UC Santa Cruz
California College trip STOP #1, Spring 2019
UC Santa Cruz’s 2,000 acre, forested campus is just a few miles from the Santa Cruz coastline, and is a haven for the environmentally-conscious, the social justice-minded, passionate free-thinkers, and the laidback sun and surf enthusiasts. UCSC Banana Slugs believe in having a sense of responsibility, and that you “change society by changing yourself first”.
UCSC is tied with UCLA for being the most diverse of the UC campuses, but less than 5% of their students come from outside of California. Biological Sciences are the most popular majors, followed by Social Sciences, Psychology, and Computer & Information Sciences. Only the computer science major requires higher admission standards and for students to enter the program with their initial applications. All other majors you can transfer into or out of if you discover a new passion on campus. They offer a number of interdisciplinary majors like Cognitive Science, Forensic Science, Business/Managerial Economics,Technology Information Management, and, of course, Environmental Science, as well as more focused majors such as Astrophysics, Game Design, and Biomedical Engineering.
UCSC’s 17,000 undergrads are the focus on this campus, as there are only 2,000 graduates; there are lots of opportunities to do undergraduate research, and 70% of students do so. UCSC likes to point out that they have the highest ratio of female professors and the smallest student-to-faculty ratio of the UC universities.
Undergraduates are invited to apply to one of 10 residential colleges during the summer after being admitted to the university, each with its own architectural style and stereotypes. Residential colleges are not major specific, but are more tied to students’ interests and much of students’ social life revolve around their chosen college.
Students cannot have a car on campus until their senior year, so they will get lots of exercise walking the hilly campus (buses do loop around campus, but most students walk). There are free bikes to borrow, as long as your willing to write an essay about why you need a bike and how you will contribute to the bike community. They also recommend making sure the bike has really good breaks for the downhill ride to the beach!
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