Dismiss notification

Interested in this school?

Please type at least the first 4 letters of the school name.

Student Reviews

University of California-Santa Cruz (UCSC) Reviews

Check out reviews left by other students or leave your own review. You could win a free scholarship.

  • 06/08/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    42 out of 43 people found this review useful. 1 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    People who are open to new experiences. There is an extreme level of variety in people here (though there is the liberal hippie stereotype for a reason). It's also a great environmentalist school, so if you don't think environmental issues are important, try not to broadcast that fact when you are here unless you want some conflict. The most popular majors are in the biological sciences, economics, and psychology, but there are lots of great programs.

    Tips for prospective students

    Visit the campus, if you can. It's gorgeous, but also huge. Visiting can help you decide if you really want to have to bus for 15 minutes or walk almost as long to get to almost any class. It can also help you decide which housing college you want to live in/be associated with. Each has a unique identity and feeling, as well as an associate core writing class.

    Bang for the buck

    It's a UC, and unfortunately, because of the messed up state budget, they're getting less and less funding. As a result, fees go up. It's still less expensive than a lot of private schools, and there are still a range of scholarship or loan opportunities.

    Am enjoying being here

    I absolutely love it here, but then, I knew I wanted to be here the first time I stepped foot on campus. For me it was about going to the school that felt right to me, and I definitely knew it when I came here.

  • 08/06/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    25 out of 25 people found this review useful. 2 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    This school is great for environmentally aware students, culturally aware students, academically motivated students, undergraduate students (this is primarily a undergraduate university, and thus most of the focus is on preparing its attendees for graduate school and beyond), and students who appreciate the outdoors.

    Tips for prospective students

    Although UCSC isn't a huge sports school, there is a lot of school spirit. Get involved with groups on campus, whether it be intramural sports, clubs, or sororities/fraternities. The school has a great sense of community, so allow yourself to be a part of it as soon as you get there. Oh, and eat at Cowell dining hall - it's the newest and the best!

    Bang for the buck

    The professors are amazingly brilliant, and most teach with excellent clarity and enthusiasm. There are a few duds, but you'll find that at any school. Tuition was increased for the 2009-2010 school year, but where in the country hasn't college tuition gone up, with the way the economy is? The only thing that I don't like is that a lot of classes are hard to get into as a first or second year because enrollment times are issued by the number of credits you have. It is disappointing to try to sign up for a class numerous quarters in a row, and still not get in because the class closes before your enrollment time rolls around.

    Am enjoying being here

    The campus is absolutely beautiful! Some may complain about climbing the hills to classes, but it's well worth it. Where else can you go to class in the middle of a redwood forest, or wake up to a panoramic view of Monterrey Bay. If you end up at UCSC, be sure to visit Pogonip - the state park that is literally next-door to the campus. Not a huge party school, if that's what you're looking for, but weekends aren't boring either. There's plenty to do down town, and of course, at the beach.

    Am learning a lot

    After completing my first year at UCSC - and most of my GEs - I feel that I have learned a lot in many different areas of study. The classes offered as general education requirements are both interesting and informative. I have only taken two of my major prerequisites thus far, but both have also exceeded my expectations in the amount I learned from them.

  • 01/14/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    19 out of 19 people found this review useful. 3 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Santa Cruz is great for students who didn't like the structure of high school, and who like going to the beach during the day and taking hikes in the redwoods after class. Active students are at an advantage; the campus terrain is hilly and vast. But, if you're not yet prepared for that, don't worry. In a few days, your legs will be sore, and, in a few more, they will have adjusted to the new environment. Most students at Santa Cruz are very liberal (as well as most teachers) and are activists for what they believe in. Everyone has a place here, though. Once again, it's just a matter of what you make of it.

    Tips for prospective students

    I advice future students to plan their classes much earlier than they will enroll in them -- it is very common that classes will fill up within a few days (especially gen eds). Try to stay afloat during first quarter by not letting your work pile up until the day it's due; by second quarter, this will feel much more natural. Don't expect it to be like high school; it's now you're responsibility to get up whenever you have class, to keep track of your classes, to buy your books on time. And always check ratemyprofessor.com. It's such a great resource to know which professors will accommodate your method of working, and it gives great tips that are specific to your given class. It may be overwhelming at times, but don't forget to have fun and never give up!

