Undergraduate Academic Program

2017-18 General Catalog

Planning Your Academic Program| Graduation Requirements | University Requirements | General Education Requirements | Credit for Transfer Students | College Requirements | Major and Minor Requirements | Evaluating Academic Performance | Undergraduate Honors | Advising: From Course Selection to Careers | Educational Opportunity Programs | Disability Resource Center | ROTC and Military Affairs | Undergraduate ResearchOffice of International Education | Field and Exchange Programs | Intercampus Visitor Program | Cross-Campus or Simultaneous Enrollment | Part-Time Program | Summer Programs | UCSC Extension | Intersegmental Cross-Enrollment

Planning Your Academic Program

Planning Your Academic Program 

At UC Santa Cruz, the academic year is organized on the quarter system. Three quarters—fall, winter, and spring—constitute the regular academic year. Most UCSC courses are equivalent to 5 quarter credits and require approximately equal amounts of work: about 15 hours per week per course. You are normally expected to enroll in 15 credits each quarter; enrolling in a reduced or expanded course load requires special approval. If you maintain a B average at UCSC, you may enroll in more courses without special approval. For specific information on how courses are organized, see programs and courses.

You are normally expected to graduate in four years. To do so, you must pass an average of 45 credits per year, for a total of 180 credits. In order to complete certain majors with extensive course requirements, junior transfer students may need to spend more than two years at UC Santa Cruz.

The requirements for a bachelor’s degree are explained in the following section. Your adviser can help you plan a program that fulfills these requirements efficiently while meeting your own educational goals (see Advising: From Course Selection to Careers).

Here is what you can expect during four years at Santa Cruz:

During your freshman year, you complete your college core course and satisfy the Entry Level Writing Requirement. You also begin to take foundation courses for potential majors, along with courses that satisfy general education requirements.

If you are uncertain about your choice of major, you may intentionally explore different fields of study during your first two years at Santa Cruz by taking foundation courses that will help you both identify whether a major is a good fit for you and will satisfy prerequisites for declaring the major. You are expected to be declared in a major by the end of your second (sophomore) year; transfer students are expected to be declared in a major by the deadline in their second quarter at UCSC. Students interested in majors requiring heavy course prerequisites, such as music and most majors in the physical and biological sciences and engineering, should be certain they start the appropriate sequences in the first year; information is available through your major advising office.

During your junior and senior years at Santa Cruz, you concentrate on the upper-division requirements for your major and complete your comprehensive requirement, as well as complete your general education requirements. If you entered UCSC without having fulfilled the requirement in American history and institutions, you will need to do so before you graduate.

Transfer students should complete any lower-division requirements for their intended major that are offered at their current campus and should ensure they have completed any major preparation requirements for admission. Some students may also find it helpful to complete courses that fulfill campus general education requirements. The Office of Admissions can help you select appropriate courses, and you should also consult with your community college adviser.

Graduation Requirements

To qualify for a bachelor’s degree, you must meet the following conditions, which are explained in more detail in the following sections:

  • Earn a minimum of 180 credits, each with a grade of D minus or better (or Pass)

  • Satisfy the university requirements in American history and institutions and in Entry Level Writing (English composition)

  • Meet the UCSC residence requirement

  • Satisfy each of the campus general education requirements with a course grade of Pass, C (2.0 grade point average), or better

  • Satisfy requirements of your UCSC college

  • Complete an approved major program, including its comprehensive requirement, with grades of Pass, C (2.0 GPA), or better in all courses satisfying major requirements. Some majors require grades higher than C to qualify to declare the major. In some majors, courses graded Pass may not be used to satisfy major requirements.

  • Have an overall GPA of at least 2.0 in all letter-graded courses taken at UCSC and other University of California campuses

  • Have no more than 25 percent of your UCSC credits graded on a Pass/No Pass basis. This includes any credits completed in the Education Abroad Program or at another UC campus in an intercampus exchange program. Departments may require that some or all courses used to satisfy the major must be taken for a letter grade.

As a UC Santa Cruz student, you are responsible for selecting the courses necessary to fulfill graduation requirements and prepare for advanced study or a career. It is essential that you consult regularly with academic advisers about course selection.

Keep your own records, including not only records of your UCSC courses, grades, and progress, but also your transcripts from other institutions, admission test scores, transfer credit information, and performance evaluations.

Transfer students may be able to use some of the courses they completed at other schools to help meet the 180-credit requirement. (Semester-system credits can be multiplied by 1.5 to derive equivalent quarter-system credit.) The UCSC Office of Admissions determines which courses are transferable.

University Requirements

The UC Santa Cruz campus administers three requirements for graduation from the University of California: (1) American history and institutions, (2) Entry level writing requirement, and (3) UCSC residence. These requirements are described in detail below.

American History and Institutions

Every candidate for a bachelor’s degree must demonstrate knowledge of American history and institutions. You may fulfill this requirement in one of the following ways:*

  • By achieving a score of 550 or higher on the SAT Subject Examination in U.S. History

  • By achieving a score of 3, 4, or 5 on the College Board Advanced Placement Examination in U.S. History, or by achieving a score of 5, 6, or 7 on the IBH History of the Americas Examination

  • By satisfactorily completing a college-level course in U.S. history and institutions

  • By certification of completion of the requirement on a transcript from an accredited California institution of higher education

  • By completing an acceptable history or government course in high school that satisfies the subject requirement for admission to the university, described in Subject Requirements.

*Note: Alternatives for satisfying this requirement vary among the campuses of the University of California. If you plan to transfer to another UC campus, consult its general catalog for information on this point.

Entry Level Writing Requirement

Every candidate for a bachelor’s degree must demonstrate an acceptable level of ability in English composition. Before your fourth quarter of enrollment, you must fulfill this requirement in one of the following ways:

  1. Score 680 or higher on the Writing section of the SAT Reasoning test.

  2. Score 30 or higher on the ACT Combined English/Writing test
 or 30 or higher on the ACT English Language Arts (ELA) test.

  3. Score 3 or higher on the College Board Advanced Placement Examination in English 
(Language and Culture or Literature and Culture).

  4. Score 5 or higher on the International Baccalaureate Higher Level Examination in English: Literature (formerly IB HL English A1).

  5. Score 6 or higher on the International Baccalaureate Standard Level Examination in
 English (Language A).

  6. Complete with a grade of C or better an acceptable college course in English composition
worth 4 quarter or 3 semester credits.

  7. Achieve a passing score on the UC Analytical Writing Placement Examination, given in the spring every year (freshmen who are admitted to UC will receive detailed information in April about the exam; nonresidents may take the exam during Fall Welcome Week).

  8. Complete an appropriate English course at UC with a grade of C or better.

California high school seniors who have been admitted to UCSC must take the systemwide UC Analytical Writing Placement Examination, given in May, unless they have already satisfied the requirement. For additional information on fulfilling the requirement, see the Writing Department's program statement.


Every candidate for a bachelor’s degree must be registered at UCSC for a minimum of three terms. In addition, of the final 45 quarter credits, 35 must be in regular courses of instruction taken as a registered student at UCSC (including during the summer session). Courses taken through University Extension or the Intercampus Visitor Program do not constitute regular courses and therefore do not satisfy residence requirements.

The credit requirement for residence is applied differently to students participating in the Education Abroad Program (EAP) and the University of California in Washington, D.C. (UCDC), program or the UC Center in Sacramento program. Students may satisfy the requirement in either of two ways. The first way is for students to complete 35 of their final 45 credits before leaving the Santa Cruz campus to participate in EAP, UCDC, or UC Center Sacramento. In this scenario, students do not have to return to Santa Cruz for any additional coursework after they have finished EAP or UCDC. The second way to fulfill the residence requirement is for students to complete 35 of their last 90 credits at the Santa Cruz campus, with a minimum of 12 credits completed at UCSC after their return from EAP, UCDC or UC Center Sacarmento.

General Education Requirements

The general education requirements are designed to introduce you to various kinds of information, reasons for learning, and approaches to acquiring knowledge, as well as to promote responsible use of what is learned. Obviously, general education requirements alone cannot achieve these ends. You are urged to look for as many opportunities as possible to gain a richer understanding of your own cultural heritage and social situation; insight into countries, societies, and eras besides your own; proficiency in another language; understanding of the nature of ethical and moral choice; and expanded knowledge of science and technology. The formal requirements described here should be considered foundations for exploration.

Complete List of Courses That Fulfill General Education Requirements by Course Title

Complete List of Courses That Fulfill General Education Requirements by Course Number

The general education requirements are meant to accomplish several goals:

  • Provide students with a base of knowledge and skills that future learning can build on.

  • Expose students to a broad range of disciplines and methodologies, to better prepare them for a world of complex problems and rapid changes.

  • Enhance the abilities of students to approach problems in appropriately analytical ways.

  • Prepare students to function as responsible and informed participants in civic life, considering pressing societal issues (such as the environment, the economy) productively and from a variety of perspectives.

Each area has a general education code associated with it, and only those courses carrying that code satisfy the requirement. The codes appear in the course descriptions in this catalog and in the “General Education” field on the MyUCSC Class Search page. See a list of courses that fulfill General Education requirements. The list is subject to change. Students should check the Schedule of Classes each quarter for the most up-to-date information. Students should review the requirements for their proposed or declared major(s) to ascertain whether some of their general education requirements will be fulfilled by completing their major. As a general rule, each course satisfies only one of the general education requirements.

General Education Requirements


General Education Code

Number of Required Credits

Cross-Cultural Analysis



Ethnicity and Race



Interpreting Arts and Media



Mathematical and Formal Reasoning



Scientific Inquiry



Statistical Reasoning



Textual Analysis



Perspectives (choose one from the following three categories)
   Environmental Awareness
   Human Behavior
   Technology and Society



Practice (choose one from the following three categories)
   Collaborative Endeavor
   Creative Process
   Service Learning




C1 & C2


Disciplinary Communication



*Students satisfy the Disciplinary Communication (DC) requirement by completing one to three upper-division courses required for their major, totaling a minimum of five credits and must be taken at UCSC. The DC requirement must be completed at UCSC—transfer courses do not apply to this requirement.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC code: one 5-credit course or equivalent). Courses that carry the CC GE designation aim to prepare students for a globalizing world, with increased interaction and integration among peoples, economies, and governments. These courses aim to encourage a broader and deeper understanding of cultures and societies outside the United States. Such courses might provide an in-depth examination of one culture, or one aspect of such culture (for example, art, music, history, language). Alternatively, these courses might aim to help students develop skills of cross-cultural comparison and analysis. A third option is courses that explore topics that are inherently cross-cultural such as international relations or the processes of economic globalization. Whatever the approach, these courses all aim to help students develop the openness and critical perspective necessary for cross-cultural understanding. Although themes of privilege and oppression are centrally relevant to the history and current experience of many cultures, such themes are not required to be addressed in cross-cultural awareness courses.

Ethnicity and Race (ER code: one 5-credit course or equivalent). Courses that carry the ER GE designation prepare students for a state and a world that are increasingly multiethnic and multiracial. Beyond familiarizing students with the culture and/or history of one or more ethnic or racial groups, these courses also aim to develop theoretical and practical understanding of questions such as (but not limited to):

  1. how categories of ethnicity and race are constructed
  2. the role that ethnicity and race can play in identity formation
  3. how ethnicity and race have historically been used to justify forms of enforced inequality
  4. contributions of people of various ethnicities to society and to political change

Whatever the approach, these courses are particularly concerned with how ethnicity and race may intersect with other categories such as gender, class, or sexual orientation, to shape self-understanding and patterns of human interaction. While such courses may often adopt an historical perspective on the issues they consider, they will provide a critical perspective on race/ethnicity relevant to the present.

