bike path and view of the bay

Top 15

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.


UC Santa Cruz researchers found that they could power a billion-parameter-scale language model on just 13 watts, about equal to the energy of powering a lightbulb. Illustration by Molly Fine.

A lightbulb moment for large language models

Large language models like ChatGPT are changing our lives—but their energy costs and carbon footprint are sky high. UC Santa Cruz researchers have shown how to dramatically reduce both, using energy about equal to powering a lightbulb, while maintaining state-of-the-art performance.

Dolores Huerta talks with a UCSC student and signs a copy of a historic photograph of Huerta speaking at a rally. UCSC is partnering with the Dolores Huerta Foundation to develop a new archive that will share writings, records, and artifacts from Huerta's activism. Photo: Devi Pride Photography

Documenting a legacy

UC Santa Cruz received a $1 million grant from the Mellon Foundation to help establish new public archives documenting the legacy of social justice activist Dolores Huerta, through a partnership with the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

UC President Michael V. Drake awards Julie Packard the UC Presidential Medal

Photo credit: Nestor Guerrero

Alumna receives top UC honor as UCSC Foundation celebrates 50 years

Alumna Julie Packard, a renowned ocean conservationist who helped to found the Monterey Bay Aquarium, was recognized with the University of California’s top honor, the Presidential Medal, during the UC Santa Cruz Foundation’s 50th anniversary celebration. Packard was also awarded a Foundation Medal at the gala event, as was the late scientist Narinder Kapany.

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: Jul 10, 2024