ACA SoCal @


Join ACA for the Summer-of-a-Lifetime!


Welcome to ACA @ UCLA!

The University of California, Los Angeles is nestled beautifully along the Southern California coastline – the best of all possible settings for the ultimate summer experience! You’ve got the cities of Malibu, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills and all the best that SoCal has to offer. It’s an endless summer of enrichment and adventure decked out in real California style!!

Southern California is famous for its warm sandy beaches and bustling city, the perfect setting for your ultimate summer experience! Dynamic, culturally diverse and breathtakingly beautiful, Los Angeles combines the finest the California coast has to offer. Enjoy the beautiful beaches, the fame of Hollywood, and the powerhouse Pac 12 UCLA campus for magical summer in SoCal! 

Weekday Schedule

Classes run Monday through Friday.

Safety & Supervision

ACA has always been committed to absolute safety for every student. We maintain a ten-to-one student-to-staff ratio – one of the lowest in the industry – to ensure everyone gets the unmatched attention and unique personalized programs they deserve. 

As part of our commitment to student safety, ACA staff members live on student-occupied floors, accompany students on all activities and excursions. ACA takes care to use private transportation for our weekday activities and weekend adventure trips – never public transportation.

The Residence Hall adds an additional element of security, as well. The front desk is staffed 24 hours a day with trained personnel for your comfort and convenience.

Travel to Los Angeles*

We recommend that students fly nonstop to Los Angeles (LAX) International Airport. There they will be met by ACA staff members, who will escort them to comfortable, air-conditioned shuttles for the brief drive to UCLA’s campus.

Of course, parents are also welcome to drive students to ACA directly. Contact our office for further information on any of these travel options.

*Transportation is not included in tuition.

Our Electives

ACA’s signature Southern California program offers the kind of personal enrichment courses that build confidence for college while also giving you the chance to grow academically and intellectually. 

The ACA experience gives you a welcome preview of college life, and still delivers plenty of opportunities to enhance your knowledge and pursue your interests. Get a head start on the coming school year. Do it all in an amazing summer setting, surrounded by new friends and without the pressure of grades!

ACA classes are graded on a “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” basis, and all students receive an ACA “Certificate of Achievement” upon successful completion of each course.

Classes are held Monday through Friday, and are taught by distinguished members of the university faculty, graduate students, secondary school instructors or SoCal-area professionals. Instructors teach in an interactive, seminar style, creating a supportive environment that encourages you to actively participate in each class.

ACA fills courses on a first-come, first-served basis, so we strongly recommend enrolling in the program early to better ensure the availability of your desired courses.

Course Options: 

You will be able to two of the following options for your stay in SoCal:

  • Creative/Arts Course
  • Business/Tech Course
  • Athletics
  • Personal Enrichment


You can choose one of the following options for your stay in SoCal:

  • Internship
  • Outdoor Adventure
  • ACT or SAT Prep
  • Community Service

Choose 2:
 1 Selection (9:30am - 11:00am):

 2 Selection (11:15am - 12:45pm):

You and your peers are divided into groups each holding a different role representing your tech start up from the CEO to CFO, COO to customer service and consumers. Each team is responsible for designing a new product, taking into account its user-friendly features and breakthrough potential. Teams are required to develop marketing strategies including doing research about competitive products, determining the sale price and advertising campaigns along with the profitability of your products. This program will help you think like an innovator, test your ability to work with a team, and push you to develop your leadership capabilities.

It’s time to throw around a little iron! You might be a varsity athlete looking to gain muscle and build power. Perhaps you want to balance your aerobic activity with some strength training. And maybe you’re just sick of being out of shape! This course will get you in the weight room and give you the tools to really work for peak physical performance. Instruction will build upon safe and proper techniques of strength training and conditioning utilizing a variety of exercises, equipment, facilities, and training skills. Students will depart from this course with a better understanding of strength and conditioning techniques. Don’t be intimidated. It’s for everyone!

Photography has evolved more dramatically than any other art form, and digital technology has revolutionized how we take pictures. This hands-on course will introduce you to both the basics of taking great digital pictures and advanced tricks for making them even more creative and compelling. You’ll learn how to crop images, adjust color and contrast, and save your work as a great keepsake of your ACA experience! Whether you hope to shoot fashion models and rock stars, capture images of rare animals in the wild or just want to take good vacation photos, this course is picture perfect! Please note: Some studio time outside of regular class is required, and students must supply their own cameras.

