UC San Diego

Summer Springboard program for high school students to be held at UC San Diego

Campus Overview

Dubbed "America's Finest City", and for good reason, San Diego offers it all - amazing Southern California beaches, natural beauty, a variety of parks and attractions, and near-perfect climate year-round. Just a few reasons that make hosting our Summer Springboard program on the campus of UC San Diego that much better!

Home to the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, UCSD is one of the premier leaders in earth science research and education, and ranked among the top 10 public universities in the U.S. according to U.S. News and World Report.


Residential Tuition:

Commuter Tuition:


Session 1:
June 30, 2024 July 12, 2024

Session 2:
July 14, 2024 July 26, 2024

Session 3:
July 28, 2024 August 9, 2024


UC San Diego
San Diego, CA


  • This program has truly changed me. The best part of this program was being able to have hands on experience in my dream field of work.

    Ashley M.

  • I liked touring UC Berkeley and the free time to explore the surrounding town. It really gave me a feel of what it would be like to be a student here.

    Avani P.

  • My son who's a rising junior did the Medicine & Healthcare program at UC Berkeley. It was truly a top-notch experience for him.

    Amy F.

Academic Courses

At Summer Springboard, we believe learning should be inspiring and interactive. Our carefully curated courses blend career exploration, hands-on learning, and exposure to industry-leading businesses and professionals that reflect the resources of the San Diego area. Whenever possible, classes are held outdoors, on-site, or in a lab-type setting to allow students as many hands-on opportunities as possible. Activities such as field trips, guest speakers, and practical scenarios take the learning experience beyond the classroom and leverage all that San Diego has to offer.

In addition to the morning academic course, the afternoons involve different activities (depending on the day), which include staff-led activities, an external campus tour, True You, or their course-specific field trip/activity.


Are you interested in medicine, science, and technology? Is you goal to create a life-saving drug? This is a unique opportunity for high school students to gain real exposure and work in a biotechnology lab utilizing state-of-the-art equipment.

Excursions in  San Diego – Students do their daily class directly inside a biotechnology lab. In past summers students toured JLabs and other incubators in San Diego, as well as met with scientists from Sazid Hussain, Chief Scientific Officer of Aivo Code, a biotech company working on therapies for traumatic brain injuries.

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Business & Entrepreneurship

students on university campus

Summer Springboard’s Business & Entrepreneurship course on the campus of UCSD introduces aspiring entrepreneurs to the world of business and the areas that affect growing a business. Our course explores the aspects involved in starting, owning, and operating a business – from thinking through ideas, planning a business, and managing various considerations for growing a small business into an enterprise. Topics such as entrepreneurship, idea generation, customer relationships and revenue streams, personnel and human resource management, product design, cost accounting, financial analysis, marketing, and more will all be explored.

Throughout the course, students will work in groups to generate a business idea of their own, and then follow the entrepreneurial process to develop the idea into a feasible prospective business startup. Ultimately, students will pitch their innovative ideas to a panel of business and entrepreneurship “judges” in a Shark-Tank type experience.

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Drone Cinematography

flying drones

Since their rise in popularity and easier and more affordable access by the average consumer, drones are being sold and taking to the skies in record numbers, and for a variety of different purposes – aerial surveying, reconnaissance, product delivery, and cinematography. Summer Springboard’s Drone Cinematography course on the campus of UCSD will combine your passion for drone flying with cinematography. Our course provides a comprehensive overview of the technical and creative aspects of cinematography, where students will learn how to execute a variety of different shots with regards to lighting, framing, and clients’ needs.

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Emergency Medicine

students performing CPR on dummies

If there is anything we’ve been reminded of these past few years, it’s how essential a role our emergency care doctors, nurses, first responders, and other healthcare professionals play in society, and how necessary they are. The average emergency room nurse makes between $77,000 and $107,000, with top earners making $124,500 annually. Whether your goal is to become an EMT or paramedic, an emergency room doctor, an ICU nurse, or any other profession that utilizes emergency care skills, Summer Springboard course in Emergency Medicine on the campus of UCSD will immerse you in a variety of foundational skills and knowledge. Our course will prepare you for a future career in emergency care, and expose you to the healthcare field overall and the various paths you can pursue.

