Workshops for Engineering & Science Transfers (WEST) is designed to give students transferring from other institutions a jump-start on entering UCSC science and engineering majors. WEST fosters collaboration between students of different educational backgrounds and actively engages participants in the real processes of research through inquiry based activities while helping build a community of STEM (Science,Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) transfer students. These 2.5 day workshops are held every year in September, just before the start of fall quarter classes. Dates for WEST 2016 are scheduled for Sept 12th, 13th and 14th 2016

WEST Provides

  • Laboratory based inquiry activities in science and engineering

  • Opportunities to gain a deeper knowledge of S&E subject matter

  • Exposure to Science & Engineering (S&E) disciplines on campus and available research opportunities

  • Information about navigating academics and discussions addressing the specific needs of S&E transfer students

  • Multiple venues to meet members of the UCSC community, including faculty, academic advisors, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as past program participants

Sampling of Previous WESTs

BioWEST participants have practiced scientific analysis and technical skills relating to cytogenetics, central dogma, and the discoveries of Watson and Crick.

EarthWEST combined diverse scientific disciplines such as physics, chemistry and mathematics to investigate the vast global processes affecting our earth, oceans and atmosphere.

EcoWEST explored how abiotic factors structure ecological communities. Based on actual field work in the UCSC forests and meadows, students experienced concepts, inquiry processes, and technical skills fundamental to the science and practice of ecology.

EngineerWEST engaged learners through the application of engineering methods to understand fundamental concepts in working with digital images. Students worked with digital encoding, spatial brightness and resolution, and evaluated trade offs to solve a real-world problem.

OceanWEST students planned and investigated their own short field study at Natural Bridges State Park. Using their observations they formulated hypotheses, collected data, and presented conclusions to their peers.


WEST helped me make friends and laid a foundation of tools that I could use while I am studying at UCSC.; The experiments we did in class let us learn a tremendous amount about working in scientific groups, and allowed us to practice skills like analyzing, sharing, discussing and presenting scientific data. It was an amazing experience!"   

- Rich Sportsman 

WEST Ocean 2

Participating in WEST provided me with the invaluable faculty connections required for research experience at a UC. I was able to meet professors from multiple disciplines, network with my peers and work with graduate students, all the while earning a head start on the academic year. As a transfer student, I can see that attending WEST not only provided rewarding experiences, it also eased the transition process that all transfer students must endure. Thank you for the enriching opportunity!  

- Brendan Bane

WEST Ocean 1


WEST was valuable to me for a few reasons. The first was just being able to network and meet other transfers. The majority of my friends at UCSC are people that I met in WEST. Since we were all going through the same adjustments, it was great having people to talk to throughout the year that understood what I was going through. It was also a great way to meet people that would be in some of my classes, and then have people that I could study with. We all share similar goals, so these are also people that I use as a sounding board for ideas  and cheer on in their endeavors. One of the other reasons WEST was valuable was in getting me ready for what the professors at UCSC expected. I learned how to think a little more critically and how to dissect journal articles. The skills from the WEST workshop gave me the confidence to approach and talk to my professors, instead of just being a person who filled the seat in lectures.”  

-Janine Kafouros