Section 5. Educational Options

Summer Session | Exchange Programs | Field and Internship Programs | Special Approval Courses (Individual Study) | Student-Directed Seminars | Credit from Another Institution | Extension Courses | Limited Status and Second Baccalaureate  

Summer Session

Students can make degree progress year-round in UCSC Summer Session. More than 250 credit-bearing UCSC courses are offered during five-, eight-, and ten-week sessions, including 30+ courses completely online. Summer courses can fulfill degree requirements, satisfy general educations, and provide service learning opportunities. Academically barred students may also attend to improve academic standing. Their website lists all classes and hosts the academic calendar, housing applications, links to resources, and other pertinent information. Financial Aid (grants and loans), on-campus employment, and reduced rates for on-campus housing are available. Enrollment opens for all students May 1 in MyUCSC with no priority enrollment or appointments.  For more information see the Summer Session website, call 831-459-5373, or email

Exchange and Special Programs

UCSC offers a variety of exchange and visitor programs to enhance educational opportunities through the Global Engagement office and other special programs.

Field and Internship Programs

Independent field study is available through most colleges, departments, and committees on campus. In addition, there are several established field programs that offer students a variety of full-time and part-time off-campus field placements. Each of these programs has its own prerequisites for participation. Information is available at each program office and the Career Center’s website.

Before you actually do the field work, you must submit a proposal and obtain sponsorship and approval. Retroactive credit will not be granted for field work. (See Special Approval Courses (Individual Study below) for procedural information.) You are also responsible for any health or liability insurance you might feel is necessary. Check with the Cowell Student Health Center, 459- 2211, for additional information.

You must register officially, pay regular university fees, including campus fees, and complete your enrollment in the approved courses to obtain field-study credit. Make sure to update your address via MyUCSC, so your billing statement reaches you before the deadline. You are responsible for submitting a proposal and obtaining approval before you actually do the field work. Be aware that field-study courses and independent study courses are not available for credit by petition; it is important that you are officially enrolled in your field- study course. Retroactive credit will not be granted for fieldwork.

The Career Center

Upon graduation, those students with previous internship experience are much more likely to find a good job in their career field than those graduates who have not had an internship.

The Career Center can help you link your education to your career aspirations through an internship. Come to the Bay Tree Building, or call 459-4420. In addition to the established internship available in the General Catalog, the Career Center Internship and Field Study Programs maintains a detailed list of other internship opportunities.

Special Approval Courses (Field Study, Individual Study, and Tutorials)

At UCSC students are encouraged to devise courses for themselves if appropriate courses are not offered in the curriculum. Special approval courses, also known as individual study, must be supervised by a faculty member and sponsored by a department, college, or division. Both lower- and upper-division courses are available. An individual studies course can be approved for either 2 or 5 credits. A 2-credit individual studies course requires about six hours of work per week, while a 5-credit course requires about 15 hours of work per week. In some cases, individual study may be carried on extramurally in the form of accredited field work; see also Field and Internship Programs. For specific course offerings, see the UCSC General Catalog. Some examples of individual study course listings are tutorial, group tutorial, field study, and independent field study. Credit by petition is not an option for individual studies courses.

Students without declared majors may not take more than seven credits of special approval courses in a given quarter. Students with declared majors must receive approval from their major adviser to take more than seven credit hours of special approval courses.

Petition for Special Study Courses

Use the petition for undergraduate special study courses. It is best to initiate this process during the quarter before the one in which you plan to do the study.

  •        Outline your proposed course of study and obtain the approval of an instructor who is willing to supervise your study. The instructor also approves the number of credits (either 2 or 5) to be awarded upon completion of the individual study.
  •        File the petition with the department, college, or division sponsoring your individual study.
  •        When you receive your copy of the approved petition, class number(s) will be listed. Use the class number(s) when you enroll through MyUCSC. Make sure to enroll with the grade option approved on the petition. If you are planning a field study that is out of the area, be sure to enroll for the upcoming quarter before you leave.

Student-Directed Seminars

As a regularly enrolled UCSC upper-division student, you may teach a lower-division seminar under faculty supervision. You will be designated an Apprentice Teacher (AT). Such a seminar must be sponsored by a course-sponsoring agency, such as a department or your college. The department or college must be satisfied that you are a generally superior student who will profit from apprentice teaching and that the course you wish to teach is worthwhile for your prospective students. The seminar must be supervised by a faculty sponsor who attends several course meetings.

