Pre-College Programs

UC Santa Barbara allows students to choose from six exciting programs which are designed for different kinds of students: the Early Start Program (ESP), Academic & Enrichment Program (1+1), Enrichment Program, Research Mentorship Program (RMP), Science & Engineering Research Academy (SERA) and the Local High School Student Program. These programs give high school students the unique opportunity to take regular UC Santa Barbara courses. We offer over 100 courses to choose from in 40 academic departments. Although the programs are fairly similar, there are a few differences that are tailored to students who have different goals for the summer. You will find the differences listed below.

For more information about the residential Pre-College programs and to apply please visit:

Early Start Program (Session A)

ESP 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 & Enrichment Program (Session A)

The Academic & Enrichment Program (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 Program (Session A)

This program allows residential students to enroll in 2 UCSB 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.

Local Area High School Student Option

Local high school students may enroll in UC Santa Barbara summer courses for which they are academically qualified and prepared to take. While the summer term is open enrollment, all students must complete listed prerequisite(s) required to enroll in a course. Also, students need to have a minimum 3.0 GPA verified by an unofficial high school transcript submitted at the time of application.

Click HERE to apply as a local area high school student.