The mind is a limitless frontier. What do we know about its inner workings? You will get insight into what makes people tick in this popular introductory course. You’ll study personality and psychological development, attitudes, cognition and intelligence. And you will learn a bit about how you think and feel yourself.
These days everything — and everyone — is online. This course explains how social media has not only revolutionized the social fabric, but also how to create a one-of-a-kind web site. When it comes to social media, learn about the international ramifications, risks to your privacy, and how to best navigate the newest communication technologies. For Web design, gain knowledge of HTML, JavaScript, WordPress and the latest software-development technologies essential to smart web work. So whether you’re the next social media savant or Web-design darling, this course is sure to get you there!
An introduction to the fields of mass communication and group and interpersonal communication. Everyone knows that we live in a fast-paced, information-dependent culture – and we need skilled, entertaining personalities to provide us with what we need to know. Whether it’s serious news served up CNN style or a lighthearted late-night talk show, anchors, hosts and reporters have worked hard to ask compelling questions and create engaging interview styles and stories. You’ll study classic ways to cover a story, interview a celebrity and interact with an audience. In addition we will focus on media including newspapers, magazines, books, radio, television, film and advertising. Stick with it and you could become one of the trusted faces we see on TV every night or the one who goes behind the scenes to get the next big scoop!
Launching your own company isn’t for everyone. Only the most daring, determined types need apply, but if you have what it takes, you’ll be in the same league as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, or Google guys Larry Page and Sergey Brin. If you’re ready to develop your own startup, this course could be your first step on the road to success! You’ll create a business plan, hoping to cash in on your innovation and creativity. Research your market, work up a template to put your plan into action, and let your inner entrepreneur take command.

From sports stars selling SUVs to pop singers selling soda, advertising and marketing is a huge part of our culture. Sure, it is essential to business, but it also reflects our society. How do advertisers and marketers determine the best way to influence consumers? What campaigns are the most effective? What new trends is technology creating? If you’re planning on influencing others through advertising, public relations or marketing, understanding these concepts will be essential. Get a head start!

Everyone knows that a good diet and plenty of exercise are the keys to good health, but what’s going to work best for you? Are you a vegetarian, yogi or a protein-pounding weight lifter? Whatever your well-being interest, this course will help you balance mind, body and spirit, discussing progressive fitness techniques and intelligent approaches to nutrition. Students will also learn stress-management techniques such as meditation, breathing exercises, and yoga to develop a well-rounded approach to mental and physical health focused on the mind and body.

The impact of digital technology on the entertainment world has drastically changed how products are developed and managed and how talent connects with audiences. You will explore new approaches for success in today’s entertainment environment through the media and sports. Learn about business strategy, investments, joint ventures, business ethics, sponsorships, consumer behavior, and decision-making.

Are you afraid of studying in the United States because you don’t trust your English skills? This course will improve your English skills as a certified teacher helps you along. Semi-private classes are designed to help you, no matter what your level of English proficiency. This course will help you develop skills in pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, reading, listening comprehension, and oral and written communication.


  • Past Perfect Review
  • Introduction to Simple Future and Formation
  • Time/Adverb Clauses in Future Sentences
  • Future Progressive Formation
  • Review Future Progressive, Present Progressive, Simple Future

Communication Skills

  • Review of Travel Vocabulary and Idioms
  • Review of Holidays; Discuss/Learn About New Places to Visit
  • Introduction of Debate Vocabulary and Debate Preparation
  • Speaking About Favorite holidays
  • Travel Practice Activity
  • Create Travel Itineraries and Present as a Tour Guide
  • Debate – “Is Travel Tourism Good or Bad”
  • Group Work for Presentations

These days everything — and everyone — is online. This course explains how social media has not only revolutionized the social fabric, but also how to create a one-of-a-kind social media experience. Explore how individuals and companies use social media to increase their fame, following and value. Examine the business plans of the major social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Tik Tok. This class will also explore how individuals and companies build successful brands across various platforms and the big question – what makes a post go viral?

