bike path and view of the bay


for making an impact on the world

by Princeton Review


for racial and gender diversity in leadership

by Women’s Power Gap Initiative

Leading at the intersection of innovation and social justice.

A global research university with an uncommon emphasis on undergraduate research and education, UC Santa Cruz is part of the world’s most celebrated system of public higher education, and stands among the most renowned institutions of higher learning.


Assistant Professor of Biomolecular Engineering Andy Yeh, who was awarded a nearly $2.5 million grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to develop completely artificial enzymes that can produce bioluminescence in the body for deep tissue imaging.

Shedding light on disease

Scientist Andy Yeh was awarded a nearly $2.5 million grant to develop artificial enzymes that can produce bioluminescence in the body—which could make it possible to image tumors in deep tissues during the earliest phases of disease.

Left to right: Miranda Oyoque (John R. Lewis College ’24, education, democracy, and justice and psychology), Pichy Jumpholwong (John R. Lewis College ’24, game design), and Tia Ching Mahannah (John R. Lewis College ’21, triple major: psychology; critical race and ethnic studies; and education, democracy, and justice) (photo by Carolyn Lagattuta)

Getting into Good Trouble

In keeping with the words of the famed late civil rights icon and congressman John R. Lewis—namesake of John R. Lewis College—the newly created Good Trouble Academy is shaping students’ skills in activism and community leadership.

An artist's rendering of space debris floating around the Earth. (Image credit: Heather F. Riley/NASA)

Space is a mess—but we can still clean it up

An engineering professor is building complex robotics that could reduce, reuse, and recycle all the junk humans have sent into orbit.

Voices of the Century: Ashley Marshall, storytelling to create change

Ashley Marshall (Stevenson ’24, feminist studies) showcases how feminist analysis in literature can make tangible change.

To lead means …

student working on a model in the makers space.

Creating real change

Students at UC Santa Cruz learn from incredible faculty, develop new skills through hands-on research opportunities, and have a track record of making an impact. What kind of a pathbreaker, innovator, or changemaker will you become?

student assessing digital prints

Serving our society

World-class researchers at UC Santa Cruz unlock mysteries and help to transform our world, addressing some of our most pressing needs—from decoding cancer to protecting our natural environment to creating art that challenges assumptions. What will you contribute?

student on the beach with binoculars

Shaping our future

Become a Banana Slug, and lead the change.

Get ready for your future

UC Santa Cruz graduates are sought after for their knowledge, skills, and passion. Whether you plan to start working right away, or pursue graduate school or professional school, your UC Santa Cruz degree will help you on your way.

Explore our majors and start your future.

See for yourself

One of the most extraordinary campuses in the world, UC Santa Cruz pairs high-impact research with 10 residential colleges—offering students the experience of a small liberal arts college with the depth and rigor of a major research university. 

Take a tour virtually or in person.

Here to help

A UC degree is worth it—and we can help you pay for it. Our financial aid program is one of the best out there. It supports students in all kinds of ways, whatever their background—with grants, scholarships, low-interest loans, and more.

Get the details on different kinds of financial aid.

Your journey awaits.

When you become a Banana Slug, you join a community of artists, innovators, creators,
and justice seekers united in using their voices to change the world.