The College's Freshman Cluster Program is a curricular initiative that is designed to strengthen the intellectual skills of first year students, introduce them to faculty research work, and expose them to such "best practices" in teaching as seminars and interdisciplinary study. Clusters are year-long, collaboratively taught, interdisciplinary courses that are focused on a topic of timely importance such as the "global environment," or "interracial dynamics." These courses are taught by some of the university's most distinguished faculty and seasoned graduate students and are open only to entering freshmen. During the fall and winter quarters, students attend lecture courses and small discussion sections and/or labs. In the spring quarter, these same students enroll in one of a number of satellite seminars dealing with topics related to the cluster theme.
Upper Division Clusters
Upper Division Clusters are part of a new initiative to provide transfer students (juniors and seniors) with a smoother transition into UCLA. These yearlong, team taught clusters will provide transfers with support from a strong cohort of peers while introducing them to academic content and methods across several disciplines. The sequence of Upper Division Clusters will help students get used to the rigor of the quarter system as well as to interdisciplinary research, writing and oral presentation skills. Pedagogically, Upper Division Clusters will provide students with access to a learning community, cross disciplinary exposure, and skills development that are critical to students’ academic success.