Early Start Program

The Early Start Program (ESP) allows high school students to attend UC Santa Barbara in the summer and live in residential housing. Students can choose from three different options: Academic (two academic courses), Academic and Enrichment (one academic course and one non-credit bearing course), or Enrichment (two non-credit bearing courses). High school students who are looking to increase their competitiveness when applying to college should enroll in this program. ESP provides students the opportunity to explore some of the university’s different disciplines and gain valuable college experience.

For more information about these residential Pre-College programs and to apply, please visit Summer Discovery.

Academic Option:

Students enroll in two UC Santa Barbara courses and live in a residence hall for six-weeks. High school students who are looking to increase their competitiveness when applying to UCs or other top universities in the nation should enroll in this program. By taking two academic courses, ESP provides students the opportunity to explore some of the university’s different disciplines and gain valuable college experience. Minimum required GPA is 3.3. 

Academic and Enrichment Option:

(1+1) allows students to enroll in one UC Santa Barbara academic course and one non-credit, skills based enrichment course. This residential program is ideal for students who would like to experience the rigor of a university curriculum while being able to focus solely on one course, the opportunity to apply practical skills to theoretical frameworks of university disciplines, or to supplement their one academic course with non-credit courses that teach practical skills not normally taught at UC Santa Barbara for university credit. Minimum required GPA is 3.15.

Enrichment Option:

This option allows residential students to enroll in two UC Santa Barbara non-credit courses. Students who enroll in this option will enjoy the benefit of choosing courses from a wide variety of subjects intended for personal growth. Minimum required GPA is 2.75.

Early Start Scholarship Application

If you are interested in an Early Start Scholarship Application, please click here. However, students are only eligible for the ESP scholarship if they are applying to the Academic Option and are California residents.