division Practicum requirement which can be satisfied by many different types of experiential learning opportunities including: study abroad programs, study at UCDC, various types of service-learning in the community, directed research with faculty members, internship programs, and specially-designed independent study programs.[2]

General Education[edit]

In addition to the Culture, Art, and Technology (CAT) core writing program, all Sixth College students are required to take on an upper division Practicum course, unique to all the colleges at UCSD. The program requires students to enroll in courses that demand a hands-on approach to education while making valuable contributions to communities both locally and abroad. Students must choose a 4-unit course, program, internship, or research opportunity for their Practicum Project that develops both their academic and professional skills.

Along with the Practicum, every student is required to complete Sixth College’s upper-division writing course, CAT 125. This course gives students the opportunity to reflect upon the relationship between their service and their coursework, and to increase their mastery of the written and spoken word.

On-campus housing[edit]

The courtyard of Sixth Apartments

On-campus housing is available at Sixth College for two years. Sixth College dormitories are located near Pepper Canyon Hall. The dorms are nicknamed "Camp Snoopy" as the trees, central lawn, and cabin-like dormitory buildings all contribute to the appearance of a youth summer camp. The dorms are arranged in multiple two-story buildings, with approximately sixty students per building (thirty per floor). Each floor is further divided into two suites, each consisting of five rooms and a common room. A shared bathroom connects the two suites. Each building also features a kitchen and study room for use by residents of that building.[3]

The other on-campus housing option are Sixth's apartments (sometimes referred to by their old name from when they were part of Fifth College, "Pepper Canyon Apartments").[4]

Student Life[edit]

The student council at Sixth College is known as SCSC. This Sixth College Student Council heads the many committees that are responsible for many major Sixth events in the academic year. These include Spirit of the Masters (Arts Committee), CHAOS (Culture Committee), Kuncocshun (Festival Committee), Winter Game Fest (Tech Committee), and Spirit Night (Spirit Committee). The SCSC also has positions for members of the Sixth College Judicial Board.[5]

Other student organizations include Action Vibe, Community Board (Co-Board), Sixth College Television (SCTV), The Sixth Sense (an investigative journal), Sixer Tritons and Recreation for Transfers (START), and Video Production Club (VPC).[6] Sixth College also has an ambassador program, for students who strive to increase Sixth College students' sense of belonging and connectedness to the community.[7]

Sixth College's dining hall is known as Foodworx. Sixth Place and Market, a convenience store, is located nearby.

Commuter Life[edit]

Sixth College has several resources for commuters. Sixth College commuter students have unlimited access to the Commuter Center located in Pepper Canyon Hall, which features lockers, WiFi, and kitchen facilities. Sixth College also has a commuter student organization known as Commuters in Action, or CIA. Each quarter, Sixth College also hosts Commuter and Transfer social events.[8]

Notable Events[edit]

Mayim Bialik College[edit]

On May 27, 2015, Mayim Bialik visited Sixth College in honor of its thirteen anniversary. Bialik best known for her lead role as Blossom Russo in the early-1990s NBC television sitcom “Blossom” and now appears regularly on the #1 comedy in America, CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” playing neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler, a role for which she has received one Screen Actors Guild nomination and two Emmy nominations. Mayim has also earned her Ph.D from UCLA in neuroscience. We believe that Mayim embodies our college's focus on the intersection of culture, art, and technology. Sixth College will be renamed for the day, every May 27 as Mayim Bialik College!

Mayim Bialik at UCSD.jpg

Conan O'Brien College[edit]

On April 20, 2012, late-night talk show host Conan O'Brien visited Sixth College in honor of its tenth anniversary. To celebrate the occasion, and in absence of a permanent name, Sixth College renamed itself to Conan O'Brien College for the day of April 20.[9]

On his invitation to visit the college, Conan had the following requirements:

  • That the event be free to all students, and that no Sixth student be turned away
  • Meaningful interactions would take place between Conan and students, staff, and faculty of Sixth College.
  • The costs of hosting the event were not paid for by students
  • Conan received no payment or fee for the event. Sixth College covered hotel accommodations for Conan and his crew.

Clues about a special visitor to campus were leaked at the College hub and dormitories several weeks before the date. The week preceding Conan's visit included a host of 10th anniversary events, including a film screening of Conan O'Brien Can't Stop with director Rodman Flender. Students also participated in a fan-art contest.

