Santa Cruz

Recently ranked first in the world in research influence, UC Santa Cruz offers innovative doctoral and master's programs across scientific, technical, humanistic, social science and artistic disciplines.

Graduate programs encourage close working relationships among students and faculty in an intensive yet informal atmosphere conducive to rapid learning and professional growth. State-of-the-art facilities and outstanding faculty engage graduate students in research and scholarly discovery, producing influential results with impact on global scholarship and inquiry.

Resources include the Long Marine Laboratory, a leader in marine mammal research, and the Center for Adaptive Optics, integrating astronomy and vision science. The Digital Arts Research Center’s advanced facilities enable collaboration between the arts and engineering. The Institute for Humanities Research supports research in history, gender studies, cultural studies and other fields.

Campus life

Considered one of the most beautiful universities in the world, UC Santa Cruz is nestled among redwoods and meadows on a 2,000-acre parcel overlooking the seaside resort town of Santa Cruz. Many students commute to campus by bike and enjoy the area’s beaches, mountains, redwood forests, and cultural and recreational activities.

The campus is just a few minutes from the historic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Steamer’s Lane surf break and downtown Santa Cruz.

On campus, the McHenry Library houses the Grateful Dead Archive, one of the most significant collections of 20th-century popular culture, including everything from stage props and fan memorabilia to tie-dyed T-shirts from this iconic American jam band.

Campus snapshot

  • Student body: 17,866 total;
    1,589 graduate students
  • Graduate programs: 40+
  • Setting: Coastal town

Undergraduate research programs

Completing a research project before you apply to graduate school can help you be a competitive applicant. You don't have to be a UC Santa Cruz student to take advantage of the campus's programs.