Best Global Universities - U.S. News & World Report 2017Reputation for Excellence: Named to the 2017 US News & World report top 50 Best Global Universities, UC Santa Cruz has 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, 22 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 10 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 five years. At the end of June 2017, the campus closed its Campaign for UC Santa Cruz with $335 million, surpassing the goal of $300 million.

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:

  • 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 2017, UC Santa Cruz was rated 3rd in the world for research influence by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, tied with Stanford University.
  • In 2019, UC Santa Cruz was ranked among the top 50 public universities in the U.S. by the Center for World University Rankings.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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."
  • 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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