University of California-Santa Cruz Campus Life Reviews

On-Campus Housing
Excellent

13%

Very Good

37%

Average

34%

Poor

12%

Terrible

3%

Off-Campus Housing
Excellent

0%

Very Good

21%

Average

39%

Poor

26%

Terrible

14%

Campus Food
Excellent

12%

Very Good

38%

Average

36%

Poor

11%

Terrible

4%

Campus Facilities
Excellent

31%

Very Good

47%

Average

18%

Poor

3%

Terrible

1%

Class Size
Excellent

13%

Very Good

39%

Average

31%

Poor

13%

Terrible

4%

Activities
Excellent

29%

Very Good

36%

Average

26%

Poor

7%

Terrible

3%

Local Services
Excellent

26%

Very Good

32%

Average

28%

Poor

10%

Terrible

5%

Academics
Excellent

24%

Very Good

39%

Average

24%

Poor

6%

Terrible

7%

Overall Review for University of California-Santa Cruz

Excellent

21%

Very Good

52%

Average

22%

Poor

3%

Terrible

2%

We Asked Students, What's your overall opinion of this school?

Uyen-mi

The physical environment is very nice and different from city life. A nice place to study and relax. The classes are decent it varies per course and student as well as teaching style. Nice fit for some but not all to study here. It's an interesting place to learn. Although the do not always put students first as they claim to. (note: covid-19 made things a lot more screwy and difficult for students, giving the school more excuses not to provide more for the students and faculty if I might add).

Vanessa

Almost everyone goes to UCSC for the location of the campus. If you’re a big fan of nature you have the best of both worlds with the ocean on one side and the forest on the other. As far as the campus goes, the classrooms and lecture halls are really spread out from each other so make sure you have plenty of time to get to your lectures.

Jason

very vegan friendly <3 efweljf elf welfk eflkw eflk efke fkef lekf wlefk as asmd qlwkf q3lkf s fs,mf alk3f q3f lek flds fldfj ffnfnfnfnfnfnfnfnfnfnfnfnfnfnfnfnfn;3nflwefnwelfj kwejf qewjf lejfwlW FALWEJ ELJFGgWEKFNWEFNWEKFekfnefkndfsdkfnsefntbvsdvsd

Ashley

I love it. I love the campus, the environment, the classes, the city, everything. I do wish that campus activities were better advertised. It is very hard to find out stuff that is going on at the different colleges without knowing someone who knows about them.

Alicia

I love my school, professors in the social sciences are amazing. I learned so much during my first year at college. There's so many resources on campus and professors are usually really great at listening if you have any problems. The only thing thats a problem at my school is the fact that our school is overpopulated and you're only guaranteed 2 years of on campus housing. Off campus living is expensive for anyone who is low income. The scenery of campus is truly extraordinary. Feels just like being at summer camp.

Chelsey

It is a great place to continue your education because there are numerous programs and resources that are available to help you on your journey in university. The professors and advisors are all kind and more than willing to help you find your way and are encourage students to visit them and are helpful in helping students. Overall, my experience at Santa Cruz has been great because the students, professors and staff are both accepting and understanding of the LGBT community and different cultures and backgrounds.

Julia

UCSC has one of the most beautiful campuses in the world. Nestled between cozy redwood trees in the Santa Cruz mountains and overlooking a breath taking view of the Bay, you will find an excellent education. Divided into ten colleges, the campus is diverse in ethnicities, interests, and backgrounds. Although there are stereotypes to each college, each college houses a variety of personalities and majors. As a Stevenson Affiliate, of course I believe that Stevensonians are the best but I enjoy having classes with students from other colleges. It creates the experience of having a closer relationship and a small college feel while still being a part of a huge University.

Fuey

This is a great school. However, it is isolated from downtown and can take some time to get there. The only transportation on campus is the metro bus which takes around 30 minutes. People usually uber or some people use zip car. As for class difficulty, it varies depending on major and what professors you get.

