up-grade 2024

UCSD Design Co

San Diego, CA

July 1st to Sept 6th

Apply Now!


What is UP-Grade?

UP-Grade is a 10-week summer internship-style program where students will get the opportunity to work alongside a local, nonprofit organization to elevate their branding and boost their exposure within the community.

July 1st - Sept. 6th
12-15 Hours Per Week

Check out our past cohort's completed projects →

Here’s what you can expect from UP-Grade 2024:

  • Network with industry professionals
  • Work alongside nonprofits
  • Mentor-led workshops
  • Weekly team meetings
  • And more!

Get a Taste Of Our Fresh Themes.


Sustainability nonprofits here in San Diego are dedicated to fostering a more just world, empowering people to take care of our planet through public policy, education, and outreach. Their work is vital in mobilizing local communities to drive greater environmental change.


Community-focused nonprofit organizations here in San Diego tackle basic needs insecurities, like food, housing, and healthcare crises through accessible medical support, healthy meals, and services that aid the search for affordable housing. With remarkable resilience and innovation, these groups foster significant, empathetic change in their local communities.


Nonprofit organizations here in San Diego thrive on their commitment to accessible education. From mentoring/tutoring services to outdoor recreational courses, these groups provide learning opportunities regardless of age, socio-economic status, and other barriers! They work hard to provide opportunities for local youth to develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.


Frequently Asked Questions


Why Apply?

  • Solve Meaningful Problems

    Bring your visions to reality, design with intention, problem-solve and overcome obstacles, and work to create lasting change for a larger community!

  • UP-Grade your resume + portfolio

    Gain real-world experience through a fully developed project and stand out from other student designers with a personal story about your involvement in the project process!

  • Put skills to real-world use

    Bring your knowledge of technical and soft skills (and all things design process related) to active and practical use, further refining your skills along the way!

  • Network with peers & professionals

    Collaborate with leaders in local nonprofit organizations, connect with tech industry professionals, and get to know project mentors!

See some testimonials from previous participants:

  • "I really enjoyed getting to collaborate cross-functionally with a team and learn new skills beyond marketing strategy. For example, I got exposure to UX design and visual design, which inspired me to continue pushing myself to take on new opportunities and learn new things."

    - Tracy Vu

  • “I learned a lot in terms of going through the design process since this was a length of an internship and we actually worked with stakeholders. I feel more confident in my design skills now and I believe I am ready to begin applying for other design internships/opportunities!"

    - Kellie Huang

  • "UP-Grade was an extremely rewarding experience and I can't recommend it enough! Mentioning this project in interviews has always been beneficial to me. The biggest highlight was getting to see my project from start to finish and delivering something our client's were very proud of!"

    - Thoa Nguyen

  • “I have definitely gotten a better understanding of visual design and how to develop a good design for website functions.”

    - Adeline Liem

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