Successful CSI requires hands-on training and a step-by-step process in the discovery, preservation, and collection of physical evidence. In this course, you will examine the techniques CSI’s collect and preserve evidence from delicate crime scenes. Learn about crime scene management; diagramming and sketching; photography; fingerprint, bloodstain pattern analysis. The instructor will create a mock crime scene and you will collect and interpret the evidence. Prepare to experience what you see on CSI!
Do you have an eye for the work of Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren and other top designers? This intensive program will help you hone your fashion sense and express yourself at the same time! You’ll learn how to combine colors, shapes, fabrics and textures to create a look that’s all your own. You might start the next fashion craze! You’ll learn essential fashion design concepts, and study the skills needed to bring fashion vision to the runway. You’ll experiment with fashion sketching, pattern-making, and construction. You’ll have access to a variety of materials and styles, both classic and contemporary.

OR Choose 1 Elective Selection (9:30am - 12:45pm):

Set yourself apart with a competitive internship! Landing an internship at an established company allows students the opportunity to experience and work in their preferred industry. An internship offers students the chance to learn by doing and have the opportunity to achieve their own learning goals, without the responsibilities of being a permanent employee.  An internship also offers students the opportunity to work with a professional who can become a mentor – not only in the internship, but also throughout their career. With any industry, interns will learn what it takes to change the world in the competitive marketplace, such as the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

When it comes to starting down your perfect career path, nothing can make the difference like real experience.  ACA understands, which is why we offer great internship opportunities. They provide amazing ways to pick up real skill and savvy. Find out if you’re ready to make it in the real world! Work in at the next big tech start up company or try your hand at some play-by-play at ESPN Radio. Whichever industry you choose, ACA works hard to find each student a personalized opportunity in the Los Angeles area.

When it comes time to apply for a real job, ACA internship sponsors are more than happy to provide references!

Please Note: To apply, students must submit a resume and brief essay detailing their field of interest, goals for the program and any qualities they possess that would be beneficial to the employer. These essays will be distributed to potential employers in the student’s chosen field in search of a suitable match.

“Only a life lived in the service to others is worth living.” ACA’s Service Learning course embodies this Albert Einstein quote providing, rewarding opportunities to spend time helping to make SoCal an even better place for its citizens and visitors. Our goal is to encourage our students to realize the power they have to grow as individuals while contributing to an environment of cultural understanding and mutual respect.

Earn up to 60 hours of community service! Upon completion, every participant receives a certificate highlighting the total number of hours volunteered and projects completed.

Past ACA Service Partners & Projects Include:

  • Food Prep at Aaron Community Cultural Center 
  • Food Prep at Heart of Compassion 
  • Organic Farming at GrowGood Inc. 
  • Tree Replanting at Tree People 
  • Tree Replanting at the Santa Monica Mountains Fund 
  • Processing donated clothing at Habitat for Humanity ReStore
  • Farm help and animal care at Big Heart Ranch Malibu 
  • Tutoring children at Boys and Girls Club 
  • Beach Clean Up at Santa Monica Beach 
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • Support Our Troops

Take to the waves or head over the wall! Whether you’re up for some surfing, paddle boarding and kayaking or you want to try your rock climbing skills, this course is the perfect fit for any outdoor sports enthusiast.

This course focuses on the skills you need to improve your SAT score. Offering three complete SAT diagnostic exams, students will receive the practice they need to prepare for this challenging exam. In addition to practice tests, intensive classroom instruction will focus on helping students tackle all three sections of the test (math, reading and writing). This complete SAT review includes all books, diagnostic exams and classroom materials. It can be the key to your best SAT performance! Supplemental fee: $795
This intensive course builds the skills you need to improve your ACT score. Offering three complete ACT diagnostic exams, students will receive the practice they need to prepare for this challenging exam. Intensive classroom instruction will help students prepare for all test sections, which can be the key to decreasing test anxiety, increasing test preparedness and maximizing test performance. The full ACT review includes all books, diagnostic exams and classroom materials. Kaplan is renowned for consistently helping students earn the scores that reflect their true ability, helping secure admission to the schools of their choice! Supplemental fee: $795

*Supplemental lab fee may apply

Southern California Life

Los Angeles is home to countless celebrities, and now you can call it home, too! Located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, UCLA gives you all the excitement! It’s the perfect place for anyone looking for an active summer! We are surrounded the beauty of Santa Monica, unparalleled pristine beaches of Malibu,  great hiking trails and bike paths, and you can even surf, swim or kayak in the Pacific Ocean! Be sure to pack your sense of adventure! 