Nitzan

University of California, Santa Cruz is a place where my dreams have come true. When I look out over the hill, past the thick and foggy clouds, and onto the tranquil blue of the Pacific Ocean I realize that for the past three years, I have achieved so many things. Though UCSC lacks good housing and the general administration is bureaucratic and slow, the professors are amazing and the nature makes me feel at peace. My attendance at UCSC and participation on campus (participation is key, if you don't try to learn you won't) helped me get multiple internships, consider graduate school, build meaningful relationships, and overall better myself as a person. Attending UC Santa Cruz changed my life for the better and I'm so glad I get to attend this jewel of a university.

Eduardo

When surrounded by like minded people, the University is great for students who want to achieve a higher education. The teachers are great and really care about the success of the students. They make themselves available when needed and hold a high standard for students. There is also a very welcoming culture at the school and many research opportunities.

Kimani

Great school overall. Most classroom settings at UCSC are small to mid size so not too overwhelming if you're interested in something low scale. At the same time, the school is situated in a forest of sorts, so you can always just chill and relax with random deer and the occasional turkey (no joke).

Sammi

This school is academically great, despite its bad reputation. The campus is beautiful, and the community here is very welcoming and friendly. UCSC seriously deserves more recognition as a well-achieving university. There is, however, limited activities you can do here, other than Boardwalk, surfing or hiking, or going downtown.

Leila

Surrounded Northern California's graceful redwoods and the Pacific Ocean less than three miles away, the University of California-Santa Cruz provides a beautiful campus to live and study on. Though professors are already easily accessible to, the school provides many additional (free) academic services. UCSC is an amazing school and very graceful school.

Joslyn

I attended UCSC for a year straight out of high school. My experience fluctuated throughout. I had both good and bad professors. Huge campus, so it was pretty overwhelming, and was always meeting new people. The campus is beautiful, but academically it varies from department to department. I began as a Human Biology major, and as a first generation student did not know about the different types of resources available and who to ask. I switched to Anthropology, and was still undecided, so I decided to move back home and explore more courses at a local CC instead. I will always have mad love for UCSC though. It has many pros and cons. Everyone's experience is different.

Viviann

You wake up in the morning to the sound of rain. "Not again," you think to yourself. You get ready for class, no time for breakfast, and put on your only pair of boots that won't get damaged walking to class. You'd like to take the bus, but know they'll be packed. It's been 3 months of pure rain. Days are cloudy and it's always so cold. "Why did I want to go here again?" It was middle school. Your class decided to take a field trip to UC Santa Cruz, even though the drive alone took 2 hours. You remember sitting on the bus, watching tall trees pass by as you wondered what the campus looked like. Already, you were in love. Setting foot on campus, you were confused. There are way more open fields than you are used to seeing on college campuses, but that's not a bad thing. Your group takes a small tour; you look around and you just feel it, "I'm going to go here." And so you did. And even through the terrible months of pure rain, you keep your head up, reminding yourself of how you fell in love with this campus and the privilege of learning everything you have in the past three years. As soon as the sun peeps out, you get the same feeling you did the first time you visited. You fall in love all over again.

Kelsey

UCSC, while a very nature-based university, lacks a lot of the modern living necessities for a college student. But even though there are fewer restaurants and less access to buses on the weekends, there is a fantastic atmosphere of people that are ready to engage in conversation about anything important that day, week, month, or year. The buses tend to work on a very manageable schedule, but during the weekends it becomes difficult to get from one point to another since fewer buses are operating. It becomes unbearable to wait around thirty minutes to get from campus to the nearest market, which is something that needs to drastically change since campus living is a significant lifestyle on UCSC. The dining halls offer a generous amount of food options during the school year, but there seems to be a massive lack of understanding just how different the food taste is for everybody. I often find myself eating the same thing over and over since there is no real variety of food. Usually, when in need of a great pick-me-up in the middle of the night, there is no store open to the convenience of students, and even though vending machines would usually do the trick, there seems to be a lack of those on campus as well. Dorm room living is living up to my expectations, but the lack of amount of showers and stalls is concerning, especially during rush hours when students are getting ready to go to class, and the bathroom gets chaotic. The overall experience of attending the University of California- Santa Cruz, is a positive one, many students coming together from all around the world to join together in a journey that becomes tremendously more exciting once others that share the same passions as you tag along.

