High School Summer University FAQs

We've tried to address some of the most frequently asked questions. In June, we'll provide registered students with a welcome packet, including detailed logistics and additional information.

You can always reach out with additional questions by emailing highschoolsummer@ucsc.edu.


    Holidays Observed

  • The university administration is closed on Monday, June 20 - No classes are held in observance of Juneteenth and Monday, July 4 - No classes are held in observance of Independence Day.


  • Course Schedule & Pace

  • The majority of Summer Session classes are five credits and five weeks long. Most meet twice a week for approximately 3.5 hours each. You can go to the exact schedule of the class you are interested in from our courses page.

    Our faculty know how challenging 3.5 hours are for attention spans. The classes combine lectures, breaks, group work, discussions, etc. There are also study and review sections in and out of class time. Depending on the type of courses you take, there could be experiments, tours/outings, guest speakers, or sharing/reflecting seminar style. 

    You can also review former summer syllabi to get a feel for pace, requirements, and grading.


  • Homework

  • UCSC Academic Advising recommends 2 hours of studying for every 1 hour of class time. More reading-intensive classes might say 3 hours. Art or film could be even longer with time put into developing your work - so this can vary by course too.

    Two 5-credit courses are equivalent to a full-time job - a 40 hour per week load.


  • Tests & Finals

  • A final exam (or paper/project) is due at the end of most courses, and often one midterm during week 3. A typical Summer Session final takes place in the last scheduled class meeting. If the course requires papers or projects, they can be due the last week, sometimes Friday night. There is no separate finals week.

  • Missing Class

  • You cannot control sickness, but missing even one day of a five-week class is 1/10 of your course and will result in you losing important course material.

    Avoid scheduling anything that would interfere with your class attendance. No accommodations can be made for family vacations.


  • Supervision

  • Students are responsible for their conduct, though administrative, instructional, and residential staff all work together to support students.

    Students and parents/guardians need to understand that High School Summer University is designed to be independent. Both students and parents should evaluate the student’s maturity and readiness for independence before committing to the program.

    Students are not directly supervised throughout the day. Residential Summer University students can leave campus but have a curfew of 11 p.m. Students are responsible for checking in with their Peer Mentor once daily, in person, between 9:00 PM and 11:00 PM. Face-to-face is required. After check-in, the student shall stay in their residence hall within the designated Summer University area until morning.


  • On-Campus Housing

  • High school students live in the same residence hall as all Summer Session students, including current UCSC students and visiting college students but have a designated floor, including their own Residental Assistants (RAs) and Peer Mentors. Floors are mixed gender, but rooms are not. Roommates will all be of the same gender orientation. Typically, about 300 additional students live in the residence hall with the High School Summer University students. 

    The housing office strives to provide single rooms for every student who requests one. Double or triple rooms are typically more readily available and less expensive. Housing will match students by gender and age (in addition to the other features and behaviors they ask for in the housing application students fill out in May). 

    The residential staff consists of a Coordinator of Residential Education (CRE), as well as Senior Residential Assistants (SRAs) who oversee a team of Residential Assistants (RAs). All have been fingerprinted, have cleared background checks and DMV checks, and have successfully participated in intensive training before the program. The RAs and Peer Mentors ensure that university rules, policies, and procedures are followed and that problems are handled immediately and appropriately. They are knowledgeable about the campus and college life and are available at all times to help students adjust to the program and life away from home. During the day, from the residence halls to the classrooms, students can request support from Peer Mentors, but it is their responsibility to complete their coursework, efficiently manage their time, and attend class and activities. 


  • Family Visits

  • We recommend considering how important weekend time on campus is - it allows students to establish friendships and become more engaged in campus life. It can be a time for study groups, library sessions, work on projects, and have social excursions. That said, if you would like to visit or to bring them home for the weekend, it is permitted.

    Students are required to formally check out in-person when leaving for the weekend or any overnight period and check-in with their Mentor when returning to campus as a condition of the program.

    If booking hotels, we recommend advance planning. Visit Santa Cruz is a great resource for your stay.

    Course lectures ere not open to the public. You must be enrolled to attend classes.


  • Commuting

  • If you take Session 1 classes but commute, please remember, you're still a part of this program. You have the same access to libraries and labs, gym membership, bus pass, and other access to campus facilities and resources. 

    Individual meals can be purchased at the dining halls so you can eat with on-campus High School Summer University students. We recommend getting your UCSC student ID on the first day of classes and taking advantage of the campus while you're here.

    Peer Mentors will reach out to you to ensure you are invited to come to events and activities like academic workshops, social nights, beach trips, and more.


  • Cancellation

  • If you registered but never enrolled in classes, no action is required.

    If you enrolled in a class, you MUST DROP yourself. Instructors do not drop students for not attending or not paying. If you do not drop yourself from a course, you will be responsible for paying the tuition for it.

    The Housing Office has refund guidelines based on students’  contract and the date of cancellation. Please refer to your agreement or contact the Housing Office at 831-459-4433 or housing@ucsc.edu.