bike path and view of the bay


for making an impact on the world

by Princeton Review


for racial and gender diversity in leadership

by Women’s Power Gap Initiative

Leading at the intersection of innovation and social justice.

A global research university with an uncommon emphasis on undergraduate research and education, UC Santa Cruz is part of the world’s most celebrated system of public higher education, and stands among the most renowned institutions of higher learning.


A student holds a copy of The Humanities Institute’s 2024 Deep Read selection, Hernan Diaz’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel Trust. UCSC students explored the book and Diaz’s other writings in a course with Lecturer and THI Program Manager Laura Martin. Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta

Talking Trust

Students in a course on the 2024 Deep Read novel, Trust, provide some of their insights from their close examination of the text, discussing unreliable narrators, the nature of truth, and how wealth and power can bend reality itself.

Students in the iGEM lab (photo by Carolyn Lagatutta)

Modern alchemy

UCSC’s iGEM program, which aims to educate the next generation of scientists about responsible use of synthetic biology, is celebrating 10 years of turning student potential into gold.

Senderos Centeotl Danza y Baile folklorico dance group perform at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History as part of the 2022 All-In Conference: Co-Creating Knowledge for Justice.

Collaborating for justice

UC Santa Cruz’s Institute for Social Transformation celebrates its first five years and looks forward to a future of accelerating the co-creation of knowledge to build positive change.

Voices of the Century: Ashley Marshall, storytelling to create change

Ashley Marshall (Stevenson ’24, feminist studies) showcases how feminist analysis in literature can make tangible change.

To lead means …

student working on a model in the makers space.

Creating real change

Students at UC Santa Cruz learn from incredible faculty, develop new skills through hands-on research opportunities, and have a track record of making an impact. What kind of a pathbreaker, innovator, or changemaker will you become?

student assessing digital prints

Serving our society

World-class researchers at UC Santa Cruz unlock mysteries and help to transform our world, addressing some of our most pressing needs—from decoding cancer to protecting our natural environment to creating art that challenges assumptions. What will you contribute?

student on the beach with binoculars

Shaping our future

Become a Banana Slug, and lead the change.

Get ready for your future

UC Santa Cruz graduates are sought after for their knowledge, skills, and passion. Whether you plan to start working right away, or pursue graduate school or professional school, your UC Santa Cruz degree will help you on your way.

Explore our majors and start your future.

See for yourself

One of the most extraordinary campuses in the world, UC Santa Cruz pairs high-impact research with 10 residential colleges—offering students the experience of a small liberal arts college with the depth and rigor of a major research university. 

Take a tour virtually or in person.

Here to help

A UC degree is worth it—and we can help you pay for it. Our financial aid program is one of the best out there. It supports students in all kinds of ways, whatever their background—with grants, scholarships, low-interest loans, and more.

Get the details on different kinds of financial aid.

Your journey awaits.

When you become a Banana Slug, you join a community of artists, innovators, creators,
and justice seekers united in using their voices to change the world.

Last modified: Jun 12, 2024