Nikhila

Most of the professors are the best part. They are willing to go completely out of their way to ensure that you succeed. Administration, however, doesn't really care about anybody else besides the professors. They don't do anything despite numerous claims of sexual harassment, physical abuse, or threats. When a student feels they're in danger and brings it up with administration, administration looks down upon them. as if to say "why are you complaining about something so little. Figure it out yourself". The food varies by dining hall. It's very repetitive and takes a while to adjust to. The housing situation sucks. Off-campus is nearly as expensive as on campus, and both are ridiculously expensive. Perhaps its best to live on campus because you won't have to worry about spending time on cooking.

kaelani

I think ucsc Is an amazing college and has an incredibly beautiful campus. I actually have a friend that will be a junior this year and she has so many amazing stories about campus and greek life and very time we talk she makes sc sound like such a great and diverse campus, I was incredibly lucky to visit even though it is not the college I am going too.

Hector

Overall i am still adapting to the University but i have grown to like it. Yes it is a lot of walking but i like to think that i am getting fit. The people are very nice and open minded which i really enjoy. I wish we had more variety of food and places to go to but one must understand that Santa Cruz is a small city. As someone who is hispanic i really like the amount of other hispanic students i see on campus. I also really enjoy that we (the students)are able to express our opinions and protest and never get shut down. If you're looking for a party campus this school is not for you because there are lacks of parties here and most parties are private and invite only. We have a beautiful campus and the gym is very nice as well. Overall, UCSC is growing on me and i am liking the person i am becoming.

Hailey

Santa Cruz has a beautiful campus! You literally go to school in the middle of the forest. However, if sports are your thing this is probably not the best place for you. There are some sports that you can participate in but the school spirit is very lacking when it come to supporting their teams. If you are going to college and looking to make a change in your community, Santa Cruz is a perfect fit because of their numerous clubs and activist groups. Although this campus has a unique layout, it is filled with hills, making it a workout to get to class. But hey, less worrying about the Freshman 15. With all of that said there is no other campus that has the views that we do. This campus is beautiful!

Stevie

I really love this campus. The trees and seers maks everything seem peaceful. The people are great and so are the small classes. The only down side is you have to slowly get used to the hills and stairs. When I came here I got a job at the cafeteria pretty quickly, so that helped me afford this college.

Daniela

UC Santa Cruz does not only have a beautiful campus but it is also a great school. The faculty and staff care about the students, and there are many resources available from tutoring and academic advising to free food pantries and psychological/counseling services. I really enjoy living on campus because it feels like its own little town. Walking to class through the forest and bridges is always fun and relaxing. There's many places to study that are not just the library. I do wish there were more parking though.

Edith

As I stepped on campus, I felt the warmth I was missing in the cold weather through the student body that greeted me for my tour. Quickly, I had an intellectual conversation about my major with a fellow first year student at the university. As I was shown around, I concluded that the campus held many opportunities for their students. I believe UC Santa Cruz is a great option for a variety of people, and definitely an option for me.

Katia

UC Santa Cruz is a very unique school that is unlike a lot of other universities. The school is in a forest and while you walk to class you can pass by deer, raccoons and squirrels. The school is also a large public research university so it's easy to meet someone new everyday. It is better to live on campus because it's more convenient but there are a lot of good housing options off campus too. Overall UC Santa Cruz is an unforgettable experience where you will meet so many different and interesting people.

Aidan

UC Santa Cruz is one of the most interesting colleges in the University of California system. This college, while often referred to as a "party school", boasts incredible academics, even being ranked first in the world for research influence. It's further known for its unique setting among the trees, providing a relaxing, natural study environment.

Sam

People stick to themselves or form cliques, teachers seem distant and have obvious political leanings to the left, the one school supply store on campus has a monopoly with terrible prices, expect to either smell armpit in a crowded bus or walk at least 20 minutes every day you have classes. Overall its good if you like to keep to yourself or stare at trees :P

justin

The campus has a very nice atmosphere. People are very helpful like the RA or tutors. The teachers and faculties aren't very considerate sometimes. One time I went to get my bill fixed but they were giving me attitude on what I need to do. The food is average, it's not the best but its not the worst either.

