University of California, Santa Cruz

University of California, Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, CA
location
Public
type
Small
setting
53%
47%
student ratio
16,231
total students
Tuition Cost $12,240 | $36,948
in-state | out-of-state
Average Financial Aid Package $24,821
November 30
fall application deadline
51%
acceptance rate
Very Difficult
admission difficulty
Average test scores for all first-year students that were accepted and enrolled.
608
sat math
578
sat reading
576
sat writing
26
act composite

Overview

The University

Since its opening in 1965, the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) has combined the depth and rigor of a major research university with the intimacy of a small, liberal arts college. A distinctive aspect of the undergraduate experience is the residential college system, in which each student is affiliated with one of UCSC’s 10 residential colleges, providing an integrated learning/living environment, advising, and curricular and co-curricular opportunities and events.

The campus enrolls approximately 17,000 undergraduates and 1,800 graduate students. Undergraduates pursue bachelor’s degrees in 66 majors in the Divisions of the Arts, Humanities, Physical and Biological Sciences, and Social Sciences, plus the Jack Baskin School of Engineering. Graduate students work toward graduate certificates, master’s degrees, or doctoral degrees in 41 academic programs.

UCSC’s undergraduate student body is ethnically, socioeconomically, and geographically diverse. Ethnic composition is as follows: African American 3.9 percent, American Indian 0.9 percent, Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander 26.6 percent, Chicano/Latino 30.4 percent, European American 33.0 percent, international 3.6 percent, not stated 1.6 percent. Approximately 20 percent of undergraduates enroll at UCSC as transfer students, mostly from California community colleges.

UCSC is a public doctoral university accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

Students at UCSC enjoy an active social environment, with over 150 student organizations, 27 Greek letter organizations (social clubs only, no fraternity or sorority housing available), numerous academic and pre-professional organizations, honors societies such as Phi Beta Kappa and Golden Key International Honour Society, concerts, plays, two on-campus art galleries, and much more. Students may also participate in the student government body, the Student Union Assembly, with numerous subcommittees, and they may also participate in student government opportunities at the residential colleges.

UCSC students also enjoy many opportunities for sports and recreation, with a broad range of activities so that everyone can be involved. The campus hosts NCAA Division III teams in men’s/women’s basketball, cross-country, soccer, swimming/diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball, plus women’s golf. UCSC also has numerous competitive and noncompetitive sports clubs and hosts a popular intramural program. UCSC’s world-famous recreation program includes an enormous range of activities, from wilderness excursions to wine tasting. With the incomparable opportunities afforded by its beautiful seaside location near the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary, off-campus opportunities for year-round water sports and mountain biking abound.

About 99 percent of freshmen and 53 percent of undergraduates live in University-sponsored housing, which is mostly on-campus in the residential colleges. Incoming freshmen who meet all deadlines receive a two-year housing guarantee, and incoming transfers receive a one-year guarantee. Off-campus students receive assistance finding rentals in the community through the campus Community Rentals Program. The campus is committed to the health and safety of its residents, with police and fire stations on campus and the Student Health Center, which provides medical, counseling, and psychological services. Family Student Housing in two-bedroom apartments on campus is also available to qualifying undergraduates.

The campus’s award-winning dining program emphasizes quality, flexibility, and sustainability, with five dining halls on campus, 12 cafés and restaurants distributed throughout campus, and a variety of meal plans from which to choose. Early morning and late-night dining hours are available at multiple locations, and there are always numerous vegan/vegetarian options, as well as other dietary options, such as gluten-free. Approximately 25 percent of produce served in the dining halls is organic, with much of it coming from local providers, such as UCSC’s own organic Farm and Garden.

Student support services offered by UCSC include opportunities for academic support, such as advising, tutoring, the Academic Excellence (ACE) program, and Modified Supplemental Instruction (a unique program in which successful students mentor other students in highly challenging classes). Students may also wish to connect with UCSC’s resource centers and other groups on campus, which include the African American Resource Center, the American Indian Resource Center, the Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center, the Chicano/Latino Resource Center, the Disability Resource Center, the Lionel Cantú GLBTIQQA Center, the Women’s Center, and Services for Transfer and Re-entry Students (STARS).

Location

Few locations are as inspiring as Santa Cruz, where opportunities and convenience are combined with magnificent natural beauty. UCSC features a spectacular campus with redwood forests, panoramic views of the Monterey Bay, and open meadows. It is also the nearest University of California campus to Silicon Valley, which provides visiting professors and lecturers, as well as fantastic opportunities for internships and future employment at companies such as Adobe Systems, Apple, Facebook, and Google.

