Reputation for Excellence: Now celebrating the 50th anniversary of its opening in fall 1965, UC Santa Cruz has already earned national and international recognition both for the impact of its research and for its long-established commitment to quality undergraduate instruction.
A campus with world-class facilities and one of the most visually spectacular settings in higher education, UC Santa Cruz provides unparalleled opportunities for students to learn through hands-on experience. A commitment to environmental stewardship and community engagement are also central to UCSC's core values.
Faculty include two of the University of California’s honored University Professors, 26 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 14 members of the National Academy of Sciences, and 34 members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Recognition of the faculty's outstanding research has resulted in steady increases in contracts, grants, and private funding across all five academic divisions, including UCSC's Baskin School of Engineering. UCSC faculty and researchers regularly receive more than $100 million annually in external funding, with funding in contracts and grants totaling $686 million over the past 5 years. In the 2013-14 year alone, donors also contributed more than $50 million in private funds to the campus.
Research Impact: The following are just some of the ways in which the quality of UC Santa Cruz research has been recognized in recent years:
- The computer engineering Ph.D. program was rated 1st nationally for publication impact by the National Research Council in 2010.
- In 2015, UC Santa Cruz was rated 2nd in the world for research influence by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, tied with Stanford and ahead of CalTech and Harvard.
- In 2015, Times Higher Education World University Rankings rated UC Santa Cruz 2nd in the U.S. and 8th overall in its rankings of top universities under 50 years old.
- In 2014, the UCSC Social Sciences Division was ranked 7th in the U.S. for faculty impact in the news media. (Center for a Public Anthropology)
- In 2012, UCSC's graduate programs in computer game design were ranked among the top 10 in the U.S. (Princeton Review)
- In 2013, UCSC placed 11th in the annual Leiden Ranking, which measures the scientific performance of 500 major universities worldwide.
Faculty Honors and Awards
- History professor Gail Hershatter joined astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, singer-songwriter Judy Collins, novelist Tom Wolfe, and UC President Janet A. Napolitano as a newly elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015.
- David Haussler, professor of biomolecular engineering and director of the Genomics Insitute at UC Santa Cruz, was awarded the prestigious Dan David Prize, a $1 million prize that he shared with two other leaders in bioinformatics, in 2015.
- James Gill, professor of Earth and planetary sciences, was elected a 2014 fellow of the American Geophysical Union.
- Nathaniel Mackey, professor emeritus of literature, was named in 2014 the winner of the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize.
- Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics Sandra Faber was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Barack Obama in 2013. The medal is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government upon scientists.
- Medical robotics expert Jacob Rosen was named a Health Care Hero by the Silicon Valley Business Journal in 2012.
- Professor of astronomy and astrophysics Jerry Nelson was awarded the 2012 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Electrical Engineering from the Franklin Institute.
College Guides, Surveys, and Magazines
- In 2015, U.S. News and World Report ranked UC Santa Cruz as one of the top best-value universities in the U.S. UC Santa Cruz was the highest-ranked UC and the second-highest ranked public university on the list.
- In 2014, Bestcolleges.com named UCSC first in the nation among 50 top colleges for Hispanic students.
- In 2014, the Princeton Review named UCSC one of the top best-value public universities in the U.S., for the third year in a row.
- In 2015, Business Insider listed UCSC as one of the "20 universities most likely to land you a job in Silicon Valley."
- In 2015, Money Magazine rated UCSC as one of the top best-value colleges in the U.S.
- In 2013, Affordable Colleges Online ranked UCSC 5th in the U.S. in terms of "lifetime return on investment" for computer science degrees.
- In 2015, Best Value Schools ranked UCSC 5th among the most beautiful coastal college campuses in the U.S.
- In 2011, the Atlantic Magazine ranked Santa Cruz and nearby Watsonville Number 5 on a list of the Most Artistic Cities in America.
- In 2014, College Factual ranked UCSC 7th in the nation in Film, Video, and Photographic Arts, thanks to its innovative film and digital media programs.
- In 2015, CollegeNET ranked UCSC 8th in the nation for social mobility.
- In its 2016 listings, U.S. News & World Report rated UCSC 34th nationally among public doctoral universities. In the same publication, UCSC was highly rated for best value, best ethnic diversity, and best for veterans.
Making a World of Difference
- In 2015, the Princeton Review listed UC Santa Cruz among the top greenest schools in the country.
- In 2015, UCSC was the number-one Hispanic-Serving Institution in the U.S. for alumni Peace Corps participation.
- In 2012, UCSC researchers were funded by the National Cancer Institute to create the Cancer Genomics Hub (CGHub), a large-scale data repository and user portal for the National Cancer Institute's cancer genome research programs. And in 2014, the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute released a new Ebola genome browser to assist global efforts to develop a vaccine and antiserum to help stop the spread of the Ebola virus.
- PETA2, the young adult division of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, rated UC Santa Cruz as the number-one most vegan-friendly college in 2011.
- UCSC has won several awards for its innovative transportation programs, including a bike shuttle, vanpools, student bus passes, and the Zipcar carsharing program.
- Fifty-five percent of campus land is designated as protected natural landscape.
- Approximately 25 percent of produce served in dining halls is organic, with much of it coming from local providers, such as the Farm and Garden run by UCSC's Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS).