Skip to main content

Natalie TranNatalie Tran

Urban Studies and Planning Major with Minors in Political Science and Environmental Studies

A senior staff writer for The Guardian, UC San Diego's flagship student-run newspaper, Natalie specializes in arts and entertainment reviews. She is also a Green Building intern with UC San Diego Sustainability. As an intern, she helps to develop the university's green building policies by collecting sustainability data. She is also co-chair of Urban Changemakers, a student organization dedicated to fostering community and improving spaces at UC San Diego.

Why UC San Diego
Orange County native Natalie liked that UC San Diego was close enough to her hometown to visit frequently, but far enough away that it was outside of her comfort zone. Since many people from her high school attended the university, she knew she liked the people and the campus atmosphere. Natalie was originally interested in becoming a Political Science major, so UC San Diego’s highly regarded program appealed to her.

Why Urban Studies and Planning
Throughout high school, Natalie wasn’t decided on what she should major in, but knew it had to involve positively impacting her community. Finding both history and politics fascinating, she thought holding a government position would embody her interests and values and enrolled as a Political Science major. However, the summer before her freshman year, she was feeling unsure of her decision and, upon browsing Social Sciences' website, discovered the Urban Studies and Planning major, which was completely unfamiliar to her at the time. After researching the major in more depth, she found that it offered the opportunity to directly impact humanity and her community, fitting her goals to a T. She said she likes that it extends to social justice, design, sustainability, and many other avenues. And her minors in Environmental Studies and Political Science are nice complements, helping her better understand environmental policy issues. 

Plans after graduation
Natalie plans to obtain a master’s degree in Urban Studies and Planning. She'd love to pursue a career as an environmental or urban planner.