Sydne

I came in as a transfer student. I was assaulted, and basically nothing was done about it. Housing is a huge problem in Santa Cruz, its defiantly worse than anywhere you are coming from. If you find a single it won't be cheap. Very white-granola-vegan, there is willingness among the students for progress, but the administration has their heads in the sand. Many services, but the school is always looking to save it's self. There has been a strike for grad students to get a better livable wage since November 2019, through the current quarantine.

Lauren 

I am an incoming Freshman and so far I love the environment, the campus, and the community within the school. People are very kind and open just like the staff. There is never a dull moment it seems. You can go to the nearby downtown and also take part in one of the many clubs on campus.

Jonathan

Santa Cruz is a really nice city, and the weather is really good. The academics are really good and my professors are really nice so far. One of the main bad things about UCSC is that the food is basically the same thing every day. I am in Oakes College, and the core course is really good. Overall, I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Daniela

I don't think anyone does it like UCSC does it. From academics to social life, there is always something for everyone. We may be in a big campus on a hill, but we are a great community and we create our own within our colleges on campus and people are always willing to help and make sure we are successful and also remind each other of self-care. We are active on social justice matters and bring it outside of campus so that the community all is aware and involved. There is help to be found at just about every corner whether it is for academics or for personal matters. Santa Cruz is the school to go.

Jillian

The campus is really beautiful. Not only are we located in the forrest, but close to several beaches. There are many opportunities to go hiking and play recreational or competitive sports on campus. From greek life, to sports, to professional organizations, to religious communities, to music, to social justice organizations, and just about any interest group, there is a community for everyone. There is a very good academic program and this school offers interesting and fun classes that also fulfill graduation requirements. I really like how Santa Cruz has challenged me to grow as a person and given me opportunities to explore new things and to step out of my comfort zone. I am glad I chose to attend this school!

Lara

The campus is very lovely and it's a beautiful environment that encourages its students to partake in activities and learn about the native plants. The staff encourages the students to use their voice and not forget who really runs the school ( the students) so we must make the most out of it. Although there are its faults mostly due to the lack of space which affects communication, and comfortability, UC Santa Cruz is a good school.

Mario

UCSC is a great school. It's very welcoming and diverse in academics as well as people. Not only does the campus provide a great learning/ study environment, but the whole town is also supportive of that feeling. Overall, it's highly recommendable for people that want to learn, grow, and have fun.

Madeline

This is a weird school. Based on what I've heard from friends who go to other schools, I can safely say that UCSC is fairly unique. There's a pretty diverse array of people, lots of things to get involved in, and, of course, it's in a forest, which lends to some wild experiences...like forest raves and mysterious hippie cabins. At times, it can be annoyingly sheltered and close-minded, since the school is so isolated from so much - our newspaper is called "City on a Hill" for a reason. But, all the same, I don't regret coming here at all. The professors are intelligent, engaging, and genuinely care; the people are full of personality, and there's a group for everyone to be a part of; and the experience you'll get here is unlike any other.

odalys

It's an extremely open school and everyone you meet is really nice and cool! It's also really beautiful and the stairs are good for exercise! When I first came here, I was really nervous but early on I realized that I had nothing to worry about. Everyone made me feel welcomed and there were people everywhere willing to help you out! It is honestly amazing!

Stephania

I love the campus and my major professors have been awesome! The classes made me love literature even more and I highly encourage the physical education classes. You can even get scuba certified. It's definitely expensive! Look into used textbooks and private scholarships. There's A TON of research opportunities though, in ALL MAJORS.

SamDillon

Overall a great school with great education and scenery. The campus is beautiful with plenty of views and the food is terrific. However, I have a hard time liking the other students here, as they seem to be alienated from the ways that I am use to. While there are plenty of friendly people, there is a selection of undeserved confidence in some.

