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Summer Engineering Seminar (SES)

2020 SES Update

The health and safety of all community members visiting campus is of the utmost importance to Santa Clara University and the School of Engineering. While we hope and expect the COVID-19 crisis will be over by summer, we certainly cannot guarantee that will be the case. Rather than add to the stress of unknowns, or possibly disappointing you late in the process,  we have decided it is best to CANCEL this year’s Summer Engineering Seminar (SES) program.

A Special Summer Program for High School Students

In 2020, the School of Engineering at Santa Clara University will host its 31st annual Summer Engineering Seminar (SES) program. This special summer experience is for current high school sophomores and juniors who are interested in exploring the field of engineering. The program is designed to acquaint participants with the engineering profession, the academic expectations of college, and the nature of life at a university. 

The 2020 SES program will be offered three times over the course of the summer. Students can apply to attend one of the following session options:

Session One: July 12-16
Session Two: July 19-23
Session Three: July 26-30

High school students taking part in the School of Engineering's Summer Engineering Seminar visit the Flex Innovation Center

The SES program is designed to motivate young people to pursue science and engineering majors in college so they can ultimately participate in the scientific and technical work force. It provides participants with a chance to explore the many possibilities of engineering as a career while living in University residence halls staffed by program counselors. Participants eat their meals in University dining facilities, attend special workshops and complete their own engineering projects. Participants experience the outside-of-class aspects of Santa Clara University through afternoon and evening recreational activities. Feel free to browse a recent SES schedule to take a look at the variety of program activities offered (schedule is subject to change).

During their stay on campus, students attend introductory level workshops spanning several disciplines of engineering that are facilitated by our engineering faculty. Topics will include: Bioengineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. Participants attend all core workshops for a broad exposure to the various disciplines and careers within the field of engineering. SES workshops will be held in the School of Engineering, the focal point for engineering education at Santa Clara University.

The eligibility criteria for SES are determined by the purpose and content of the program, as well as Santa Clara University's Strategic Vision. This program aims to motivate more students to pursue engineering study and workshop content is on a broad, introductory level. Santa Clara University's Strategic Vision also emphasizes education in "service to society, especially on behalf of those in greatest need," which is in line with our Jesuit identity. As such, the following criteria have been set for program participants:

  • Students who will have completed their sophomore or junior year of high school by July 1, 2020
  • Students who are interested in broadly exploring the field of engineering and its various disciplines
  • Students who have not been exposed to the engineering profession through high school coursework, extra-curricular activities, similar programs and close role models working in engineering
  • Students who may lack the means to access engineering courses and programs, due to limited financial resources and/or a lack of school & community offerings.
  • Women, first-generation college students and other underrepresented groups in the field of engineering are highly encouraged to apply, though this is not a limiting factor for program selection.

Please note that students will only be able to participate in one of our high school engineering programs (SEEDs or SES), as the academic content of both programs is very similar. Information on the Spring Engineering Education Days (SEEDs) Program can be found here.

Local students who do not meet the eligibility requirements specified above are encouraged to consider applying for Santa Clara University's Young Scholars Program. This program allows high school students to enroll in college-level courses during the summer at a 75% tuition discount and receive college credits upon course completion. In addition to the introductory engineering courses that are offered, Young Scholars also have the opportunity to enroll in other math, science, business and humanities courses of interest. More information on the Young Scholars Program can be found here.

All on-site fees for the SES Program are paid by the School of Engineering along with gifts from various corporate sponsors and foundations, resulting in no costs for participants who are accepted into the program. This covers room fees, all meals and supplies. Participants are responsible, however, for their own transportation to and from campus.

To be considered for this program, applicants must submit a complete application consisting of the following:

  1. The online application must be completed by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. The application is available here.
  2. An essay (500 words) as part of the online application addressing the following questions: What makes you an ideal candidate for the SES program? How do you think you could benefit from the program? Questions to consider in your response may include:

            -What are you passionate about?
            -What drives your curiosity for engineering?
            -What kind of impact do you hope to have on society?

  3. An SES online instructor recommendation form, completed by one of your high school math, science, computing or technology teachers.  The instructor recommendation form is available here.  The deadline for completion of the recommendation form is by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25. Please note that students must share this recommendation link with their recommender. The application system does not send them a request upon completion of an application. 

Each year the SES program receives hundreds of applications from across the country for a limited number of spots, making acceptance to the program very competitive. For program consideration, applications will be evaluated based on academic performance (particularly in math and science), strength of instructor recommendation, and the alignment with program eligibility criteria (with particular emphasis on applicant need). Applicants are informed of their status via email by Friday, April 17.

High school students taking part in the School of Engineering's Summer Engineering Seminar visit the Flex Innovation Center 

For more information or questions, write or call:

If you have a disability and require reasonable accommodation, please call 408-554-4728 or California Relay at 800-735-2929 (TTY) two weeks prior to the event.


The School of Engineering provides an outstanding theoretical and practical experience for both undergraduate and graduate students in the heart of Silicon Valley. Distinguished faculty, academic excellence, personal attention, and a culture of social responsibility are hallmarks of our program.

Disciplines in the School of Engineering include applied mathematics, bioengineering, civil, computer, electrical and mechanical engineering, and engineering management and leadership. More information can be found at

Contact Us

Email: Summer Engineering Seminar

Santa Clara University
School of Engineering
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053