Interpreting Arts and Media (IM code: one 5-credit course or equivalent). Courses that carry the IM GE designation explore the complex ways in which information of all kinds is represented by visual, auditory, or kinesthetic means, or through performance. Contemporary life bombards us with visual and auditory media, often in the form of advertising or advocacy. These courses build in-depth understanding of one or more forms of artistic media: that is, media in which non-textual materials play primary roles. They offer skills in the practice, analysis, interpretation, and/or history of one or more of  these media, as well as the ability to analyze the means by which these media encode and convey  information. 

Mathematical and Formal Reasoning (MF code: one 5-credit course or equivalent). Courses that carry the MF GE designation emphasize university-level mathematics, computer programming, formal logic, or other material that stresses formal reasoning, formal model building, or the application of formal systems. These courses generally focus on one of the following:

  1. mathematical reasoning and proof (at least MATH 3 pre-calculus or equivalent)
  2. formal logic
  3. computer programming
  4. other formal systems (e.g., generative grammars, economic models, formal music theory)

Whichever particular approach is used, these classes aim to teach students to think with rigor and precision, using formal or mathematical models to teach the value of logical reasoning and dispassionate analysis.

Scientific Inquiry (SI code: one 5-credit course or equivalent). Courses that carry the SI GE designation teach students about the essential role of observation, hypothesis, experimentation and measurement in the physical, social, life, or technological sciences. Students should acquire key concepts, facts, and theories relevant to the scientific method. By the end of the course they should be able to articulate an understanding of the value of scientific thinking in relation to issues of societal importance. Such courses would allow students to acquire key concepts, facts, and theories relevant to the:

  1. physical scientific method
  2. social science aspect
  3. life sciences
  4. technological method

Statistical Reasoning (SR code: one 5-credit course or equivalent). Courses that carry the SR GE designation focus on developing skills in approaching quantitative data and statistical reasoning. These courses help students interpret quantitative claims and make judgments in situations of statistical uncertainty. Such courses might include topics such as:

  1. ways of presenting and misrepresenting data
  2. statistical inference
  3. experimental design and data analysis

Textual Analysis and Interpretation (TA code: one 5-credit course or equivalent). Courses that carry the TA GE designation have as their primary methodology the interpretation or analysis of texts. The aim of these courses is to develop higher-order reading skills and to train students how to read attentively, to think critically and analytically, to produce and evaluate interpretations, to assess evidence, and to deploy it effectively in their own work. These abilities are not only necessary for academic success, but also for full participation in civic life at every level. Textual analysis is the examination of how and whether a piece of writing or speaking achieves its aims, whether these are rhetorical and persuasive or aesthetic. Such courses should pay substantial attention not only to what information a poem, political speech, or scientific essay conveys, but to how it goes about doing so (by mobilizing particular metaphors, through plain speaking, via flowery language, by calling on scientific authority, or other mechanism). Please note that close reading leading to summary does not on its own constitute textual analysis.

Perspectives (one 5-credit course or equivalent from any of the three following categories):

Perspectives: Environmental Awareness (PE-E code). Courses that carry the PE-E GE designation teach students about the complexity of particular ecosystems and/or people’s interactions with nature so that students will better understand the environmental issues and trade-offs that are likely to arise in their lifetimes. The interactions between people and the Earth’s environment are subtle, complex, and influenced by a variety of natural, scientific, economic, cultural, and political factors. Courses deal with one or more of the following topics:

  1. The study of particular ecosystems or environments
  2. Natural forces, processes, and their effect on ecosystems
  3. Climates, climate models, and climate change
  4. Evolution and adaptation to the environment
  5. Bio-diversity and/or the robustness of nature and its feedback mechanisms
  6. How cultures relate to their natural environments
  7. Human efforts to create, preserve, and modify environments
  8. Management of natural resources (such as fossil fuels, forests, and fisheries)
  9. Issues of sustainability (such as sustainable agriculture or renewable energy)
  10. Pollution and its effect on ecosystems
  11. Ecological impacts of non-native species and other ecological disasters

Perspectives: Human Behavior (PE-H code). Courses that carry the PE-H GE designation help students to prepare for a world in which many of the most pressing challenges (such as genocide, environmental degradation, poverty) are impacted by human thoughts, decisions, or practices. As well, they provide a kind of “owner’s manual” for students to assist them in understanding themselves, their roles (for example, parent, partner, leader), and their social groups (family, workplace, neighborhood, nation). These courses impart specific knowledge about some aspect of individual human behavior or the operation of human groups. As well, they are likely to provide an introduction to one or more specific methodologies, such as ethnography, longitudinal analysis, or experimentation. A central aim, however, is to help students appreciate that better solutions to problems (whether global or personal) can often be found by incorporating information about how humans think, feel, and act.

Perspectives: Technology and Society (PE-T code). Courses that carry the PE-T GE designation focus on understanding technological advances, how they are developed, and their impacts on society. Imparting a basic understanding of the dynamic technological society in which we live is an essential goal of academic institutions. The study of technology helps satisfy the need of society for knowledgeable people able to understand, participate, and guide the rapid technological advances that play such a vital role in our world.

Practice (one minimum 2-credit course from any of the three following categories):

Practice: Collaborative Endeavor (PR-E code). Courses that carry the PR-E GE designation teach students strategies and techniques for working effectively in groups to produce a finished product. For example, students might learn specialized practical information, such as how to use change-management software to monitor and manage changes initiated by multiple group members. Alternatively, they might learn basic information about leadership, teamwork, and group functioning, which they can incorporate into their own group process. What is common to all courses that carry the PR-E general education requirement is that some instruction regarding the process of collaboration is provided in addition to instruction specific to the academic discipline and the products being produced. In other words, assigning group work is not sufficient; explicit instruction in techniques of collaboration is required.

Practice: Creative Process (PR-C code). Courses that carry the PR-C GE designation teach creative process and techniques in a context of individual or collaborative participation in the arts, including creative writing. For creative writing, students will publish an informal group collection or individual dossier of their successful writings. Courses may combine theory and experiment in the creation of a new artwork, or new interpretation(s) of an existing artwork. Creative Process courses include studies in individual or group creativity or improvisation, and/or ensemble rehearsal and performance. Students who elect to satisfy this requirement will take at least two credits of individual or group creative work; however, the requirement may be satisfied within courses of greater than two credits. Where appropriate, sponsoring units may require a sequence of two or three 2-credit courses with the PR-C designation assigned to the final quarter. For sequences culminating in a semi-professional public performance, an audition at which students demonstrate aptitude and a foundation of skills will be required.

Practice: Service Learning (PR-S code). Courses that carry the PR-S GE designation provide supervised learning experiences where students reflect on, communicate, and integrate principles and theories from the classroom in real-world settings. Service learning provides students with an opportunity to integrate their academic coursework with community involvement. Students gain valuable practical skills while giving back to the community.

Composition (C1 and C2 codes) (Two 5-credit courses or equivalent): C1 and C2 typically are fulfilled by your college core course and Writing 2, Rhetoric and Inquiry. Students must complete the Entry Level Writing Requirement to satisfy the composition requirements.

Disciplinary Communication (DC) requirement. The goal of this requirement is to ensure that students acquire the skills in writing and other forms of communication appropriate for their discipline. Students satisfy the DC requirement by completing 1 to 3 upper-division courses required for their major, totaling a minimum of 5 credits. The DC requirement must be taken at UCSC and is automatically fulfilled by the completion of major requirements.

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Examinations

Advanced Placement Exams (AP) and International Baccalaureate Higher Level Exams (IBH) Table

The university grants credit for College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Examinations on which a student scores 3, 4, or 5 and for International Baccalaureate Higher Level (IBH) Examinations on which a student scores 5, 6, or 7. The university does not grant credit for IB standard or subsidiary level exams. Students completing the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a score of 30 or higher receive 30 quarter credits. The credit is applied toward the total credits required for graduation and toward the UCSC campuswide general education requirements, as indicated in the table on pages 29–30, Advanced Placement (AP)/International Baccalaureate Higher Level (IBH) Examinations. Students should be aware that AP, IB, and college-level courses will not be granted duplicate credit. In these cases, the university will award credit for only one.

AP and IBH Examination Credit Toward Degree Requirements

Certain departments also allow prospective majors to obtain waivers for prerequisite courses. In all cases, a student should contact the particular department to discuss his or her plans with an adviser. Please note that approval is not automatic; a petition must be filed with most departments.

Credit for Transfer Students

General Education Requirements

Transfer students may apply courses taken at other institutions toward the lower-division general education requirements. The disciplinary communication course(s) (DC code) must be taken at UCSC.

If you are currently attending one of the California community colleges, see the ASSIST website, or consult with the UCSC Office of Admissions or your current counselor to determine which college courses satisfy UCSC general education requirements.

Transfer students who have satisfied the general education or breadth requirements of another UC campus prior to transfer will be considered to have completed the UCSC general education requirements, with the exception of the DC requirement. Completion of the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) prior to enrollment at UCSC will also be accepted in lieu of the campus general education requirements, with the exception of the DC requirement.

Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)

The Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) is a series of courses that prospective California community college transfer students may complete to satisfy the lower-division breadth/general education requirements at any University of California or California State University (CSU) campus (see the IGETC table below). This curriculum is the result of an agreement by the University of California, the California State University, and the California community colleges, aimed at simplifying the transfer process for community college students. The IGETC is intended exclusively for California community college transfers and is not an option for continuing UCSC students (including students who transferred to UCSC without having completed IGETC before their first quarter) or for students transferring from four-year colleges or universities.

Official certification for IGETC can only be obtained through a student’s community college. Once the official certification is received, students who complete the IGETC prior to transfer are not required to satisfy the UCSC lower-division general education requirements. For students who are partially certified, meaning that they are only missing one or two courses for complete certification, you will be contacted by the Office of Admissions only after the official certification is received. Courses used to satisfy IGETC must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or better. A grade of Credit or Pass may be used if the community college’s policy states that it is equivalent to a grade of C (2.0) or better.

IGETC is not recommended for majors that require extensive course preparation, such as any major in the Jack Baskin School of Engineering or the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences.

You may not return to your previous institution to complete IGETC after entering a degree program at UC Santa Cruz. If you do not complete IGETC or partial IGETC prior to beginning at UC Santa Cruz, you are required to complete the UC Santa Cruz general education requirements.

IGETC Subject and Unit/Credit Requirements
Subject Area Courses Required Units/Credits Required
1. English Communication
One course in English composition and one course in critical thinking/English composition. (Students transferring to CSU must take an additional course in oral communication.)
2 courses 6 semester units or 8-10 quarter credits
2. Mathematical Concepts and Quantitative Reasoning 1 course 3 semester units or 4-5 quarter credits
3. Arts and Humanities
Three courses with at least one from the arts and one from the humanities.
3 courses 9 semester units or 12-15 quarter credits
4. Social and Behavioral Sciences
Three courses from at least two disciplines or an interdisciplinary sequence.
3 courses 9 semester units or 12-15 quarter credits
5. Physical and Biological Sciences
One physical science course and one biological science course, at least one of which includes a laboratory.
2 courses 7-9 semester units or 9-12 quarter credits
6. Language Other Than English
Proficiency equivalent to two years of high school in the same language. (Not required of students transferring to CSU.)
Proficiency Proficiency
Total 11 courses 34 semester units or 45-57 quarter credits

Major Requirements and Course Prerequisites

Students who believe they have taken courses at other institutions that satisfy major requirements or UCSC course prerequisites should contact their major adviser for review.

College Requirements

You must fulfill the requirements of your college in addition to those of your major and of the university. Each college has established a core course, which all first-year students are required to complete. Students admitted as transfer students are exempt from the core course requirement but may take the course at their option on a space-available basis. College requirements are outlined below.

