University of California-Santa Cruz Reviews

  • 40 Reviews
  • Santa Cruz (CA)
  • Annual Tuition: $42,952
94% of 40 students said this degree improved their career prospects
98% of 40 students said they would recommend this school to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

Amber Khan
  • Reviewed: 2/18/2017
  • Degree: Biology
  • Graduation Year: 2014
"UC Santa Cruz is a great place to pursue a bachelor's degree because it is an accepting and passionate community of scientists. Courses are challenging but help is available if you look for it. People are willing to collaborate and there are research opportunities if you pursue them."
Sana Arastu
  • Reviewed: 2/7/2017
  • Degree: Psychology
  • Graduation Year: 2016
"UCSC has had a huge impact on me, I was affiliated with college ten--with the theme of Social justice and community. I never thought I would be a leader but that college has helped me grow and develop as a leader over 4 years. I believe that every lesson I have learned from that college will carry with me through my career and more."
Michael Gray
  • Reviewed: 12/5/2016
  • Degree: Legal Studies
  • Graduation Year: 2006
"The University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) sits on an elevated mountain side overlooking the Monterey Bay. The campus scenery can be described as an urban wilderness full of trees, yet not too far from the beaches Santa Cruz is known for. When I attended, there were 11 colleges within the university, each with their own theme. I attended Oakes College, which was known for diversity and loved the experience. My classmates were friendly and helpful, and the faculty is laid back, always willing to spend extra time to answer any questions or simply converse. I'd recommend UCSC to anyone looking for something between UC Davis and UC San Diego, as you'll likely thrive in the beach town setting UCSC provides."
Kimia Mahallati
  • Reviewed: 9/13/2016
  • Degree: Environmental Science
  • Graduation Year: 2014
"I graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with Bachelor's Degrees in both Environmental Studies and Philosophy. I'll review my experiences with those two majors respectively. I very much enjoyed my experience with the Environmental Studies department. If you are interested in attending an institution that has an amazing array of opportunities for those who are interested in a multi-disciplinary approach to Environmental Studies, definitely apply to UC Santa Cruz. The discipline requires that you take classes that are both rooted in a scientific approach, as well as a social and cultural approach. I believe this is crucial in the progress towards battling the negative effects of human-accelerated climate change, for while its important to know the science behind human-accelerated climate change, at the end of the day we must also understand the different ways in which some populations will be more impacted than others, as well as how to work with and approach the people who are responsible for enacting legislation to help deal with the negative effects of human-accelerated climate change. I found my education in this regard invaluable, for it helped me to understand that the earth does not need "saving" - it will be fine on its own in the long run. This is important to consider, because if we are to ensure a secure future for generations of all species to come, it is up to us humans to "fix" or counter the chaos that we have created. In order to do that, one must consider the economic, social, and political structures we have created, as well as the scientific knowledge we have accumulated - a powerful tool that we must wield wisely. I would never have been able to understand this critical concept had UCSC not offered the option to substitute classes from other majors to count towards my completion of the Environmental Studies program - specifically, courses from the Community Studies major, for it is these classes that truly helped me realize how all these different structures intersect in ways more intricate than I could ever have imagined. Not only did I learn how to write a scientific paper, but I also learned to think critically about the issues in which we were writing about. This institution also offers an amazing program called Natural History Field Quarter, in which you spend the majority of the quarter actually out in the field, accruing hands-on knowledge about the world around you. You learn about the local flora and fauna, resource management, how to identify plants, and most of all how to keep a detailed field journal. You leave the program as a conscientious naturalist. I myself was accepted into this program, but sadly was not able to attend. However, it really made me appreciate that the school I attended had this option available in the first place. So whether you are interested in Environmental Justice (which is a class they offer, and I highly recommend you take it!) or Naturalism, or everything in between, expect that you will get an amazing experience in what you are seeking with the Environmental Studies major. The only critique I have of this major is that you acquire a B.A. rather than a B.S. which I find unfair because you really do take a lot of science classes, and they offer many many courses in other scientific majors that you can apply to your Environmental Studies major. Overall though, I was very pleased and would highly recommend anyone interested in a multidisciplinary approach to the Environment to consider UC Santa Cruz! As far as my experiences in the Philosophy department, I cannot say I got as much out of it as I did my Environmental Studies major, mainly because I was disappointed in how much the classes and material were rooted in Western Philosophy, rather than an integrated approach to both Eastern and Western Philosophy. I just got to a point where I got tired of reading books all written by dead white guys. The only time I was actually surprised is when we read Simone de Beauvoir, in a class led by the only woman instructor in the department. Philosophers of all sorts of color, creed, and cultures have written and mused philosophically. If Philosophy is supposed to be an understanding about the nature of knowledge and thinking, I believe it is rather foolish of this institution to limit itself to faculty members and material written by authors who are, for the most part, male and white, considering how the majority of the Earth's population does not fit that particular demographic. As far as the overall environment of UC Santa Cruz, I found it to be a very inclusive place for people from all walks of life. There were classes and organizations that were intersectional and conscientious, and it was not hard for me to find open-minded and socially aware people to vibe with. In my personal experience as a middle-eastern queer woman, I never once felt threatened, intimidated, or made to feel uncomfortable by my peers. UC Santa Cruz definitely seemed to provide avenues to a safe space for those who seek one, and I think that is so, so important. All in all, I was very happy with my choice to attend this educational institution."
  • Reviewed: 8/26/2016
  • Degree: Cultural Studies
  • Graduation Year: 1998
C. Rose
  • Reviewed: 8/9/2016
  • Degree: History
  • Graduation Year: 2017
"UCSC is a great learning institution. The campus itself is beautiful, right there by the beach and conducive to learning. The professors are engaging, knowledgeable and committed to their field of study. There are always events, workshops, lectures, forums, etc. happening on campus. It is not hard to find services if you need help. This is definitely a "walking" or if your adventurous, a biking campus. The town of Santa Cruz is vibrant and full of energy and there is always something to do in the area."
  • Reviewed: 7/22/2016
  • Degree: Environmental Science
  • Graduation Year: 2010
"Great experience. UCSC was an amazing school and an amazing campus. Some of the highest quality teachers I've ever had. I only applied to UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz. I didn't get into Berkeley and couldn't be happier that I didn't!"
  • Reviewed: 7/22/2016
  • Degree: Computer Science
  • Graduation Year: 2008
"The Jack Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz is a top-notch tech school. The professors have worked in the tech industry for years and know their stuff, and divulge in trade secrets every so often. Besides the School of Engineering, the rest of the campus is in a beautiful location, and the atmosphere is very laid back."
  • Reviewed: 6/20/2016
  • Degree: Economics
  • Graduation Year: 2016
"Overall a strong program. You have to take the initiative to reach out to teachers and seek opportunities that will further your skill sets and experience level, but if you do, they are ample! Sometimes class sizes can be large, especially in lower-division classes, but as you get to upper division courses, they slim down. The professors in economics are doing really interesting research and if you are able, it would be a good idea to talk to them about helping as a research assistant in your 3rd or 4th year if you want to go to graduate school."
  • Reviewed: 11/9/2015
  • Degree: History
  • Graduation Year: 2013
"The UC System is increasingly expensive and I will be paying back loans for many years. That said, the classes offered at UCSC were overall excellent. I thought that the History department should require a more narrow focus of study - but the faculty, classes, discussions, etc. were great. The faculty and school is definitely left-leaning but presents many perspectives and offers a free and open exchange of ideas."