UC Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, California

Get InfoApply NowSpecial courses in 2021 in Marine Science, Surfing, and Research Mentorship Program3, 4 or 6 Week Residential ProgramsTuition ranging from $7,599 - $10,899For students completing grades 9, 10, 11, 12 (ages 14-18)
3 WeeksSpend 3 weeks on campus in one of our intensive academies
4 WeeksSummer Research Academies (SRA)
6 WeeksResearch Mentorship Program (RMP)
Option 1: AcademiesIntensive, all-day academies focused on one academic area.
Option 2: College Credit & ResearchRigorous college research options.
All applications for UCSB research programs must be summitted to UCSB directly
  • Academies
    • STEM 3
      • Engineering & Robotics Academy

        Do you have what it takes to compete? In this innovative institute, your teamwork and skills will be challenged and tested as you design and build robots and catapults. This hands-on institute is based upon existing electromechanical competitions and can adjust to a variety of skill levels. Through the following two courses, learn to solve electromechanical problems, develop skills in brainstorming, concept selection, spatial reasoning, teamwork, communication, manufacturing processes, and reverse engineering. 

        Robotics: Autonomous Robots Competition: Work in teams to build and program moving robots to compete in an autonomous sumo wrestling match. 

        Develop skills in: Brainstorming to identify what your robot needs to be the best. Teamwork and Communication by working in groups of various skill levels. Students share knowledge and experiences, and play a role in the development and programming of the team robot. Program the motions needed to outmaneuver the other robots to develop problem solving and concept development skills. And increase creativity by resolving programming problems on the fly.

        Mechanism Design and Build Challenge: Work in teams with limited materials to experience all phases of the product development cycle by designing, building, revising, and testing a catapult prototype. 

        In this course, students will learn to work as a team to overcome design and implementation challenges. Learn engineering concepts and expand knowledge of material properties. Build confidence in their abilities to handle complex projects as they plan and create a practical project from initial design to final catapult. The courses that make up this institute can be taken individually with another 4 week enrichment course.

        Who Should Take This Course?This course is suitable for students who intend to pursue a career in the field of robotics or engineering, or just enjoy having fun creating their own robots and designs.HighlightsStudents solve electromechanical problems, develop skills in brainstorming, concept selection, spatial reasoning, teamwork and communication.DatesJun 27 - Jul 16: 3 WeeksSimilar Course Available AtUCLA Middle School Enrichment, U Colorado Boulder, Georgetown U, Georgetown Middle School EnrichmentApply NowCall Us: 516-621-3939
      • Blockchain Academy

        What are Blockchains and Distributed Ledger Technologies? What makes Blockchains and Distributed Ledger Technologies unique? This course will explore these questions as student gain an in-depth knowledge of Blockchains while looking at the history of Blockchain technology's development and the future of blockchain technology, AI, and digital privacy. Look into different applications and cryptocurrencies to develop an understanding of real-world use cases for Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies.

        Who Should Take This Course?This course is suitable for students who are interested in the disruptive technology of blockchain and its possible applications in different industries.HighlightsStudents will be able to identify and define blockchain terminology and concepts. Students will be able to analyze different applications for blockchain in new and existing businesses. Students will be able to discuss the barriers and solutions that will impact the future of blockchain.DatesJun 27 - Jul 16: 3 WeeksSimilar Course Available AtGeorgetown U, Georgetown Middle School Enrichment, U Colorado BoulderApply NowCall Us: 516-621-3939
      • Marine Science Academy

        Have you thought about how our planet will look like when you’ll be older? The best way of taking care of something is getting to know it better. This course will provide you with essentials to get to know our beautiful vast ocean. Some of the topics we will explore are marine ecology, marine ecosystems, ocean problems, and possible solutions. We will learn together through field trips, games, art, debates, and science projects. This is a hands-on course where the classroom will be the beaches and marshes, the whiteboard will be the sand, and your voice and enthusiasm will play an important role while we discover the wonders of the marine ecosystems, their challenges and our responsibility to look after them.