    Bang for the buck

    Tuition at UCSC isn't as much of a burden as the room and board fees. Especially after the UC system's budget issues, and, with them, fee increases and absurd class cuts, it seems an in-state private school would be a route worth taking. Classes are hard to get into, the language and arts departments are suffering (and, for me, as a potential language major, this is frightening), and much class time is spent debating the circumstance. Santa Cruz does offer pretty generous financial aid, though, as well as many campus amenities (on-campus dining; a readily accessible gym; two libraries; and a recreation department that schedules outdoor trips for students). Taking advantage of these opportunities is easy, almost automatic; the 'bang for your buck' is really what you make of it.

    Am enjoying being here

    The Santa Cruz atmosphere is relaxing, but I am having difficulty adjusting to such a laid-back environment. I came from a competitive high school, where my six AP classes weren't even considered enough by most other students. I find that the comfortable mood that most students enjoy about UCSC is a disappointment for me. The campus lacks the drive and motivation that I feel is crucial for me to continue to excel. This aspect of the experience really depends on the individual -- from my experience, more people appreciate it than resent it.

    Am learning a lot

    I have taken seven classes here so far, and, even in the auditorium lecture halls, UCSC professors make their students know that each of them is still an individual. I don't feel lost in the crowds, and am made sure not to feel too intimidated to ask questions. Hands on experience opportunities are abundant -- whether they come in the form of lab work, internships, or group field trips (my astronomy class took me on one to the Lick Observatory, where I saw the moon up close for the first time). Overall, professors are welcoming and insightful; my only critique is that some of them have trouble keeping their political views out of the classroom. Otherwise, a great and inspirational academic experience.

  • 01/02/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    9 out of 10 people found this review useful. 4 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Students that love the outdoors, the beach, and a downtown area. Students that would like to experience a different atmosphere of a small town.

    Tips for prospective students

    Students, make sure you know what you would possibly major in, and look for your intended major on the college website. A lot of walking is required most of the time, but usually buses will take you around campus easily. Try to visit campus, especially during the school year to get the right feel of the school. Don't forget that San Jose is just a bus ride away and San Francisco is 2 hours from here! Best of luck to you guys!

    Bang for the buck

    How could you not love being by the forest AND the beach, right by downtown?.. University professors are nice, and the campus is beautiful. College counselors are helpful and are there to help. The library is open until 2AM if you need to study. For you outdoors people, we have a school-based organization called OPERS that schedules and provides transportation for surf trips, hiking trips to Yosemite, camping trips, trips to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and more! You also get to encounter a lot of deer on campus. They're harmless.

    Am enjoying being here

    Santa Cruz is a very beautiful town! Everyone is friendly and the college scene is a lot of fun. The buses get you to most places, but your own bicycle would get you everywhere. There are endless possibilities with what you can do out here. You can bike around and go downtown to eat unique food, shop, or explore campus, watch the sunset, go to the beach boardwalk to ride rollercoasters, enjoy the wharf, or go to shows.

    Am learning a lot

    My professors made sure that I not only understood the subject matter, they also made us utilize what we learned into different problems. You learn a lot about yourself when you experience a different environment.

  • 12/05/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    5 out of 5 people found this review useful. 5 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    UCSC is especially open to students voicing their opinions and making decisions for the well-being of the student body. Also, this school is very environmentally-friendly and active, rather than being passive and easily accepting and ignorant. I feel that UCSC is the perfect match for me and many other personalities. It truly does not matter what you look like, how your voice sounds, what ethnicity you are, what major you are, what college you are affiliated with, and much much more. No matter what your background, you will fit into one group or the other. Socially, it is easy to adjust as long as you are sincere and true to who you are, but academically, you have to focus and find the right way to manage your time efficiently. UCSC demands academic integrity and excellence, but it does so in a healthy and fair way. Come experience it for yourself! :)

    Tips for prospective students

    I would recommend being very open minded and tolerant to change. Do not expect others to or do not behave like a person who cares about what others think. That is SO high school! College is different. Be yourself and I am sure friends who like who you are will come around. TRUST me on this one!

    Bang for the buck

    I definitely feel that having knowledge is priceless, but the means of gaining the knowledge and being accredited for it does have its costs. I feel that our Universities in America, and especially California, are over-priced. Of course I am not happy about the fee hikes, but some of the reason behind these hikes is natural, as our economy is not doing so well today. Being a hopeful optimist, I believe that what comes down will go up. :)

    Am enjoying being here

    I am definitely liking this college experience. I have NEVER had this type of and level of independence. With this added privilege or power of choice and liberty comes a lot of responsibility. This is a time when we are all learning to find a balance between work (or studying), daily life (including exercise, dealing with household duties, and other adult stuff), and social life.

