College Scholars Frequently Asked Questions

College Scholar Program Cohort Fall 2021

General Questions


Does being a part of the College Scholars program have an impact on the workload outside
of class?

In general, we find that students are easily able to integrate the activities of the College Scholars Program with their other coursework. The two quarters with the biggest time commitment are the 2-unit Service Learning course (Winter quarter, Year 1) and the 5-unit research seminar (Fall quarter, Year 2). On a positive note, both of these courses satisfy GE requirements.

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What are the benefits of the College Scholars Program?

There are many benefits! As a College Scholars Program participant, you are part of a group of highly motivated students that can provide a sense of community and support. You are able to enroll in a variety of courses that are restricted to only College Scholars. These courses are opportunities to engage with faculty, develop skills for academic success, and explore different forms of inquiry. One of the main benefits is that the program provides early exposure to undergraduate research. In our spring Faculty Research Colloquium, students learn about many kinds of research happening on campus. We also help students develop the networking and communication skills to seek out potential research opportunities. Finally, students take a research-based seminar early in their career at UCSC (usually Fall quarter, Year 2). Refer to the courses listed on the program's curriculum page for more details. Participants will also receive priority enrollment through Fall quarter of their second year (a total of 4 quarters for Fall Start students and 2 quarters for Spring Start students).

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I just got admitted to UCSC, but did not get an invitation to join the College Scholars Program. Can I still get into the program?

We are working on expanding program access to second-year students. Stay tuned for more information.

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I am a transfer student. Can I apply to the College Scholars Program?

We are working on providing an entry point for transfer students. In the meantime, there are other ways for non-first year students to gain similar experiences. 

If you are in a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) field, consider attending WEST, Workshops for Engineering & Science Transfers. WEST gives transferring students a jump-start on entering UCSC science and engineering majors.

Begin building personal relationships with a faculty member. A good practice is to attend office hours weekly for at least one class. Ask questions about the class, but also ask about the professor's research and career path. In addition to helping you with the class, in some cases a professor might be able to help you discover positions in labs or help you find work as an undergraduate research assistant.

Begin to research summer programs as soon as possible. It may be challenging to get a position on campus if you have just arrived, and a successful summer research experience may give you an advantage. See STEM Diversity Programs.

Consider classes in your department that involve doing research. You can receive course credit and also build a relationship with a professor. Internships and Field Study opportunities are also popular ways to enrich your educational experience.

Utilize the support available for transfer students at STARS and other academic support units.

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As a current UCSC student, how do I apply to the College Scholars Program?

Currently, the program is only available to frosh by invitation at the time of admission to UC Santa Cruz. We will be expanding the program to other students soon. Stay tuned.

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Can you tell me more about the on-campus housing placement for College Scholars?

When a student is offered admission to UC Santa Cruz and is invited to join the College Scholars Program, they select their top choices for any of the 10 colleges on campus when they accept their offer of admission. A student must affiliate with a college even if they plan on living off-campus. CSP students who chose to live on-campus are provided college housing with other program participants, sometimes as roommates, but this can vary. Specific housing placements are made by the housing offices at each college and students can reach out to their college housing office for questions regarding placement.

Does the separate lodging of College Scholars Program students impact interactions between them and the general student body?

The housing arrangements for CSP students help build a strong cohort within the program. CSP students do not have "separate" lodging. There will be non-CSP students in the same building. As a result, these connections don't diminish the opportunity to meet other students. 

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When does a participant of the program lose their priority enrollment?

Participants in the program may lose their priority enrollment in two ways. The first being that the participant does not actively engage in the program curriculum by enrolling in the required courses. The second includes reaching the culmination of the program. Once the student enters the last quarter of the program (fall quarter of the second year) the priority enrollment benefit granted as a College Scholar will end. 

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How can I get more information about the program?

Contact the College Scholars Program Coordinator by email at

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