The Viterbi Summer Institute is a program put on through the Center for Engineering Diversity that gives minority students the opportunity to get acclimated to the school and the unfamiliar area prior to the start of classes. You basically get to experience college before starting your freshman year, making the transition a lot simpler. A total of 50 students are chosen to spend 4 weeks from early July until the first week in August where they get to take two classes, physics and math, as well as conduct research in a lab and learn basic coding techniques to help with upcoming engineering coursework. On the weekends, the program also introduces you to LA with different excursions like trips to the beach and attending a Dodger Game.
The greatest advantage of being in the Viterbi Summer Institute was the friends and connections that I have made through the program. My core friend group is from the people there because we had spent so much time with one another. We are so close that we all helped each other move in on move in day and it helped seeing familiar faces in class. In addition, my math professor for the summer turned out to be my professor my first semester which was amazing because I was already comfortable with his teaching style as well as going to him with questions that I had.
On another note, taking the later math classes was a little intimidating because I was one of the few freshman in the class but it turned out that I had it with three other kids in the program, so I already had a study group in place.
Program applications will be emailed to minority students in early May after the May 1st SIR deadline. The application will take a little under an hour but I highly recommend taking the time to apply for the program because I don’t know where I would be without it!