Los Angeles: Summer Sessions
The Board of Regents authorized the University
to establish the first summer session in Los Angeles in 1918, when
the Southern Branch still occupied buildings of the former Los Angeles
State Normal School. Twenty-two departments participated, attracting
630 students, which led to the Regents' decision to continue one
summer session of six weeks in future years.
Summer sessions were established to allow undergraduate
and graduate students to accelerate their programs toward a degree;
to meet the needs of teachers desiring to increase professional
skills and revise and extend knowledge of a chosen field; to help
high school students prepare for university work; and to permit
qualified adults to broaden their education. By 1932, when classes
were held for the first time on the Westwood campus, summer session
enrollment had risen to 2,503.
Two sessions were held in 1933: a summer session
of six weeks, followed by a three-week post-session; however, because
of the depression, enrollment fell to 1,578. From 1934 until 1945,
only one six-week session was held, with enrollments rising from
1,167 to 4,552 in 1942.
In 1944, World War II dropped enrollment to 1,651,
but in 1945, 2,424 students registered. To meet the demands of returning
veterans, two six-week summer sessions were offered in 1946 with
a total enrollment of 11,000. In 1948, registration reached 13,017.
From 1949 to 1951, a single eight-week session was offered while
enrollment slowly declined from 7,483 to 5,886.
A six-week and an eight-week session, with some
departments participating in one session and some in the other,
were offered concurrently from 1953 through 1962 and enrolled an
average of 5,500 students.
In 1963, two consecutive six-week sessions were
instituted, with enrollment climbing to 10,993 in 1964. By that
time, 48 departments and schools, with a total teaching staff of
409, including 96 visitors, participated.