UCLA Summer Sessions: Our Review

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng


UCLA Summer Sessions: Our Review

UCLA Summer Sessions allow students of varying educational backgrounds to engage in an enriching academic experience during the summer months. These sessions are designed to offer participants a glimpse into the rigorous academic environment of one of the world’s leading universities, while also providing the flexibility to accommodate a range of schedules and academic interests.

What are UCLA Summer Sessions?

UCLA’s Summer Sessions offer a comprehensive and flexible academic experience. These sessions include a variety of formats, such as in-person, hybrid, and fully online courses, allowing participants from around the globe to take advantage of UCLA’s academic excellence. The curriculum spans a broad range of subjects, from traditional academic disciplines to specialized intensive courses and professional development programs, designed to accelerate learning and enhance career opportunities.

The 2024 Summer Sessions are structured into multiple sessions ranging from 3 to 10 weeks, beginning on June 24 and ending on September 13, with specific sessions designated for different types of courses and programs. This structure is designed to accommodate the diverse needs and schedules of participants. 

Key deadlines for enrollment and payment are carefully laid out, with financial aid options available to eligible students to ensure access to these opportunities. The sessions not only focus on academic achievement but also on providing a holistic experience that includes access to campus resources, networking with peers and professionals, and engaging in a vibrant campus life, all within the picturesque setting of UCLA’s campus​​​​​​​​​​.

UCLA bear statue

Who Can Participate?

UCLA Summer Sessions are for all kinds of learners. This shows that UCLA is committed to education that goes beyond the usual limits.

Current UCLA and UC Students: For students already enrolled at UCLA or other University of California campuses, summer sessions offer a chance to accelerate their studies. By taking summer courses, they can advance their progress towards graduation, fulfill major requirements, or explore subjects outside their major without the usual term-time pressures. This can lead to a more flexible schedule during the regular academic year, potentially freeing up time for internships, research opportunities, or extracurricular engagement.

Incoming UCLA Students: Newly admitted students have the unique opportunity to get a head start on their UCLA education. Participating in summer sessions allows them to ease into college life, familiarize themselves with the campus, and start building their academic and social networks even before the fall term begins. It’s an excellent way for incoming students to transition smoothly into the demands of college-level coursework.

Visiting College Students: Students from other colleges and universities can also benefit from UCLA’s summer offerings. These sessions provide visiting students with the opportunity to take courses that may not be available at their home institutions, earn transferable credits, and experience the academic environment of another university. This can be particularly valuable for students looking to supplement their education or accelerate their path to graduation.

High School Students: High school students looking to challenge themselves academically can find UCLA’s Summer Sessions particularly rewarding. Participating in these programs allows them to experience college-level courses, earn college credits, and get a taste of campus life. This experience can be instrumental in preparing for the transition to college and making informed decisions about future academic and career paths.

Adults and Professionals: The summer sessions are not limited to traditional students. Adults and professionals seeking to expand their knowledge, change careers, or fulfill personal or professional development goals can find courses and programs tailored to their needs. Whether it’s taking a course in a new field or participating in a professional development program, UCLA’s summer sessions offer the resources and flexibility to support lifelong learning.

Programs in UCLA Summer Sessions

1. Summer Courses

  • Location: UCLA, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
  • Cost: $279 – $385 per unit
  • Program Date: Varies per selected course (June 24 – September 13, 2024)
  • Application Deadline: June 1, 2024
  • Eligibility: UCLA students, visiting college students, high school students, adults, and professionals

These courses, ranging from 6-10 weeks, are available both in-person and in a hybrid format, accommodating your schedule and learning preferences. The program is designed to mirror UCLA’s academic excellence, offering you a chance to earn college credit through engaging, high-quality courses taught by distinguished faculty. You’ll benefit from a unique summer experience that combines rigorous academics with the flexibility to enjoy your summer​​​​​​.

2. Summer Online Courses

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: $279 – $385 per unit
  • Program Date: Varies per selected course (June 24 – September 13, 2024)
  • Application Deadline: June 1, 2024
  • Eligibility: UCLA students, visiting college students, high school students, adults, and professionals

These courses allow you to earn UCLA credit from anywhere in the world, making it an ideal option if you’re looking to advance your education without the need to be on campus. The online format includes various interactive components, such as video lectures, discussions, and real-time feedback from instructors, ensuring you stay engaged and connected with your coursework and peers. This program is perfect for students seeking to balance their summer with both academic growth and other commitments​​​​.

3. Summer Intensives

  • Location: UCLA, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
  • Cost: $279 – $385 per unit
  • Program Date: Varies per selected course (June 24 – August 23, 2024)
  • Application Deadline: June 1, 2024
  • Eligibility: UCLA students, visiting college students, high school students, adults, and professionals

UCLA Summer Sessions’ Summer Intensives are an accelerated learning opportunity designed for you to earn the same amount of credit as a standard course in a much shorter timeframe, typically three weeks. This format is ideal if you’re looking to make the most of your summer by quickly advancing in your academic or career path. The condensed schedule is rigorous and requires your full engagement, but it also means you can achieve your educational goals more swiftly, leaving you time for other summer activities. 

