College Scholars

Several colleges at UCSC are transitioning from the Challenge Program to the College Scholars Program. Please see below for more information on both programs.

  • The Challenge Program provides high-achieving first-year students at Kresge, Merrill, Porter and Stevenson Colleges with a rigorous program emphasizing dynamic interaction with UCSC faculty and academically-motivated peers in classes, social settings, and collaborative research projects. The program consists of classes and activities designed to foster close faculty-student interaction over four quarters. Though students can decide to stop participating in the Program at any point, those who complete at least the first two quarters of the program will receive a “Challenge Program Participation and Completion Certificate.” For more details, please visit The Academic Challenge Program website
  • The UCSC College Scholars Program provides an opportunity for outstanding students to engage deeply with the best of UCSC. Early in their career, students are able to explore the full potential of the university setting, beyond the coursework that might be required in their respective disciplines. They participate in demanding, small-scale, and research-oriented courses that catalyze creative thinking and offer a springboard to other undergraduate research opportunities.
    • Selection: 

      Fall Start—Invitation Only: Admission to the Fall Start cohort of College Scholars Program is by invitation.

      Spring Start—Students at Cowell, Crown, Kresge, Merrill, Porter, and Stevenson Colleges can apply for the College Scholars Program after the fall of their first year. In this case, students will join the program during the spring research colloquium. Spring Start students will be selected based on applications reviewed through their college. The deadline to apply is Febuary 1, 2017. We suggest you reach out to your Kresge Core instructor to see if they would be willing to recommend you.

      Inquiries regarding the College Scholars Program can be directed to Associate Professor Matt O'Hara, Director of Undergraduate Honors Programs,