College Nine

  • College Nine 80A, Introduction to University Discourse: International and Global Issues, fall quarter, or College Nine 80B, Rhetoric and Inquiry: International and Global Issues, fall quarter; or College Nine 80C and 80D, Introduction to University Discourse: International and Global Issues Writing Intensive, fall and winter quarters; or 80F, International Global Issues, fall quarter

College Ten

  • College Ten 80A, Introduction to University Discourse: Social Justice and Community, fall quarter, or College Ten 80B, Rhetoric and Inquiry: Social Justice and Community, fall quarter, or College Ten 80C and 80D, Introduction to University Discourse: Social Justice and Community, Writing Intensive, fall and winter quarters; or 80F, Social Justice and Community, fall quarter


  • Cowell 80A, Introduction to University Discourse: Imagining Justice Past and Present, fall quarter, or Cowell 80B, Rhetoric and Inquiry: Imagining Justice Past and Present, fall quarter


  • Crown 80A, Introduction to University Discourse: Ethical Issues in Emerging Technologies, or Crown 80B, Rhetoric and Inquiry: Ethical Issues in Emerging Technologies


  • Kresge 80A, Introduction to University Discourse: Power and Representation, fall quarter, or Kresge 80B, Rhetoric and Inquiry: Power and Representation, fall quarter, or Kresge 80C and 80D, Introduction to University Discourse: Power and Representation Writing Intensive, fall and winter quarters; or 80F, Power and Representation: Collaborative Understandings, fall quarter


  • Merrill 80A, Introduction to University Discourse: Cultural Identities and Global Consciousness, fall quarter, or Merrill 80B, Rhetoric and Inquiry: Cultural Identities and Global Consciousness, fall quarter; or 80F, Communicating Cultural Consciousness, fall quarter


  • Oakes 80A, Introduction to University Discourse: Communicating Diversity for a Just Society, fall quarter, or Oakes 80B, Communicating Diversity for a Just Society, fall quarter, or Oakes 80C and 80D, Introduction to University Discourse: Commmunicating Diversity for a Just Society Writing Intensive, fall and winter quarters


  • Porter 80A, Introduction to University Discourse: Writing Across the Arts, fall quarter, or Porter 80B, Rhetoric and Inquiry: Writing Across the Arts, fall quarter; or 80F, Composition, Creative Inquiry, and the Arts, fall quarter

Rachel Carson College

  • Carson 80A, Introduction to University Discourse: Environment and Society, fall quarter, or Carson 80B, Rhetoric and Inquiry: Environment and Society, fall quarter or Carson 80C and 80D, Introduction to University Discourse: Writing for Environment and Society, fall and winter quarters; and Carson 81A, The Environment and Us, fall quarter.

  • Carson 81A, The Environment and Us, fall quarter.

  • Carson 81B, Fundamentals of Environmental Science, winter quarter.

  • Carson 81C, Designing a Sustainable Future, spring quarter

Note: Carson 81A, and 80A, or 80B, or 80C and 80D are mandatory for all incoming freshmen. Carson 81B and 81C also satisfy UCSC general education requirements.


  • Stevenson 80A, Introduction to University Discourse: Self and Society, fall quarter, or Stevenson 80B, Rhetoric and Inquiry: Self and Society, fall quarter

  • Stevenson 81A, Self and Society 2, winter quarter, or Stevenson 81B, Rhetoric and Inquiry: Self and Society 2, winter quarter

Major and Minor Requirements

To qualify for a bachelor’s degree at UCSC, you must complete the minimum requirements for a major program, as well as satisfy university, campus, and college requirements.

At UCSC, you have the option of pursuing a single major, a double major, or a combined major. The minimum requirements for an established major program are set by the sponsoring department. (If you are a transfer student, the department will determine which of your transferable courses may be used to satisfy major requirements.) The major involves substantial work in the discipline and requires no fewer than 40 upper-division or graduate credits. Only courses in which you earn a grade of Pass, C (2.0 GPA), or better satisfy major or minor requirements.

Additional Majors or Minors

To complete multiple majors and minors, you must fulfill all of the requirements for all majors and minors declared, including the comprehensive requirement for each major. In general, a single thesis may not be used for more than one major. You may count courses for more than one major or minor, as long as each major includes 40 upper-division credits not used to satisfy the minimum upper-division credits of any other major or minor, and each minor includes at least 25 upper-division credits not used to satisfy the minimum upper-division credits of any other major or minor.

The diploma of a student who has completed a double major in history and music, for example, would read “Bachelor of Arts with Majors in History and Music.”

Declaring a Major

The field of interest you indicate on your application to UCSC does not automatically place you in a major. You are advised to declare your major as soon as possible. You are required to declare a major before enrolling in the equivalent of your third year.* You will not be allowed to enroll in classes for the equivalent of your third year until you have declared a major. Be sure you are aware of all the necessary criteria for qualifying for the major. It is wise to apply for major status as soon as you feel sure of the field you wish to enter and have met qualification requirements (if any) for the major you wish to pursue. Junior transfer students must declare a major during their second quarter at UCSC by the deadline printed in the Academic and Administrative Calendar.

You should determine the requirements for possible major choices as soon as possible because certain majors require substantial preparation, with many interlocking course sequences and qualifying grades in certain major foundation courses. If you intend to pursue such a major, you should start work toward it early in your undergraduate career, and review your progress toward qualification regularly. (Review majors that interest you in the Programs and Courses section.) Academic advisers can offer assistance in selecting courses appropriate to your individual needs.

*Note: This is the year you would become a junior given normal progress to degree. For example, if you transfer to UCSC as a beginning sophomore, it is your second year here.

Comprehensive Requirement

Every major at UCSC includes a senior exit requirement designed to integrate the knowledge and skills learned throughout the curriculum. This capstone requirement may be a senior thesis, senior seminar, comprehensive examination, or some other integrative experience designed for the major. Choices for satisfying this requirement are specified with the requirements for each major.

Minor Programs

See Fields of Study for undergraduate minors currently offered at UC Santa Cruz. Completion of a minor is optional. If you wish, you may complete more than one minor.

The sponsoring department establishes the course requirements for a minor. The minor involves substantial work in the discipline and requires no fewer than 25 upper-division or graduate credits. The minor appears on your official transcript but not on your diploma.

Additional Majors or Minors

To complete multiple majors and minors, you must fulfill all of the requirements for all majors and minors declared, including the comprehensive requirement for each major. In general, a single thesis may not be used for more than one major. You may count courses for more than one major or minor, as long as each major includes 40 upper-division credits not used to satisfy the minimum upper-division credits of any other major or minor, and each minor includes at least 25 upper-division credits not used to satisfy the minimum upper-division credits of any other major or minor.

The diploma of a student who has completed a double major in history and music, for example, would read “Bachelor of Arts with Majors in History and Music.”

Combined Major

A combined major allows you to complete a course of study involving two disciplines offered as regular programs at UC Santa Cruz.

Examples of combined majors include environmental studies/economics and Latin American and Latino studies/politics. A combined major is designed by faculty representatives from both disciplines. In general, fewer courses are required than for a double major, and students complete the comprehensive requirements as specified for each combined major. Combined majors currently available are listed in the footnotes in the Fields of Study.

The diploma of a student who has completed a combined major in environmental studies and economics, for example, would read “Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Environmental Studies/Economics.”

Individual Major

Students may also work with three faculty members to define an individual major specific to his or her academic goals. Proposals for individual majors require considerable effort to develop, and students are advised to consider double major, combined major, and major/minor alternatives. College advising offices can provide information on the individual major proposal and approval process.

Catalog Rights

Effective for all undergraduates who entered in fall quarter 1993 or after, students may follow the degree requirements from either the UCSC General Catalog published at the time of entering UCSC or subsequent catalog(s). Students need not follow a catalog in its entirety but may elect to follow different catalog years for their college requirements, university and general education requirements, requirements of their major(s), and requirements of any minor(s).

Catalog year will initially be set for the first year of enrollment at UCSC. Students may elect to follow requirements from other catalog year(s) when filing the Petition for Major/Minor Declaration. All requirements for graduation outlined in the catalog(s) selected must be met before graduation. Changing catalog year(s) is done by contacting your major adviser (for major or minor requirements) or your college adviser (for college, university, and general education requirements).

Students transferring from other collegiate institutions may elect to meet as graduation requirements one of the following:

  • those in effect at the time of transfer to UCSC;

  • those subsequently established; or

  • those in effect when the student entered a previous collegiate institution, provided that entry was not more than three years prior to the time of transfer to UCSC.

Students who seek readmission to UCSC after a break in attendance greater than two years (six regular quarters) must adhere to the graduation requirements in effect at the time of readmission or those subsequently established.

Students who entered prior to 1993 should see an adviser. Their catalog year(s) for graduation, whether the year they entered UCSC or subsequent year(s), will be decided at the discretion of their major department and/or their college.

Institutional Responsibility

Undergraduate students who have made significant progress toward a degree in a specific major can assume that a degree will be granted if they meet all catalog degree requirements and maintain continuous enrollment and progress.

Should UCSC find it necessary to discontinue a specific major, every effort will be made to allow currently enrolled majors to complete their degrees within a reasonable period of time. This may include (1) movement to a similar or related degree track; (2) substitution of requirements; (3) development of an individual major proposal; or (4) completion of courses at another University of California campus through the Intercampus Visitor Program. Students with questions concerning this policy should contact their major and college advising offices.

In all cases, any financial obligations are the responsibility of the individual student involved.

Evaluating Academic Performance

UC Santa Cruz has one of the more comprehensive systems for evaluating students’ academic performance of any research university in the United States. The evaluation system consists of two major components: the assignment of a final grade in the course and an optional evaluation of your performance.


Beginning fall 2010, undergraduate evaluations are at the option of the faculty. In each course for which you receive a grade of D or better (or P) an evaluation of your academic performance may be submitted. An evaluation may:

  • Describe the strengths and weaknesses of your performance in the various areas of class activity (discussion, laboratory work, term papers, examinations)

  • Assess your general understanding of the course content

  • Recognize additional or particularly outstanding work

Evaluations may be used at UCSC in academic advising, reviewing scholarship applications, and awarding Honors in the major. Evaluations are a permanent part of your academic record. All students may request transcripts either with or without evaluations.


At the end of each course, you will receive one of the following grade notations:

A excellent

B good

C fair

D poor

F fail

P passing

NP not passing

I incomplete

IP in progress

W withdrawal

The grades of A, B, C, and D may be modified by a plus (+) or a minus (-). You will not receive credit for graduation in any course in which you receive a final grade of F or NP. The grades I and IP are temporary grades used in special circumstances. The final notation W indicates that you officially withdrew from the course before completing it.

Grade Points

Grade points are assigned to a letter grade as follows:

4.0 = A+

4.0 = A

3.7 = A-

3.3 = B+

3.0 = B

2.7 = B-

2.3 = C+

2.0 = C

1.7 = C-

1.3 = D+

1.0 = D

0.7 = D-

0.0 = F

The grades P and NP are not included in calculating your GPA and so are not assigned grade points. Courses in which the interim grades I and IP are assigned earn no grade points or credit until the interim grade is replaced by a final letter grade.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Undergraduates entering UCSC in fall 2001 and thereafter have a UCSC cumulative grade point average calculated from UCSC courses, courses taken through the Education Abroad Program, and courses taken at another UC campus as part of the Intercampus Visitor Program.