Group of cheerful happy students holding world globe and looking at camera leaning on white wall at campus.

4. College/Professional Summer Institutes

  • Location: UCLA, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
  • Cost: $2209 – $8312
  • Program Date: Varies per selected course (June 24 – September 13, 2024)
  • Application Deadline: June 1, 2024
  • Eligibility: UCLA students, visiting college students, high school students, adults, and professionals

These institutes are tailored to give you a competitive edge in areas such as business, architecture, film, and more, by combining rigorous coursework with practical, hands-on experience. Ideal for both college students and professionals looking to expand their skills or pivot their career paths, these programs are designed to meet the demands of today’s industries. You’ll benefit from learning from experts, networking with professionals, and gaining insights that align with your career aspirations. This unique blend of academic and professional growth opportunities makes the College/Professional Summer Institutes a compelling choice for your summer educational plans​​​​.

5. Precollege Summer Institutes

  • Location: UCLA, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
  • Cost: $2889 – $6242
  • Program Date: Varies per selected course (June 24 – August 2, 2024)
  • Application Deadline: June 1, 2024
  • Eligibility: High school students

These institutes are crafted for high school students seeking to deepen their knowledge in specific areas of interest through a college-level curriculum. By participating, you not only gain valuable UCLA credits but also experience a slice of college life, from the academic rigor to the vibrant campus culture. This program is perfect if you’re eager to challenge yourself academically, explore potential career paths, or simply want to make the most of your summer learning from renowned faculty and alongside peers with similar interests​​​​.

6. Summer College Immersion Program

  • Location: UCLA, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
  • Cost: $2876 – $11254
  • Program Date: June 24 to August 2, 2024
  • Application Deadline: May 1, 2024
  • Eligibility: High school students

The UCLA Summer Session Summer College Immersion Program (SCIP) is designed to provide you with a comprehensive preview of the undergraduate experience at a top-ranked university. This program caters to academically advanced high school students who are eager to delve into college-level courses and gain insight into university life. By participating, you’ll earn college credit, engage in rigorous academic coursework, and participate in co-curricular activities that enhance your learning and personal growth. 

7. Global Leadership Program

  • Location: UCLA, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
  • Cost: $3090 – $4686
  • Program Date: June 24 – August 2, 2024
  • Application Deadline: June 1, 2024
  • Eligibility: Undergraduate students in final two years; working professionals

The UCLA Summer Session Global Leadership Program is designed to prepare you for a career that tackles global challenges and issues. This program offers you a unique opportunity to earn credit while gaining insight from industry leaders and learning how to be a pioneer for global impact. Throughout the program, you’ll engage in coursework that addresses prevalent worldwide topics, participate in discussions that broaden your understanding of global leadership, and collaborate with peers who share your interest in making a meaningful difference in the world.

Side view at multi-ethnic group of students using laptop while studying in college

How to Join UCLA Summer Sessions

Joining the UCLA Summer Sessions involves a series of steps designed to ensure you select the right courses or programs that match your academic and professional goals. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process, based on the most updated information as of today.

1. Understanding the Types of Offerings

Each the options cater to different interests and academic needs, from in-person and hybrid courses spanning 6-10 weeks to accelerated three-week courses and specialized institutes focusing on career development in specific fields. It’s crucial to explore these options thoroughly to determine which aligns best with your interests and academic or career goals​​​​.

2. Eligibility and Admission Requirements

Before applying, check the eligibility criteria for the program or course you’re interested in. For instance, Precollege Summer Institutes require students to be at least 15 years old and currently enrolled in high school, while College/Professional Summer Institutes necessitate that students be 18 years or older with a high school diploma or equivalent. Some programs have additional admission requirements, such as submission of transcripts, resumes, statements of purpose, or proof of English proficiency for international students​​.

Four cheerful students sitting together at the desk and studying while one man looking over shoulder and smiling

3. Registration and Enrollment Process

To join a program, you must first complete the applicable registration form, which becomes available starting February 15. After submitting your registration, some programs may require you to upload additional documents. It usually takes up to two weeks for your application to be reviewed, after which you’ll receive an email notification regarding your admission status. 

If admitted, you’ll follow the instructions in your acceptance email to make the required payment and complete any additional steps, such as signing a participant agreement. For courses with prerequisites, UCLA students will have these checked automatically, while visiting students are advised to have comparable experience​​.

4. Payment and Financial Aid

Understanding the cost and financial aid options is essential. Fees vary based on the type of student (e.g., UCLA, visiting UC, high school, adults, and professionals) and the chosen program or course. UCLA provides a fee calculator to estimate costs, and it’s important to note that some or all instruction may be delivered remotely, with tuition and fees remaining fixed regardless of the delivery method.

