University of California-Santa Cruz Reviews

  • 79 Reviews
  • Santa Cruz (CA)
  • Annual Tuition: $42,952
94% of 79 students said this degree improved their career prospects
86% of 79 students said they would recommend this school to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

Bianca martinez
  • Reviewed: 10/2/2019
  • Degree: Liberal Studies
"The literature program at UCSC needs work. Some classes were very informative, but the thing that is definitely missing is the diversity of authors in the curriculum. A lot of the authors that are discussed are authors in the canon: dead, white men. There are so many other incredible writers who are more than deserving of a place on a university syllabus, and the department would benefit from reflecting what the student body looks like in the authors that they choose. Unfortunately, since there are so many students, classes are huge. Instructors rarely see your work unless you're in a smaller program or room, and TAs (sometimes younger than you) are grading your work and assigning you a grade at the end. You pay all of this money to not even really get to interact with most of your professors. However, the creative writing department was excellent. The instructors are talented, passionate, and care. Since it is a smaller and more competitive program to get into, there really is individual attention. It absolutely has made me a better writer, and I feel so honored to have studied with other fantastic peers and instructors. The campus as a whole is absolutely gorgeous. There are trees everywhere, and it truly is a little city on a hill. I will forever cherish the memories riding my bike, redwoods on all sides. The weather in Santa Cruz is also perfect: 70 degrees, sun and ocean. I felt very lucky to have been able to complete my undergraduate degree at such a beautiful place."
Anonymous
  • Reviewed: 8/26/2019
  • Degree: Education
"The MA/C Program advertises itself as being focused on social justice. This is simply not true. POC -- you will not get supported here. Avoid this education program if you want a social justice focus. The program director and supervising teachers are totally unqualified to teach in this area. Embarrassing. So sorry I wasted my time here."
Luis Sedano
  • Reviewed: 6/25/2019
  • Degree: Biology
"Before making the decision to attend UCSC I had a planned major in Kinesiology. At the time I did not know what I wanted to pursue as a career but I knew it was going to involve physical activity and the functions of the human body. I heard UCSC was a great school, although costly, so I decided to attend. My major changed to Human Biology and the courses were quite difficult, but very informative. I learned about a million specific things about the biology of the human body. In the end I decided to pursue the career of physical therapy. My degree did not necessarily provide the courses to prepare you for such career. The Human Biology major is intended more for pre-med students who wish to pursue the career of a medical doctor. However, the quality of my education and the fairness of the faculty provided me with a high quality education that I do not regret obtaining, although it was quite costly."
Adi
  • Reviewed: 6/12/2019
  • Degree: Psychology
"UCSC is an amazing school. Although it is a UC campus with a large student population, it does not feel like a big school. As a psychology major, i found that teachers are excited to get to know their students and that classroom sizes were not too big. The psychology community was very close and I felt like peers were always willing to help each other succeed."
Yasmine Elshenawi
  • Reviewed: 4/24/2019
  • Degree: Biology
"The thing I enjoy most about my program is that my college is literally in the woods. Our campus is unlike other campuses where it's a block of buildings. It takes an hour to walk the perimeter of campus. Parts of the campus haven't been developed because it requires tearing down protected red wood trees. My high school was a collection of portable buildings in the middle of the suburb. As a biology student, I was prone to a lot of stress whether it was class/grade related or financial issues. I found that being in the red woods was calming and helped me cope better with typical college student problems."
David Sussberg
  • Reviewed: 4/1/2019
  • Degree: Environmental Science
"Genuinely the ideal school. Superior program of study! Excellent environment. Invaluable skills and knowledge received. Amazing professors and classes? I feel I was extremely prepared in my understanding of the environment and the nexus point between a holistic and healthy relationship between humans and our natural world. Many wonderful moment moment were grated to embrace and understand the environment. I feel blessed to have gone to UC Santa Cruz. The natural landscapes at UC Santa Cruzs campus is magically and serves as a way to fully develop a reverence and care for our Earth Mother."
