Freshman Summer Engineering Institute



Get a jump start on your academic career at UC San Diego's 5-week, Summer Engineering Institute (SEI), and earn six credits towards your engineering degree. Receive support in making the transition from high school to the rigors of a university-level engineering curriculum, and build awareness of relevant campus programs and resources. Take part in organized social activities on evenings and weekends, and begin forming a peer network and make lasting friendships.

All SEI participants take ENG 15: Engineer Your Success (2 credits) where you create an individualized plan about your goals as an engineering student and future professional engineer, and how you will apply what you learned from the class to achieve those goals. 

Participants also select one 4-credit course from their Engineering major:

  • CSE 8A: Introduction to Programming and Computational Problem-Solving I*
  • CSE 11: Introduction to Programming and Computational Problem-Solving Accelerated Pace​​**
    • (For the following majors: Bioengineering: Bioinformatics; Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Computer Science: Bioinformatics) 

* Students who have not taken an object-oriented programming course, but might have taken other high school computing courses (including AP CSP) and are comfortable with using computers, should consider beginning with CSE 8A.

** Students who have significant prior programming experience (for instance, a score of 4 or 5 on the AP CSA exam; or an object-oriented programming course in a community college) should consider beginning with CSE 11.

  • ECE 5: Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering 
    • (For the following majors: Electrical Engineering, Engineering Physics, Electrical Engineering & Society)
  • MAE 8: MATLAB Programming for Engineering Analysis 
    • (For the following majors: Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering; Bioengineering, Bioengineering (Biotechnology), Bioengineering: BioSystems)
  • NANO 11: Introduction to NanoEngineering 
    • (For the following major: NanoEngineering)
  • CENG 15: Engineering Computation Using MATLAB 
    • (For the following major: Chemical Engineering)
  • SE 9: Algorithms and Programming for Structural Engineering (in person)
    • (For the following major: Structural Engineering)

Incoming freshmen students admitted to an engineering major at UC San Diego who have accepted their Offer of Admission.

SEI Application Opens: April 3, 2023

SEI Application Deadline: May 21, 2023

Program Dates: Saturday, August 5 - Saturday, September 9, 2023

Direct Cost to Participate in Summer Engineering Institute 2023 **

  Single Housing
Housing & Dining $2,484.00
Tuition & Fees $1,949.96
Enrichment Fee $861.04
Summer Health Access Fee* $70.00
TOTAL $5,365.00

**This amount changed from $5,359 to $5,365 on 7/27/23 due to an increase in the campus-based fees for summer 2023.

*Students can opt in for an early start UC SHIP (Student Health Insurance Plan) or elect to pay a $70 access fee if they choose to waive out of UC SHIP. The $70 access fee will be posted to student accounts in July and students who opt in for early start UC SHIP will get fees posted to their student accounts with Fall billing in August.


  • Students who enroll in ECE 5 will be charged a $100 lab fee which will be assessed with registration fees.
  • Summer fees are subject to change.

Find out how to apply for financial aid for summer sessions at UC San Diego or other UC campuses.

View this presentation to learn more about Summer Financial Aid at UC San Diego.

Learn when and how UC San Diego applies Summer Session financial aid to your student account.

View this presentation to learn more about the summer billing process

Summer financial aid and scholarships are available.

  • We strongly encourage all SEI applicants to apply for summer financial aid by filling out the 2022-2023 FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application. You may have already completed the 2023-2024 FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application, but that support starts in the fall and doesn't help with the upcoming summer, so it is important to fill out the 2022-2023 application as well.
  • IDEA Scholars: The IDEA Scholars program fosters community building and academic excellence among our top incoming freshman engineering students from diverse backgrounds, and may provide financial assistance for attending SEI. Click here to learn more about becoming an IDEA Scholar.
  • Check the Financial Aid and Scholarships website for additional information on how to apply for Summer Financial Aid

Application for SEI 2023 is Closed.

2023 SEI Checklist

  • This checklist of action items is required to be completed by students who have confirmed their participation in the Summer Engineering Institute.  
  • Contact Alejandra Arguelles at the IDEA Engineering Student Center by email if you have any questions.

Summer Financial Aid: If you have not submitted your 2022-2023 FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application, please do so as soon as possible, and no later than the June 30th deadline. Your Summer Award (if eligible) will be applied towards the cost of participating in SEI. Note that your Summer Financial Aid Award will be processed only after you have submitted your 2022-2023 FAFSA and you have enrolled in your SEI courses. Processing can take weeks, so please submit your 2022-2023 FAFSA as soon as possible.

Check the Financial Aid and Scholarships website for additional information on how to apply for Summer Financial Aid:​​

SEI was the best decision I ever made, and I feel very ready to start fall quarter knowing I am coming in with friendships I know will last a very long time. I learned a lot of the campus very well, and I learned about many resources I probably would have never heard about. It was an amazing five weeks.  

SEI was very worthwhile for me as I met new people with similar interests as me, and made connections before the school year even started. The classes were very helpful for me, and the events that were put on fostered bonding of participants, which was very good.

SEI was a good program. It helped me get used to the university life and made me realize some of the habits I have to change to fully take advantage of resources.

I really enjoyed my time here and bonded well with my suitemates. I like how it eased me more gradually into college life and how we were able to have easy access to older UCSD students to ask them questions.

Summer Engineering Institute:

IDEA Scholars Program:

Office for Students with Disabilities
If you are a student with a disability (physical, chronic health, learning, mental health, ADHD, etc.) who may need accommodations in classrooms (lecture and/or examination), labs, housing and/or dining, recreational activities such as hiking, ropes, field sports, etc., please contact the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) at 858.534.4382 as soon as you become aware that the condition may impact your ability to participate in our programs. Click here for additional information.

Veteran/CalVet Education Benefits
If you are a Military Affiliated student receiving Federal Veteran Affairs (VA) or Cal Vet assistance during the summer, you may want to verify your benefits and how your participation may be affected. Please contact the Student Veteran Benefits Coordinator, Lisa Linares at (858) 534-0477 or by email at
For more information, click here.