Welcome to UC Santa Cruz and the Academic Excellence (ACE) Program

Are you thinking about majoring in science, technology, engineering, or math (known as STEM)? Would you like to meet other UCSC students doing the same? Then ACE is the place for you!

We bring STEM students together in active learning discussion sections that accompany several large math and science lectures. We help you understand the lecture and text book through concept specific worksheets that you and your classmates work on as a team.

Did you know that students who spend three hours per course-unit each week studying outside of their math or science lecture have a much better understanding of their course material and therefore earn higher grades? Since UCSC’s courses are 5-units, that means you should study 15 hours per week outside of lecture. When you participate in an ACE secondary discussion section, not only will you meet others who need to study just as much as you do, but also one third of your outside-of-lecture-study time will be guided and focused.

Learning to manage your time is crucial and ACE can teach you how. As a member of the ACE Program, you will join a community of motivated students who are on the way to achieving their career goals.

Nancy Cox-Konopelski, Program Director

Students with proposed or declared physical or biological sciences or engineering majors  are considered for enrollment in ACE discussion sections. EOP science, technology, engineering and math majors/proposed majors have priority enrollment.

ACE discussion section(s) replace the one(s) you chose when you registered for classes. However, the ACE sections DO NOT SHOW on your portal.


Thanks to our Supporters

ACE fiscal support is administered by the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences. Additional funding comes from NSF grants awarded to PBSci and Jack Baskin School of Engineering Faculty.

Generous gifts from ACE friends, students, and families have allowed us to offer more discussion sections for general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, calculus and pre-calculus, and physics thereby serve more students than ever.

Thank you to the following for their continued support of ACE students:

    Steven L. Phillips, UCSC Biology Alumnus, since 2010

    Karoline Delaney, UCSC Chemistry Alumna, since 2012

    The Mervyn L. Brenner Foundation Inc., since 2012

    Joe Konopelski and Nancy Cox-Konopelski, since 2013

    USCS alumni, past and present ACE Students and their families, since the '90s

No gift is too small to support the next generation of math and science teachers, researchers, engineers, and health care professionals. Please consider making your contribution to the success of ACE students. Click here for more information.