High School Overview

“Santa Cruz High School senior Matthew Phillips, 17, who signed up for a beginning Japanese language summer session course before his junior year, liked it so much that he returned this last summer for Literature 61F, a study of the graphic novel.      

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High School Summer University

As part of Summer Session, high school students from all over the world who completed their sophomore or junior year with a GPA of 3.0+ can live and learn at UCSC! This program combines support and independence to model a true college experience for five weeks. 

They attend college classes with current UCSC students, visiting college students from across the country and other high schools students. Students have the option to live in the residence halls, eat in the dining halls, and get involved in extracurricular activities. Students are not supervised throughout the day like a camp, but they do have dedicated peer mentors and resident assistants that live in the residence halls with them. 

In the Summer University, students will: 

  • Gain academic credit that transfer to a future college or university (or back to high school)
  • Have access to libraries, labs, fitness center and everything Santa Cruz has to offer
  • Enjoy a welcome reception on Sunday, June 24 - parents welcome! (details will be sent to registered students)
  • Understand research university culture and academic expectations


joinJoin our email list, ask general or specific questions, and we'll remind you when the information is available. 

The Courses 

Choose from over 100 different Session 1 classes across 30 departments including Biology, Environmental Studies, Music, and more. High School students can enroll in any lower-division courses (those numbered 1 through 99) or contact the Summer Session office to request an exception. Favorite classes for high school students include Introduction to Programming Java (CMPS 5J), History (10B), Economics (Econ 1), and Fiction Literature (Lit 61).

In 2017, 78% of high school students taking courses earned a B or better and the average GPA of all high school students was 3.44. More high school data is available on our reports page

2019 Tuition & Fees Estimates

If you lived on campus for 5 weeks and took one 5 credit course:

Registration Fee = $50

Tuition = $697.50 ($279 per credit with 50% discount reflected)

Campus Fee = $283 (2018 rate, may vary in 2019)

Housing & Dining (single room, no roommates) = $1,853 (2018 rate, will vary in 2019)

Housing & Dining (triple room, 2 roommates) = $1,479 (2018 rate, will vary in 2019)

Total one course tuition plus living on campus = $2509.50 - $2883.50

Total one-course tuition living off campus = $980.50 (discount reflected)

This is for the 5-week, 5-credit program, including facilities like libraries, computer labs, gym/pool, and more.

Additional classes would increase the tuition per credit - a 5-week, 7-credit program would cost ~$3000.  A 5-week 10-credit program would cost ~$3500.  And so on.  A few classes have materials fees not included in these calculations. Other individual costs like textbooks, individual course fees, and travel not included. 

Next Steps:

  1. Register 
    International: students from countries outside the US needing a visa/I-20, click here for information.

  2. Submit your Verification Form (2019 form coming soon)
  3. Choose your classes

  4. Apply for Session 1 housing

  5. Visit (optional) - Join us for a UC Santa Cruz campus tour! Our informative Student Life and University Guides provide insight into the undergraduate experience, highlight our high-impact interdisciplinary research and world-renowned faculty, and showcase our stunning campus environment. Schedule a tour - http://admissions.ucsc.edu/visit/

Online Classes

Can't come to campus?  Take lower-division online classes from anywhere in the world! The Calculus series (Math 19A+19B), Intro to Drawing (Art 20L), and Philosophy (Phil 11) are popular online classes, great for a focused rising junior or senior.  Feel free to work with us as you think through which classes to take.

Session 2, 8 and 10-Week Classes

Students also have the option to take Summer Session 2, 8-week, or 10-week classes on-campus or online, through our regular "Summer Session". Although not a formal program, you still have the option to live on-campus, have full access to the campus, and the support of our office. The main difference between the Session 1 High School Summer University and attending classes in Session 2, 8-week, and 10-week are the dedicated peer advisers living in the halls, welcome orientation for students and families, and program-specific activities.

  • $50 Registration Fee (additional fee for International students)
  • $283 - Campus Fee (2018 fee, 2019 may vary)
  • $139.50 - Summer tuition per credit (reflects 50% HS discount)

# credits

with Campus Fee

2 $562
5 $980.50
7 $1,259.50
10 $1,678
12 $1,957
15 $2,375.50
  • Register starting April and submit your Verification Form to begin the process.
  • Optional housing and dining have separate rates based on room type and length of stay. 
  • There is no financial aid available for visiting students
  • Textbooks and other course materials are not included in tuition and campus fees