Libin

The environment of the campus, both the physical landscape around it and the people that populate it, make the campus very pleasing to learn at. There are many alternatives to driving, including the bus system in place, and the walking routes are both pleasant to view and comfortable to travel on. UCSC is a great place to be in.

Sandra

I think UCSC is a great place for students who love being outdoors and are social butterflies. They can get involved to things they are interested in and meet new people that way. The academic life is average; The professors are always available and encourage students to meet with them.

Keliann

UCSC is a great school that deserves more applicants. Although it has a reputation as a party school, students are overall intelligent, focused, and kind in their approach to all facets of their learning and social lives. UCSC achieves a perfect balance between a relaxing environment (with beautiful scenery and great extra-curriculars) and challenging academics. I recommend UCSC if you're an active person who enjoys exploring (you'll do quite a bit of walking) and independently managing your schedule and classes. However, if you're bothered by the smell of marijuana, you may want to reconsider.

Ignacio

Choosing to enroll in this institution was one of the many great decisions of my life. When I first stepped on campus, I knew I was put on the road of new opportunities and paving my future through making a difference on a global spectrum. If you want a wonderful education all the while improving the community around you, then I highly recommend attending this fabulous university. Go Banana Slugs!

Mallory

The university of california, santa cruz is a great school overall. The campus itself is a reason to choose UCSC, but you'll end up staying for the quality education and community you'll become a part of. Everyone is welcoming, including the staff, and the work load is always easier when you're comfortable on campus.

Christopher

It is a great in a great setting. Having your school in a forest is great because I like nature and a lot of students also spend a lot of time outside either studying or hanging out with friends. Santa Cruz is a great place to meet new people and find yourself.

Emmanuella

Great so far! I especially love the solidarity and love between POC.

Jacob

Overall, UC Santa Cruz is a wonderful site from first glance. With such a beautiful campus, means that there are many opportunities for creativity. Not to mention the atmosphere that Students provide. However, the whole weed culture is a big definition of our campus as a whole. Despite this, there are many students who seek out intellectual conversation and provide a lot of input in the classrooms. The whole environment is a "chill" and relaxing feeling. Sometimes it feels like you aren't even attending a college; instead more of a summer camp. The connections you make with people are strong and often sought out for. Don't regret coming here one bit! Every trip to class is a hike (Which can be a burden sometimes). With UC Santa Cruz there is so much to explore. The most important adventure however is finding out your role in this huge, open-minded, and politically active college.

Andriana Jane

The University of California, in Santa Cruz has an amazing campus life and a diverse range of activities to fit every person. There are a wide range of offerings in both the Sciences and the Arts and there is an option to create your own Major. The academics-focused atmosphere provides great space for research and intelligent conversation. I expect that the growth of the campus will eventually include a football team, and will provide the University with a retention rate closer to one hundred percent. The banana slugs is one of the most unique mascots and their moniker of being slow is far from true; UCSC is one of the fastest-developing campuses in the country in terms of research technology and academia offered to undergraduate students, as well as having a claim to an amazingly diverse graduate program.

Ria

The nature vibe and weather is amazing here. The location is a perfect place to destress during exams or finals week. Just walking outside of our dorms/apartments can be a great place to de-stress ourselves. The food is decent, but the dining halls can be extremely crowded which can make it difficult to find seats to eat. Many students go into college thinking that Freshman 15 might hit, but at UCSC it was the complete opposite. Walking to and from classes is a much easier option other than biking due to the hills and the buses. It is a great way to get some exercise in especially if you live at Crown College with Cardiac Hill. The weather is really consistent and the school is around 20 minutes away from the beaches and also an hour away from San Jose and San Francisco. One perk is that you can use the local Santa Cruz buses for free just by showing your UCSC ID. You can go to downtown as many times as you want, but it is your own responsibility to know when to get on and off. Santa Cruz itself is a whole college town where majority of the people in downtown are college students. Overall, touring the school can give you a little insight on how great the university is.

