College Scholars Program

Professor Sandy Chung teaching an Endangered Languages honors course. Photo by Jim MacKenzie.

Updated June, 2021

The UC Santa Cruz College Scholars Program (CSP) offers a congenial and stimulating academic home for a select group of well-prepared first-year students at UC Santa Cruz. Through this honors program, students can expect to challenge themselves academically, find other students who are similarly motivated, and explore undergraduate research. This enriched program of study includes special courses, seminars, colloquia, and other events during each quarter of the student's first academic year and fall of the student's second academic year.

CSP provides an opportunity for outstanding students to engage deeply with the best of UCSC. Early in their career, students are able to explore the full potential of the university setting, beyond the coursework that might be required in their respective disciplines.  

CSP has close ties to the college system. In 2020-2021, Fall Start scholars (see below for information about Spring Start scholars) will be affiliated with either Cowell, Crown, Merrill or Porter College. Each of these colleges will have a cohort of 20-25 College Scholars Program students. When in-person, College Scholars in each college are housed alongside each other - usually in rooms on the same floor - but share a residence hall or dorm 'house' with non-College Scholars. All College Scholar students receive priority enrollment through Fall enrollment of their second year (four quarters total for Fall Start and two quarters total for Spring Start students). 

College Scholars Programs: Fall Start and Spring Start  

Fall Start—Invitation only: Entry into the Fall Start cohort of the College Scholars Program is by invitation only. A select group of UCSC applicants (who are offered admission to the university) will be invited by admissions to join the program based on a holistic review of their application. When in-person instruction resumes, those students who accept the invitation when they accept their admissions offer will be housed together at either Cowell, Crown, Merrill, or Porter College.

Spring Start—By application: Students can apply to the College Scholars Program after the Fall quarter of their first year. In this case, students accepted into CSP will join the program in Spring quarter and will participate in the spring research colloquium. Spring Start students will be selected based on applications reviewed by their colleges. Students may apply to Spring Start from any of UCSC’s colleges.

Inquiries regarding the College Scholars Program can be directed to Professor David Draper, Director of Undergraduate Honors Programs, ur_hnrs@ucsc.edu