Conan traveled to San Diego via train on April 20. Upon arrival to the UC San Diego campus, he was taken on a tour by students Emma Quan and Drew Mandinach around the Sixth College Hub (Pepper Canyon Hall), residence halls, and student apartments before taking part in a Meet & Greet event for Sixth college students. Conan stopped and chatted with each fan he encountered, never turning down a picture.

The main event, which was free to all UC San Diego students and staff, was a Q&A session that took place in RIMAC Arena. Two Sixth College musicians, Mike Sierks and Grady Kestler of the band Soda Pants, opened for Conan with a musical performance dedicated to Conan and their college. UCSD-TV captured the event and distributed the footage as a DVD to each graduating senior. A small reception was held afterward, during which Conan met contest winners, faculty, donors, and several of the provosts of UC San Diego.

The 10th anniversary celebration was received positively by Sixth faculty, students, and staff. An edited clip of Conan's visit later appeared on Conan O'Brien's show, Conan. The entire day was free to all who attended.

Conan at UCSD.jpg

Experiential Learning Conference[edit]

The Experiential Learning Conference is a biannual event occurring in early Winter quarter (late January), and is free and open to the public.


The first conference was organized by Provost Dan Donoghue, former acting Provost Jim Lin, and Practicum Director Diane Forbes-Berthoud, hosted jointly by Sixth College and Warren College on January 26, 2012 in the Cross Cultural Center located in Price Center East. The theme of the inaugural conference was Education in Action: Mobilizing the next generation for social reform.[10]

Over 165 presenters participated in panels,[11] with representation from multiple universities in San Diego and across the UC Community. Notable presenters included David Kirsh, Lev Manovich, High Tech High, Gompers Preparatory Academy.[12]


The second conference was organized by Provost Dan Donoghue and Practicum Director Diane Forbes-Berthoud, hosted by Sixth College. The event was held in Price Center West as well as the Cross Cultural Center on Friday, January 31, 2014.[13]

On the morning of the event, a campus-wide power outage interrupted the introductory remarks and first panel session, leaving participants to gather around lanterns or move panel rooms to locations with windows or backup generators until power was restored a few hours afterward.

The keynote speaker was Mizuko Ito, who gave a special noon session talk on 'Connected Learning'. Other notable presenters included Associate Vice Chancellor Barbara Sawrey, Michael Trigilio, STEM and STEAM programming, Elizabeth Losh, K. Wayne Yang, Teddy Cruz, Bud Mehan, Michael Cole, Ashley Trinh, and Mirle Bussell.[14]


The third conference was organized by Provost Dan Donoghue and Practicum Director Diane Forbes-Berthoud, hosted by Sixth College. The event was held in the Cross Cultural Center on Thursday, March 31, 2016.


Sixth College celebrates culture, art, and technology with events supporting student creativity and expression. An artistic celebration of student creativity and sustainability, featuring live music and fun activities. Kuncocshun exhibits performances by local and professional musicians. Past musical performers include Shiny Toy Guns and Semi Precious Weapons.[15]

Chocolate Festival[edit]

The Sixth College Chocolate Festival has been a spring quarter tradition since 2004 and is sponsored by the Sixth College Community Board. The event attracts over 600 guests from across the University. The annual festival includes chocolate fountains, sweet and savory dipping items, music, prizes, music, and activities for all ages.[16]

Winter GameFest[edit]

Players from all around San Diego come together for a weekend of gaming and prizes during Winter Quarter. Tournaments from the past have included: Halo 3, DoTA, Starcraft, Madden, Call of Duty, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Guitar Hero World Tour and Rock Band. The Gamefest is presented by the Sixth College Tech Committee.[17][18]

Spirit Of The Masters[edit]

Reminiscent of Laguna Beach's renowned Pageant of the Masters, Sixth College's Spirit of the Masters is a display of famous paintings and sculptures with an animated twist. Visitors are guided by a docent and complemented with drinks and desserts. Previous pieces exhibited include Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man and Picasso's Ladies of Avignon.[19]


UC San Diego hosts separate graduation ceremonies for each undergraduate college. Sixth College has had such commencement speakers as:


External links[edit]