        Who Should Take This Course?Students that feel comfortable in the outdoors that enjoy being in nature, have curiosity and like to think about different forms of life in general. If you love the oceans and want to explore more, or you would like to know more about them, this course is perfect for you, especially if you are not afraid of getting wet and sandy!HighlightsThis is a very hands on class with little in class time. Students will go on a number of field trips, work collaboratively on projects, and improve public speaking by presenting their final projects to their peers.DatesJun 27 - Jul 16: 3 WeeksSimilar Course Available AtUCSB & UCLAApply NowCall Us: 516-621-3939
    • Medicine 1
      • Medicine Academy

        Build a strong foundational knowledge of the field of medicine, while taking an in depth look into the structure and science of the brain. Through experiential learning activities, participate in and explore the various career possibilities that exist within the field. Take a look at today’s most pressing medical issues and analyze the use of medical knowledge for the wider community.

        Neuroscience: Dive into an in-depth look at one of our most complex organs. Learn how the brain works, exploring topics such as memory, and how we as people learn and think.

        Medical Symptoms and Diagnosis: Explore some of today’s most pressing medical issues, which involve the understanding of biology and societal processes and contemporary efforts to translate medical knowledge into useable knowledge for the wider community. This course provides a broad introduction to the field of medicine, combining topics in related sciences like medical biology, kinesiology, pharmacology, infectious diseases, cancer, and mental health, plus innovative work by doctors and health practitioners to reduce health disparities among populations shouldering a disproportionate burden of disease, disability, and death.

        Who Should Take This Course?This course is suitable for students who want to discover if a career in healthcare is the right path for them and students who love science or are generally interested in finding out how our brains work.HighlightsStudents participate in experiential learning activities and explore the various career possibilities that exist within the field.DatesJun 27 - Jul 16: 3 WeeksSimilar Course Available AtU Texas Austin, U Michigan, Georgetown U, PennApply NowCall Us: 516-621-3939
    • Business & Entrepreneurship 1
      • Finance and Marketing Academy

        Learn how to start a business and gain the ability to take charge of your own financial life. Discover how to create a marketing plan that identifies and targets markets. This intensive academy will give you the knowledge of business and marketing to be an entrepreneur on a global scale.

        Personal Finance & Entrepreneurship: Learn the principles of investing and saving, including stocks and bonds. Discuss credit and investment, the difference between the NYSE and the NASDAQ, and how to deal with interest rates in an easy to understand way.

        Marketing & Advertising In the Global Marketplace: Explore the fundamentals of marketing and advertising for various international audiences via multiple media channels. Focus on creating integrated marketing campaigns with real-world marketing strategies using digital and traditional tactics.

        Who Should Take This Course?Any student who wishes to gain a knowledge of how best to manage their own finances as well as prepare to be successful in the world of business.HighlightsStudents will learn how to be fiscally responsible and will compete in a Shark Tank competition.DatesJun 27 - Jul 16: 3 WeeksSimilar Course Available AtHult International Business School, London, UCLA Anderson Business, U Texas Austin, U Michigan, Georgetown UApply NowCall Us: 516-621-3939
  • College Credit & Research
    • STEM 2
      • Research Mentorship Program (RMP)

        The Research Mentorship Program is a competitive, six-week summer program that engages qualified, high-achieving high school students from all over the world in interdisciplinary, hands-on, university-level research. Students will be paired up with a mentor (graduate student, postdoc, or faculty) and choose a research project from a large list of disciplines offered by the program each year.

        In addition to gaining a deep relationship with their mentor, they will learn about research techniques, gain insight into professional research-based opportunities, and mature their academic goals. The lecture series - GRIT talks - will connect students to some of the best minds among the UCSB research community who present on their ground-breaking research and innovative technology. Along with these academic benefits, the students will be immersed in university life and networked with equally ambitious and curious peers.

