aau-500px.pngRadical Excellence: UC Santa Cruz is among the newest members of the Association of American Universities, an achievement that underscores the impact and quality of the campus’s research and graduate and undergraduate education. Membership in the AAU provides UC Santa Cruz greater opportunity to shape and advocate for the future of higher education.

The association, founded in 1900, has 65 members, including six other UCs, flagship public universities such as Ohio State University, land-grant universities like Purdue University, and private institutions, such as Harvard.

The high-impact research conducted at UC Santa Cruz complements the campus’s guiding commitment to access and student success. U.S. News and World Report ranks UC Santa Cruz No. 2 among universities in the nation for promoting social mobility. The ranking is determined by how well a university enrolls and graduates low-income students.

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.

Twelve faculty members are members of the National Academy of Sciences, 25 are members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and 36 have been elected as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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:

Faculty Honors and Awards

  • In 2017, Professor Emeritus of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology Harry Noller was awarded the prestigious $3 million Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for his discoveries about the ribosome.
  • In 2017, David Haussler, professor of biomolecular engineering and scientific director of the Genomics Institute at UC Santa Cruz, was rated No. 5 among the top 1,000 computer science and electronics professors in the world by Guide 2 Research. Other top-rated UCSC professors included J.J. Garcia-Luna-Aceves and Martin Abadi.
  • In 2016, Professor Emerita of Astronomy and Astrophysics Sandra Faber was awarded the California Academy of Sciences Fellows Medal, the Academy's highest honor. In 2013, President Barack Obama awarded Faber the National Medal of Science, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government upon scientists.
  • Professor David Haussler was awarded the prestigious Dan David Prize, a $1 million prize that he shared with two other leaders in bioinformatics, in 2015.

College Guides, Surveys, and Magazines

Making a World of Difference

  • In 2019, US News & World Report ranked UC Santa Cruz as second in the U.S. for social mobility.
  • In 2017, the Sierra Club ranked UCSC as one of the top 25 greenest colleges and universities in the U.S. in its Cool School ranking. UCSC was the second-highest ranked UC and earned a perfect score in "innovation."
  • In 2016, UCSC was the number-one Hispanic-Serving Institution in the U.S. for alumni Peace Corps participation, tied with San Diego State University.
  • In 2016, UCSC earned the highest score possible in the Princeton Review Green College Honor Roll.
  • 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).

Other recent awards

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