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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.

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