High School 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.

Reach out with additional questions by emailing highschoolsummer@ucsc.edu or call 831-459-5373.


    July 4 Holiday

  • The university administration is closed on July 4, and there will be no classes. Classes resume on July 5.


  • Summer Session Class 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 from our courses page.

    Our faculty know how challenging 3.5 hours are for attention spans.  The classes are a combination of 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 five credit courses are equivalent to a full-time job - a 40 hour per week load.


  • Tests & Finals

  • There is a final exam (or paper/project) due at the end of most courses, and often one midterm during week 3.  Traditional finals would be 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.


  • On-Campus Housing

  • High school students will live in the same residence hall as all Summer Session students, including current UCSC students and visiting college students.

    High school students have a designated floor, including their own RAs and peer mentors dedicated to the High School Summer University. College students live on other residence hall floors.  Typically it is about 300 additional students who live in the residence hall with the High School Summer Unversity students. 

    The housing office strives to provide single rooms for every student who requests one.  Double or triple rooms are 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). Rooms are single-sex only, but the floor will be co-ed.

    Move-in and welcome event details will be sent to registered students in June.


  • Living Off Campus

  • 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.


  • Activities

  • High School Summer University Mentors are hired exclusively for this high school program.  They are present and available full time, responsible for making the "free" time great. They plan boardwalk trips, beach days, hikes, etc.  The program intention is that they help students bond with each other while making the most of campus resources too.  Mentors lead tours to the gym (students have a membership to our fitness center all summer), and arrange pick up games like soccer, basketball, or sand volleyball.  The mentors are also eager to share the projects, internships, and organizations that they're a part of during the year. Peer mentors can show high school students the opportunities ahead of them and how to make the most of college life. 

    Residence Hall Advisers (RAs) are responsible for enforcing residential policies, including training around safety and personal health. Both RA's and peer mentors plan low-commitment evening events like movie and game nights that don't take away from studying. 

    Mentors also run academic workshops like meeting faculty, using office hours, professional writing, reviewing students' essays, finding great study spots, time management.


  • Visiting

  • Parents are welcome to visit with students on the weekends.  Students can also go home on the weekends. If booking hotels, we recommend advance planning. Visit Santa Cruz is a great resource for your stay.


  • Cancellation

  • If You Chose Not to Attend:

    • If you filled out a registration form but did not pay the $50 fee, you can email highschoolsummer@ucsc.edu and let us know, so we stop messaging you. We will cancel your registration.
    • If you registered, and paid your $50 non-refundable fee, but never enrolled in classes, there is no action required. Have a good summer. 
    • If you cannot attend a course you're enrolled in; 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.
    • There is a non-refundable $50 cancellation fee if you enroll in classes at any time but decide to drop them all of them.