Two people walking in the rain holding and umbrella on a wooden path through the forrest.

Campus Life

Banana Slugs thrive in the redwoods

At UC Santa Cruz, you can find your passion, get involved, and make a difference—and friends. Our vibrant campus includes 10 residential colleges, more than 150 student organizations, campus events, and much more.

A guide to Banana Slug life

bike path and view of the bay

Chart your path to discovery

Student Success

UC Santa Cruz takes a holistic approach to student success, ensuring students have access to financial and mental health support, secure sources of housing and food, and connections that spark their social mobility. 


Our Resource Centers help students to feel affirmed in their diverse and intersecting identities, empower them in their academic success, and help them graduate with a sense of belonging to UCSC.


Our vibrant student organizations create communities, events, performances, publications, and productions, offering real-world experiences to build leadership values and skills. 

Global Learning

Study abroad or study away. Whether you learn Italian in Italy, take major courses in Argentina, or participate in an internship in Washington, D.C., Global Learning will lead to new friendships, perspectives, and knowledge.

People in a dorm hanging out watching a video on a laptop.

A home away from home

Residential colleges

UC Santa Cruz undergraduates become part of one of 10 colleges, vibrant living-and-learning neighborhoods where your Slug fam hangs out.


Everything you need to know about living in an on-campus community or off campus in the Santa Cruz area.


UC Santa Cruz Dining is all about nourishing the campus community. No matter your palate, you can find it among the five campus dining halls and numerous cafés, coffee shops, and restaurants.

Health resources

UC Santa Cruz is proud of making our campus a supportive, safe place for you to learn, grow, and thrive. 

Silhouette of person walking by the ocean with a surf board

There’s more to college than studying 😉

Go Greek

Yes, UC Santa Cruz has Greek-Letter organizations! These associations promote academic achievement, strengthen leadership skills, and encourage service.


Give back. The UCSC Student Volunteer Center provides meaningful volunteer opportunities while connecting local organizations with passionate and engaged students.

Beautiful Santa Cruz

With its laid-back Surf City atmosphere, Santa Cruz is known for its scenic beaches, redwood forests, and lively cultural scene. Its diverse geography offers outdoor adventures galore, from mountain biking to surfing. Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area are within a short drive.

Sammy the Slug

The UC Santa Cruz mascot Sammy the Slug, representing the slimy yellow creature that makes its home in the damp redwood forests of campus, has slithered into pop culture—and hearts around the world.

person playing tennis

Compete with one of UC Santa Cruz’s NCAA Division III teams or cheer on the fightin’ Banana Slugs from the stands in sports from basketball to tennis. 

Learn to surf, play competitive dodgeball, or find a personal trainer. Get fit with a multitude of recreation classes and programs.

Person learning to surf.

Arts and culture

From opera to digital arts, expressive creativity flourishes on campus. Design your own project, find a community of creators, or simply enrich your life with the diverse offerings of the arts scene.

Additional information

Last modified: Jan 30, 2024