Introducing UCSC

2011-12 General Catalog

The University of California

Aerial picture of UCSC and Monterey Bay

The University of California was chartered as a land-grant college in 1868. From its rural beginning, the university has developed into one of the world’s most distinguished universities, acclaimed for its research, scholarship, and dedication to undergraduate and graduate education. There are 10 University of California campuses located regionally throughout the state: Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz. In addition, there are some 800 associated research institutes, laboratories, agricultural field stations, and extension centers serving California and the nation. The university is the primary state-funded academic agency for research. Its library collection, with 34 million volumes, is among the best in the country.

The University of California faculty, more than 8,700 in number, is distinctive in its 27 living Nobel Laureates and 372 members of the National Academy of Sciences—more than any other college or university system. Faculty membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences totals 519.

There are more than 160,000 undergraduates culled from the top 12.5 percent of the state’s high school graduates and approximately 50,000 graduate students. The 1.5 million living alumni enrich the nation with public service and leadership.

The Santa Cruz Campus

Since its inception in 1965, the University of California, Santa Cruz, has been dedicated to excellence in undergraduate education, graduate studies, and research. UCSC students can take advantage of innovative academic planning combined with the research resources and scholarship strengths of the University of California system. At UC Santa Cruz, a program of general education is enhanced with opportunities for academic specialization.

Among the faculty and emeriti drawn to UC Santa Cruz by the opportunity for innovative teaching and scholarship are 14 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 24 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and 31 members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Numerous faculty have been awarded Guggenheim Fellowships, and several have been awarded national awards for distinguished teaching. Furthermore, two faculty members, three bachelor’s degree recipients, and two Ph.D. recipients have been named MacArthur Fellows, and since 1972, when UC Santa Cruz began participating in the program, about 115 Fulbright scholarships have been awarded to UC Santa Cruz students and alumni. Five UC Santa Cruz alumni have been awarded Pulitzer Prizes.

The planned enrollment of the campus for 2010–12 is approximately 16,000 students, of whom some 1,500 will be graduate students. UCSC seeks and welcomes students, faculty, and staff of diverse ethnic and cultural experiences. UCSC plans to increase both its enrollment and resources and to diversify its educational and research opportunities over the next few years. New facilities are being built to meet current and future needs. The McHenry Library has been expanded by more than 75 percent and the original building has been seismically reinforced. The 27,000-square-foot Digital Arts building was completed in 2010.

The residential college is an important part of the Santa Cruz undergraduate experience. The 10 colleges divide the university into smaller communities that serve as a social and intellectual gathering place for 1,200 to 1,600 students and 30 to 110 faculty fellows from a variety of academic disciplines. Every undergraduate student affiliates with a particular college while participating in a campuswide academic program. All academic majors are open to students from all colleges.

Each college has a distinctive quality derived from its core course and extracurricular programs, and its faculty and their academic disciplines. Detailed descriptions of the 10 colleges can be found in The Colleges.

Undergraduate education. The campus offers more than 60 major programs within the arts, engineering, humanities, physical and biological sciences, and social sciences—as well as interdisciplinary-major programs. A complete
list of academic programs and concentrations appears on the Fields of Study chart, and detailed descriptions are listed under Programs and Courses.

The major programs are administered by departments. In most cases, departments are composed of faculty in the same field, but interdisciplinary programs draw on faculty from several fields. In addition to established major programs, individual majors are available.

At Santa Cruz, letter grades are assigned in all credit courses. In addition, academic performance in each course may be recorded by a narrative performance evalulation. (See Evaluating Academic Performance.)

Undergraduate education at Santa Cruz is focused on the individual student. UCSC’s college core courses give first-year students a small-seminar experience; intensive work in writing, discussion, and critical reasoning; as well as an orientation to academic life. To fulfill UCSC’s rigorous comprehensive requirement, every senior must pass a comprehensive examination or complete an equivalent body of work.

Individual research is encouraged, and hundreds of research papers coauthored by Santa Cruz undergraduates and their professors have been published in journals.

Annually, about 500 Santa Cruz students broaden their academic careers through the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP), which allows students to incorporate full-time study abroad as UC credit toward their major. The EAP provides a vital international connection for academic preparation in an increasingly interdependent world. More information is available under International Education.

The UCSC campus strongly encourages undergraduate students to take advantage of the many opportunities for public service such as those provided through the campus’s field programs, colleges, and Career Center. Individual studies, apprentice teaching, field studies, and internships can be important parts of the undergraduate experience. Over 1,400 students participate in the campus’s field programs each year (see Field Programs).

In a recent survey of graduating seniors, 73 percent indicated plans to continue their education in advanced-degree programs. In a study of more than 60 elite Association of American Universities member schools, UCSC ranked 15th in the ratio of bachelor’s degree recipients who went on to receive doctorates. UCSC ranked third in the nation in the percentage of master’s degrees awarded to women (44.2 percent). UCSC alumni also display a strong commitment to providing service to others: UCSC ranks 21st nationwide among universities with more than 15,000 undergraduates in the number of volunteers who are serving in the U.S. Peace Corps in 2010. UCSC graduates excel both inside and outside the classroom.

Graduate education. The UCSC campus offers graduate programs in more than 30 fields. Within the graduate programs, there are a range of options for concentrated study in a specialized field. Graduate study at Santa Cruz emphasizes close interaction between faculty and students, independent student research, supervised teaching experience, and interdisciplinary work. Further graduate information begins on page 53.

A number of major university research units are based or have a branch at the Santa Cruz campus: UC Observatories/Lick Observatory, the Institute of Marine Sciences, the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics, the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, the Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research (QB3), and the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS). The campus supports other organized research endeavors ranging from Dickens studies to Chicano/Latino research to agroecology. Programs stem from existing academic strengths and the unique assets afforded the campus by its location in the Monterey Bay region (see Resources for Learning and Research).

The central Santa Cruz campus occupies 2,000 acres on the west side of the city of Santa Cruz, on Monterey Bay, about 75 miles south of San Francisco and 35 miles southwest of San Jose. Expansive meadows at the campus entrance gradually slope up to a redwood forest that covers most of the site. Each residential college is within easy access of the campus’s central core, which includes an extensive library, science laboratories, lecture halls, art studios, theater arts and music centers, a student union, and athletic facilities. Although the campus is spread out over many acres of hilly terrain, its programs are accessible to people with mobility impairments (see Disability Resource Center).

The city of Santa Cruz is a well-known recreational area and center for the arts. Mild weather, miles of beaches, and many cultural opportunities combine to make Santa Cruz an enjoyable place to study and live.

Accreditation. The University of California, Santa Cruz, is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 95501, (510) 748-9001, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education and the U.S. Department of Education.

UC Santa Cruz is also accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering), the American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training (Chemistry), and the California State Commission on Teacher Credentialing (Education).

Persons interested in reviewing the accreditation documents should contact the Office of the Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, Kerr Hall, (831) 459-3885.

Revised: 8/13/12