It’s 80 degrees and sunny here in Westwood but the air is filled with pumpkin spice – and that means Halloween is once again upon us. To mark the occasion, we came up with some UCLA Extension course and certificate program recommendations that are sure to get the spooky set's cauldrons bubbling. Here are some standouts:

The Sanderson Sisters

Wicked or not, any witch worth their salt knows a potion is only as good as its ingredients. Baneberry, dragonwort, honeysuckle or jimsonweed? Use the wrong one and you’ll have a recipe for cough syrup instead of eternal life. That’s why the Sanderson Sisters (of Hocus Pocus fame) should try the Horticulture Certificate Program – where students can take their love of plants and turn it into a career. The certificate covers the foundational science behind maintaining plants and their environment and can be completed 100% online. Much better than turning the village heartthrob into a cat, if you ask us.

Casper the Friendly Ghost

One thing they don’t tell you about haunting homeowners from beyond the grave is that sometimes it's hard to feel seen. Knocking books off the shelf and fiddling with the light switch doesn’t always produce the desired effect – especially when you're just trying to make friends. Casper and other lonely apparitions ready to come out of the shadows would do well to enroll in UCLA Extension’s Personal Branding course, where they can learn how to establish credibility, promote their expertise and develop rewarding relationships with their community – no séance necessary.


We all know vampires need human blood to survive, but descending fangs-first on hopeless stragglers in the night is no way to make a living. Luckily, there's a more sustainable way for Dracula to maintain the (immortal) lifestyle to which he’s grown accustomed. All he has to do is enroll in UCLA Extension’s Human Resources Management certificate program, where he’ll enjoy a current, comprehensive and practical grounding in the major areas required of a human resources professional, all with guidance from instructors who are experts in the field. Because happy victims…er, employees are productive employees.

Wednesday Addams

The Addams' precocious daughter has always had a flair for the dramatic – but that creativity can get her into trouble. Setting fire to the Thanksgiving play is generally frowned upon, even if your cause is just. Wednesday might try channeling those darker impulses through UCLA Extension's Horror Writing program, a series of workshops where new and experienced writers can gain a broad understanding of historical and contemporary horror and learn the tricks (and treats) of the trade.

Five thousand years buried in the sand and bandaged head to toe can really dry a guy out. We think the Mummy would feel better if he just knew how to moisturize. Before you cover yourself head to toe in toilet paper this Halloween (congratulations on the world’s second laziest costume), take the advice we gave our undead friend and check out UCLA Extension's Skin Care Ingredient Series for Cosmetic Professionals. Aimed at beauty pros one and all, this course series offers an essential understanding of ingredient technologies and U.S regulations in skin care products for those with or without a scientific background. Fresh-faced Pharaohs rejoice.

And the rest...

To round out our list, we asked UCLA Extension students, faculty and staff what they’d be wearing this Halloween, and heard some truly terrifying ideas. Our Instagram follower Fernando (@fernando_j_scarpa) told us he’s going as a slice of pizza – Introduction to Human Nutrition might be a good idea. Gabrielle (@GabrielleShapiroo) is going as Barbie – ah, well, we already covered that one. And finally, UCLA Extension Marketing Manager Kari Cafouros and family are going as a sleuth of Care Bears. Animal Physiology, perhaps? We’d love to know what’s up with those belly badges.

Happy Halloween everyone. Stay safe out there.