The Summer Academic Enrichment Program (SAEP) is an intensive, five-week on-campus residential program. It is designed to enhance the academic experience of first generation university students. There is no out of pocket expense to participants for this program. All costs are covered by financial aid and program funding.

SAEP is a landmark program on the University of California, Irvine campus and represents a successful model that offers a rigorous research experience. Participants receive 8 units of academic credit towards graduation.

The goals of SAEP are to:

    • Strengthen analytical and research skills that prepare students for research such as an honors thesis, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), summer research and/or internship programs.
    • Provide an orientation to graduate education.
    • Prepare participants for working with historically underserved and underrepresented communities through volunteerism and internships.
    • Offer participants three challenging academic courses: Research Methods; Statistical Methods; and Communication Skills.

In addition, participants will attend weekly presentations by faculty, graduate students and community leaders as well as workshops on graduate school preparation.

SAEP is designed to be challenging. It demands a five week (seven days a week) commitment from all participants. It is best suited for students who are highly motivated and strongly committed to a graduate or professional education. It provides a seminar-based intensive, cooperative learning experience for the cohort, not normally provided in a classroom setting. Participants are introduced to the research culture, to the research university, and to the meaning of a graduate education by prominent nationally known UCI faculty. SAEP participants reflect the diverse and often underrepresented communities of California and the program encourages a return to these communities to provide service and leadership.

Because the program focuses on informing and preparing students for further research and internship opportunities available to UCI undergraduates, applicants should plan on graduating no sooner than one full academic year following the completion of the program. The ideal candidate will plan on staying at UCI for 2 years after completion of SAEP in order to take full advantage of all of the opportunities presented to them.

The more than 400 SAEP students from the past fifteen years have recorded a UCI graduation rate of 95%. Over two-thirds of SAEP participants have graduated from or are currently enrolled in M.A./Ph.D. programs, public policy and public health programs, law school and teaching programs.

SAEP alumni are attending or have graduated from universities such as Stanford, USC, Harvard, Berkeley, UCLA, University of Michigan, University of Washington, University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, Columbia, New York University, Boston University, Texas, Missouri, Wisconsin–Madison, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Irvine. Over two dozen SAEP participants have graduated from the Kennedy School of Government and various Ph.D. and education programs at Harvard University.

The School of Social Sciences has sponsored and administered this distinct undergraduate academic research program on the UCI campus since its inception in 1985. SAEP has drawn on the support of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, the Center for Educational Partnership, the Office of Financial Aid, the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, the Office of Summer Sessions, the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor, Bank of the West, and Saint Joseph's Health Foundation.

For further information please contact us at:

1507 Social and Behavioral Sciences Gateway

 Phone: (949) 824-1426



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