About the Academies

You’ve been accepted to UC Santa Cruz, and you’re counting the days until you come to Santa Cruz. We get it: Now you can jumpstart your first year with Summer Academy!

Summer Academy gives incoming freshmen and transfer students a head start on campus life before the busyness of the fall semester. For six weeks, eat in the dining halls, live in the residence halls, and earn seven or more credits in much smaller class sizes — all while you’re making friends to last a lifetime.

Overview and Program Eligibility

The Summer Session office coordinates three early start programs called the Summer Academies for new incoming students 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. Throughout the program, the First Year, International, and Transfer Academies 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 optional summer quarter (referred to generally as ‘Summer Session’). Summer Session is 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 a chance to bond and connect with other new students as they build a supportive community of peers before fall
If you were invited to apply to the Engineering Academy, which includes a week-long residential program, visit their site at https://mep.soe.ucsc.edu/

academy landscape