        Click here to get more information about RMP.

        Who Should Take This Course?This program is designed for highly motivated 10th and 11th grade students who have a strong academic background including research experience. A minimum GPA of 3.8 is required to apply to this program.HighlightsStudents will learn to describe their research findings in professional style technical papers, present the research at a formal university symposium, and earn university credits which will become part of their permanent record at UC Santa Barbara. Students earn 8 UC credits after successfully completing this program.DatesJun 20 - Jul 30: 6 WeeksSimilar Course Available AtPennApply NowCall Us: 516-621-3939
      • Summer Research Academies (SRA)

        Summer Research Academies (formerly Science & Engineering Research Academy) offer a dynamic, 4-week residential that introduces qualified high school students to the research enterprise through project-based, directed research in STEM, Humanities, and Social Sciences fields. Students will develop academic and professional skills by presenting their research findings in a capstone seminar, networking with peers, and experiencing university life in a challenging environment. The lecture series - GRIT talks - will connect students to some of the best minds among the UC Santa Barbara research community who present on their ground-breaking research and innovative technology. Students apply into one of seven tracks (See Law & Government for Track 2, Social Sciences for Tracks 5 & 7, Arts & Design for Track 3).

        Track 1: The Final Frontier – Dissecting the Circuits of the Brain

        Disciplines: Artificial Neural Network Modeling, Neurobehavioral Methods, Learning and Memory, Neurobiology of Disease

        The human brain represents one of the final frontiers for scientific understanding. It holds a notable complexity that challenges us to be creative in our experimental approaches. This complexity relates to our brains integrating the ability of sensation such as hearing and sight, memory and learning, and the capability to pursue goal-directed actions within various environments. Further, injury and disease assail these abilities, comprising them, but also providing us a window into comprehending the guiding principles that undergird the brain. Therefore, this class seeks to introduce students to basic principles of neuroscience, and foster within them an understanding that will stimulate their curiosity, and empower them to solve problems with innovative techniques. Students will actively be trained via case studies with appropriate labs in four progressive modules: exploring “elementary particles” of neural circuits - neurons and synapses; modeling simple neural circuits using motor central pattern generators and artificial neural networks; investigating complex neural circuits with system approaches to learning and memory; and probing dysfunction of neural circuits through brain malady with special focus on dementias such as Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease.

        Track 3: Sensing the World – Exploring Wearable Technology through Soft Robotics

        Disciplines: Biomimicry, Pneumatic Architecture, Media Arts & Technology, Human-Computer Interaction 

        Conventional wearable robots designed with rigid materials, such as metal and hard plastic, are often limited by their lower flexibility, functionality, and biological compatibility. With sensory technology and novel materials, can we rethink the wearable device as a soft and organic interface? Sensing the world is connecting the body (or mechanics), the brain (or controller), and the environment. In this course, we will focus on the emerging field of soft robotics, bringing together research and applications of wearable technology. We will introduce the concept of computational morphology in soft robotics and study the design principles using 3D modeling tools. Specific topics include body architecture, pneumatic architecture, soft mechanism, smart material, biomimicry design, geometrical morphology, sensory technology, embodied intelligence, wearable computing, and human-robot interaction. We will also discuss the soft wearable applications in art, communication, fitness, entertainment, medicine, and sports, and so on. Through a series of hands-on activities, students will explore digital fabrication, soft motion mechanisms, soft actuation, and wearable sensors. By the end of the course, students will design, modeling, and build of a wearable device, and analysis the human-robot interaction.

