Preparing for your college experience

UC Davis academic preparation programs can help you get ready for college! From on-campus experiences to offerings right in your high school, we help you get ready for university studies. We also encourage you to explore more UC-approved academic preparation programs.

C-STEM Girls in Robotics Leadership (GIRL) Camp

C-STEM Girls in Robotics Leadership (GIRL) Camp is a series of free, week-long day camps to inspire middle school girls in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through an interactive robotics-based curriculum. The camp focuses on confidence, teamwork, reasoning and problem-solving. STEM-focused young women in high school and college can also apply for summer coaching positions.

College Opportunity Programs

UC Davis' College Opportunity Programs serve students in select Northern California counties* through the following federally funded programs:

  • Educational Talent Search (ETS)
  • Upward Bound
  • Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)
  • UC Davis Community Resource Centers located in Shasta and Siskiyou counties

* Modoc, Sacramento, Shasta, Siskiyou, Solano, Tehama, Trinity and Yolo counties


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 select schools in Sacramento, Solano and Yolo counties. Participating students get help navigating test preparation, course planning, college admissions and financial aid planning.

two students exploring engineering at a science museum

Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Schools Program

MESA engages thousands of California youth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as the foundation for college readiness and successful careers. Students receive academic support from MESA advisors 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.

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.