UCSC is 1.5 hours by car from San Francisco, about a mile from the beach, and a short bus ride away from downtown Santa Cruz, with shops, restaurants, and movie theaters. It is also next to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, with unique opportunities to study marine life in diverse ecosystems such as kelp forests. Santa Cruz’s Mediterranean climate is mild, averaging 300 sunny days a year (according to Santa Cruz County officials). The Santa Cruz area contains thousands of acres of protected forest land that offers ample opportunities for hiking, photography, and nature viewing.

Majors and Degrees

Undergraduate majors (concentrations listed in parentheses):

Anthropology*; Applied Physics; Art; Art and Design: Games and Playable Media; Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Biology* (Bioeducation); Business Management Economics; Chemistry* (Biochemistry, Environmental Chemistry); Classical Studies*; Cognitive Science; Community Studies; Earth Sciences* (Environmental Geology, Ocean Sciences, Planetary Sciences, Science Education); Earth Sciences/Anthropology; Ecology and Evolution; Economics*; Economics/Mathematics; Environmental Studies (Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems); Environmental Studies/Biology; Environmental Studies/Earth Sciences; Environmental Studies/Economics); Feminist Studies (Culture, Power, and Representation; Law, Politics, and Social Change; Science, Technology, and Medicine; Sexuality Studies); Film and Digital Media* (Critical Studies, Integrated Critical Practice, Production); German Studies; Global Economics; History* (Americas and Africa, Asia and the Islamic World, Europe); History of Art and Visual Culture* (Religion and Visual Culture); Human Biology; Italian Studies*; Jewish Studies*; Language Studies* (Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish); Latin American and Latino Studies*; Latin American and Latino Studies/Politics; Latin American and Latino Studies/Sociology; Legal Studies*; Linguistics* (Theoretical Linguistics); Literature* (Creative Writing, French Literature, German Literature, Greek and Latin Literatures, Italian Literature, Spanish/Latin American/Latino Literatures); Marine Biology; Mathematics* (Computational Mathematics, Mathematics Education, Pure Mathematics); Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology; Music; Neuroscience; Philosophy*; Physics*; Physics (Astrophysics); Physics Education; Plant Sciences; Politics*; Psychology; Sociology*; Spanish Studies (Languages and Linguistics, Literature and Culture); and Theater Arts* (Dance, Design and Technology, Drama).

Jack Baskin School of Engineering:

Bioengineering (Assistive Technology: Cognitive/Perceptual, Assistive Technology: Motor, Bioelectronics, Biomolecular); Bioinformatics*; Computer Engineering* (Computer Systems, Digital Hardware, Networks, Robotics and Control, Systems Programming); Computer Science*; Computer Science: Computer Game Design; Electrical Engineering* (Communications, Signals, Systems, and Controls; Electronics/Optics); Network and Digital Technology; Robotics Engineering; and Technology and Information Management.

*Minor offered

Minors only are available in: astrophysics, dance, East Asian studies, education, electronic music, global information and social enterprise studies, history of consciousness, jazz, STEM education, sustainability studies, applied mathematics, and statistics.

Students may be interested in UCSC’s 3+3 B.A./J.D. program, a unique agreement with UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco that enables students to earn their B.A. and law degree in six years rather than seven. The human biology B.S. program, designed for students who wish to apply to medical school, and the computer science: computer game design program are also highly regarded, popular programs at UCSC.

UCSC also offers the UCSC College Scholars Program, an intensive honors program for well-prepared students who enroll as freshmen.

Specific degree requirements and other advising for prospective students is available at admissions.ucsc.edu/majors.

Off-Campus Programs

UCSC offers many opportunities for co-curricular engagement through internships, volunteer opportunities, and undergraduate research (a full listing is available at https://ugr.ue.ucsc.edu/). The UC Education Abroad Program also offers study opportunities that undergraduates pursue as part of their regular academic program at over 100 institutions in more than 40 countries around the world. UCSC professors also regularly invite undergraduates to participate in their labs and scholarly research, and many students help their professors and other campus researchers co-publish scholarly works. Many internships and field study opportunities carry credit or are paid

Academic Facilities

Facilities at UCSC include two major libraries, numerous research facilities, arts and performing arts facilities, and recreational/athletic facilities. UCSC is home to the following research centers: UC Observatories/Lick Observatory, Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering, Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics, Institute of Marine Sciences, California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, Institute for the Biology of Stem Cells, Center for information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, Chicano/Latino Research Center, and the NASA University Affiliated Research Center.

Costs

For the 2016–17 academic year, tuition and fees totaled $13,557. Housing and food for on-campus students was estimated at $15,384. Books and supplies are estimated at $1,473. Campus health insurance is mandatory unless proof of insurance is shown. Tuition and fees are subject to change. Updated figures can be found at financialaid.ucsc.edu/cost.shtml.

Financial Aid

The UCSC Financial Aid and Scholarship Office is committed to minimizing financial barriers to support students in achieving their educational goals. Each year, the office assists more than 12,000 students or about 7 out of every 10 undergraduates with scholarships, grants, loans, and/or part-time employment opportunities. They also assist graduate students with federal student loans. These resources, totaling over $260 million, help make UCSC’s extraordinary learning facilities affordable to students and families.

To recognize outstanding undergraduate students, UCSC awards about $3 million in scholarships to about 1,500 students per year. The Career Center manages numerous student employment opportunities, both on-campus and off-campus.

Specific financial aid information and publications is available at financialaid.ucsc.edu.

Faculty

UCSC has 567 full-time and 253 part-time faculty members; 804 out of 820 have doctorates, or another terminal degree. No UCSC faculty members are in stand-alone graduate/professional programs—all teach undergraduates. UCSC’s student/faculty ratio is 19:1. Additional information on UCSC’s faculty is available at admissions.ucsc.edu/academics/learning-from-the-best.html.

Admission Requirements

The admission and selection process for freshmen and transfer students at UCSC reflects the academic rigor and preparation needed for admission to a major research institution. All types of students are welcome to apply, including out-of-state and international students. Applications for the coming fall are accepted through the month of November of the previous year, through an online application process. No on-campus interview is required. Additional details are available at admissions.ucsc.edu.


Location & Contact

1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
USA

Michael McCawley

Director, Admissions

Phone: 831-459-2374
Fax: 831-459-4163
Email: admissions@ucsc.edu

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Majors & Degrees

Degrees Offered
Bachelor's
Associate's
  • Agriculture
    • Plant Sciences
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Area and ethnic studies
    • American Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Hispanic-American, Puerto Rican, and Mexican-American/Chicano Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Italian Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Latin American Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Russian Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Women's Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Biological/life sciences
    • Biochemistry
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Bioinformatics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Biology/Biological Sciences
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Cell Biology and Histology
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Ecology
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Molecular Biology
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Neuroscience
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Business/marketing
    • Business/Managerial Economics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Computer and information sciences
    • Computer Graphics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Computer Science
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Information Science/Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Education
    • Education
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Engineering
    • Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Computer Engineering
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Electrical and Electronics Engineering
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Systems Engineering
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Family and consumer sciences
    • Family and Community Services
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Foreign languages and literature
    • Classics and Classical Languages
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Comparative Literature
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Foreign Languages and Literatures
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • German
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Linguistics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Spanish
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Health professions and related sciences
    • Health Professions Related
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Pre-Medical Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • History
    • History
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Law/legal studies
    • Legal Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Pre-Law Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Mathematics and statistics
    • Mathematics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Natural resources/environmental science
    • Environmental Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Philosophy and religious studies
    • Philosophy
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Physical sciences
    • Astronomy
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Astrophysics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Chemistry
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Geology/Earth Science
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Physics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Psychology
    • Cognitive Psychology and Psycholinguistics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Developmental and Child Psychology
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Psychology
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Social sciences
    • Anthropology
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Economics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • International Economics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Political Science and Government
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Sociology
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Visual and performing arts
    • Art
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Art History, Criticism and Conservation
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Dramatic/Theater Arts
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Film/Cinema/Video Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Music
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.

Admissions

51% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied44,871
    • Accepted23,022
    • Acceptance Rate51%
    • Enrolled16,231
    • Female Applicants25,138
    • Females Accepted13,086
    • Female Acceptance Rate52%
    • Male Applicants19,733
    • Males Accepted9,936
    • Male Acceptance Rate50%
  • Applying
    • Application Fee $70
    • Required for All Essay or personal statement
      Transcript of high school record
      minimum high school GPA of 3.0 for California residents, 3.4 for non-residents
    • Required for Some
    • Average high school GPA for first-year freshman3.76
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Application Closing Notification Date Rolling Admissions
    • Fall freshmen November 30th March 31st --
    • Out-of-state Fall freshmen Not Reported
    • Early decision plan Not Reported
    • Other early decision plan Not Reported
    • Transfer November 30th May 1st --
  • Test Scores Accepted
    • Test Average School Accepted 25th Percentile* 75th Percentile*
    • SAT Critical Reading 578 520 640
    • SAT Math 608 550 670
    • SAT Writing 576 520 640
    • ACT Composite 26 23 29
    • * 25th and 75th percentile is the score that 25/75 percent of students score at or below.