        Track 4: Our Dynamic Earth – Understanding Human Impacts on Environmental Processes

        Disciplines: Biogeography, Terrestrial Ecology, Plant physiology, Climate Change

        Earth’s landscapes are changing and the role that humans play is transformative. The decimation of forests, diversion of dams, and rapid urbanization, drastically transform natural landscapes around the world. With the advancement of technology, scientists can monitor and measure the impact that humans have on the natural cycles of earth's processes. This course will explore the physical conditions of energy, hydrology, and vegetation that combine to form patterns of distinct land types. Topics include earth’s energy balance, the water cycle, and plant processes such as photosynthesis and evapotranspiration. We will dive into the different ways that humans alter landscapes, and how we can maintain and protect natural processes. With Santa Barbara as a backdrop, we will investigate coastal to mountainous ecosystems, urban to rural gradients, and everything in between to explore the relationships between water, energy, and vegetation. We will examine how environmental scientists measure and estimate these processes and learn new tools including GIS and data analysis in Excel and R. We will use the campus’s ideal proximity to these different ecosystem types, field work from the Geography department and the Bren School, and much more to explore these interdisciplinary themes.

        Track 6:  Thinking Machines – A Dive Into Modern Artificial Intelligence

        Disciplines: Computer Science, Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Mathematics

        We live currently in a golden era of AI – where machine learning algorithms are used in everything from smart assistants and self-driving cars to artificially-generated TV news anchors and Snapchat filters. AI algorithms are extremely good at noticing important features and their interactions in very complex scenarios either involving multiple stimuli combined with a quick-decision making (as in driving) or ones involving seemingly meaningless data that otherwise would require years of expertise to understand (as in cancer detection in CT scans). In this course, we will focus on understanding the concepts of the modern AI research field based on the applications in computer vision such as face recognition, car detection and image segmentation for autonomous driving, image generation, and many others. This course will help participants understand the current limits and possibilities of the AI systems in the computer vision field along with practical examples ranging from object recognition to fake-image generation. This is a great opportunity for students interested in getting to know the tools of present-day AI as well as ones just willing to better understand the surrounding world of modern technology. 

        Click here to get more information about SRA.

        Who Should Take This Course?This program is designed for highly motivated 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students who have a strong academic and extracurricular background. A minimum GPA of 3.6 is required to apply to this program.HighlightsStudents will be taking an interdisciplinary research course that teaches fundamental concepts in the particular track they choose, leading to more specific topics current in the field. Students will learn how to compose a formal research report and gain key communication skills to effectively present findings. Students earn 4 UC credits after successfully completing this program.DatesSimilar Course Available AtPenn, U Colorado Boulder, U Texas AustinApply NowCall Us: 516-621-3939
    • Social Sciences 2
      • Research Mentorship Program (RMP)

        The Research Mentorship Program is a competitive, six-week summer program that engages qualified, high-achieving high school students from all over the world in interdisciplinary, hands-on, university-level research. Students will be paired up with a mentor (graduate student, postdoc, or faculty) and choose a research project from a large list of disciplines offered by the program each year.

        In addition to gaining a deep relationship with their mentor, they will learn about research techniques, gain insight into professional research-based opportunities, and mature their academic goals. The lecture series - GRIT talks - will connect students to some of the best minds among the UCSB research community who present on their ground-breaking research and innovative technology. Along with these academic benefits, the students will be immersed in university life and networked with equally ambitious and curious peers.

        Click here to get more information about RMP.

        Who Should Take This Course?This program is designed for highly motivated 10th and 11th grade students who have a strong academic background including research experience. A minimum GPA of 3.8 is required to apply to this program.HighlightsStudents will learn to describe their research findings in professional style technical papers, present the research at a formal university symposium, and earn university credits which will become part of their permanent record at UC Santa Barbara. Students earn 8 UC credits after successfully completing this program.DatesJun 20 - Jul 30: 6 WeeksSimilar Course Available AtPennApply NowCall Us: 516-621-3939
      • Summer Research Academies (SRA)

        Summer Research Academies (formerly Science & Engineering Research Academy) offer a dynamic, 4-week residential that introduces qualified high school students to the research enterprise through project-based, directed research in STEM, Humanities, and Social Sciences fields. Students will develop academic and professional skills by presenting their research findings in a capstone seminar, networking with peers, and experiencing university life in a challenging environment. The lecture series - GRIT talks - will connect students to some of the best minds among the UC Santa Barbara research community who present on their ground-breaking research and innovative technology. Students apply into one of seven tracks (See STEM for Tracks 1,3,4, and 6, Law & Government for Track 2, and Arts & Design for Track 3).

