Summer Stories

Summer Session students who complete 15 credits or more receive the $680 Ambitious Summer Discount. These students chose ambitious course loads and ended the summer improved GPAs, new best friends, and lifelong memories!  

We hope you find some inspiration in their stories. 


    Whitney Pham

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    I took classes during Summer Session because I wanted to make progress through my course requirements as a double major in Economics and TIM.

    It gave me the opportunity to get ahead and allowed me to take impacted courses in a close knit environment as classes were smaller than those during the regular school year. I was also able to experience valuable one-on-one time with professors and TAs which further encouraged me to connect with the class content that was being taught.


  • Tony Estrella

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    I’m a transfer student and originally arrived to Santa Cruz in Fall 2020 with the intention to only major in Psychology, but I had taken enough classes at my CC to get a good start for a minor in anthropology. However, I soon realized it was more than possible to double major in both, and it would open so many more doors for me, so I decided to turn my Anthropology minor into a major, but that meant I had to put in a little more effort to graduate on time.

    By taking upper-division major classes and participating in an independent field study this summer, I’m now able to finish all my major required courses early and really enjoy my last spring quarter at Santa Cruz which I will be doing in the Netherlands through UCEAP. I was also able to get some research experience this summer by participating in the Chimpanzee Video Coding Project, which will be the basis of the senior thesis I am writing with the incredible anthropology professor Vicky Oelze.


  • Theresa Bostic

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    I'm double majoring in both History and Sociology, as well as pursuing a Black Studies Minor, so I wanted to use Summer Session as a way to follow the trajectory of being able to graduate alongside my peers for the Class of 2023.

    I love the fast-paced structure in which I'm able to complete 10 weeks worth of material in 5 weeks. Even though the idea was a bit intimidating at first, I'm grateful for the privilege to have been able to immerse myself within my courses. I also truly appreciate the unlimited patience and understanding I received from my peers and lecturers, they made my experience all the better.


  • Maggie Desphy

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    I took advantage of Summer Session because classes that were hard to enroll in during the normal school year were readily available! It took so much pressure off my back and allowed me to declare my major early.

    Because I took my prerequisite classes during the summer I declared my major early and was granted an opportunity to double major! My summer classes were full of students who wanted to learn more which made it easier to focus during class and assignments. My favorite class was most likely Japanese 1 because the professor was very reassuring and the students were all open to interact.


  • Yuelian Li

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    I took Writing, Math, and GE courses in summer 2020, in order to declare the math major as a sophomore and then graduate earlier in the future. Summer session courses at UCSC taught me the importance of time arrangement and helped me become braver to communicate with professors and students.

    I highly recommend students take math23B in summer, because Professor Frank Bäuerle replies to students’ questions frequently and patiently even in summer. I also want to recommend Music 11B. This course is well-organized by an awesome professor Nelson Hutchison, which helps boost students’ potential in music. Furthermore, Thea20 taught by Greg Fritsch provided me a great chance to make short movies on campus and then add my favorite BGM! 

    Finally, I really want to mention writing2 taught by Ellen Newberry and assisted by Kaden Austin-Lane in summer. Ellen has a great passion for writing and life. I enjoyed every office hour we spent together. And I appreciate the help and care from my writing assistant when the fire came in August. They made me feel cared for and supported.

  • Bianca Hsieh

  • No alternative textTaking classes this summer definitely helped with reaching my academic goals. I had the chance to enroll in classes that I cannot take during normal quarters since prerequisites for certain classes were lifted. This gave me a head start in upper-division courses for my major. I took four major courses and two GEs which made graduating early with two majors possible.

    I also tend to get lazy during breaks, thus taking classes was a great way to keep myself from doing nothing. Since the classes are remote, I had more flexibility with my time for other activities. Overall, I really enjoyed the Summer Sessions at UCSC, and I will definitely take summer courses again.

  • Evan Melito

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    I took remote classes this summer to stay on track to graduate in 3 years; I wanted to take advantage of the amount of free time forced upon us all this summer. I was able to take 25 units this summer, so that definitely allowed me to cut down on credits I'll need to take during the regular school year.

    My favorite class that I took this summer was CMPM 120. I got to work with a group of my classmates to conceptualize and code a neuroscience game, so I still got to have at least some type of human interaction!
    I would definitely recommend Summer Session to friends if they are willing to put in the time and effort it takes to complete a 10-week course in half the time. You have to remain very focused and committed to your studies in order to get it all done in time.


  • Yufei Meng

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    Because I am a second year student now, after one year experience of college I think I can take more classes during summer, making my holiday worthwhile. I am a major&minor student, taking summer session helped me complete many required classes.