A grade point average is determined by dividing the number of grade points earned by the number of credits attempted for a letter grade. In calculating your UCSC GPA, the interim grades IP and I are not included in the computation because you do not earn those credits until they are replaced with a final grade. (However, when checking for whether you have satisfied the 2.0 UC GPA requirement for graduation, these interim grades are included and counted as courses with grade F [or NP]).

If you repeat a course in which you have received a C-, D+, D, D-, or F, only the last grade recorded shall be computed in your GPA for the first 15 credits of repeated work. After the 15 credit maximum is reached, the GPA will be based on all grades assigned and total credits attempted.

Undergraduates who entered UCSC for the first time in or after fall 1997 and before fall 2001 have a UCSC cumulative grade point average only if they have elected letter grades in at least two-thirds of the cumulative credits attempted. Undergraduates who entered UCSC prior to fall 1997 cannot have an official UCSC grade point average calculated.

Pass/No Pass Option

Students in good academic standing may request to take specific courses on a Pass/No Pass basis. Students receive a P (Pass) for work that is performed at C level or better. Work performed at below a C level receives a notation of NP on the student’s transcript, and no academic credit is awarded for the course. Requests for Pass/No Pass grading must be submitted and confirmed by the Grade Option deadline printed in the Academic and Administrative Calendar. If you request P/NP grading in a course and you are later placed on academic probation, your P/NP grading request will be canceled.

No more than 25 percent of the UCSC credits applied toward graduation may be graded on a Pass/No Pass basis. This includes any credits completed in the Education Abroad Program or on another UC campus in an intercampus exchange program. Students must be careful about the use of the Pass/No Pass option. Some courses may only be taken Pass/No Pass, and therefore count against the 25 percent Pass/No Pass limit. Several majors require all or most major requirements to be taken for a letter grade; read the major requirements section carefully before using the Pass/No Pass option for any course in a major you are considering.


The notation I may be assigned when your work for a course is of passing quality but for which some specific required work has not been completed. You must make arrangements with the instructor before the end of the course in order to receive an Incomplete. To remove the Incomplete, you must submit the remaining coursework and file a petition by the deadline printed in the Academic and Administrative Calendar (generally the end of the following quarter). If you do not meet the deadline, the Incomplete lapses to a No Pass or an F, depending on the grading option selected at the beginning of the quarter.

The notation IP (In Progress) is reserved for a single course extending over two or three terms of an academic year. The grade for such a course may be awarded at the end of the course and shall then be recorded as applying to each of the terms of the course. A student satisfactorily completing only one or two terms of a course extending over two or three terms of an academic year will be given grades for those terms. The grade option selected in the first quarter of the multiple-term sequence applies to all quarters of the sequence.

Grade changes (except for I and IP, as above) are allowed only to correct clerical or calculation errors by the instructor and must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the instructor in charge of the course within one year of the close of the quarter for which the original grade was submitted.

Student Responsibility

Students are responsible for using the Academic Information Systems (AIS) to set and confirm choices for grading options and for ensuring timely completion of all requirements. Students view their schedule at MyUCSC.

Course Loads

The usual course load for UCSC undergraduates is 15 to 19 credits, most often as three 5-credit courses and associated laboratories and sections. After instruction begins, students with a UCSC GPA of 3.0 may enroll in up to 22 credits without special approval and may seek approval for higher loads from their college advising office. Students in their first quarter or with a lower GPA must seek approval from their college advising office for enrollment in more than 19 credits.

College approval is required to carry fewer than 15 credits.

Academic Progress

Academic progress is a measure of the completion of courses with a D- or better, or Pass. Colleges monitor academic progress to ensure you are progressing toward your degree, which must be earned within 15 quarters of enrollment (five years).

Minimum progress is based on length of time at UCSC. The minimum acceptable progress is completion of 36 credits for each academic year, 12 credits for each additional full-time term, and four-fifths of credits attempted for each part-time term. Progress is measured cumulatively, not term by term. For example, a full-time student must complete 48 credits by the end of the first quarter of the second year.

If you do not maintain minimum progress, your college may require you to take higher course loads, complete Summer Session courses, or make other adjustments to your study plan.

A separate financial aid satisfactory academic progress policy (FASAP) defines the GPA and progress requirements for  remaining eligible to receive financial aid. Information can be found on the Undergraduate Academic Progress and Financial Aid Information website.

Academic Standing

Academic standing is a measure of performance in completed courses. You must maintain a 2.0 UCSC GPA in order to remain in good academic standing.

If your UCSC term or cumulative GPA falls below 2.0 at the end of any term, you will be placed on academic probation for the next term. You will need to work with your college and major advisers to determine the best way to return to good academic standing. Be sure to take full advantage of the many learning support services available at UCSC.

If your UCSC GPA for any term falls below 1.5, or if you are on academic probation and your cumulative GPA at the end of a term is below 2.0, you are also subject to disqualification. This means that your enrollment at UCSC may be barred for a specific period of time, or you may be disqualified indefinitely from attending the University of California. In many cases, a specific study plan can be developed with your college that will enable you to remain enrolled at UCSC.

For students who entered UCSC prior to fall 2001, academic standing and progress are calculated differently. Contact your college office or see The Navigator for more information.

A separate financial aid satisfactory academic progress policy (FASAP) defines the GPA and progress requirements for  remaining eligible to receive financial aid. Information can be found on the Undergraduate Academic Progress and Financial Aid Information website.

Maximum Credits and Years

Students are expected to complete their degree objective(s) within four years, with maximum enrollment limits of at most 225 credits and five academic years (Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate units are not counted). Upper-division transfer students are expected to complete their degree objective(s) within at most 135 UCSC credits and three academic years.

Colleges may make exceptions to the credit maximum for students in certain cases. Such exceptions are conditional on maintaining academic standing, minimal progress, and progress toward the degree objective(s).

Students in danger of exceeding the credit limit or the five-year or three-year limit may be required to modify their degree objective, such as by completing a major without a minor or double major, or completing a related major with fewer course requirements.

Repeating Courses

Undergraduates may repeat courses in which they earn a C-, D+, D, D-, F, No Pass, or W. For an undergraduate to repeat a course more than once requires approval of the student’s college. A grade of W counts as an attempt. Courses in which a C-, D+, D, D-, or F is earned may not be repeated on a Pass/No Pass basis. Courses in which a grade of No Pass is earned may be repeated on the same basis or for a letter grade. For the first 15 credits of repeated courses, the original grade is excluded from the GPA, and only the grade from the repetition is used. After the 15-credit maximum is reached, all grades are included in the GPA. However, credit is not awarded more than once for the same course. The grade assigned each time the course is taken will be permanently recorded on the official transcript.

Academic Integrity

The university is dedicated to the unhindered pursuit of knowledge and its free expression. It is essential that faculty and students pursue their academic work with the utmost integrity. This means that all academic work produced by an individual is the result of the sole effort of that individual and acknowledges the contributions of others explicitly. It is the responsibility of students and faculty to be absolutely clear about what constitutes plagiarism, cheating, or other violations of academic integrity. Violations of academic integrity by students result in both academic sanctions (e.g., failing the course) and disciplinary sanctions (e.g., suspension or dismissal). Consult the campus’s undergraduate academic misconduct policy for more information.

Undergraduate Honors

UC Santa Cruz awards several honors for outstanding academic achievement.

Dean’s Honors

Students will be eligible for quarterly Dean’s Honors if they have earned a minimum of 15 units that quarter, of which at least 10 are graded, with a term grade point average (GPA) equal or higher than that required for University Honors at graduation in their group* for the current academic year. The notation “Dean’s Honors” will appear on the transcript.

*Note: GPA thresholds for Baskin School of Engineering majors are calculated separately from those of majors in all other divisions.

Honors at Graduation

Honors at graduation are awarded by the university and by the separate majors based on a review of their graduates’ academic records. In general, honors are limited to 15 percent of the graduating class. University Honors are based solely on the cumulative UC GPA. Faculty review of major honors may involve additional criteria.

University Honors

To be considered for University Honors at graduation, students must have completed 70 or more credits at the University of California and have attained in their group* a UC GPA that places them in the rankings as follows: Summa Cum Laude, top 2 percent; Magna Cum Laude, next 3 percent; Cum Laude, next 10 percent. Each year and for each group, the registrar will calculate the GPA thresholds required for these levels of University Honors, based on the GPAs of recent graduates. The notation “University Honors” will appear on the diploma and transcript.

* Note: GPA thresholds for Baskin School of Engineering majors are calculated separately from those of majors in all other divisions.

Honors in the Major

At graduation, the department sponsoring a student’s major program may confer Honors or Highest Honors in the major. This notation appears on the transcript as well as on the diploma. In general, no more than 15 percent of the graduation class in a major will be awarded Honors at graduation.


To ensure consideration for honors in the major, students should apply to graduate by the Registrar’s deadline.

Any student who has a reportable disciplinary sanction for a violation of academic integrity policies may be ineligible for any honors designation, at the discretion of the agency that awards the designation.

Undergraduate Honors Opportunities

College Scholars Program

The UC Santa Cruz College Scholars Program offers a congenial and stimulating academic home for a select group of well-prepared students at UC Santa Cruz. College Scholars Program students can expect to challenge themselves academically, find other students who are similarly motivated, and explore undergraduate research. This enriched program of study includes special courses, seminars, colloquia, and other events during each quarter of the academic year. College Scholars participate in demanding, small-scale, and research-oriented courses that catalyze creative thinking and offer a springboard to other undergraduate research opportunities. 

Admission to the Fall Start cohort of the College Scholars Program is by invitation. A select group of UCSC applicants offered admission to the university will be invited to join the program, based on their record of academic achievement. Students at some colleges can also apply for the College Scholars Program after the fall of their first year ("Spring Start"). In this case, students will join the program during the spring research colloquium. Spring Start students are selected based on applications submitted through their college.

Honor Societies

Many UC Santa Cruz students are members of departmental, professional, local, and national honor societies whose goals are to recognize and improve scholastic standing in an area of interest. Among these are Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest national society that advances scholarship and recognizes excellence in the liberal arts and sciences; Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society that recognizes students of distinguished scholarship, exemplary character, and dedication to service; the Golden Key International Honour Society, which provides recognition and leadership opportunities to top-performing students; and Psi Chi, which encourages, stimulates, and maintains excellence in scholarship, and advances the science of psychology.

Awards and Scholarships

UC Santa Cruz has a variety of scholarship and award opportunities that are designed to reward, encourage, and assist students in pursuing academic excellence and leadership roles. Students can find such opportunities through their colleges, departments, divisions, and various external agencies.

UCSC provides support for students for a variety of prestigious scholarships and awards such as the Karl S. Pister Leadership Opportunity Award, Deans’ and Chancellor’s Awards, Steck Foundation Award, Koret Undergraduate Research Scholarships, Boren Scholarship, Donald A. Strauss Scholarship, Fulbright U.S. Student Program, Scholarship, Marshall Scholarship, and Rhodes Scholarship.


Academic records are maintained by the Office of the Registrar, which will issue an official transcript only on your authorized request.

For information on ordering transcripts, please refer to Registrar's Registrar's transcripts website.

If you have outstanding financial obligations to the university, a hold may be placed on your transcript. Students may access their unofficial transcript on MyUCSC.

Transcripts for UCSC Extension courses should be requested from UCSC Extension Records, 3175 Bowers Ave., Santa Clara, CA 95054-3003, (408) 861-3700.

Privacy of Records

UCSC students are informed annually of the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and its provisions. This act, which the institution follows, was designed to protect the privacy of education records and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings. Students also have the right to file complaints with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the act.

UCSC policy explains in detail the procedures to be used by the institution for compliance with the provisions of the act. FERPA guidelines are available at Privacy of Student Records. The full text of the University of California policies applying to the Disclosure of Information from Student Records is online: registrar.ucsc.edu/records/disclosure/index.html.