        Track 5: Freedom Fighters – Studying the Science of Social Movements 

        Disciplines: Sociology, History, Feminist Studies, Qualitative Methods

        From the founding of our nation through the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movement, the battle for justice and equality have long been fought through social movements. Though they are in part responsible for many important gains in history, the amorphous nature of their development and organization can often make them seem difficult to study. Their multifacetedness, however, actually makes them an especially interesting lens through which to learn social sciences methodology. This course seeks to introduce students to the essentials of conducting interdisciplinary research in the social sciences disciplines, through a focus on social movements. Lectures will explore the following topics: understanding the history of social movements and theories of social change; when and why do social movements occur, movement networks and analysis, who join and support movements, how movements are organized, the role of social media and technology, and framing and identity.  As part of their project, students will conduct primary data collection, which could include conducting 2 to 3 interviews, a focus group, participant observation, document analysis or a survey. Through both lectures and labs, students will receive an overview of the major methodologies used in the social sciences and get to practice them out in the real world.

        Track 7:  Media Forensics: A Probe into Multilayered Communication Flows

        Disciplines: Media and Communication Studies, New Media Technologies, Journalism, Media Ethics

        The early 2000s called it an “emerging discipline.” However, the controversies surrounding WikiLeaks, News of the World, Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, Mossack Fonseca, and fake news have, yet again, prompted scholars-activists to critically evaluate mass media, and their impact on political power and the global economy. We often see media as drivers of political and social change, but these very technologies embody the values and assumptions as well as conflicts of the societies that produce them. What do they tell us about our globalizing world? Do they “rewire” society and drive social (information access), political (revolutions), economic (e-currency), or technological (machine learning, augmented reality, self-driving cars) change? Or do they do the opposite? This course prompts critical ways of thinking about major developments of the 21st century as driven by communication flows which, when deconstructed, can help us understand the world around us. Grounded in Media and Science & Technology Studies, we will get our feet wet with the inherent relationships among society, media and technology, to progressively examine media institutions, audiences and effects in the context of propaganda, labor, privacy, social media networks, online hate, fake news and virality as well as contemporary threats to journalism and liberal world order.

        Click here to get more information about SRA.

        Who Should Take This Course?This program is designed for highly motivated 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students who have a strong academic and extracurricular background. A minimum GPA of 3.6 is required to apply to this program.HighlightsStudents will be taking an interdisciplinary research course that teaches fundamental concepts in the particular track they choose, leading to more specific topics current in the field. Students will learn how to compose a formal research report and gain key communication skills to effectively present findings. Students earn 4 UC credits after successfully completing this program.DatesJun 27 - Jul 24: 4 WeeksSimilar Course Available AtPenn Law, U Texas Austin, U Colorado BoulderApply NowCall Us: 516-621-3939
    • Arts & Design 1
      • Summer Research Academies (SRA)

        Summer Research Academies (formerly Science & Engineering Research Academy) offer a dynamic, 4-week residential that introduces qualified high school students to the research enterprise through project-based, directed research in STEM, Humanities, and Social Sciences fields. Students will develop academic and professional skills by presenting their research findings in a capstone seminar, networking with peers, and experiencing university life in a challenging environment. The lecture series - GRIT talks - will connect students to some of the best minds among the UC Santa Barbara research community who present on their ground-breaking research and innovative technology. Students apply into one of seven tracks (See STEM for Tracks 1, 3, 4, and 6, Law & Government for Track 2, and Social Sciences for Tracks 5 & 7).