Students will learn a variety of skills and techniques, ranging from basic first aid to triaging emergency situations and wounds, through a variety of hands-on activities and practical simulations. Skills and techniques explored include positioning and extraction, wound care, bleeding control, stitches and sutures, usage of splints and slings, and other life-saving skills.

Students will have the opportunity to research a simulated patients history and symptoms, create a diagnosis based on their findings, and develop a treatment plan. Ultimately, students will be able to apply the knowledge they’ve learned from the course through a simulated mass-disaster scenario. This simulation will teach students how to respond to a patient just like a medical professional, assessing information and applying their medical knowledge in high pressure environments.

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Fundamentals of Engineering

materials for engineering class

Engineering is one of the top desired careers in many companies. If you are considering a career in Engineering, this course will help you explore what it takes to be an engineer. We will explore facets of mechanical, structural, civil, and electrical engineering in a hands-on, minds-on approach.

Excursions in San Diego – Students will engage with professionals in the industry and have an opportunity to visit one or more engineering firms or sites in the greater San Diego area.


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Kinesiology and Physical Therapy

When someone has trouble moving or is injured, what can truly help is a non-invasive discipline that helps evaluate and improve mobility and relieve pain. Physical therapy might be just what they need. In this program, you will learn the basics of human anatomy, movement fundamentals, and exercise principles while doing lab work and clinical education.

Students will also gain a basic understanding and learn the physical therapy requirements and the many job opportunities this field can provide through various specialties. Learn to make a positive change in the community by empowering others through physical and mental health.


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Marine Biology


There’s no better place to study Marine Biology this summer than with Summer Springboard on the campus of UC San Diego. All within minutes of campus, The Scripps Institute of Oceanography, Birch Aquarium, La Jolla Tide Pools and Underwater Park, San Diego-Scripps Coastal State Marine Conservation Area, and Scripps Coastal Reserve – to name just a few – make this the ideal location for practical exposure and hands-on learning possibilities for our students. Summer Springboard students will be able to dive deep into the content of this course in one of the most fitting physical environments – on the campus of UCSD, a university known for its ocean and earth science research and education.

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Psychology & Neuroscience

Artificial intelligence, processing neurological data, brain

The adult human brain weighs approximately 3 pounds making up less than roughly 2% of a person’s body weight, yet it defines our humanity and makes us the individuals that we are – and yet no two are the same. The brain is responsible for the generation of language, thought, attention, consciousness, memory, imagination, and more. But how? And what makes certain people in society behave one way, and others another? Nothing is more fascinating and mysterious than the inner workings of the brain and human psychology.

In Summer Springboard’s Psychology & Neuroscience course on the campus of UCSD, students will explore these fundamental questions and more. Our course will explore the anatomy of the human brain, how it functions, and how that correlates and influences human behavior. Students will learn about how the brain works, how that affects behavior such as social dynamics, emotions, personality, mental illness, and how psychologists study them. Students will get to construct their own miniature psychology theory, design/run an experiment to test it, and present findings to the class.

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Spatial Computing

Spatial Computing is no longer science fiction – it’s quickly becoming part of our modern day reality, with diverse applications across an array of industries. An umbrella term, Spatial Computing encapsulates Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (MR), and everything in between. Spatial Computing technology creates an immersive experience that can be used to explore an environment that helps to educate and entertain the end user. While its applications in the gaming industry may primarily come to mind when people think about Spatial Computing, its applications have been expanding in recent years to the healthcare, education, entertainment, and automotive industries – among many others – with more to come. As XR is continuing to become more present in our daily and professional lives, the job market is only increasing its demand for its varied development and design skills. There’s no better time to start preparing for this inflection point than with Summer Springboard’s Spatial Computing course on the campus of UCSD.

In our Spatial Computing course, class will be held in a state-of-the-art XR studio. In groups, students will work to design and develop their own Spatial Computing virtual space to explore professional Extended Reality pipelines and leave with a portfolio showcase experience. No prior knowledge in Spatial Computing or software development is required, and all course equipment is supplied. Students are strongly encouraged to bring a PC laptop. (Macs allowed but not all needed software is supported by Apple.)

