Summer Session Online Course FAQs

Summer Session online classes are 100% online. You will not have to visit campus to complete an online course. While online courses allow students flexibility in their schedules, they are also highly structured with clear expectations and due dates.

Students have many opportunities to practice and demonstrate what they are learning individually and in groups through discussion forums, writing assignments, projects, and video conferences. 


    Technology Requirements

  • You need access to a computer (desk or laptop) and a reliable internet connection for the duration for the course. 

    Web camera and microphone (most laptops have them built-in). Many courses have online instructor office hours, so having a camera and microphone will help you connect with instructors.

    For most courses, no advanced technology or additional software is needed.


  • YouTube & Google 

  • All UCSC online courses rely on YouTube and Google for videos and other course materials. If you are taking an online course in a country that blocks YouTube or Google, please email us at summer@ucsc.edu, and we will provide an accommodation.
    One way to make sure you have complete access to your online course and other online resources at UCSC is to install and use the university's VPN (virtual private network), which allows you use the internet as if you were on UCSC's campus. This is how you do it:
    1. Download the VPN Client using your CruzID and Gold password: https://sites.google.com/ucsc.edu/vpn-software-download/.
    2. Install the VPN client.
    3. Launch the VPN client.
    4. To establish a VPN connection, type vpn.ucsc.edu into the connect box
    5. Enter your username (CruzID) and password (Gold).
    For more operating systems instructional details, go here: https://its.ucsc.edu/vpn/os-details.html.

  • Time Commitment

  • You will spend about 15-30 hours each week watching lectures, reading course texts, completing quizzes, writing papers or studying for exams, posting to discussion forums, or working on projects with your classmates.

  • Add/Drop/Withdraw from Course

  • Online classes are bound by the same add/drop/withdraw from course deadlines as all Summer Session classes. See our Summer Academic Calendar.

    To request a "W" from an online class email summer@ucsc.edu and we will provide you with the necessary 1-page form and withdraw from course procedure.

  • Sections & Discussion Forums

  • Sections and discussion forums are your opportunity to apply what you learn from the lectures and reading and interact with your classmates to test your ideas.

    Most courses have discussion forums, and a few courses have synchronous discussion sections that meet roughly 1-3 times over the summer session.

  • After Enrolling

  • After enrolling in an online-only class:

    Start checking your UCSC email.

    A few days before class begins, instructors will email instructions to your ucsc.edu email account

    When you enroll in classes, you will not get an email from the faculty (nothing automatic or immediate). They will message you closer to when class begins. If you see that you’re enrolled in your portal, you can be confident that you are, in fact, in the class.

    Courses are hosted on Canvas. You do not need to sign up for an account, login with your CruzID and Gold Password at canvas.ucsc.eduSee Canvas Getting Started Student Guide

    MATH 19A, 19B, 23A are hosted here - /login.uconline.edu 

    If you add or drop an online class, it can take 24-48 hours for the course to be added or removed from your Canvas account. 


  • Midterms & Final Exams

  • In most online courses, midterms and finals are timed, open book, and based in written or project work. These exams can be taken anywhere.

    In a few courses, exams are proctored by ProctorU, a video conferencing tool which allows students to take online proctored exams from just about anywhere. There is a per exam fee of roughly $20.


  • Time vs. Pace

  • One benefit of an online class is that you can often complete the online portions of the course (readings, lectures, and quizzes) any time of the day or night.

    Online classes do have weekly deadlines for assignments, and occasionally exams are scheduled at times when students have more flexibility (e.g., early in the morning, late at night, or on weekends).

    Course due dates are modeled on a typical summer session 2-day schedule: assignments are due roughly twice per week, and assignments are available 3 days before they are due.

    Enrolled students will be expected to have access to a computer with a stable internet connection throughout the full session. 


  • Accessing Library Resources Remotely

  • To access library materials, login through the campus VPN available here: https://its.ucsc.edu/vpn/installation.html

    You will need to download the campus VPN software, and then login with your cruzID and Gold password. Once logged in via the campus VPN, you can navigate to the library homepage for immediate access.  No barcode or library account creation will be required.

    Local?  If you’re in the area, you are welcome to come to campus! You can use the library to study or do research. You can check out books and materials with your student ID.  For more information on the libraries, hours, and services, visit library.ucsc.edu


  • Course Evaluations

  • Done completely online at the end of class. Evaluations come to your ucsc.edu email.

    Evaluations are extremely important: instructors, teaching assistants, departments, and Summer Session value your feedback and use it to make real change.


If you have additional questions or concerns, email summer@ucsc.edu or call us at 831-459-5373.