Academic Support

Academic Support and Professional Development Opportunities

UC Merced provides students an array of academic and personal support programs:

Academic Schools and Advising

School of Engineering Advising
The UC Merced School of Engineering is a research community devoted to learning, discovery and service. The school provides an exceptional technical and professional education and instills in our students advanced problem - solving skills, effective leadership qualities, and the ability to recognize and build on individual strengths throughout one's career.

Engineering academic advisors are primarily responsible for providing education, mediation, advocacy, impartial observation, support and referrals. They help students in dealing with course information, access to student services, financial aid, program tutorials, representation and participation.

School of Natural Sciences Advising
Faculty and students in the School of Natural Sciences are interested in understanding the physical and natural world. Advances in biological sciences, chemistry, earth sciences, mathematics and physics promise solutions to many of humankind's most pressing problems - from fighting disease to creating sustainable energy sources.

The School of Natural Sciences' advising staff is dedicated to creating an atmosphere that promotes success. Services are designed to help students develop decision-making skills that will empower them to take full advantage of their educational experience.

In addition to advisors within the School of Natural Sciences, Academic Advising Mentors can assist students with choosing their classes, read their MyAudit report, revise a four-year plan and answer any other questions students may have. The Academic Advising Mentors have also been trained especially to help freshmen and sophomores with common questions such as planning schedules, summer school options, finding on-campus resources, course sequencing and much more. 

The School of Natural Sciences advisors will also assist students with pre-health advising, internships and research opportunities and study abroad information for Natural Sciences.

The School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts (SSHA) Advising
The school embraces many disciplines, including economics, management, cognitive science, history, political science, literature, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, public health, english, spanish and the creative arts.

Communicating with Advisors
Communication via a student’s UC Merced email account is the official method advisors will use to communicate. Due to privacy regulations, advisors will communicate solely through the UC Merced email account (@ucmerced) assigned to a student.

When emailing your advisor, it is appropriate to use complete sentences and good grammar. To help the advisors assist you more quickly, please be sure to include the following in your message:

  • Your full name
  • Your student ID number
  • A brief but detailed explanation of your concern or problem

ASCEND Conference
This annual conference offers incoming freshman and transfer students an opportunity to become better acquainted with university expectations, to enhance essential academic skills and to learn more about campus resources.

The Calvin E. Bright Success Center
The Bright Success Center (BSC) offers a range of tools and resources the support undergraduate student success. In addition to providing academic advising to all undeclared students, the BSC offers a variety of online tools and in-person workshops aimed to help students step up to the challenges and demands of university life and beyond.

The BSC provides the following programs and services for students:

  • Academic Competitions: Allows a student to apply their knowledge and experience to help fund their education.
  • Are hard-working, creative students with high grades (usually obtaining a GPA of 3.9 or higher).
  • Have interests in campus or community activities and career fields or academic disciplines that naturally align with the aims of the scholarships program.
  • Begin work to position themselves competitively very early in their college career.

The BSC is the home to four theme programs:

Degree Attainment for Returning and Transfer Scholars (DARTS)

All incoming undocumented students who are returning or transfer students should consider applying for the Degree Attainment for Returning and Transfer Scholars program. DARTS promotes academic achievement and excellence through supportive services for transfer and returning students, which include:

  • Study space
  • Book loans
  • Social/networking opportunities
  • Personal and professional development
  • Tutoring
  • Career services

Guardian Scholars Program

The Guardian Scholars Program will provide a college experience for current and former foster youth with intensive efforts to engage the participants in learning support services, leadership opportunities and career exploration. All incoming undocumented students who are former foster youth should consider applying for the Guardian Scholars Program.

  • Academic Assistance
  • Career services
  • Leadership opportunities
  • Year-round on-campus housing

Education Abroad

Students who have received consideration for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), are eligible to apply for the UC Study Abroad program. DACA students may apply for “advance parole” if they are leaving the U.S. because of educational purposes, such as semester-abroad programs and academic research. Students must apply for advance parole by filing a Form I-131, Application for Travel Document and paying the applicable fee ($360).

The Study Abroad experience is an enriching and memorable opportunity for students. For more information about how DACA students may study abroad, review the Educators for Fair Consideration document.  

Summer Bridge Program

The Summer Bridge Program is an eight week summer session, which prepares incoming first-year students to begin their university career early. The Summer Bridge Program provides students the opportunity to currently acclimate to college life and earn course credits in Writing 1 and Math 5. The program also provides the opportunity for early enrollment for fall classes as well as personal advising.