Set in the Westwood district of Los Angeles, UCLA forms the cornerstone of California’s prestigious public research university system. Settle into our dorms on this summer Pre-College program and immerse yourself in challenging coursework with engaging instructors and like-minded peers. Enjoy access to top-notch facilities, including tennis courts, libraries, sports fields, a gym, and a pool.
The majority of our Pre-College programs are postponed until next summer. Be the first to know when we announce 2021 dates and new programs: Sign up for our newsletter!
Looking for a program this summer? View our Pre-College Vermont program!
Dates: July 5, 2020 – July 18, 2020
Eligibility: Completing grades 9 – 12
Duration: 14 days
- Experience college life on UCLA’s state-of-the-art campus
- Draft a screenplay or short story in a writing workshop
- Interview entertainment business leaders about their careers
- Screen your video at a private premiere with your group
Arrival • Join a supportive community of like-minded peers and faculty ready to learn, make new friends, and have fun in the process on Putney’s Pre-College program at UCLA. Fly into Los Angeles International Airport, where staff meet and escort you to campus; families may also arrange to drop off students directly at UCLA. Settle into your dorm and take a quick tour of campus before gathering for a full group orientation on your first night.
Campus Life • UCLA’s 400+ acre campus, set in the heart of Los Angeles and only five miles from the Pacific coast, is ideally situated for experiencing college life in a beautiful setting. With full access to the university’s top-notch facilities, including the gym, pool, tennis courts, library, museums, and sports fields, Pre-College at UCLA is the ideal program for exploring new subjects or digging deeper into known passions. Live in dormitories right on campus, and immerse yourself in university life. Instructors and Resident Advisors live alongside our students, creating a community experience that goes beyond the classroom. Explore nearby Los Angeles neighborhoods as well as local beaches and coastal canyons.
Seminars • Choose two stimulating seminars—a major and a minor—and explore your chosen subjects in the classroom and in the field. Each Pre-College course is designed to encourage collaboration and hands-on learning, allowing you to get out of the classroom often for field trips, experiments, performances, field assignments, and to meet with local experts. Without the pressure of grades or tests, you can enjoy delving into your seminars within a collegiate environment.
Each seminar works toward a final project—a short film, a business proposal, a performance piece, or a dramatic reading, for example—which you present to fellow participants on the final night of the program. Parents and families are welcome to attend this final presentation. Seminars are limited to ten students or fewer. See below for more information on seminars.
Afternoon & Evening Activities • In the afternoons and evenings, choose from a variety of activities to make the most of your summer and of campus life. Join a soccer or volleyball game, take a salsa dancing lesson, visit a nearby flea market or thrift store, or head to the beach to enjoy the amusement rides on the iconic Santa Monica Pier. Try surfing or stand-up paddleboarding with experienced instructors, or join a behind-the-scenes visit of a movie studio. Pursue new interests such as yoga, African drumming, improv, or rock-climbing with your peers and friends. Rent bikes for a casual ride on the Venice boardwalk, spot marine life at the Aquarium of the Pacific, or take in the art exhibits at the Getty or UCLA’s own Hammer Museum. Explore the surrounding area on a hike in the nearby canyons or a visit to Griffith Observatory in the Hollywood Hills. Attend a baseball game at Dodger Stadium and bring a picnic dinner of local fare from Los Angeles’ Original Farmers’ Market. Evening activities such as concerts, movie premiers, bowling or game nights round out your Pre-College experience.
Final Night • At the end of your program, showcase your work in a final project, concert, installation, pop-up gallery, or performance. Invite family and friends to attend this culminating Final Night Show and celebrate what you have learned. Say goodbye to your instructors and new friends from across the country and around the world.
Departure • Staff escort students from the UCLA campus to the local bus or train station, or LAX airport. Families can also arrange pick up directly from campus.
This description represents our best projection of the group’s schedule. However, we may implement changes designed to improve the quality of the program.
I was really nervous, but it was actually one of my favorite adventures and camps I’ve ever done, and I wish it wasn’t so short. Now I am trying to start my own business.— Alexa M., The Archer School for Girls, Santa Monica, CA
A Day in the Life: Pre-College at UCLA
Due to the dynamic nature of this Pre-College summer program, each day is different. Here is a snapshot of a day on the UCLA campus.
8 AM • Grab breakfast in the university dining hall
9 AM • Head to your major seminar
12 PM • Break for lunch in the dining hall
1 PM • Convene for your minor seminar
3 PM • Choose an afternoon activity, such as the Santa Monica pier or a salsa dancing lesson
5:30 PM • Eat dinner in the dining hall with your Pre-College community
7 PM • Reflect on the day at Community Meeting
7:30 PM • Head to your chosen evening activity, such as a concert or bowling
10:30 PM • Check-in at dorms for the night
11 PM • Lights out
Choose two Pre-College seminars—a major and a minor seminar—and tap into the incredible resources on campus and your knowledgeable instructors at UCLA. Seminars are rigorous, focused, and interactive. They get you thinking critically about important topics in today’s world and help you focus your interests as you look ahead toward college.
MAJOR SEMINARS (click on seminar to read the full description)
MINOR SEMINARS (click on seminar to read the full description)
What to Expect
Seminars • Pre-College seminars are interactive and collaborative, with ample time spent outside the classroom exploring Los Angeles and all it has to offer, and using the city as a lens for your seminar topics. You can expect to meet with local and regional experts, artists, entrepreneurs, and guest speakers during the program. Each seminar works toward a final project—a short film, a business proposal, a performance piece, a gallery opening, or a dramatic reading, to give a few examples—which you present to fellow participants on the final night of the program. Parents and families are welcome to attend this final presentation!
Afternoons & Evenings • Outside of seminars, each day brings new adventures and a variety of activities from which to choose. Instructors lead activities and often bring in guest instructors or local experts and students are encouraged to suggest activities and excursions they would be excited to join.
Physical Activity • This is a physically active summer program. You can expect to participate in activities such as hiking, swimming, soccer, biking, and frisbee. Students have access to the UCLA gym facilities as well as green spaces throughout campus. You do not need to be at peak fitness to participate, but it is important that you are excited about trying new activities.
Transportation • You and your family are welcome to meet us on campus at UCLA, or our staff can arrange pick ups from the local bus or train station, or at nearby LAX International Airport.
We are so grateful for the exposure to teachers and the off-campus trips to see the sets in Hollywood. After the visit with the special effects firm, Caroline sent a text saying ‘I know where I want to intern next summer, and I need to learn to code.’ Just the fact that Caroline was so inspired to think about an internship is fantastic.— Kelly & Rick Hopkins, Charlotte, NC