Questions concerning the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act may be referred to the Office of the Registrar, 190 Hahn Student Services Building.

Advising: From Course Selection to Careers

Academic Advising

Academic advising at UC Santa Cruz aims to assist students in clarifying their educational goals and in developing academic plans to achieve them. The core of UCSC’s advising system is housed in the colleges and academic programs and is supplemented by advising and support services throughout the campus.

College academic advisers (some of whom are called “academic preceptors”) are generalist advisers who focus on orientation to the university, pre-major advising, academic success, and campuswide requirements such as general education and university requirements. Each college has an advising team that can provide you with individual and group advising and can refer you to resources and educational opportunities. You remain affiliated with your college advisers throughout your undergraduate career.

Staff advisers in UCSC’s academic programs (sometimes called “major advisers”) focus on areas related to a student’s major or minor. Major advisers can help you understand declaration and major requirements, and can assist you in planning a program of study. They can help you identify enrichment opportunities within the major and refer you to appropriate faculty advisers. Faculty advisers may serve as mentors in your field, recommending courses and helping you refine your educational goals. For transfer students and for students in many majors (such as those in the physical and biological sciences, engineering, and the arts), it is important to review information provided by major advisers prior to your first quarter on campus.

For help in assessing career interests and exploring and choosing career options, contact the Career Center. The staff also can assist you with choosing a major, résumé preparation, interviewing skills, applying for an internship, and job-search strategies.

If you plan to go on to graduate school, consult with faculty in your major. Faculty advisers are the best people to ask about the quality of graduate programs in your field of interest. In addition, the Career Center offers advising and workshops on applying to graduate school.

If you intend to pursue graduate study in a field not offered as a major at UCSC, you can often prepare for your intended program through one of the campus’s regular majors. You must plan your studies carefully, however, and advising will be especially important. The Career Center has information that will help prepare you for graduate and professional programs. The following are some fields in which UCSC alumni have pursued graduate study and successful careers:

  • Business

  • Conservation

  • Film

  • Finance

  • Guidance and counseling

  • Health fields

  • High-tech industry

  • Human resources

  • Industrial and labor relations

  • International relations

  • Law

  • Marketing

  • Museum administration

  • Public administration

  • Urban planning

The Career Center includes advisers with specialized expertise in preparing for careers in medicine or another health-related field (including dentistry, nursing, nutrition, occupational therapy, optometry, osteopathic medicine, pharmacology, physical therapy, public health, and veterinary medicine), and in preparing for careers in law.

A number of programs provide additional academic and comprehensive support services to students with specific needs. Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP), Services for Transfer and Re-Entry Students (STARS), and the Disability Resource Center are described below. Counseling on personal and family issues is available through Counseling and Psychological Services. If you need assistance that is not listed in this section, consult The Navigator or check with your college advisers.

Your first step in accessing advising at UCSC is to attend Orientation.


All new UC Santa Cruz students are expected to attend an on-campus orientation. Students who attend Orientation feel better prepared, encounter fewer problems, and receive priority fall class enrollment. Attending Orientation is one of the most important steps a new student takes in preparing for the transition to university life, providing the academic advising needed to make informed decisions about classes and majors, and the opportunity to get questions answered, and learn more about the university.

Orientation begins the process of academic advising and provides a comprehensive introduction to all aspects of UCSC. While at Orientation, students enroll in classes, learn to access campus resources, meet with college and department advisers, meet new and continuing students, learn about the many student organizations on campus, attend a resource fair, take a student ID picture, attend breakout sessions, and gain valuable student life information. Orientation is an indispensable resource that helps facilitate academic and personal success at the university.

Summer Orientation is held several times over the course of the summer and includes separate programs for first-year and transfer students, as well as a concurrent program for family members.

Fall Welcome Week, scheduled approximately five days prior to the beginning of fall quarter, is the next step in the orientation and advising process for new students entering fall quarter. It provides students with an opportunity to settle into life at UCSC, take advantage of important services, and continue their academic advising.

International Orientation is required for all international students regardless of residency status. The mandatory International Orientation program eases students’ transition to university life and introduces students to a research university’s academic expectations, UC level writing norms, campus resources, and the UCSC and Santa Cruz communities. International Orientation is scheduled prior to Welcome Week and the beginning of fall quarter.

Students make their reservations for Summer Orientation online through the UC Santa Cruz portal at MyUCSC.

Questions can be directed to the Office of Campus Orientation Programs at (831) 459-5468, or via email to orientation@ucsc.edu. Web: orientation.ucsc.edu.

Career Center

UC Santa Cruz graduates find success in many different career fields. Their superior education is the foundation for this success. The staff at the Career Center will help you link your educational experience to the world of work. The center provides a variety of employment and career-development services to help students obtain rewarding and successful careers.

Both undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to visit the Career Center often throughout their time on campus. The first step is to meet with a career adviser to begin developing a focused career plan. Simply sign up online for an advising appointment through SlugQuest on the Career Center website. Advisers assist students in selecting majors, finding internships and part-time jobs, applying to graduate school, conducting a job search, and much more. Workshops offered by the Career Center include: Finding and Applying to Internships; Résumé and Cover Letter Writing; Applying to Graduate and Professional School; and special workshops on specific majors or career fields. Check out the Career Planning Guide for additional career development activities suggested for students from first year through senior year.

Your college experience is likely to include a part-time job or internship in your area of interest. An internship is one of the best ways to gain practical work experience in your area of interest. The Career Center has hundreds of opportunities available. Off-campus and on-campus employment opportunities (both work-study and non-work-study) are posted on the Career Center’s website.

The Career Center’s website contains a wealth of material on career exploration, graduate and professional schools, job search, career fields, internships, and employers. One of the most exciting online resources is the Career Advice Network, which helps students connect with alumni in their field of interest who have a desire to assist other Slugs.

UC Santa Cruz students and alumni looking for full-time career opportunities need look no further than SlugQuest—an online site that lists job openings targeted to UCSC graduates. You may connect to SlugQuest on the Career Center website. Another way to obtain a career position is to participate in the On-Campus Interview Program. Recruiters visit campus every fall, winter, and spring to interview and hire students. The Career Center website has a list of participating companies.

The Career Center sponsors several major events every academic year. The Graduate and Professional School Fair brings representatives from the nation’s top universities to campus to share information about their advanced-degree programs. Job and internship fairs, which bring hiring companies to campus, take place multiple times each year. Students looking for a job or internship will want to arrive prepared with a great résumé. Other events include the Multicultural Career Conference, which brings students and alumni together to develop mentor relationships and explore careers.

The Career Center— located at the Bay Tree Building, Room 305, in Quarry Plaza—can be reached at (831) 459-4420. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP)

The Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP) provide a variety of academic and personal support designed to improve the retention and academic success of first-generation low-income and educationally disadvantaged college students. EOP helps ensure that these students successfully complete their undergraduate education and acquire the skills to prepare for graduate and professional school, as well as for future leadership roles. EOP offers the following programs.

Advising Programs and Services

EOP Advising programs and services are designed to facilitate personal growth and development with the goal of achieving academic and social integration, academic achievement, and exposure to opportunities beyond the baccalaureate degree. These programs and services include:

  • Advising and counseling

  • Personal counseling

  • Referrals to resources, programs, and opportunities

  • Peer advising

Bridge Program

The Bridge Program is a first-year experience program that supports and guides students in their transition from high school to the university. Participants are first-generation college students who may come from low-income backgrounds and under-resourced California high schools. The program is designed to prepare students for the academic rigors of the university by providing them with the tools and resources necessary to achieve academic excellence in their first year and throughout their undergraduate career.

Support Services for AB540 Students

AB540 Student Services provides a broad range of support services designed to address the needs of AB540 students. These services address the gaps that AB540 students face within the university and enhance student achievement. Services provided to students include mentoring, community-building events and programs, personal advising, and student-based support.

Textbook Lending Program

This program is designed to assist students in obtaining required textbooks that they would not be able to purchase on their own due to cost. To receive textbook assistance, students must demonstrate financial hardship and must have exhausted all other forms of financial aid available to them. This includes all forms of loans (subsidized and unsubsidized).

Pre-Graduate Programs

EOP also sponsors two pre-graduate programs designed to increase the placement of EOP students in professional and doctoral programs and to encourage the pursuit of academic careers.

  • The Graduate Information Program (GIP) supports students seeking to pursue graduate and professional school education. Services include graduate and professional school advising; graduate school application and internship-related workshops; graduate school resource library and website; website to conferences and forums

  • Pathways to Research (P2R) exposes undergraduate students to research opportunities and research-based graduate programs. With the assistance of their graduate mentor, participating students determine their short-term goals for the quarter and long-term goals for the school year related to exploration of and involvement in research. Students engage in bi-weekly meetings with their mentor to report on progress and plan next steps to reach their goals. P2R is a two-quarter commitment (Winter and Spring). Mentees will receive a $300 stipend upon successful completion of the program.

For information about any of these programs, please call the EOP office at (831) 459-2296 or visit eop.ucsc.edu.

MARC and IMSD Programs

The Division of Physical and Biological Sciences sponsors two National Institutes of Health grant programs: the Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) Program and the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) Program. Though separately funded, the projects share a similar mandate: to increase the number of well-prepared, under-represented, ethnic-minority, and disadvantaged-background students who are admitted to graduate or professional schools in biomedical sciences. The program seeks students from groups that have traditionally been denied equal access to educational opportunities in the science professions.

UCSC students should apply in their sophomore year or as juniors staying a 5th year. Both programs require a two-year commitment. In addition, a student should be in the process of completing specific introductory courses in biology, chemistry, and mathematics because the program begins in the summer. The MARC and IMSD programs aim to introduce students to program faculty, their research, and laboratory research techniques. After students successfully complete the summer program, they have the opportunity to work in a faculty lab for the following academic year. Financial compensation is available for laboratory research and participation in the summer program.

MARC and IMSD are housed under the STEM Diversity Programs and run in conjunction with UC LEADS and CAMP. The STEM Diversity Programs also work with other offices to help make the most of campus resources and provide practical assistance with the graduate school admission process. Additionally, the staff maintains an information file on summer enrichment programs (which can provide you with vital research experience), conferences, professional development workshops, journal clubs, and seminar courses. Students admitted to the program are supported by a well-equipped student office, which provides additional academic support and a convenient place for students to meet.

For further information, contact the STEM Diversity Programs office to learn more about eligibility requirements and visit the STEM Diversity Programs website or email STEM Diversity Programs Director Yulianna Ortega at yuli@ucsc.edu. The application will be available Dec. 1, 2016. Deadline for 2017-2019 cohorts is Feb. 10, 2017.

Academic Excellence Program (ACE)

ACE is a nationally recognized academic support program that is designed to increase the diversity of students who earn bachelor’s degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). ACE offers active-learning problem solving sessions for selected mathematics and science courses.

The sessions provide a structured setting where students teach and learn from each other. An ACE session leader, who has an academic background in the subject, facilitates the problem solving sessions. Undergraduate co-leaders/peer mentors assist , bringing the student-to-teacher ratio to approximately 12:1. In addition to attending their ACE problem-solving sessions , students meet weekly with their peer mentor, who shares study strategies as well as opportunities for undergraduate teaching and research internships. ACE session leaders offer weekly office hours, as well as examination review sessions and academic and career planning. ACE students join a community of STEM scholars who are dedicated to academic excellence and success.

Applications are accepted quarterly for the upcoming term. Enrollment in ACE is limited and priority is given to EOP students who are planning to pursue a STEM major. For more information, visit the ACE website.

Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP)

Also known as the MESA Engineering Program, MEP is the university-level component of Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA), a statewide program of the University of California Office of the President. At UC Santa Cruz, MEP is supported by the Baskin School of Engineering. Its goal is to promote the retention and graduation of a diverse population of students, especially those from groups that remain the most underrepresented in engineering studies.

MEP provides academic and personal support for engineering students who are first-generation college students, are the first in the family to pursue engineering or computer science studies, or are from a low-income (limited financial resources) or educationally disadvantaged background. MEP’s academic learning community supplements students’ undergraduate experience and encourages them to continue their education by attending graduate school. MEP has a strong support system and engages students’ full participation in a variety of services and activities. These include academic advising, personal counseling, tutorial services, drop-in assistance, individual and small-group study, study-skills workshops, peer-support networks, community-building activities, scholarships, and an engineering Summer Bridge program for a select group of entering first-year students.

MEP’s well-equipped study center and computer lab provides 24-hour access to computer workstations and printer, textbooks, individual lockers, and a place for students to gather and study. Students who have participated in pre-university service programs (e.g., Early Academic Outreach, Upward Bound, MESA, Talent Search, Puente, DEEP, Smith Scholastic Society) are encouraged to apply to MEP.

For further information, call (831) 459-2868, visit the MEP website, or drop by the School of Engineering Undergraduate Affairs Office, 231 Baskin Engineering Building.

Services for Transfer and Re-entry Students (STARS)

Services for Transfer and Re-entry Students (STARS) offers a broad range of personal and academic support services for all transfer and re-entry students (undergraduates 25 years and older, graduate students 29 years and older), students who are parents regardless of age, and military veterans. These services include admissions information; orientations for new students; academic seminar courses; study skills workshops; tutorial services; informal academic advising; drop-in assistance; social, recreational, and cultural programs; scholarships; newsletters; and study centers with computer workstations. STARS also acts as a clearinghouse for information about campus and community resources for UCSC’s large transfer and re-entry student populations.

STARS is located at Kresge College, on the floor above the College Office. All current and prospective transfer and re-entry students are invited to visit. Hours are 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and to 5:00 p.m. on Friday.

Veterans Education Team Support (VETS) is a STARS program for veterans returning to school. In this peer mentor program, veterans meet each other and receive assistance as they navigate admission and transition into university life. Ongoing personal and academic support and outreach to prospective students are also offered.

The Smith Renaissance Scholars Program, which helps current and former foster youths pursue their educational goals, is affiliated with STARS.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UCSC, a UC/community organization dedicated to continuing education, is also under the STARS umbrella. The organization hosts monthly meetings with university faculty, offers courses taught primarily by emeriti faculty, and coordinates a wide variety of peer-led interest groups.

The Retirees and Emeriti Center, located at STARS, provides a resource for faculty and staff of UC Santa Cruz as they transition to and engage in retirement.

For further information regarding all the STARS programs, call (831) 459-2552. For current programs and activities, visit the STARS website.

Disability Resource Center (DRC)

The campus accommodates students with disabilities and welcomes their attendance at UCSC. The Disability Resource Center (DRC) provides services such as disability-related advising, authorization for testing accommodations, conversion of print materials into alternative formats (audio, electronic, Braille), adaptive equipment loans, notetakers, sign language interpreters, real-time captioning services and referrals to appropriate campus or community resources.

The Disability Resource Center is located at 125 Hahn Student Services Building and can be reached by phone at (831) 459-2089, or via email at drc@ucsc.edu. More information is available on the Disability Resource Center website.

Campus access for people with mobility impairments. Visit the campus Americans with Disabilities Act website for more information about accessibility maps, vehicles equipped with wheelchair lifts that can transport students throughout campus, and permits for accessible or medical parking spaces that are adjacent to all campus buildings. Most buildings on campus have wheelchair-accessible ramps, modified rest rooms, and other facilities. If necessary, classes are rescheduled to meet accessibility needs.

Questions and concerns can be directed as follows:

  • Education/program accessibility should be addressed to the director of the Disability Resource Center, at (831) 459-2089 (voice).

  • Facility or transportation access should be directed to Facilities Access Coordinator (831) 459-3759 (voice).

  • Computing access to the campus should be directed to IT Accessibility Coordinator (831) 459-2410.

  • Accommodating job applicants or current employees with disabilities should be directed to (Disability Management Coordinator, Benefits Office (831) 459-4602 or Assistant Director for EEO, Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (831) 459-3676.

ROTC and Military Affairs

UC Santa Cruz Air Force ROTC

Students interested in participating in Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) have the option of attending AFROTC classes at San José State University while taking other academic classes at UC Santa Cruz.

San José State University supports a wing of AFROTC with cadets from San José State University, Santa Clara University, Stanford University, UC Santa Cruz, and many local community colleges. The Air Force ROTC program is designed to provide instruction in leadership, management, and national security studies along with military education and training. This prepares the cadet for assignment to positions of responsibility and importance in the modern Air Force. Instruction is conducted on and off campus. This program offers all eligible students the opportunity to obtain an officer's commission in the United States Air Force while earning their college degrees.

Program Overview

Our faculty brings a wealth of experience and diversity to the program. Instructors are Active Duty Air Force officers from various career areas and provide students with a first-rate academic education and military training experience. Each faculty member also acts as a student adviser to guide students through the program and help them reach the goal of an officer’s commission in the United States Air Force.

College students wishing to commission as an Air Force officer through ROTC may enroll in a three-, or four-year program. Students attend Air Force ROTC classes along with other college courses and receive elective academic credit. AFROTC courses are sequenced by subject area for specific and logical reasons. Please see http://www.sjsu.edu/afrotc/ for course information. After successfully completing all requirements, the cadets are commissioned as Air Force officers.

For information on the Air Force ROTC program, contact the Department of Aerospace Studies, AFROTC Det 045, One Washington Square, Industrial Studies Building, Room 214, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA, 95192-0051. Phone: (408) 924-2960. Email afrotc@sjsu.edu or visit the website: http://www.sjsu.edu/afrotc/. Students may call or inquire about program prerequisites, scholarship availability, and class schedules at the Department of Aerospace Studies.

UC Santa Cruz Army ROTC

The Army ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) is one of the best leadership courses in the country and can be part of your college curriculum. UC Santa Cruz students have the opportunity to take ROTC courses with cadets from other local campuses including Santa Clara University, Stanford, and San Jose State University. Cadets from UC Santa Cruz have flexible options to meet ROTC class requirements such as local classes on campus, shuttles to Santa Clara University, or by virtual attendance of classes at Santa Clara University through the Army’s online meeting application. During classes, leadership labs, physical training, and field training exercises, Army ROTC students will learn firsthand what it takes to lead others, motivate groups and conduct missions as an officer in the Army. Upon graduation from Army ROTC, students will earn the bar of a second lieutenant and be commissioned into the Active Army, Army Reserve or Army National Guard.

Army ROTC at Santa Clara University is a program that fosters the development of cadets' academic, athletic, professional, and mental strengths. Students attend class and physical training for three hours each week, along with a Wednesday lab session that features hands-on instruction regarding Army operations and leadership situations. This program is ideally designed as a four-year process. Cadets spend their first two years familiarizing themselves with the Army, and in their third year they are expected to perform and improve as leaders in preparation for a summer leadership development camp at Ft. Knox, Kentucky. The fourth and final year of Army ROTC introduces cadets to the responsibilities of military staff, teaching them to plan, train, lead, and develop their junior cadets in preparation for their commission. A typical four-year education with Santa Clara University ROTC comes with a service obligation of four years in the Army.

Army ROTC also gives cadets the opportunity to gain further Army experience by earning appointments to Army training schools where they will parachute from airplanes or rappel from helicopters. In addition, cadets are allowed a single quarter of study abroad, as well as the opportunity to participate in Army-funded immersion trips to dozens of countries across the globe in the summer months.

Cadets who graduate from the program will compete for active duty and reserve positions across the Army. Active officers have a full-time position and serve for a minimum of four years. Reserve officers serve for eight years part-time in either the National Guard or Army Reserve.

For more information about ROTC opportunities and scholarships contact Mario Morales by email at mcmorales@scu.edu or by phone at 408-554-6840, or visit the Army ROTC website at http://www.scu.edu/rotc/.

For more information regarding Army ROTC please visit the Army ROTC website at http://www.goarmy.com/rotc.html.

Undergraduate Research

At the best research universities, professors bring knowledge and creativity from their cutting-edge research into the classroom, integrating the canon of the discipline with its future directions. UC Santa Cruz takes this further with a special tradition of undergraduate research outside the classroom. UC Santa Cruz, its departments, and faculty offer undergraduates many ways to get involved in research and creative activities. These opportunities develop advanced skills and insights and provide an early introduction to the nature of graduate studies. Research projects can help students launch careers, secure admissions to top graduate schools, and truly make an impact on society.

Many majors incorporate research into their senior comprehensive requirement, with options or requirements of a senior thesis, capstone project, or other creative endeavor based on students’ individual research. Other opportunities for undergraduates include structured internships or research programs, joining ongoing faculty research or creative projects, or developing their own projects under faculty supervision. The following sections discuss a sampling of UCSC’s international education, field-study, and exchange programs, which enable students to deeply enrich their undergraduate experience and education as they learn by doing. For additional information, see Undergraduate Research Opportunities.


After being selected as UC LEADS Scholars, students begin a two-year program of scientific research and graduate school preparation guided by individual faculty mentors and program staff. Scholars are provided with an excellent opportunity to explore their discipline, experience a research environment, and improve their opportunities for future study in their chosen field. Each scholar is mentored by a member of the UC faculty who assists the student in designing a plan of research and enrichment activities tailored to his or her individual interests and academic goals. Scholars attend the annual statewide symposium, as well as are sponsored to participate in another STEM conference of their choice each year.

The UC LEADS program is headquartered in the STEM Diversity Programs office, along with MARC, IMSD and CAMP. To learn more about eligibility requirements and the UC LEADS program, visit the STEM Diversity Programs website or email STEM Diversity Programs Director Yulianna Ortega at yuli@ucsc.edu. The application will be available Dec. 1, 2016. The deadline for 2017-19 cohorts is Feb. 10, 2017.

California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP)

CAMP is a statewide initiative that aims to support and retain underrepresented undergraduates to achieve their degrees in the biological sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

By integrating research and undergraduate education, CAMP creates a cohesive set of experiences that fully prepares undergraduates for graduate studies. CAMP motivates participants through cooperative learning, internships, faculty mentored research, and travel to professional conferences.

The CAMP program is headquartered in the STEM Diversity Programs office along with MARC, IMSD and UC LEADS. To learn more about eligibility requirements and the CAMP program, visit visit the STEM Diversity Programs website or email STEM Diversity Programs Director Yulianna Ortega at yuli@ucsc.edu. The application will be available Dec. 1, 2016. The deadline for 2017-19 cohorts is Feb. 10, 2017.

International Education

The International Education Office (IEO) actively supports UCSC's teaching research, and service missions. IEO oversees UCSC Programs Abroad and International Scholar and Student Services (ISSS).

For further information, contact the International Education Office, 101 Classroom Unit Building, (831) 459-2858, email: ieo@ucsc.edu.

Programs Abroad

UCSC Programs Abroad offers undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to study through the University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) on more than 350 programs in more than 40 countries as part of their regular UCSC academic program. The program serves students at all UC campuses and is administered by the University Office of the Education Abroad Program in Santa Barbara. Information is available at eap.ucop.edu.

Additionally, UCSC Programs Abroad assists students participating in study-abroad opportunities through UCSC directly, through other UC campuses, and through privately sponsored organizations. UCSC Programs Abroad seeks to bring these programs within reach of all students.