David Sussberg
  • Reviewed: 4/1/2019
  • Degree: Environmental Science
"Genuinely the ideal school. Superior program of study! Excellent environment. Invaluable skills and knowledge received. Amazing professors and classes? I feel I was extremely prepared in my understanding of the environment and the nexus point between a holistic and healthy relationship between humans and our natural world. Many wonderful moment moment were grated to embrace and understand the environment. I feel blessed to have gone to UC Santa Cruz. The natural landscapes at UC Santa Cruzs campus"
Jasmine
  • Reviewed: 3/31/2019
  • Degree: Music
"UC Santa Cruz is a beautiful oasis of redwood trees and trails within the beach town of Santa Cruz. This campus is truly unique, and there are many microcosms of communities within the 17,000+ students here. This being said, Santa Cruz is a small town, and the university does not make proper accommodations for the ever growing population of students accepted each year. The housing market in Santa Cruz is extremely competitive and toxic for students, many of which are first-time renters. The school will need to make major improvements on providing resources for students to have their basic needs met in the coming years. I don't wish to discourage prospective students from applying, I just wish to shed light on this issue that the school seems to ignore. Despite this, I have been able to find a lovely community of people in Santa Cruz and have had an enriching experience learning from instructors in the Music Department. I have worked at UC Santa Cruz's radio station, KZSC Santa Cruz 88.1 FM for all four years of undergrad, and the skills I've gained within radio/media broadcast have been incredibly impactful on my career interests. Not to mention, serving the community as a radio DJ and administrative member at the radio station has opened my eyes to how valuable community radio and public media is!"
Natalie
  • Reviewed: 3/31/2019
  • Degree: Sociology
"My experience at UC Santa Cruz changed my life in many ways. Coming from a graduating high school class of 48 students, I was extremely nervous about attending a university with over 16,000 students; however, the way in which the campus is divided into several smaller colleges allowed me to gain a feeling of being part of a smaller community, while still taking advantage of the opportunities that a large scale research university provides. Through the universitys elaborate orientation week activities, I was able to make lifelong friends in the first week of being on campus. I connected with like-minded people who made me feel welcomed and comfortable far away from home, and who have remained a consistent support system in my college years, and now into post-grad life. The education I gained at UC Santa Cruz shaped me in to a critical thinker and an intellect. Through the many courses I took, I learned how to conduct research, how to work collaboratively, and how to challenge my own thoughts and ideas, as well as the ideas of my classmates. One of the most impactful experiences during my time at UC Santa Cruz was my time as a Peer Adviser in the academic advising office. My time in this role helped me find my passion in working with students and supporting them through the challenges of navigating a large-scale university. This ultimately led me to pursue a career in school counseling. My supervisor in this role has remained a mentor in my life for the past 6 years, and provided multiple opportunities for career development and communication. My time at UC Santa Cruz has provided me with a strong foundation for my professional career, and a support system that will be part of my life forever."
Natalie
  • Reviewed: 3/31/2019
  • Degree: Sociology
"My experience at UC Santa Cruz changed my life in many ways. Coming from a graduating high school class of 48 students, I was extremely nervous about attending a university with over 16,000 students; however, the way in which the campus is divided into several smaller colleges allowed me to gain a feeling of being part of a smaller community, while still taking advantage of the opportunities that a large scale research university provides. Through the universitys elaborate orientation week activities, I was able to make lifelong friends in the first week of being on campus. I connected with like-minded people who made me feel welcomed and comfortable far away from home, and who have remained a consistent support system in my college years, and now into post-grad life. The education I gained at UC Santa Cruz shaped me in to a critical thinker and an intellect. Through the many courses I took, I learned how to conduct research, how to work collaboratively, and how to challenge my own thoughts and ideas, as well as the ideas of my classmates. One of the most impactful experiences during my time at UC Santa Cruz was my time as a Peer Adviser in the academic advising office. My time in this role helped me find my passion in working with students and supporting them through the challenges of navigating a large-scale university. This ultimately led me to pursue a career in school counseling. My supervisor in this role has remained a mentor in my life for the past 6 years, and provided multiple opportunities for career development and communication. My time at UC Santa Cruz has provided me with a strong foundation for my professional career, and a support system that will be part of my life forever."
Dana Padilla
  • Reviewed: 3/10/2019
  • Degree: Sociology
"The University of California, Santa Cruz is located in one of the most beautiful locations in California. I was originally encouraged to apply because I couldn't decide if I enjoyed the beach or the forest more. The proximity to the Silicone Valley is ideal for many students interested in tech, great opportunities for internships!"
Larry Hinojos
  • Reviewed: 10/4/2018
  • Degree: Biomedical Engineering
"Very versatile, if unspecialized, program that teaches the foundation of many skills used in the field. Compared to similar majors, the curriculum is rigorous and provides a comparable education in biology to a dedicated major while at the same time going further in depth into ideas specific for bioengineers, such as bioinformatics and genomics. The wide variety of elective courses and choice of three concentrations (bioelectronics, biomolecular, assistive motor technologies) within the major allow students to choose what fields they wish to specialize in."
