What is SMASH?

The Summer Math and Science Honors Academy (SMASH) is a free of cost, STEM-intensive, college preparatory program for underrepresented high school students of color. SMASH boasts a rigorous 5-week, 3-year summer STEM enrichment program which provides access to rigorous coursework and access to mentors, role models, and support networks of students of color. SMASH scholars remain engaged during the school year through monthly STEM activities and workshops. The program not only reinforces the students’ STEM academic identities, but also focuses on developing their critical thinking, civic awareness, leadership and sense of social responsibility.

Launched in 2004, SMASH started on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley with a focus on giving students who were disproportionately underrepresented in STEM the skills they needed to pursue a degree and a career in the field.  The programming provided these students with access to the coursework and the science labs that were often unavailable in their school.  Since 2004, SMASH has expanded to serve hundreds of students in Northern and Southern California.    

Each summer, SMASH scholars spend five weeks on a college campus immersed in rigorous STEM classes. SMASH scholars live among other high-potential, underrepresented (African American, Latino/a, Native American, Southeast Asian or Pacific Islander, low-income, first-in-family to attend college) high school students. 

In addition to their summer courses, SMASH scholars also participate in year-round academic programming, including SAT prep, college counseling, financial aid workshops, and other activities to ensure continued academic success. SMASH is expanding to additional college campuses nationwide in the future, including our newest program at UC Davis in 2015.

Download the SMASH 2015 Scholar data sheet

2016 Academy Dates

SMASH Berkeley: June 18 – July 23, 2016

SMASH Davis: June 25 – July 30, 2016

SMASH Stanford: June 25 – July 30, 2016

SMASH UCLA: June 18 – July 23, 2016


The 2016 application is now closed.
Our application for 2017 will open in the fall; please sign up for LPFI’s newsletter for updates.

Work for SMASH

The Programs Team at LPFI is seeking passionate educators, facilitators, mentors and high-energy professionals to join our instructional and residential teams at SMASH Academy.

Eligibility Requirements

1. Grade Level: Be in the 9th grade at time of application (Note: UCLA is accepting applicants in the 10th grade for 2016.)

2.  Math Skills: Have strong mathematics skills appropriate for your grade level, as determined by the SMASH math assessment (administered to all SMASH applicants in March).

3.  Attend a public high school or private high school via scholarship.

4.  County Eligibility: Reside in California in one of the following counties:

  • SMASH Berkeley or SMASH Stanford: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, or Solano (Note: Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties are no longer eligible)
  • SMASH UCLA: Los Angeles
  • SMASH Davis: Sacramento, Solano, or Yolo

Target Applicants

From groups traditionally underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics: African American, Chicano/Latino/a, Native American, Filipino, Pacific Islander, Southeast Asian (i.e. Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, Vietnamese) or mixed race/multiracial groups with at least one parent from the above ethnicities.

First-generation college students This means that neither one of your parents received a bachelor’s or 4-year degree (or higher) from an accredited college or university in the United States. If you have a sibling in college you are still first generation. If your parents took some courses, but did not complete a degree you are still considered first generation.

From a low-income family (i.e. qualifies for Free or Reduced Lunch program); and

Currently enrolled in Geometry (or higher) with at least a B average.

UC Berkeley

SMASH has operated at UC Berkeley since 2004.

Site Director
Dr. Jennifer R. Cohen


SMASH has operated at UCLA since 2012 in partnership with the Center of Excellence in Engineering and Diversity (CEED)

Site Director
Cathy Douglas

Stanford University


SMASH has operated at Stanford since 2011

Site Director
Gabriel Chaparro

UC Davis


SMASH has operated at UC Davis since 2015 in partnership with UC Davis Undergraduate Admissions

Site Director
Dr. Rosalyn Clark