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A-
Overall Niche Grade
How are grades calculated?
  1. Academics
    A-
  2. Value
    A-
  3. Diversity
    A
  4. Campus
    B+
  5. Athletics
    C
  6. Party Scene
    B
  7. Professors
    A
  8. Location
    B+
  9. Dorms
    C
  10. Campus Food
    B+
  11. Student Life
    B+
  12. Safety
    C+
UC Santa Cruz is a highly rated public university located in Santa Cruz, California. It is a large institution with an enrollment of 17,255 undergraduate students. Admissions is fairly competitive as the UC Santa Cruz acceptance rate is 47%. Popular majors include Computer Science, Psychology, and Managerial Economics. Graduating 74% of students, UC Santa Cruz alumni go on to earn a starting salary of $33,800.
1156 High St
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
About University of California - Santa Cruz...
Athletic Division
NCAA Division III (without football)
Athletic Conference
Division III Independents

University of California - Santa Cruz Rankings

Niche rankings are based on rigorous analysis of key statistics from the U.S. Department of Education and millions of reviews.

Admissions

Acceptance Rate
47%
Application Deadline
November 30
SAT Range
1190-1400
ACT Range
26-32
Application Fee
$70
SAT/ACT
Considered but not required
High School GPA
Required
Early Decision/Early Action
No

Cost

Net Price
$17,266/ year
National
$15,523
Average cost after financial aid for students receiving grant or scholarship aid, as reported by the college.
Average Total Aid Awarded
$17,597/ year
National
$7,535
Students Receiving Financial Aid
72%

Academics

Professors
A
Based on faculty accomplishments, salary, student reviews, and additional factors.
Student Faculty Ratio
19:1
Evening Degree Programs
No
71%
of students agree that professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.237 responses
32%
of students agree that it is easy to get the classes they want.267 responses
50%
of students agree that the workload is easy to manage.266 responses

Majors

Students

Full-Time Enrollment
17,255Undergrads
Part-Time Undergrads
537
Undergrads Over 25
5%
Pell Grant
30%
Varsity Athletes
2%
Poll
What one word or phrase best describes the typical student at this school?
Based on 193 responses
Report
  • Chill
    25%
  • Friendly
    24%
  • Diverse
    19%
  • A Slug
    13%
  • Unique
    7%
  • Weird
    5%
  • Hardworker
    2%

Campus Life

Freshmen Live On-Campus
Poll
48%
of students say Greek life is pretty low-key and has little effect on the social scene.331 responses
Poll
50%
of students say varsity sporting events are attended, but not a huge part of campus life.374 responses
Poll
What one word or phrase best describes your school?
Based on 190 responses
Report
  • Beautiful campus, collaborative environment
    28%
  • Nice, fun, and easy going!
    19%
  • Friendly
    12%
  • Unique
    10%
  • City on a Hill
    6%
  • Beautiful campus,progressive,friendly environment
    6%
  • People are Crazy, Professors are just OK
    6%

After College

Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation
$46,900/ year
National
$33,028
Graduation Rate
74%
National
49%
Employed 2 Years After Graduation
91%
National
83%
64%
of students feel confident they will find a job in their field after graduation.163 responses
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University of California - Santa Cruz Reviews

3,723 reviews
All Categories
I'm so fortunate I got to attend UCSC, learn so much, and make incredible friendships that have lasted since graduation 6 years ago. The linguistics department is one of the best in the nation, the campus is peaceful and beautiful in an otherworldly way, and the people are down to earth. I wish I could repeat my 4 years here! My only complaint is the lack of diversity, especially among black students. I hope the campus makes an earnest effort to recruit and financially support more students of color in the future!
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I am a freshman at UCSC right now and I'm loving it here! To me the best part about this place is the campus itself. Ever since day one, I'm in love with the redwoods. Walking around campus has become my favorite thing to do. The quarter system can get a bit hectic, but since you are limited to taking 3-4 classes per quarter that's a relief. Some of the professors are really good, and some not so much. However, there are several TA's and tutors for each class, and all of them have multiple sessions and conduct office hours. That is a great opportunity for students to clarify their doubts. The dorms are pretty cool. The food though not always great is pretty much always decent. For the most part, they atleast have a variety of cuisine. Overall, it's a great college. Very student-friendly!
UCSC is a great school in the sense of community and belonging you find on campus. However, I personally had a hard time living on campus as well as in the city of Santa Cruz. There isn't much diversity in terms of places to eat, grocery stores, and the people. Santa Cruz is more-so for those who like to eat granola for breakfast and have the means to shop for organic foods, what I am trying to say is that it is an expensive city to live in and housing is a real issue but the campus is beautiful so maybe that outweighs the cost of living!