UC Scholars FAQ

Following are commonly asked questions about the UC High School Scholars Program available through the UCSC Extenstion:

What is the UC Scholars Program?

The High School Scholars Program, offered through University Extension, provides an opportunity for qualified seniors who attend Santa Cruz County high schools to take UC Santa Cruz academic courses. The program is administered through University Extension in cooperation with Cowell College. Program advisors help the participants select appropriate courses from those available.

What are the minimum qualifications to participate in the program?

In general, to participate in the program, students must have a UC GPA (a-g academic GPA) of 3.8 and a minimim score of 1875 on the SAT Reasoning Test (or a total score of 79 on the mathematics, reading and English/writing sections of the ACT). Alternatively, students with a 3.9 UC GPA require scores of 1800 and 76 respectively. Students must also obtain a recommendation from the high school principal or counselor. For more information regarding qualifications, and to ensure that the qualifications have not changed, see the UC High School Scholars Program Website.

Note: To provide test scores for admission to the program, students must take the SAT or ACT tests by the spring of their junior year.

How do I schedule my Grade Twelve classes this spring if I don't know what classes I will take at UCSC in the fall?

You need to sign up for the SCHS classes that you need for graduation or would like to take, and list UCSC Special Projects on your class request sheet. The high school counseling office will, in general, try to schedule you into an open fourth, and third period, where applicable. This does mean that for your UCSC classes you will have to make choices based on what is of interest to you, and what UC courses are available when you are out of your SCHS classes. Also remember that UCSC and SCHS typically do not have spring break at the same time.

Will the classes be harder than I am used to at SCHS?

The answer to this is as individual as you are. In general, some will be harder and some may be easier, depending on your preparation and interest in the course you have chosen to take.

How many classes should I take at UCSC?

Most of our students take between one and six classes in total over the three quarters: fall, winter, and spring. You must take a minimum of one 5 credit class and you cannot take more than ten credits in any given quarter. Cost in 1999-2000 was approximately $400 per quarter regardless of how many credits were taken. Ten credits at UCSC and two classes at SCHS is usually a full load for most students.

I am anxious to choose my classes so they will fit in with my UC program after I graduate. How will I know what to choose and whether the UC campus I attend as a freshman will give me credit for these classes?

Check the UC catalog for both campuses and compare the required courses for your major as well as the GEN ED requirements. This may help you choose classes at UCSC that you would need to take in the course of your undergraduate program. Your UCSC units will transfer to any other UC campus. How these affect your Gen Ed requirements or major requirements at another UC campus will be determined by the university that you decide to attend. Different UC campuses offer different classes and require different GEN ED courses. Also, it is important that you take classes for a letter grade if you want credit at another institution.

My classes at SCHS end at 11:15 but the class I want to take at UCSC starts at 11:30. What do I do?

In general you need to allow at LEAST 15 minutes between your SCHS classes and UCSC classes; 40 -60 minutes if you plan to drive your own car unless you have a parking permit. Parking on campus is extremely limited, expensive and even with a permit you are not guaranteed to find a space available. Students in the past have relied on the bus, or parents and friends driving (so consult with your parent driver when you are choosing your schedule. The city bus is at the main entrance to campus at 12:15 MWF and 11:45 T TH , and shuttles on campus are very convenient. Areas around the university where you might park and take the bus require city-parking permits if you park over 2 hrs. If you plan to near UCSC and ride the bus you will find single classes that you take on the MWF schedule work best for this, as the T Th classes take you over the two hour parking limits imposed in the residential areas around the base of campus.

I am trying to plan my sports practices - will I be able to participate? When are the UCSC classes offered?

Standard times for classes are:

Either MWF OR Tues./ Thurs.

  • 8:00 - 9:10 8:00-9:45
  • 9:30-10:40 10:00-11:45
  • 11:00-12:10
  • 12:30-1:40* 12:00-1:45*
  • 2:00-3:10* 2:00-3:45*
  • 3:30-4:40 4:00-5:45
  • 5:00-6:10
  • 6:00-7:45
  • 7:00-8:45

*These class times fit the best with the SCHS bell schedule of classes as they roughly correspond to an open 3rd and 4th period class at SCHS.

In addition, remember that some classes have mandatory discussion groups that meet at a different time than the regular lecture and these may meet in the. If you are taking American Government at SCHS you will have some evening community meetings to attend as part of your high school class. While teachers at both schools recognize that students sometimes miss a class, many classes at UCSC require participation and attendance. Sports schedules that conflict with this are strongly discouraged. Regular absences from either school may result in failing grades.

Do I have to be on campus five days a week for classes?

This is a personal preference. Students usually will find it is less frantic if they plan to take classes back to back either on the MWF schedule or the TTh schedule. This means that you may need to be flexible in choosing classes.

What should I take at UCSC?

The best advice is to read the course catalog thoroughly and choose classes that you might like to take over the entire year, which meet your interests, Gen. Ed and program requirements. After the course schedule( for each quarter) comes out you can see if the classes are available at a time that suits your SCHS and sport schedules. UCSC will give you a list of classes that you should consider. Do not plan to take any class with a course number higher than 99. Also check and see if the class has prerequisites.

The class I want to take has a prerequisite. Does that mean I can't take it?

Generally yes, but not always. If you have written AP exams at high school as a junior your score of 3 or higher may exempt you from some prerequisites. This is not automatic - you have to take the information to the campus department offering the class for review. Once they enter your data into the computer you will be allowed to register for a class with that prerequisite. For example: Calculus AB score of 3 = credit for Math 11A; 4= either Math 11A or 19A. Calculus BC score of 3=Math 11a+11b; 4= either Math11a+b or Math19a+b. Art, History, Languages, Literature, Music and Physics prerequisites are not exempted by AP scores. Biology, Chemistry, Languages, Math and Music offer placement tests that you can take prior to enrolling.

My parents have questions about the program. Who should they call?

The UCSC staff are friendly and helpful and just a phone call away. If they have questions about admissions to the program they can contact:Sharon Dirnberger 459-2131. Once you are admitted to the program if they have questions about classes and the program in general they can contact: Lynne Wolcott 459-2949. Also, at any time feel free to call our parent coordinator who has volunteered to be the liaison between the high school and the university.

How do I get more information about the program?

For more information regarding the program, see the UC High School Scholars Program Website.