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Activities & Trips

Soak up the sunshine of Southern California with numerous outdoor activities. We'll step off-campus to explore a variety of what "America's Finest City" has to offer! Below are just some examples of what our students will get to see and explore

  • amazing-landscape-of-la-jolla-cove-scripps-institue-of-oceanography-scripps-pier-la-jolla
  • san diego balboa park

Old Town

Explore the historic marketplace with shops and carts offering locally made gift items, plus live entertainment.

Little Italy & Mercato Farmers' Market

There'll be no shortage of options when it comes time for lunch! Little Italy is a lively neighborhood filled with patio cafe's, restaurants, and more. It also encompasses the Mercato Farmers' Market - San Diego's largest, filling six city blocks - and offers a wide variety of produce, prepared foods, and more from local vendors. There's also the Street Food Market nestled across the street from the San Diego Bay waterfront!

Seaport Village

Within walking distance from the USS Midway Museum, explore San Diego's Seaport Village, a waterside complex with shops, eateries, entertainment, and relaxed grounds featuring fountains and ponds.

Balboa Park

Where culture, science, and nature collide, Balboa Park is home to more than 16 museums, lovely gardens, trails, and other recreational attractions, including the San Diego Zoo. With a variety of cultural institutions among its 1,200 acres, there is something for everyone.

Belmont Park

Belmont Park is San Diego’s beachfront amusement park and boardwalk offering something for everyone since 1925. You'll have a blast whether it’s filled with adventure-packed activities on the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster or laid-back beachfront eating with friends.

The San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo retains its iconic status as arguably one of the best zoos in the United States. Explore this 100-acre wildlife park that's home to over 12,000 rare and endangered animals, representing more than 650 species and subspecies. The Zoo is also an accredited botanical garden, caring for more than 700,000 individual plants. Walk, ride the hop-on/hop-off bus tour, or take in the views from atop via the "Skyfari", as you explore and view as much as you can!

Coronado Beach

Soak up the sun and take a dip in the 1.5 mile long, wide sandy beach set against the backdrop of the iconic Hotel del Coronado.

Track-Specific Excursions

Each academic program may also take subject matter specific excursions to help round out the student experience.

Student Life

Get ahead of college living by experiencing the variety of amenities that UCSD has to offer during your Summer Springboard program, from the dining hall, to your university dormitory, its beautiful campus, and more!

  • sunset-and-palm-trees-at-la-jolla-shores
  • san diego Scripps-Pier


At UCSD, Summer Springboard students are housed in suites. They'll share a room with another person, in a suite that contains 2-3 other rooms. Each suite has 1-2 bathrooms, depending on the number of rooms in the suite, as well as a common living room area. Suites are separated by gender. On each floor, there is a full kitchen, with a stovetop, oven, microwave, fridge, etc. Basic linens are provided in the form of a flat sheet, blanket, pillow, pillowcase, and towel.

Summer Springboard staff live on each floor to create a community, provide support, plan activities, and help students get the most out of their program. Other members of the Summer Springboard staff, including the Campus Director, Assistant Campus Director, and other staff also reside within the dorms during the course of the program and are available to support students and address emergencies, 24 hours a day.


The dorms are access-controlled, and students need their individual access-cards to get into the residence hall and their suite. Hard-keys are issued to the students as well, and are used to access their specific room within their suite. UCSD Police operates 24/7 and makes regular patrols of the campus and residence halls. Students are also required to be in their rooms past 10PM for safety and accountability purposes.


Each dormitory has laundry facilities, lounges, and WiFi throughout. There is also a water filtration station, and students are encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle and hydrate regularly!


Most meals will be in the on-campus dining hall. The dining hall offers a wide selection of food, accommodating a variety of diets - including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, kosher, halal, and specific food allergies.

Summer Springboard's program takes place in San Diego on the University of California San Diego (UCSD) campus. It is not run by UCSD and they are not responsible for the Summer Springboard program in any way.

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Summer Springboard Pre-College Summer Program