Students, staff and chancellor marching in holiday day parade in downtown Santa Cruz.

UC + Santa Cruz. Better together

UC Santa Cruz has been an integral part of the Santa Cruz community for more than half a century. Our campus reflects the strong diversity of California, and we are proud of our mission to educate the citizens of this vibrant state—nurturing generations of bright young minds and future leaders—while contributing world-class research that benefits society. We work tirelessly to balance our educational mission with our responsibility to support and protect the health and well-being of our community and region. We strive to make a positive impact on our local economy, culture, and resources—and in turn, the community provides extraordinary experiences and opportunities for our Banana Slug family. Woven together, these threads of campus and community form a single, strong bond of caring and commitment—we are Better Together.

A mother with her two kids playing on grassy field at UCSC.

Committed to more housing

UC Santa Cruz is pursuing an ambitious plan to provide more than 40 percent additional student housing by 2030.

UC Santa Cruz is proud to provide campus housing to more than 9,300 students — more than half of its undergraduate student body — and is actively working to offer students even more opportunities to live in university housing.

Person sitting on a bunk bed in one of the UCSC reslidential colleges, working on a laptop.

Key campus community initiatives

Historical images of Filipino Americans

Exhibition shines light on vibrant Filipino American life

Sowing Seeds: Filipino American Stories from the Pajaro Valley will run from April 12 through August 4 at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art And History in downtown Santa Cruz.

K-16 Regional Collaborative to advance educational equity

Leaders from the Central Coast K-16 Regional Collaborative, representing 30-plus educational institutions and industry partners spanning the Central Coast, are working to address long-standing inequities and streamline educational and career pathways.

Community Voices Series event remembers Santa Cruz’s fourth Chinatown

Rebecca Hernandez, community archivist at UC Santa Cruz, and George Ow discussed Ow’s experience growing up in Santa Cruz’s fourth Chinatown and how it shaped his perspective of the city into the present.

Quick facts about UCSC

Leading in water conservation

  • The UC system has an ambitious goal of reducing potable water use by 36 percent by 2025 compared with a three-year average baseline.
  • UC Santa Cruz has achieved and maintained that goal for several years.
  • New construction on campus has “purple pipes” installed, which will allow us to use non-potable water for toilet flushing and irrigation.

Helping sustain economic vitality in our region

  • Over 18,000 jobs can be directly linked to the campus, generating labor income of $892.5 million regionally.
  • Contributing $190 million in federal tax revenue and $131.4 million in state and local taxes for the region.
  • In total, adding $1.35 billion in value to the region’s economy and helped create more than $2 billion in economic activity.

Leading in alternative transportation

  • 61 percent of all passenger (people) trips to campus are by alternative transportation, including biking, walking, transit, carpooling, vanpools, and teleworking.
  • A little more than one-quarter of all individuals (26 percent) who come to campus arrive on a Santa Cruz Metro bus.
  • The number of vehicle trips to the UC Santa Cruz campus is roughly the same as 20 years ago.

Committed to on-campus housing

  • With more than 9,000 beds on campus, we provide housing for more than 50 percent of our undergraduate students, one of the highest percentages in the UC system.
  • From the beginning, UC Santa Cruz has embraced an innovative residential approach with unique “living and learning” environments.
  • We’ve added 2,100 student beds since 2004 and have plans to add more so we can better meet housing demands and affordability due to the unique circumstances of our region.

Contributing to regional public health

  • The UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute is dedicated to creating a healthier world by creating advanced technologies and open-source genomics platforms to unravel evolutionary patterns, molecular processes, and the underpinnings of disease.
  • Our Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems trains and mentors new organic farmers and advises Central Coast strawberry growers on how to reduce or eliminate chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Global and Community Health at UCSC aims at improving health and reducing health inequalities both locally and globally

Resources for the community

  • UCSC was instrumental in establishing and monitoring the state’s network of Marine Protected Areas, which includes the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary.
  • The Educational Partnership Center at UC Santa Cruz has a mission to increase college access and opportunities for K–12 students throughout the region. The center coordinates nine vital programs and serves 11,200 K–12 students each year.
  • Each year 75–85 students in UCSC’s teaching credential/master’s program serve as student teachers in local schools.

Successful Slugs in the Community

  • Donna Meyers Mayor, City of Santa Cruz
  • Larry deGhetaldi M.D., Division President, Santa Cruz, Palo Alto Medical Foundation
  • Karen Delaney Executive Director, Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County
  • Peggy Dolgenos Cofounder, Cruzio Internet
  • Rebecca Garcia Councilmember, former Mayor, City of Watsonville; former trustee 20 years, Cabrillo College Board of Trustees
  • John Laird State Senator, former Secretary, California Natural Resources Agency; former member California State Assembly; former Mayor, Councilmember, City of Santa Cruz
  • Don Lane Business owner, former Mayor, Councilmember, City of Santa Cruz
  • Jacob Martinez Founder, DigitalNEST
  • Justin Cummings Councilmember, City of Santa Cruz
  • Faris Sabbah Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools
  • Robert Singleton Executive Director, Santa Cruz County Business Council
  • Susan True Executive Director, Community Foundation Santa Cruz County
Last modified: Mar 14, 2024