About the Academies

Overview and Program Eligibility

The Summer Session office coordinates three early start programs called the Summer Academies for new incoming students who have been admitted to UCSC for the fall quarter. These programs give incoming students the opportunity to get a head start with credits by taking summer classes, to connect with peers, faculty, staff, and to build confidence on campus and with campus resources. Eligible students include any new student who has been admitted to UCSC for the fall quarter, and are one of the following: A first-year domestic student, a first year international student, or an incoming transfer student. The First Year AcademyInternational Academy, and Transfer Academy ensure academic success in the first fall quarter and beyond as well as a smooth transition to UCSC.  

Course Work

The Academy programs coincide with Session 2 of UCSC’s Summer Session for a total of 5 weeks of course instruction. Over the course of the program, the First Year, International, and Transfer Academy programs allow students to earn credits towards graduation by taking one required 2-credit academic success course offered exclusively to Academy students, in addition to one 5-credit course of choice. For the International Academy, an advanced academic writing course is offered to prepare students for the expectations and workload of writing and research at UCSC.

Summer Session vs. Summer Academy, what is the difference?

The Summer Session office coordinates UCSC’s summer quarter (referred to generally as ‘Summer Session’). Summer Session is comprised of two 5-week Sessions. Coinciding with Session 1 and Session 2 courses are a smaller number of 8-week and 10-week courses. Summer Session has an open enrollment policy, all UCSC students, junior and senior high school students, students from other universities and members of the community are all invited to take Summer Session courses at UCSC.

The Summer Academy programs are exclusive to incoming fall admitted students with the mission of giving new students a head start academically and to support their transition to UCSC. While the courses taken by Academy students take place during Summer Session’s second session alongside non-Academy students, these programs differ from general Summer Session by:

  • Offering an academic success course tailored to new incoming students

  • Giving students direct access to a Peer Mentor – second, third, and fourth year students who provide student to student support, guidance, and role modeling

  • Providing students with the opportunity to meet other incoming students

  • Engaging students in activities, trips, and workshops planned especially for Academy students

  • Giving students the opportunity to bond and connect with other new students as they build a supportive community of peers before fall

academy landscape