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, 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, 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 2016, UC Santa Cruz was rated 4th in the world for research influence by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, tied with UC Berkeley and CalTech and ahead of Harvard.
  • 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 2013, UCSC placed 11th in the annual Leiden Ranking, which measures the scientific performance of 500 major universities worldwide.

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 2016, Professor Emerita of Astronomy and Astrophysics Sandra Faber was awarded the California Academy of Sciences Fellows Medal, the Academy's highest honor.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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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.
  • Also in 2016, the Sierra Club ranked UCSC as one of the top 20 greenest colleges and universities in the U.S. in its Cool School ranking.
  • 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.
  • 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