You can count on outstanding accommodations – this is ACA!

Staying at Los Angles has its privileges, which is why so many celebrities call it home. You’ll kick back in comfort at UCLA, enjoying safe, clean and comfortable dorms with in-suite bathrooms, internet access and are for ACA only. These rooms definitely serve up cool California style!  ACA creates a unique environment where you’ll be able to concentrate on getting the most out of your summer, staying refreshed and ready to excel.

Excellent Eats

Choices, choices, choices! With ACA, you never have to worry about going hungry. Breakfast and dinner at the on-campus dining facility during the week feature a wonderful choice of kitchen-fresh entrees, a selection of side dishes, fruit, vegetables, salad bar, beverage bar, desserts, and fresh-baked breads and pastries. For lunch, you’ll have many options that let you enjoy favorite restaurants in Westwood. On weekends and occasional weeknights, you’ll be able to take advantage of ACA’s exclusive Dining-on-the-Town-Plan. It lets you choose great dining-out options at a variety of ACA-selected restaurants – and it’s included in your tuition! Your tuition includes includes three meals Monday to Friday and brunch & dinner on weekends.

Around Town & Beyond

With the Pacific Coast in the background, Southern California offers something for everyone, and the Westwood area is packed with plenty to do. You’ll have plenty of time to check out the attractions and activities that interest you most! Participate in an on-campus seminar or workshop, explore the shops, sights and scenes in Los Angeles, enjoy a favorite sport, or just relax on the beach.

Afternoon and evening activities are yours to enjoy. Play some tennis, head to the beach or get in a round of golf. Catch the perfect wave during a surfing lesson or browse the celebrated shops of Rodeo Drive. From semi-private sports instruction to creative arts workshops to cool shows, outings and summer concerts, there are new options to pursue every day! 

If your sport is shopping, you’ll find the best shopping worldwide at the upscale shops of Westwood, Malibu Country Mart, Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade and Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive, where you just might rub elbows with Hollywood celebs. From Prada to Polo, Valentino to Versace, it’s truly a street of dreams!

Afternoon & Evening Activities

  • Soak up the sun at Santa Monica Beach and jump the truly gnarly waves
  • Hoop it up at the ACA 3-on-3 basketball tournament and find out who rules the court
  • Get to know UCLA at its best during ACA’s welcome scavenger hunt!
  • More than a zoo, it’s an animal sanctuary – admire the animals at the Los Angeles Zoo
  • You have some big shoes to fill as you walk among the stars on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame
  • See how your hands and feet compare to Hollywood elites like Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, and Robert Downey Jr. in front of Mann Chinese Theater
  • LA comes to life at the Universal City Walk. Grab a bite at one of the famous restaurants and then hit the trendy shops, all set under the beautiful California stars.
  • See the gods at the Greek and Roman collections of the Getty Museum
  • Gaze up at the Hollywood sign as you browse the fashionable boutiques on Melrose Street
  • Devour a hot dog while watching one of the most storied teams in MLB history
  • Pump some iron and get big on Muscle Beach
  • Have your caricature drawn on the Venice Boardwalk and pick up a pair of hip new shades
  • Catch a sunset at Palisades Park; it doesn’t get much more iconic LA than this
  • Savor a latte while exploring the scene on the famed Abbot Kinney Boulevard
  • Ride the dazzling Ferris wheel at the Santa Monica Pier
  • Hit all the fashionable boutiques and watch out for the paparazzi on the energetic Rodeo Drive
  • Sunset hikes, karaoke nights, bowling, mini golf, ultimate Frisbee, bonfires and more exciting activities and events are all part of your summer with ACA!

The Finest Fitness Facilities

The SoCal program offers outstanding athletic facilities that meet the needs of any exercise enthusiast. You’ll have access to state-of-the-art workout facilities such as the renowned John Wooden Center and plenty of other athletic and recreational options during your stay. You can lace up your running shoes for a jog on campus, or hit the gym to pump some iron or get moving on an elliptical trainer. Outdoor tennis courts, basketball courts and plenty of other options are sure to keep you busy. Of course, a game of touch football or a little Frisbee is always a campus classic. One of the most exciting things about LA is you never know who you may run into whether it’s Kobe Bryant shooting hoops in the Wooden Center or Real Madrid practicing out on the soccer fields. Just make sure to pack your workout gear — it’s going to be a very active summer!