Michael Jurkovic
  • Reviewed: 4/12/2018
  • Degree: History
"Santa Cruz provided me with a top-notch education. I was a dual major in History and Language Studies. The history program is not ranked as highly as it should be. I studied with some very influential and important historians such as the Soviet scholar Peter Kenez and the French History scholar Jonathan Beecher. Professor Kenez is a true inspiration and comes from a famous lineage of scholars; Peter's work, especially his work on the cinema of the Soviet Union, is highly regarded and is part of the curriculum at many universities. The Santa Cruz history department (and all of the UC history departments) consistently rank in the top 75, with many in the top 50. In addition to this, I had the privilege of studying Language Studies, a special program based out of the Linguistics program. The linguistics major at Santa Cruz is consistently ranked as top 10 in graduate and undergraduate studies and it is with good reason. In that department, I was able to study with language superstars such as Jorge Hankamer (who saved the department when it was threatened by the budget cuts of the late 1970s and early 1980s) and the very famous and influential Geoffrey Pullum who now teaches at the University of Edinburgh and has created some of the definitive works on the English language. Unfortunately, all those professors are emeritus. Nonetheless, they have been replaced by young, vibrant scholars who making wonderful contributions to the field. While academics are important, the UC Santa Cruz campus also offers extraordinary beauty and the opportunity to hike to class. Among my favorite memories are seeing people in suits walk through the forest parts of the campus. The campus is secluded from the town, offering a cozy atmosphere that encourages studying. The college system is an integral part of that campus, and it is unfortunate and to the detriment of its future students that the campus is being homogenized. The "keep Santa Cruz weird" ethos should also apply to the university. Though the campus is tucked away from the city, the city itself offers many wonderful sites, including the world famous boardwalk. I am a proud alumnus of the University of California at Santa Cruz and highly recommend it to everyone, for its academics and overall atmosphere."
John A
  • Reviewed: 3/27/2018
  • Degree: Liberal Studies
"As a community college transfer student, I was very nervous about entering a 4 year university. I was even more nervous due to the fact that it was a University of California, which was highly regarded. From the first meeting with academic counselors to the professors, I realized I had nothing to be nervous about. UCSC has a very organized and passionate counselors that are there to help you with your education goals. They will take time and review all your courses, and perspective courses. Research was very important for me, I heard from many students at other university that joining a research group was nearly impossible due to how competitive it was. At UCSC, I did not have this issue. After the first year of studying I was able to be a research assistant for an incredible professor. This helped me in my future education goals applying to medical school. I studied cognitive science, which was a relatively new field of study. All my professors were very passionate about teaching, and went out of there way to help students. If you have an interest in research for your degree mostly related to psychology and cognitive science, UCSC is a great match for you."
Juliaj45
  • Reviewed: 3/17/2018
  • Degree: Political Science
"The University of California, Santa Cruz was a great college with a beautiful and scenic campus. However one thing to consider is that the cost of living is very expensive and transportation can be tough. I chose Santa Cruz because they had a unique politics program that I really enjoyed. They had great professors and many different kinds of classes in a lot of areas. I highly recommend it but beware of the price tag."
Waseem
  • Reviewed: 12/29/2017
  • Degree: Biology
"UC Santa Cruz is a top public school especially in the science fields. Science students can easily take advantage of the collaborative atmosphere and get involved in labs, research, and other extracurricular activities that can build experience and bolster you resume. I was able to get into a top medical school and the transition from undergraduate studies to medical school was easy. UCSC is a great school for anyone looking for a laid back college experience in a beautiful place, but that is also affordable and high quality."
E.G.R.
  • Reviewed: 6/15/2017
  • Degree: Biology
"Overall, I enjoyed getting to know my professors. Those teaching in the biological sciences are very kind, open to questions, and make sure that you understand the concepts. There was an abundance of resources available all throughout campus. In addition, whenever you need a break from your studies, you are very lucky to be located in an ideal area--full of hiking trails, beaches, the boardwalk, and a lively downtown area!"
Anonymous
  • Reviewed: 5/22/2017
  • Degree: Engineering
"Its a good university, not very expensive and excellent faculty"
Anonymous
  • Reviewed: 5/22/2017
  • Degree: Computer Science
"I very much enjoyed my time at UCSF. Professors are accessible. Your fellow students are generally friendly and happy to help you if you've a question, unlike some highly competitive colleges. I feel like I gained a very firm understanding of the material, which has helped me in my career. And, of course, the campus and town are absolutely beautiful."
Riley O'Donnell
  • Reviewed: 3/11/2017
  • Degree: Psychology
"UCSC is an incredible school, with arguably one of the most gorgeous campuses in the nation. The university is full of students who are accepting, genuine, different, and openminded in a way I have not experienced anywhere else. It's enlightening and inspiring. The professors are kind, intelligent and passionate - though some courses do implement a lot of work that may be daunting at times. There are, however, many resources on campus to help with that, such as tutoring, study sessions, library floors dedicated to discussion, and more. The quarter system is not easy, but that is to our benefit! It's challenging in a good way: it sets you up to succeed later in life. Isn't that what we're all looking for? Go banana slugs!"