Kelsey

UC Santa Cruz has a beautiful campus perfectly nestled in beautiful redwood trees. The campus is known for how vast it is and how many different hiking trails are available. I went to school there as a full time student, mom, and wife. They have family student housing which was ideal because it cost about 1/3 less than living off-campus. There were different daycare facilities that were educationally-based making it an overall good place for academia. As for living there, the housing is old and rundown, and way over priced for what facilities are there. The nearest decent shopping center is over 20 mins away. If you are not a local, you will feel like an outcast by those that are locals. The buses to and from campus don't go to the nearest grocery store, about five minutes away, making the commute almost an hour for students, I am lucky to have had a car. Almost everywhere has paid parking and there are congested freeways that appear to be the only way to go to and from campus. I did enjoy my time as a student and learned many things about my major. I would definitely recommend the school for the education aspect, but not for the living aspect. On a side note, the off-campus living is not family friendly and is very minimal. I hope to go on to be a teacher in English Language Arts, which is why I have applied for my Master's in Teaching at The Evergreen State College in Washington state. My dream job would be as a professor of English, teaching the classics at one of the local community colleges here. Thank you for your consideration.

Katelyn

UC Santa Cruz, otherwise known as the UC that accepts each and every applicant, is a university that mainly consists of these two categories of people: students who got denied to their UC dream school (only receiving an acceptance letter from Santa Cruz) and those who had been accepted to Cal Tech and John Hopkins but went to Santa Cruz because 1. tuition and lab fees were outrageously high and would leave them in a crippling depression well into their 60s and 2. the fully covered tuition, along with dorming, scholarship offered by the administration was just too sexy to pass up. Santa Cruz is not a brand name school like its UC counterparts, such as UCLA and UC Berkeley, nor does it have a reputation that elicits "oooo's" from family members or strangers when one tells another they go there. Because the campus is more lax and quiet relative to other UC schools, people have assumed the university aggregates students whose attempts to survive the wilderness of the night high on weed to be more ambitious than their attitude towards academics. They are right, of course. We do have weed adventurers challenging themselves to a night of survival in the forest that surrounds the campus, however, we have much more than that. Yes the campus has students who do not particularly care about their education but so does every other college as well. As for the calm atmosphere of the college, I do not believe calm implies laziness and apathy. I would contend that its atmosphere is one of its highlights the solidarity of this community. Rather than each student in one's field as an enemy, the school promotes making connections with those of similar interests and creating study groups that encourage each to work together to succeed. I think this is an important skill that will be necessary for any career. Discoveries and inventions are not made alone; they are made by teams of researchers who offer their own creativity and perspective on a subject. On campus, you will find many upperclassman who are willing to take underclassmen in the same major as their apprentice and advise them on opportunities and such. No, this school does not have the rigorous academic environment of that of UC Berkeley . The students here do not engage in Hunger Game style tournaments wishing the odds to be in our favors before eliminating our opponents in hope of being the last standing victor. I know that some thrive in this environment; I certainly don't. Despite the reputation of the university of being academically adverse, I have found many people who as academically focused and passionate as me. With these people, I have formed study groups in each group in which I learn as much as them as they do from me. As a result of these groups, I have formed connections with people who I can share my passion of physics with and who have challenged me to see a problem in a different perspective. When we first created the study group, I noticed I was behind the rest of my colleagues who had more experience than I had with physics. For the first two weeks I struggled to keep up with them but they had always been patient in explaining the solutions. Wanting to contribute as much as they had given me, I was motivated to fully comprehend and prepare myself with the material before I met up with the group on Sundays. My time so far at UC Santa Cruz has been a pleasant one. Classes are difficult, but when I walk back from classes and observe the stillness of the trees they remind me to take a deep breath. In times that I struggle, I know I have outside resources such as my friends, professor opens door hours, and free tutoring offered by the school that I can depend on to help me. That said, UC Santa Cruz is not a school for everybody. The lax environment can turn one complacent really quick and the small town might bore those looking for exciting events and parties. Santa Cruz, however, in my opinion is a college that treasures curiosity, creativity, and collaboration in one's major rather than competition. If this is a quality you value, you might want to have a look at UC Santa Cruz.

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