International Scholar and Student Services

The International Scholar and Student Services (ISSS) office provides immigration advising and advocacy as well as cultural and academic programming for UCSC's growing global community. ISSS assists students, scholars, researchers, and faculty members in maintaining their legal status while in the United States, serving as UCSC's official liaison to U.S. government agencies related to immigration matters. ISSS serves more than 1,000 international clients and their accompanying family members who come to the campus each year.

Fulbright Grants for Graduate Study and Research Abroad

The International Education Office facilitates the Fulbright annual awards competition for the Graduate Study and Research Abroad Program for currently enrolled UCSC students.

Koret Undergraduate Research Scholarships

The Koret Scholars Program provides funding for a variety of undergraduate research projects and experiences. The program supports scholarships for undergraduate research projects with faculty and graduate student mentors, undergraduate and graduate student research internships with the Student Success Evaluation and Research Center, and expansion of the year-long College Scholars research development program. Visit the Koret Scholars Program website for more information.

Field and Exchange Programs

UCDC Program at the UC Washington Center

The UCDC Program supervises and supports students who pursue a quarter of academic study and internship work in the nation’s capital. Internship placements are geared toward student interests, including but not limited to government and public policy, science and the environment, education and the arts, advocacy and nonprofit organizations, law, and business and finance. Students live in the UC Washington Center with students from other UC campuses, which provides an intellectual and social community throughout the quarter.

The program is open through an application process to juniors and seniors (occasionally sophomores) in all majors. Students enroll for fall, winter, or spring quarter, earn 12 to 17 course credits, complete an internship, and continue to be registered as full-time students. Applicant selection is based on academic record, a written statement, letters of recommendation, and in some cases a personal interview. Financial-aid eligibility is maintained.

Interested students with strong academic records are encouraged to apply. For further information, visit the UCDC website or email the UCDC Coordinator at ucdc@ucsc.edu.

Intercampus Visitor Program

UCSC students may take advantage of educational opportunities at other campuses of the University of California through the Intercampus Visitor Program. This program enables you to take courses not available at Santa Cruz, to participate in special programs, or to study with distinguished faculty at other campuses.

To qualify for participation in this program, you must be in good standing after completing at least three quarters in residence at Santa Cruz. Each host campus establishes its own criteria for accepting students from other campuses as visitors. You must also have the approval of your college. Consult with your department about how courses taken at the host campus may apply to your major requirements.

Applications are available at the Intercampus Visitor Program website. Additional information is available from the special programs coordinator in the Office of the Registrar, (831) 459-4412. The application form contains a great deal of useful information about the program and how and when to file; please read it carefully. A nonrefundable application fee of $70 is due when the application is filed. 

Cross-Campus or Simultaneous Enrollment with Other University of California Campuses

Undergraduate students enrolled at UCSC may enroll, without formal admission and without payment of additional university fees, in courses at another UC campus on a space-available basis at the discretion of the appropriate campus authorities on both campuses. Simultaneous enrollment refers to UC courses not offered through UC Online. Additional information about online UC courses is available through UC Online.

Currently registered students must meet all of the following requirements to be eligible to enroll in one class through the Cross-Campus and Simultaneous Enrollment Programs: completion of a minimum of 12 credits at UCSC as a matriculated student,  be in good academic standing, and demonstrate appropriate academic preparation as determined by the host campus. Full-time students must be enrolled in at least ten credits at UCSC. University Part-Time students must be enrolled in at least five credits at UCSC and may enroll in up to ten credits total.

Information about Cross-Campus Enrollment is available through UC Online. Applications for Simultaneous Enrollment are available at the Office of the Registrar, 190 Hahn Student Services Building or online. For more information, call (831) 459-4412 or email registrar@ucsc.edu, or visit the website at Simultaneous Enrollment.

Part-Time Program

If you are unable to attend the university full-time because of family obligations, employment responsibilities, or a medical condition, or you are in your final quarter before graduation, you may qualify for the Part-Time Program. This program enables students to pursue a bachelor’s degree part-time in any major offered at UC Santa Cruz. To participate, undergraduate students must file a Part-Time Program application by the appropriate deadline. Full-time students normally take three 5-credit courses per quarter; part-time students may enroll in a maximum of 10 credits.

Students approved for enrollment on a part-time basis pay the same fee as full-time students but pay only one-half of the tuition. Part-time nonresidents pay one-half of nonresident tuition. Financial aid awards may be affected by enrolling part-time. Students who use the part-time fee reduction may not also use the UC employee reduction. Applications for undergraduates are available from the Office of the Registrar, 190 Hahn Student Services Building. For more information, call (831) 459-4412, or email registrar@ucsc.edu. More information is available on the Part-Time Program website.

Domestic Exchange Programs

UCSC has exchange programs with the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and the University of New Mexico (UNM). UNH is located near the New Hampshire seacoast in the picturesque colonial town of Durham, a little more than an hour from Boston, Massachusetts. UNM is located in Albuquerque, a city of approximately half a million population, situated on the banks of the Rio Grande. Both schools give students the opportunity for an educational experience in an entirely different environment.

While enrolled in the exchange program, students maintain their status at UCSC, and they are expected to return to complete their studies following enrollment at UNH or UNM. Both universities are on the semester system and students may participate in one semester or the entire academic year.

Participants are selected from among students who are in good academic standing. Successful applicants will be expected to confirm their participation at the beginning of spring quarter. Each department of study determines the applicability of UNH and UNM courses toward requirements for the major. Letter grades earned while at UNH and UNM will not be calculated into the UCSC GPA or the UC GPA. Further information is available from the exchange program coordinator in the Office of the Registrar, by phone at (831) 459-4412, and at the Domestic Exchange Programs website.

Intersegmental Cross-Enrollment

This program permits a student who is currently enrolled in a California community college or a California State University campus and who meets certain eligibility criteria to enroll in one undergraduate course at UCSC each term, on a space-available basis. A student is qualified to participate in this program if he or she meets the following requirements:

  • has completed at least one term at the home campus as a matriculated student and is enrolled in at least 6 credits at the home campus during the term in which he or she seeks to cross-enroll;

  • has a grade point average of 2.0 for work completed;

  • has paid tuition or fees required by the home campus for the academic term in which he or she seeks to cross-enroll;

  • has appropriate academic preparation as determined by the host campus, consistent with the standard applied to currently enrolled students;

  • is a California resident for tuition purposes at the home campus; and

  • has not previously been admitted to and registered at UCSC.

Applications are available online. The application form contains a great deal of useful information about the program and how and when to file. Please read it carefully.

Field Programs and Internships

Many UC Santa Cruz students complement their major programs with field experience or internships, which also provide opportunities to become involved in public service activities in the local community and throughout the world. Most of the field programs described below are open to students in a range of majors, although some are restricted to students pursuing a designated area of study. Students in all majors may apply for internships sponsored by the Career Center.

In addition to the off-campus placements provided by the programs described below, independent field study opportunities are available through some UCSC colleges and departments.

Chancellor’s Undergraduate Internship Program (CUIP)

The Chancellor's Undergraduate Internship Program (CUIP) provides on-campus internships in programs and departments throughout UC Santa Cruz. Interns work with a mentor to develop personal and professional skills and take a leading role in producing projects. A two-unit leadership seminar class is required for fall, winter, and spring quarters. A scholarship of $8,200 is paid toward the intern’s registration fees for the academic year.

Community Studies Field-Study Program

Community Studies is the oldest interdisciplinary undergraduate degree program at UCSC. Its hallmarks are a focus on social justice and a distinctive pedagogy that integrates classroom learning and an extended six-month field study. Not only is the full-time field study a requirement of the major, it is the centerpiece of a core curriculum through which students prepare for, then immerse themselves in a setting where they participate in and analyze the social justice work of an organization. Upon return from field study, students integrate topical and experiential learning in a capstone project (usually a senior essay) that uses their field notes as a key source for analysis.

With the guidance of faculty and staff advisers, community studies students choose field placements related toone of the program’s areas of focus in economic justice and health justice. Placements have included community health clinics, women’s and feminist organizations, immigrant-rights centers, media and policy advocacy organizations, homeless resource and support groups, sustainable development projects, queer and transgender organizations, neighborhood or workers’ collectives, civil rights groups, community food security programs, legal clinics, community-based cultural organizations, programs for seniors, tenant or labor unions, HIV/AIDS advocacy groups, harm reduction programs, government agencies and the offices of elected officials, and many other organizations committed to working for social justice. As political, economic, cultural and technological landscapes shift, so do the needs and opportunities for social justice organizing. Throughout its history Community Studies has been noteworthy for being attuned and responsive to innovative in field-study opportunities in a changing world.

The practical experience gained from the six-month field study, combined with their topical learning, provides graduates with many choices. About half go on to graduate or professional study in education, urban studies, public health, public administration, social work, planning, law, policy studies, medicine, nursing, or academic disciplines like sociology, anthropology, and politics. Others enter the work world directly, in many cases continuing with non-profit agencies like those in which they did their field study. Community Studies graduates are social entrepreneurs, community organizers, program directors, public officials, teachers, therapists, librarians, social workers, news directors, union officials, labor organizers, forest management consultants, reporters, youth workers, and artists. According to a recent alumni survey, almost 100 alumni have founded nonprofit social justice organizations, and many more have served on nonprofit boards and/or in executive director positions.

The field study program is open to Community Studies majors only. The entire major usually takes two years to complete. For more information, see the Community Studies website.

Economics Field-Study Program

The Economics Department offers its majors the opportunity to integrate their academic knowledge with career-related work. The field-study program places students in internships under the supervision of a faculty sponsor and a professional in the workplace. Students can select from a wide variety of field placements such as accounting firms, community nonprofits, government agencies, brokerage firms, marketing agencies, banks, and businesses in Santa Cruz and beyond. Students apply and prepare for field study a quarter in advance. Acceptance into the field-study program is determined by academic standing, class level, and successful completion of Economics 100A, 100B, and 113 (see Economics courses). Students may earn a maximum of 10 credits and complete up to two quarters in a field placement.

Along with the training and supervision by a professional in the workplace, students receive guidance from a faculty sponsor who directs their academic project. Completion of this project and the job supervisor's evaluation of performance earn the student credit. Economics Field Study (Economics 193 or 198, see Economics courses) does not satisfy an upper-division requirement for the major and is available on a passing/not passing (P/NP) basis only.

Further information is available from the Economics Field Study Office, 402 Engineering 2 Bldg.; by phone at (831) 459-5028; or by email at econintern@ucsc.edu.

Environmental Studies Field and Internship Program

Open to all UCSC students, the Environmental Studies Field and Internship Program is an integral academic component of the environmental studies major, and it augments the research and professional development of undergraduate students (see Environmental Studies). Interns are placed, individually and in groups, in both on-campus and off-campus agencies, where their work often results in publications and resource documents, and in many cases serves as the primary basis for policy formation within a particular agency or organization. Placements have included research for small businesses; learning all aspects of running an organic farm; writing policy documents for state agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and planning departments; assignments as natural history interpretive guides for state and national parks; and apprentice positions with consultants, architects, solar-energy designers, agroecologists, and teachers. Student intern placements are also obtainable working with coffee growers, teachers, and agricultural specialists in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Mexico.

Part- and full-time placements are available, and students may receive two to 15 course credits for their work. Each student’s placement is supervised by a team of supporters: a faculty adviser, field sponsor, and the internship coordinator. Students spend 12 to 15 hours each week on their assignments for every 5 credits they receive.

Internships and fieldwork are designed to complement a student’s coursework and are available for both lower- and upper-division credit. Often, the internship leads to a summer job or employment after graduation. Qualified environmental studies majors may undertake a senior internship to fulfill the department’s comprehensive requirement. In addition, internships provide a fieldwork component for some environmental studies courses. Undergraduates are also afforded ample opportunities to intern on faculty and graduate-student research projects.