You will have time to take advantage of all the outstanding options available at the John Wooden Center, which include:

Squash Courts
Indoor Jogging Track
Weight Room
Basketball Courts
Cardio Room

Weekend Adventures

Complete your ACA Southern California experience with exciting weekend adventures.

Malibu (3 WEEK PROGRAM)​

Zuma Beach– Stunning views along the Pacific Coast Highway lead to three miles of pristine beach that has been a favorite for movie producers. Feeling active? Grab a volleyball and try your skill on the same beach the pros have competed on for decades.

Malibu Country Mart-  A local celebrity hotspot, the Malibu Country Mart is a large outdoor lifestyle center or “boutique mall” located in the heart of Malibu.


Watch Dreams Come True at the Happiest Place on Earth… Be sure to check out Star Wars: Galaxy Edge, Fantasyland, Adventureland, Tomorrowland, Frontierland, Critter Country.

*Please Note: Disneyland replaces the day trip to Malibu for students who select this excursion (Supplemental fee) 

Santa Barbara (3 Week Program)

Serious Shopping in Santa Barbara– Get a Mediterranean experience on the fabled “American Riviera.” This is one of Cali’s favorite shopping areas. Wander the cobblestone walkways of State Street and sunny expanses of open-air plazas and promenades in search of “must-have” fashions. Take a break for a gourmet treat, then get right back in the hunt!

University of California, Santa Barbara– Tour the breathtaking campus located on cliffs directly above the Pacific Ocean (optional).

Sunset Over Santa Monica Bay


Santa Monica Pier– A favorite for Hollywood movie scenes, this California icon comes alive at night. Take a ride on the world’s first solar-powered Ferris wheel or stop by the famed aquarium to get nose-to-nose with the ocean’s most fearsome predators!

Third Street Promenade– The world-famous strip features designer boutiques and award-winning restaurants, all in the heart of Santa Monica. The outdoor mall is full of colorful street entertainers and dancers enjoying perfect California weather.

Venice Beach– LA’s most iconic beach known for its bohemian spirit, Venice is a buzzing beach town. Free-spirited Venice Boardwalk is the site of funky shops, street performers and colorful murals. There’s also a skate park and Muscle Beach outdoor gym

Abbot Kinney– Abbot Kinney Boulevard features foodie hot spots, stylish boutiques and coffee bars.

Manhattan BEACH (2 & 3 WEEK PROGRAMS)

Known as “The Pearl of L.A.’s South Bay” Manhattan Beach is home to over 100 locally owned, boutique, and specialty retailers and lots of trendy coffee shops and restaurants. Stroll down the boardwalk and soak up the sun on this pristine beach!

Universal Studios* (2 & 3 week programs)

Go Behind-The-Scenes Of The Largest and Busiest Motion Picture and TV Studio In The World. Get Ready For The Ultimate Hollywood Experience!

*Please Note: Universal Studios replaces the day trip to Manhattan Beach for students who select this excursion (Supplemental fee) 

Universal Studios

San Francisco Extension

Add 5 days to your Californian Adventure

Add to your SoCal experience and explore the wonders of San Francisco and the Bay area! (supplemental tuition required)

You’ll remain in the secure company of trusted ACA staff members, as well as many of the friends you’ve made on your ACA program. Of course, you’ll also enjoy the comfortable accommodations and superior guidance you’ve come to expect from ACA. 

From the majesty of the Golden Gate Bridge to the natural beauty of Muir Woods, the City by the Bay is no doubt one of the prettiest on the Pacific, if not all of America! And for things to do, San Francisco is second to none. 




What Alumni are Saying

"My summer at ACA was one of the greatest experiences of my life! I have amazing memories and made the best friends on this trip that I will cherish forever. ACA provided countless opportunities!
"My son Brett had not only the greatest summer, but the greatest experience of his life. The friendships he made were so amazing! He now rooms with friends he met at ACA in college."
Lisa and Steven
New York
"ACA was by far the best summer camp I've ever had the privilege to attend. The experiences were unforgettable, and words cannot describe how many lifelong friendships I made."

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