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Academic Preparation for College

UC Davis academic preparation programs can help you get ready for college! From on-campus experiences to offerings right in your high school, we get you ready for university studies. Read more about our college preparation programs.



College OPTIONS provides in-school academic advisers, informational materials and programs, and educational activities for students, families, educators and communities within Shasta and Siskiyou counties. The focus of the program is to strengthen the college-going culture and to help students and families access post-secondary educational opportunities.


COSMOS is a four-week residential program for students in grades 8-12 who are interested in exploring science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Students work side-by-side with university researchers and faculty in labs, focusing on current research at the University of California. Application period opens in January.

Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP)

Since 1976, EAOP has assisted students with academic and personal preparation for college. The UC Davis EAOP program serves students from 28 schools in Sacramento, Yolo and Solano counties. Participating students get help navigating test preparation, course planning, college admissions and financial aid planning.

Educational Talent Search (ETS)

ETS encourages students from underprivileged backgrounds to pursue a college education. Students must come from a low-income environment where neither parent graduated from college. The ETS program at UC Davis serves seven high schools and four middle schools in Sacramento, Yolo and Solano counties.

C-STEM Girls in Robotics Leadership (GIRL) Camp

C-STEM Girls in Robotics Leadership (GIRL) Camp is a free, week-long day camps that inspires middle school girls in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through an interactive robotics-based curriculum. Campers will learn robotics basics, engineering principles and computer programming in RoboBlockly and Ch/C/C++, as well as film production and the creative process. The camp focuses on confidence, teamwork, reasoning and problem-solving skills and works to change the misconception that girls cannot be scientists and engineers. Applications for summer C-STEM GIRL Camp are typically available in February.

Young women in high school and college who have experience in computing and/or robotics are encouraged to apply for summer coaching positions with UC Davis' Girls in Robotics Leadership (GIRL) Camp. Coaches and assistant coaches help organize the camp and serve as mentors. This is a wonderful leadership and service opportunity for young women interested in pursuing degrees in the sciences. Applications are available in February.

Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Schools Program

MESA engages thousands of California youth in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as the foundation for college-readiness and successful careers. MESA advisers provide support to students, parents, teachers and staff at participating schools in Sacramento and Yolo counties. Students will receive academic support from MESA advisers and participate in workshops and hands-on competitions with the support of industry partners. The MESA Schools Program helps students excel in math and science to become competitive applicants for academically rigorous colleges and universities.

Summer Math and Science Honors (SMASH) Academy

SMASH Academy is a free summer residential college preparatory program for high school students from low-income or historically underrepresented backgrounds, or who will be the first in their family to attend college. This rigorous three-year academy inspires and prepares students to be competitive in science, technology, engineering and math.

Upward Bound

Upward Bound helps students generate the skills and motivation needed for college success. Students in the Upward Bound program are four times more likely to earn an undergraduate degree than students from similar backgrounds who do not participate in the program.

High school students who will be the first generation in their family to attend college are eligible for the program. It consists of a summer residential component as well as academic year assistance such as weekly after-school advising, tutoring and special activities by UC Davis student advisers.

Young Scholars Program

The Young Scholars Program is a summer residential research program for high school sophomores and juniors. The program exposes high-achieving students to research in the natural sciences, with a focus on the biological, environmental and agricultural sciences. Application period opens in December.