Further information is available from the Environmental Studies Field and Internship Program Office, 491 Interdisciplinary Sciences Building, (831) 459-2104, email: ckrohn@ucsc.edu. More information is available at envs.ucsc.edu/internships.

The Everett Program (formerly the Global Information Internship Program)

The Everett Program is focused on connecting the university to community partners on a global scale. It supports social change using the tools of technology, social entrepreneurship, and research.

The Everett Program recruits highly motivated and innovative students who are committed to developing social enterprises and contributing to social justice and environmental sustainability movements at the global and local levels. The program consists of three quarters of rigorous classes, practical technology labs, and project labs. It empowers students to focus their passion for social change by teaching them how to research, plan, design, fund, implement, and evaluate projects in collaboration with community change agents, using information and communication tools. Students are supported and encouraged to participate in outside-of-class trainings, competitions, outside grants, and opportunities to connect with the Everett alumni network.

Everett-sponsored students have worked with Muslim feminists in Malaysia, coffee farmer co-ops in Central America, democracy-advocating NGOs in Ghana, and aspiring high school students in Watsonville. For more information, see www.everettprogram.org. As managers of the program, past students who have become Everett Fellows also facilitate peer-to-peer technology and project labs throughout the year. These focus on training students in valuable skills such as participatory mapping, website and graphic design, digital video storytelling, social media campaigns, and robotic programming. The Everett Program’s year-long series is interdisciplinary and counts as an upper-division elective for several social science majors. It also serves as a foundation for the major and minor in global information and social enterprise studies (GISES), which is sponsored by the Department of Sociology. For more information on the GISES and Intensive Sociology major and minor, please see Sociology Department Majors and Minors.

Fieldwork in Education Programs

The M.A. in Education/California SB 2042 Preliminary Teacher Credential program provides students with necessary credential preparation for K–12 teaching in the California public schools. Preparation is offered for the Multiple Subject Preliminary credential (typically Grades K–6), and the Single Subject Preliminary credential (typically Grades 7–12) in the following subject areas: English, math, social science, and science.  Credential students may also pursue a Bilingual Authorization in Spanish. Students pursuing the Education M.A./California Preliminary Credential must complete a three-quarter student teaching course sequence. Student teaching placements are restricted to enrolled students. The student-teaching sequence consists of five courses: Education 200, 201, 202A, 202B, and 202C. Fall and winter quarters of the sequence involve part-time placements in public schools in Santa Cruz County, Monterey County, and Santa Clara County. Spring quarter is a full-time experience in which student teachers take over full responsibility for the daily instructional program of the classroom in which they are placed. Substantial fieldwork in K–12 classrooms is also incorporated in other courses required for the teaching credential.

The minor in education is an undergraduate program in which students explore the history of educational thought and philosophy; the politics and economics of education, learning theory, and pedagogy; and issues of cultural and linguistic diversity related to schooling. As a part of the six-course minor sequence, students engage in field study in local schools through Education 180, Introduction to Teaching.

For more information, contact the Education Department, 1280 McHenry Library Building, (831) 459-4102, or education@ucsc.edu.

Health Sciences Internship Program

A requirement of the Human Biology major, the Health Sciences Internship Program offers students a unique opportunity for personal growth and professional development. Paired with a professional mentor, students spend one quarter interning in a health-related setting. Placement opportunities cover a broad range, from individual physicians to community clinics and hospitals, hospices, non-profits, and public health agencies. The Health Sciences Internship coordinator works with students to prepare them for their internship and maintains a list of appropriate placements. Junior and senior human biology majors only are eligible to apply. Applications are due two quarters in advance. For further information, contact the Health Sciences Internship Coordinator, Caroline Berger, at (831) 459-5647 or cmberger@ucsc.edu.

Latin American and Latino Studies Field-Study and Internship Opportunities

All Latin American and Latino Studies majors are strongly encouraged to undertake either (1) a field study in Latin America, the Caribbean, or a Latino/a community in the U.S.; or (2) formal academic study abroad through the UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP). These paths are the best ways to improve language skills, explore the nature and direction of specific academic and career interests in relation to Latin American and Latino studies, and deepen cross-cultural understanding and relationships based on personal experience.

Field studies comprise independent, community-based study projects for academic credit, done under faculty sponsorship and arranged on an individual basis. Students can do full-time field study for one quarter for full academic credit, part-time field study scheduled in conjunction with formal coursework at UCSC, or field study as an extension of the UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP). Projects vary widely, but students who want to develop a field-study proposal are expected to prepare for it by acquiring fluency in the appropriate language, prior cross-cultural experience, and upper-division coursework on the region and/or topic that is to be the focus of the study.

Students who wish to pursue a full-time field study are advised to speak with their faculty advisor to assess their eligibility and preparation, as well as to receive needed guidance, ideally a quarter or two in advance.

Many of the students who have done full-time field study have developed a senior thesis based on that work. Students who pursue a part-time field study are highly encouraged to discuss their plan with their faculty advisor as well.

Local opportunities for internships and field study in Latino/a communities on California’s Central Coast are numerous. Credit for up to three upper-division courses may be applied toward the major from field study; however, course credit from field study and study abroad combined may not exceed three upper-division courses. Students should check the Latin American and Latino Studies Department website for further information regarding the field-study process and course credit. A listing of local field-study programs and petition forms are available at the LALS Department office, 32 Merrill Academic Building.

For more information, contact the LALS office at (831) 459-2119 (aalvares@ucsc.edu).

Psychology Field-Study Program

The Psychology Field-Study Program provides qualified students an opportunity to integrate what they have learned in the classroom with direct service to a community agency. Each year, more than 200 students develop new skills and clarify personal and professional goals by working as interns in schools, criminal justice programs, and mental health and other social service agencies, where they are supervised by a professional within that organization. Psychology faculty members sponsor field-study students, helping them to synthesize their intern experience with psychology coursework and guiding them through an academic project.

Junior and senior psychology majors in good academic standing are eligible to apply for this competitive program. There is a minimum commitment of two quarters. Interested students should attend an information meeting, held every quarter, for a general overview and application. The schedule for each quarter is posted at the start of instruction. For more information, visit the Psychology Field Study Program website.

University of California Center Sacramento

The University of California Center Sacramento offers students a chance to spend a quarter fully immersed in legislative and/or community service programs in the state capital. Students intern a minimum of 24 hours per week in the Assembly, Senate, Governor’s Office, and with state agencies and nonprofit organizations. They also enroll in related courses taught at the UC Sacramento Center one block from the Capitol Building. Students live with other UC campus participants in a living and learning community. This opportunity is available to students from any major and is open to undergraduate and graduate students. For information, see the UCSC Career Center website.

The University of California Center Sacramento offers students a chance to spend a quarter fully immersed in legislative and/or community service programs in the state capital. Students intern a minimum of 24 hours per week in the Assembly, Senate, Governor’s Office, and with state agencies and nonprofit organizations. They also enroll in related courses taught at the UC Sacramento Center one block from the Capitol Building. Students live with other UC campus participants in a living and learning community. This opportunity is available to students from any major and is open to undergraduate and graduate students. For information, see the UCSC Career Center website

Summer Session Courses and Programs

UCSC Summer Session offers UCSC students a chance to accelerate progress toward their degrees and welcomes visitors from other colleges and universities as well as members of the community (including high school juniors and seniors). A broad range of 250 courses are taught by UCSC faculty, lecturers, and graduate students. Often significantly smaller in size than during the fall, winter, and spring quarters, Summer Session classes include major requirements and qualifying courses, lower- and upper-division courses, general education courses, and online courses. Most are five weeks long. Students may enroll in multiple classes in one or all of the sessions, with a maximum of 30 credits total.

Tutoring, advising, and other academic and personal support is available, as are on-campus housing and dining, OPERS fitness center and outdoor recreation, campus employment, and more. Many course restrictions are lifted in summer, giving students new opportunities. Special summer-only programs include the Summer Academies for new fall admits and the renowned one-week Dickens Universe. Please visit summer.ucsc.edu for courses and details or email summers@ucsc.edu.

UCSC Silicon Valley Extension

In April 2016, UCSC Extension opened its doors to the UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus. Located at 3175 Bowers Avenue in Santa Clara, the Silicon Valley Campus is a beautiful new facility outfitted with the latest educational technologies just a stone’s throw from the Santa Clara Square. UC Santa Cruz undergraduates and graduate students, as well as community members seeking continuing education, have their choice of certificate programs in more than 40 disciplines and services designed to meet the needs of Silicon Valley and greater Bay Area.

UCSC Extension provides professional training that reflects the academic rigor of the University of California and the hands-on, roll-up-your-shirtsleeves practicality of Silicon Valley culture. Developed with guidance from key industry leaders and academic experts, UCSC Extension’s certificate programs match the demands of a wide range of industries, including engineering, business, education, bioscience, and environmental safety. The Silicon Valley Campus is also home to the University of California Scout program, graduate programs affiliated with UCSC's Baskin School of Engineering, and an English language school designed to equip English language learners with the skills necessary to accelerate learning or take the next step in their careers.

Extension’s career-oriented programs cover the latest best practices, tools, and technologies in engineering and technology, business and management, applied and natural sciences, and education. While most certificates can be completed within one year, coursework is graded and substantial, typically involving lectures, readings, presentations, and final projects or examinations.

Extension also has a robust international department, English language program, and Optional Training Program (OPT), and offers F1 visa guidance and internship opportunities.

Regularly enrolled UCSC students may obtain degree credit for Extension courses numbered 1–299. Lower division courses are numbered 1–099, upper division offerings are 100–199, and graduate-level courses are 200–299. Upon submission of the Extension transcript to the Office of Admissions, the course credit may be applied toward a bachelor’s degree at UCSC. Many Extension courses are recognized for graduate degree credit by other universities (acceptance of course credit is based upon approval by the accepting university).

Students can study in a few different ways: in classrooms or labs at our Silicon Valley location; online, via our dynamic learning platform; and in hybrid courses, which offer a combination of classroom meetings and online learning. Many courses have both online and classroom sections available each quarter to ensure that students with commutes, jobs, and family obligations can find courses that fit their schedules.

Visit UCSC Extension or call (408) 861-3700 to enroll or to learn more about courses and programs.

Open Campus/Concurrent Enrollment

Concurrent Enrollment Through Extension is a cooperative arrangement between UC Santa Cruz and UCSC Silicon Valley Extension that enables members of the public to enroll in one or two regular UCSC undergraduate or graduate courses per quarter for credit. The program is administered by UCSC Silicon Valley Extension, and course credit granted appears on a UCSC Silicon Valley Extension transcript. Participants must meet certain criteria outlined in the Concurrent Enrollment application. An application fee is charged for each quarter of enrollment in addition to course fees. A first-time application filed at least one week prior to the first day of instruction for the quarter has a $65 fee; subsequent applications filed at least one week prior to the first day of instruction for the quarter have a $20 fee. Applications filed later than one week prior to the first day of instruction for the quarter have a $110 fee.

Concurrent Enrollment through Extension may be used as a path toward a part-time or full-time degree program or as a way of studying subjects of personal or occupational interest. Credit earned through this program may be used toward degree requirements, when applicable, if participants subsequently seek admission to the university and are accepted.

Financial aid is not available to participants in the Concurrent Enrollment program.

For further information and to obtain an application packet, contact UCSC Silicon Valley Extension, 3175 Bowers Ave., Santa Clara, CA 95054, (408) 450-4920, or email opencampus@ucsc.edu.

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Revised: 09/01/17