Financial aid is available for eligible UCLA and visiting UC students, while specific scholarships may support high school students from California. Unfortunately, financial aid is not available through UCLA for visiting domestic college students, adults, professionals, or international students, though other funding options may exist​​.

5. Preparing for Your Summer Session

After enrolling, prepare for your summer at UCLA by familiarizing yourself with the course or program schedule, required materials, and any preparatory tasks outlined by your instructors or program coordinators. Utilize UCLA’s online resources, such as MyUCLA and BruinLearn, to manage your enrollment, finances, and academic progress. Also, explore the campus services and resources available to UCLA Summer Bruins to maximize your summer experience​​​​.

By following these steps and making use of the resources provided by UCLA, you can ensure a smooth and rewarding experience with UCLA Summer Sessions.

Two young students communicate on the street, near the university

Why Choose UCLA Summer Sessions?

These sessions stand out for their academic excellence, a wide array of course options, flexible scheduling, and the potential for credit accumulation, catering to a diverse student body with varied academic goals and backgrounds.

1. Academic Excellence: UCLA is globally recognized for its high academic standards and innovative research. Students participating in the summer sessions benefit from the same level of rigor and quality in teaching as regular students during the academic year. This exposure to excellence helps students sharpen their intellect and prepares them for future academic challenges.

2. Diversity of Courses: The summer program at UCLA boasts an impressive range of courses across disciplines, from science and engineering to the arts and humanities. This variety allows students to explore new areas of interest, deepen their knowledge in a specific field, or even get a head start on major requirements. Whether you’re a high school student exploring future majors or a college student looking to accelerate your academic progress, UCLA’s summer sessions have something to offer.

3. Flexible Schedule: Understanding the busy schedules and diverse needs of summer learners, UCLA offers sessions of varying lengths – from three to ten weeks. This flexibility enables students to choose courses that fit their summer plans, whether they’re looking to dedicate a few weeks to intensive study or spread their learning out over the entire summer.

4. Credit Earning: One of the most tangible benefits of enrolling in UCLA’s Summer Sessions is the ability to earn college credits that can be applied toward degree requirements. For high school students, these credits can bolster college applications, showcasing their ability to succeed in college-level courses. College students can benefit by accelerating their path to graduation or exploring new academic interests without the pressure of the regular academic year.

Overall, UCLA’s Summer Sessions provide a unique opportunity for academic growth and exploration. They offer a window into the university’s vibrant academic community, allowing students to learn from esteemed faculty, engage with a diverse group of peers, and experience life on a leading university campus. 

This combination of factors makes UCLA’s Summer Sessions an attractive option for students looking to enhance their educational experience and make meaningful progress toward their academic and career goals.

Making the Most Out of Your Summer at UCLA

Balancing Academics and Leisure

  • Create a Schedule: Start by outlining a schedule that includes both study time and leisure activities. UCLA’s campus is alive with events and activities during the summer, and Los Angeles offers countless opportunities for exploration and enjoyment. A well-planned schedule will help you make the most of both.
  • Engage with Your Peers: Summer sessions attract students from all over the world. Take this chance to engage with your peers outside of the classroom. Group study sessions can be a great way to enhance learning while social events and outings provide a break from the books.
  • Explore Campus Resources: UCLA provides numerous resources to summer students, including libraries, study spaces, and fitness facilities. Utilizing these resources can enhance your academic success and personal well-being.
  • Take Advantage of Campus Events: Summer at UCLA features a variety of events, from guest lectures and workshops to concerts and movie nights. These events offer a break from your studies and a chance to experience the campus culture.

Enjoying Summer in Los Angeles

  • Beach Days: Los Angeles is famous for its beautiful beaches. A day trip to Santa Monica or Venice Beach can provide a refreshing break from your studies.
  • Cultural Experiences: Take advantage of LA’s rich cultural scene. Visit museums like the Getty or LACMA, explore the diverse culinary landscape, or attend a live show or concert.
  • Outdoor Activities: LA’s sunny weather is perfect for outdoor activities. Hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains, biking along the beach paths, or enjoying a picnic in Griffith Park are great ways to enjoy the outdoors.
  • Networking Opportunities: Summer is a great time to network with professionals in your field of interest. Attend industry events, workshops, or lectures that align with your career goals.

students looking out into the university

Final Thoughts

UCLA’s Summer Sessions offer a dynamic and enriching educational experience, allowing students from diverse backgrounds to advance their academic pursuits, explore new areas of interest, and immerse themselves in the vibrant culture of Los Angeles.

The value of participating extends beyond the immediate academic benefits. It shows personal growth, cultural enrichment, and the development of skills that are invaluable for future academic and career endeavors. Students leave not only with additional credits but also with new perspectives, friendships, and a deeper understanding of their own capabilities and interests.

We encourage you to seize this opportunity to enhance your educational journey. Here’s to a summer that promises not just learning, but also growth, discovery, and adventure.


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