        Track 3: Sensing the World – Exploring Wearable Technology through Soft Robotics

        Disciplines: Biomimicry, Pneumatic Architecture, Media Arts & Technology, Human-Computer Interaction 

        Conventional wearable robots designed with rigid materials, such as metal and hard plastic, are often limited by their lower flexibility, functionality, and biological compatibility. With sensory technology and novel materials, can we rethink the wearable device as a soft and organic interface? Sensing the world is connecting the body (or mechanics), the brain (or controller), and the environment. In this course, we will focus on the emerging field of soft robotics, bringing together research and applications of wearable technology. We will introduce the concept of computational morphology in soft robotics and study the design principles using 3D modeling tools. Specific topics include body architecture, pneumatic architecture, soft mechanism, smart material, biomimicry design, geometrical morphology, sensory technology, embodied intelligence, wearable computing, and human-robot interaction. We will also discuss the soft wearable applications in art, communication, fitness, entertainment, medicine, and sports, and so on. Through a series of hands-on activities, students will explore digital fabrication, soft motion mechanisms, soft actuation, and wearable sensors. By the end of the course, students will design, modeling, and build of a wearable device, and analysis the human-robot interaction.

        Click here to get more information about SRA.

        Who Should Take This Course?This program is designed for highly motivated 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students who have a strong academic and extracurricular background. A minimum GPA of 3.6 is required to apply to this program.HighlightsStudents will be taking an interdisciplinary research course that teaches fundamental concepts in the particular track they choose, leading to more specific topics current in the field. Students will learn how to compose a formal research report and gain key communication skills to effectively present findings. Students earn 4 UC credits after successfully completing this program.DatesJun 27 - Jul 24: 4 WeeksApply NowCall Us: 516-621-3939
    • Law & Government 1
      • Summer Research Academies (SRA)

        Summer Research Academies (formerly Science & Engineering Research Academy) offer a dynamic, 4-week residential that introduces qualified high school students to the research enterprise through project-based, directed research in STEM, Humanities, and Social Sciences fields. Students will develop academic and professional skills by presenting their research findings in a capstone seminar, networking with peers, and experiencing university life in a challenging environment. The lecture series - GRIT talks - will connect students to some of the best minds among the UC Santa Barbara research community who present on their ground-breaking research and innovative technology. Students apply into one of seven tracks (See STEM for Tracks 1, 3,4, and 6, Social Sciences for Tracks 5 &7, Arts & Design for Track 3).

        Track 2: A House of Cards – U.S. National Security Dilemmas in the Twenty First Century

        Disciplines: International Relations, Political Science, Global Studies, International Law

        As the 2020 U.S. Presidential Elections draws closer, voters must judge how candidates respond to the ethics and urgencies of contemporary security dilemmas: How can American policy makers protect American citizens and residents against real and perceived threats of foreign and domestic terrorism without resorting to profoundly damaging racial, religious, and ethnic stereotypes? How do you ensure public safety without compromising the principles of freedom of speech and individual right to privacy? How do you protect American communities against the threat of environmental degradation without undermining economic growth and prosperity? This course aims to introduce students to the theoretical and practical challenges that have dominated the security agenda of American policy-makers in the twenty first century such as these mentioned. Taught under the context of the upcoming U.S. presidential election, the course aims to arm students with the tools needed to critically engage with the political discourse unfolding on the campaign stage, ensuring they are able to understand the implications of the policies candidates are proposing. 

        Click here to get more information about SRA.

        Who Should Take This Course?This program is designed for highly motivated 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students who have a strong academic and extracurricular background. A minimum GPA of 3.6 is required to apply to this program.HighlightsStudents will be taking an interdisciplinary research course that teaches fundamental concepts in the particular track they choose, leading to more specific topics current in the field. Students will learn how to compose a formal research report and gain key communication skills to effectively present findings. Students earn 4 UC credits after successfully completing this program.DatesJun 27 - Jul 24: 4 WeeksSimilar Course Available AtPenn, U Colorado Boulder, U Texas AustinApply NowCall Us: 516-621-3939
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