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition
    • In-state tuition *$12,240
    • Out-of-state tuition *$36,948
    • In-district tuitionNot Reported
    • * Tuition costs are based on a full academic year typically extending from September to June.
  • Fees
    • Full-time student fees$1,241
    • Room and board *$15,123
    • Room only *Not Reported
    • * Room and board charges vary according to board plan selected (i.e., 12-meal plan, 19-meal plan, etc.) and student level (freshman, sophomore, etc.)
  • Other Payment Considerations
    • Guaranteed tuition plan offeredNo
    • Tuition pre-payment planNo
    • Tuition payment plans offeredInstallments
    • Student groups that qualify for full or partial waiver of tuitionNot Reported

Financial Aid

    • Average Financial Aid Package:$24,821
    • Average Freshman Financial Aid Package:$24,936
    • Average International Student Financial Aid Package:$4,888
    • Average Loan Aid:$6,551
    • Average Grant Aid:$5,064
    • Average Scholarship and/or Grant Aid Awarded:$20,041
    • Percentage of Students with Need who Receive Financial Aid:97%
    • Average Percentage of Financial Need Met: 84%
    • Percentage of Students Who Had Their Need Fully Met: 26%

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Undergraduate Students16,231
    • Male Student Percentage47%
    • Female Student Percentage53%
  • Race/Ethnicity
    • Hispanic/Latino31.16%
    • Black or African American1.95%
    • White or Caucasian33.01%
    • American Indian or Alaska Native.1%
    • Asian21.06%
    • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.23%
    • Two or more races7.32%
    • Unknown or International Student1.61%
  • Other Student Statistics
    • International Breakout3.55% representing 50 other countries
    • Out-of-state Students3% out-of-state student

Campus Life

  • Housing
    • College-owned housing available Yes
    • Housing Requirements Not Reported
    • Housing options Coed housing , Female-only housing, Male-only housing, Cooperative housing
    • Percentage of undergraduate students who live in college-owned housing 98%
  • Student Activities
    • Student-run campus newspaper Yes
    • Drama / theater group Yes
    • Student-run radio station Yes
    • Student-run television station Yes
    • Marching band No
    • Choral groups Yes
  • Student Services
    • Legal services No
    • Health clinic Yes
    • Personal / psychological counseling Yes
    • Women's center Yes
  • Student Organizations
    • Greek fraternities Yes
    • Greek sororities Yes
    • Local fraternities Yes
    • Local sororities Yes
    • Other organizations Yes
    • Most popular organizations Filipino Student Association, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, CSA (Chinese Student Association), A/BSA (African/Black Student Alliance), SEC (Student Environmental Center)
  • Campus Security and Safety
    • 24-hour emergency telephone / alarm services Yes
    • 24-hour patrols by trained officers Yes
    • Students patrols Not Reported
    • Late-night transport / escort services Yes
    • Electronically-operated dormitory entrances Yes
    • Other evening main gate security, campus police force and fire station

Athletics

Member of the: NCAA Division III
  • Men's Sports
    • Sport Intramural Intercollegiate Scholarship
    • Badminton No Division C No
    • Baseball No Division C No
    • Basketball Yes Division 3 No
    • Cheerleading No Division C No
    • Cross-country running No Division 3 No
    • Equestrian sports No Division C No
    • Fencing No Division C No
    • Golf No No No
    • Lacrosse No Division C No
    • Racquetball No Division C No
    • Rugby No Division C No
    • Sailing No Division C No
    • Soccer Yes Division 3 No
    • Softball Yes No No
    • Swimming No Division 3 No
    • Table Tennis No Division C No
    • Tennis No Division 3 No
    • Track No Division 3 No
    • Ultimate Frisbee Yes Division C No
    • Volleyball Yes Division 3 No
    • Water polo Yes Division C No
  • Women's Sports
    • Sport Intramural Intercollegiate Scholarship
    • Badminton No Division C No
    • Baseball No Division C No
    • Basketball Yes Division 3 No
    • Cheerleading No Division C No
    • Cross-country running No Division 3 No
    • Equestrian sports No Division C No
    • Fencing No Division C No
    • Golf No Division 3 No
    • Lacrosse No Division C No
    • Racquetball No Division C No
    • Rugby No Division C No
    • Sailing No Division C No
    • Soccer Yes Division 3 No
    • Softball Yes Division C No
    • Swimming No Division 3 No
    • Table Tennis No Division C No
    • Tennis No Division 3 No
    • Track No Division 3 No
    • Ultimate Frisbee Yes Division C No
    • Volleyball Yes Division 3 No
    • Water polo Yes Division C No


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