Approval Procedure for Student-Directed Seminars

Start at least two quarters before you plan to teach the seminar. Discuss your proposal with your adviser. If you decide to teach your course through your department, your faculty sponsor must be a member of that department; the same applies to a college-sponsored course. Present a proposal or outline of the seminar to your faculty sponsor. Have your faculty sponsor write a letter of support, including a description of the sponsor’s proposed involvement with the course and designation of the appropriate 1-, 2-, 3-, or 5-credit value. Student-directed seminars do not satisfy general education requirements.

With help from your faculty sponsor, complete the Request for Course Approval form and the Student-Directed Seminars and Productions Supplemental Sheet. Obtain a course number from your sponsoring agency. The course description, reading list, and other information you provide is carefully reviewed by your sponsoring agency, the appropriate division, and the Committee on Courses of Instruction, just like a regular faculty course, and must be available for review by the announced deadlines at least two quarters prior to the quarter in which you plan to teach. (The Course Approval Calendar is available with information on deadlines for courses.) You will be able to find out if your course has been approved well in advance of the quarter during which you plan to teach by contacting your sponsoring agency. With your paperwork completed, you can concentrate on the teaching aspect of the course.

For the quarter in which you are teaching the seminar, enroll yourself in course 192 by using the class number obtained from your sponsoring agency during enrollment. This is considered an independent study course. When the course is completed, submit a report of your teaching experience to your faculty sponsor. Each student enrolled in the seminar also turns in a report on the course. The faculty sponsor has final responsibility for student grade notations and evaluations, but you probably will work together on them. In addition, the sponsor writes an evaluation of your work in teaching the seminar. This evaluation is entered in your record under course 192.

Credit from Another Institution

You may earn credit toward your degree at UCSC by enrolling in courses at other collegiate institutions. Limits to transfer credit is determined by the University of California and are subject to certain limitations including the following:

  • You may not transfer more than 105 quarter units of credit (or 70 semester units of credit) units of credit for lower-division coursework completed at any institution or any combination of institutions.
  • After that point, you may still receive subject credit. For example, if you have already transferred 105 lower-division quarter credits from community colleges, you could still satisfy the American History and Institutions Requirement with a community college course; however, the credits from that course would not transfer.
  • To satisfy the campus residence requirement, 35 of your last 45 credits must be regular courses of instruction taken as a registered student at UCSC. See Senior Residence for more information.
  • Transferable courses in which you receive a grade of C- (if less than a 2.0) or any grade that is less than a 2.0 will not be used to satisfy general education (G.E.) requirements, but will be applied as elective credit toward your degree. However, if the academic institution considers C- passing or 2.0, the course work may be counted toward G.E requirements. (CEP Source)
  • Transferable courses in which you receive a grade of C- (if less than a 2.0) or any grade that is less than a 2.0 will not be used to satisfy major requirements, but will be applied as elective credit toward your degree. (CEP Source)
  • Transferable courses in which you receive a grade of C- (if less than a 2.0) or any grade that is less than a 2.0 will not be used to satisfy general education (G.E.) or major requirements, but will be applied as elective credit toward your degree. G.E. and major requirements must be satisfied with coursework completed with a Pass (must be equivalent to a 2.0 or higher) or grade of C (2.0) or better.
  • Coursework will be evaluated only if you are currently enrolled or have announced candidacy for graduation. You will not receive transfer credit if you are no longer in attendance.
  • If you plan to enroll concurrently at UCSC and at another institution, contact your academic preceptor regarding your college’s procedure. Students are advised not to enroll concurrently at another institution during their first term of attendance at UCSC. Those students wishing to be concurrently enrolled should discuss this option with their college academic preceptor or their undergraduate department adviser. Financial aid recipients should also check with the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office to find out how enrolling concurrently at another institution might affect their status.

Selecting Transferable Courses

It is not always easy to select transferable courses from another collegiate institution. Here are a few suggestions:

The UC Transfer Course Agreements list all courses that are

  • transferable for elective credit from all of the California community colleges. You can access this information at You can also view any general education, departmental, or major preparation agreements that UCSC may have with a particular California community college through the ASSIST web site.
  • If you are considering enrolling in a program outside the U.S. that is not part of the Education Abroad Program, you should obtain information about the institution offering or sponsoring the program that will issue the record and the courses you are planning to take. The institution must be appropriately accredited or recognized in order for the course to be reviewed for possible transfer credit. You should
  • be prepared to submit course descriptions/syllabi and the work you completed for evaluation when you return to UCSC. If a program is not acceptable for transfer credit, you may consider pursuing independent study credit or UCSC credit by petition. You must be enrolled at UCSC to obtain credits through these two options.
  • The Evaluation Data System (EDS) web site can be used to view previously evaluated transfer courses.
  • Before enrolling, you can submit a Proposed Program Evaluation to the Admissions Office to determine whether your proposed courses will transfer. You can also request that the courses be reviewed for satisfaction of a UCSC general education requirement. It may be necessary to submit descriptions of your proposed courses. Please note: The Office of Admissions does not review Proposed Program Evaluations for courses from California community colleges since this information is available online at ASSIST.
  • Take courses that are similar to regular courses of instruction at UCSC. Compare the catalog descriptions.
  • Avoid taking a course that is closely related to a course you have already taken. You cannot receive credit for a course that duplicates credit you have already earned.
  • In general, avoid taking lower-division introductory courses in a subject area in which you have completed upper-division courses. Even if an introductory course is deemed UC-transferable, a student that has already completed upper-division coursework in that discipline will not be awarded transfer credit for the lower-division course.
  • If you want to apply a course to your major or minor, consult with your department. While the official transfer credit information can only be supplied by the Office of Admissions, the department can tell you whether the course will satisfy major requirements if it is found to be transferable.
  • Graduating seniors should not enroll elsewhere and expect to graduate immediately after completing the coursework. If you plan to take your final course at an institution other than UCSC, have official transcripts sent to the Office of the Registrar. If you are unable to provide transcripts by the last day of the quarter in which you have announced your candidacy, you must reschedule your candidacy for the following quarter.

How to Convert Credits from Semester to Quarter and Quarter to Semester

Quarter credit ÷ 1.5 = Semester credit. Semester credit x 1.5 = Quarter credit.

After You Complete the Coursework

Have a copy of your final transcript sent to:

University of California, Santa Cruz
Office of the Registrar
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA, 95064

The Office of the Registrar will forward your transcript to the Office of Admissions for evaluation. The Office of the Registrar will post a To Do Item on MyUCSC once the transcript has been received by the university. When the evaluation is complete, the transfer credit will be posted to your academic record. You may view the information on MyUCSC.

UCSC Extension Courses

University of California Extension is the statewide, continuing-education service linking the university with the people and communities of the state. A catalog of current course offerings at UCSC Extension is available on the web and from the UCSC Extension Office, 3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara, CA 95054. Its phone number is (408) 861-3700.

If you are regularly enrolled at UCSC, you may receive credit toward graduation for certain university extension courses. Courses numbered 1 to 199 are acceptable for transfer credit. The extension courses you wish to transfer will be reviewed to determine if they duplicate courses for which you have already received credit. The 300 and 400 series are professional courses and are not acceptable for transfer.

In order to have a course numbered 1 to 199 evaluated and the credit added to your UCSC record, request that an official transcript of your completed coursework be sent to the UCSC Office of the Registrar. You must have the approval of the chair of your department to use an extension course to satisfy major or minor requirements.

The Open Campus program, also called the Concurrent Enrollment program, enables qualified people to take regular UCSC courses through UCSC Extension. UCSC students who withdraw from the university are eligible for Open Campus concurrent enrollment.

Open Campus courses are transfer credit and are subject to Senior Residency regulations. Extension courses are not usually acceptable for financial aid purposes. Check with the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office about your particular situation.

Particular certificate programs within UCSC Extension have been certified for Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funding. Visit UCSC Extension website  for further information related to WIA funding and UCSC Extension.

Limited Status and Second Baccalaureate

Individuals who wish to pursue a second undergraduate degree after graduation from UCSC must apply for admission as a second baccalaureate candidate during the undergraduate application filing period. The new major must be substantially different from previous studies and must represent a legitimate change of educational interest. Completion of a previously declared double major is not allowed. Admission as a second baccalaureate candidate is subject to the approval of the department of the intended major. Students must enroll for at least three quarters, and are usually restricted to six quarters. Students seeking a second bachelor’s degree may receive William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans if they qualify.

Those who wish to attend UCSC after graduation to take specific classes without working toward another degree (such as prerequisites for medical school) may be eligible to enroll as limited status students and should apply for admission during the undergraduate application filing period. Approval by the appropriate department or college is required. Enrollment under limited status is limited to a maximum of three quarters. There is no financial assistance available.

Applications for a second baccalaureate or limited status will be considered when campus enrollment allows; however, priority is given to applicants who have not yet had the opportunity to complete a bachelor’s degree, and admission of second baccalaureate and limited status students may be restricted as a result. In addition, any outstanding debts to the university must be cleared before admission is granted. These programs also are open to graduates of other institutions.

Revised 01/16/20