Four-Year Roadmap for majors in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

Freshman Year: Self–Discovery (STEM)

  • Since science and engineering majors at UCSC require a large number of classes, including many sequential courses, attend your department’s orientation the first week of fall quarter to find out what majors are offered and what courses are required for the majors you are considering. 
  • Meet with the undergraduate adviser for your desired major to declare your major or pre-major and plan your four-year course schedule.
  • Learn what you can do with the various science and engineering majors at our web page called: “What Can I Do with a Major in….
  • Identify your personal values, interests, skills and abilities through our career assessments including FOCUS
  • Meet with a career adviser to discuss your proposed major and related career options. 
  • Learn how to find and apply to part-time jobs by viewing our webshop.
  • Register (fill out your profile) on SlugQuest, UCSC’s source for job and career exploration resources. 
  • Transition your resume from high school to college; attend a resume workshop or watch our resume webshop.
  • Get involved: join a science or engineering related student organization, or find a volunteer opportunity.
  • Talk to people about their careers; use the Career Advice Network (CAN) and the Alumni Association Mentor Network to set up information interviews.
  • If you are considering graduate or professional school, read these web sections:
  • Keep your grades as high as possible because this will allow you to have the option of attending graduate school after UCSC and will help you qualify for better jobs.

Sophomore Year:  Exploration (STEM)

  • Assess your progress in your major. If your grades are poor, meet with an academic adviser early in the year to evaluate if you should continue in your major or change majors.
  • Take a career assessment, especially if you need to change your major.
  • Update your SlugQuest profile and upload your updated resume.
  • Attend our workshops and/or webshops to learn about resumes, cover letters, interviewing and thank you notes.
  • Have your resume and cover letter critiqued by a career adviser or peer adviser.
  • Continue exploring occupations and grad school options:
  • Meet with a career adviser to develop a strategy for finding a summer job, internships and/or volunteer experience.
  • Develop relationships with faculty to ensure that you can get solid job and grad school recommendation letters.
  • Attend Career Center fairs and events, particularly the Business, Science and Engineering Fair, during fall quarter. 
  • Consider taking on a leadership role in student organizations related to your career interests and major.

Junior Year: Preparation & Experience Building (STEM)

  • Update your SlugQuest profile and resume
  • Meet with a career adviser to narrow down your career choices. 
  • Decide if graduate or professional school is necessary for your career goals. If so, start planning at the beginning of your third year:
  • If you are applying to medical school or other health professions graduate programs, meet with the STEM career adviser to make sure you are on schedule to complete all course requirements and application deadlines. For medical schools, apply in summer before senior year or plan to take a year off.
  • Continue to gain research or project experience with grad students, professors and through special science and engineering summer programs. 
  • Begin identifying summer job or internship opportunities early in the Fall since the summer after your junior year is one of your last chances to do an internship. Check On Campus Interviewing (OCI) every quarter to help you find opportunities. 
  • Fine-tune your interview skills by attending a workshop, watching a webshop or scheduling a mock interview with a career adviser. 
  • Research to determine the types of entry-level positions for which you might qualify and companies for which you may want to work. 
  • Establish professional contacts to assist with your job search by using the Career Advice Network and the UCSC Alumni Mentor Network.
  • Attend Career Fairs and employer information sessions to meet representatives from potential employers. 
  • Learn appropriate attire and etiquette for recruitment events 
  • Aim for strong academic performance, especially in your major.

Senior Year: Taking Action to Transition (STEM)

  • Update your SlugQuest profile and resume. Tailor your resume and cover letters to the specific jobs to which you are applying.
  • Develop your career target: geographic location, type of employer, and type of job. If you are still uncertain about your goals after graduation, meet with a faculty member and/or career adviser to develop a plan.
  • Continue to gain research or project experience with grad students and professors or internship experience, since this is your last change to build skills applicable to your career before you graduate.
  • Learn effective job search strategies, including networking. Start using them early in the year to identify opportunities. Many companies recruit and make offers to graduating seniors as early as fall quarter. 
  • Use SlugQuest to participate in the On-Campus Recruiting (OCI) program for full-time employment, which begins early in the fall quarter.
  • If your career path requires graduate or professional school continue to follow the application process steps. 
  • Develop your grad school statement and have it critiqued by a career adviser
  • Identify faculty and professionals who are willing to serve as references and write recommendation letters.
  • Learn how to interview successfully. View our webshop and videos and/or schedule amock interview with a career adviser
  • Attend career fairs and career events to meet potential employers
  • Network with your contacts, including alumni, to identify job opportunities and get referrals.