    Am learning a lot

    After experiencing my first quarter at UCSC, I feel that I have learned an enormous amount of information. College is somewhere where you (a) learn (2) become more independent adults (3) learn how to work with different peoples' lifestyles and/or attitudes. UCSC goes above and beyond in serving this purpose by not only serving its purpose, but also providing an environmentally-friendly attitude where students are able to have their voice heard. This is a beautiful learning experience that is something one will have never experienced without actually being here. I hope that makes sense!

  • 12/23/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    5 out of 5 people found this review useful. 6 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    It is divided in ten colleges, once you get accepted and chose to go you will have to chose a college to be affiliated with. Don't choose the college by the way it looks or its location, but rather chose it by the way it makes you feel when you're there if it is that you visit the campus. If not then chose by the class or ask current students. My personal opinion is that Oakes college is the best one there. It is extremely diverse in students whereas other colleges are predominantly one race only. It is also a very beautiful college considering it has an ocean view and is surrounded by a lot of trees.

    Bang for the buck

    It you're an all time big city person this may not be your best choice. There are many things to do, but it is nothing like a big city such as San Diego or Los Angeles where you have big malls, clubs, parties, etc. Although there are occasional parties and dances and some people go to the nearby cities like San Jose or San francisco when they feel like they want to be in a big city environment.

    Am enjoying being here

    This is an extremely unique campus. Where else do you get to be in the middle of the forest while at the same time get a beautiful view of the ocean and mountains? I see deer everywhere and the scenery is absolutely beautiful. It is certainly unlike any other UC's. The overall atmosphere is different, it is very mellow and easy going.

    Am learning a lot

    Each incoming freshman is required to take a core course and they are extremely interesting. My core class ended up being my favorite class of the quarter, they are very broad and teach you so much. The class got me to see things in a different way than that of what I had been used to.

  • 07/21/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    5 out of 5 people found this review useful. 7 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    People who truly love the outdoors, walks in between tall redwoods from class to class.

    Tips for prospective students

    The campus is extremely HUGE, but can be walked in about 15-20 minutes (10 if you walk really fast). There is an on campus bus system, but I would recommend to just walk there yourself to gain a true appreciation of the nature around you and the fact the buses get incredibly crowded. Once I stopped riding the bus I swear I did not get sick the rest of the year! Research each of the 10 colleges (unless you are a transfer student like I am then you won't have to do much research) because those colleges express different personal goals and the chances are you will meet people like you in those areas (such as Merill being the home to video game and anime people or just nerds in general like me haha).

    Bang for the buck

    With the increasing fees I would rather suggest someone go to a community college and the transfer to any college if money is an issue. Also the GPA requirements are a little more lax as a transfer student compared to going in as a freshman.

    Am enjoying being here

    I am enjoying my time here and it is very sad that this upcoming year will be my last, but it is going to be the best year! The sun, the beach and the trees are the reasons why I chose this campus and having the ability to walk in between these tall redwoods along the bridges and hills makes this campus worth while.

    Am learning a lot

    Professors here are pretty top notch and I have learned more about people and the world than I could have ever before. The Anthropology department has amazing professors who are there willing to help you succeed and the major adviser Courtney is helpful, informative and very caring. The HAVC department and Cher are another great department, but these are the only experiences I have had here though I have heard through the grapevine other majors are great as well. The professors have caused me to think and be proactive in obtaining information and to learn about the world and people around me.

  • 06/30/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    5 out of 5 people found this review useful. 8 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I feel safer on campus than anywhere else in this town. The campus is covered with security, has its own police/fire force, and has emergency telephones throughout.

    Greek Life

    I am not at all interested.

    Clubs and Activities

    Santa Cruz has as many opportunities as you can look for.

    Great for these types of students

    Open minded

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Naked run on the first rain, optional (and totally fun to watch). There are also awesome drum circles during the full moons; everyone just dances and parties to the beat of awesome drum players.

    Bang for the buck

    Santa Cruz made who I am. It must be meant to be for the people who go here. I feel that I've learned more about myself and subject material, had more fun, and have been more enlightened than most my friends from high school.

    What to do for fun

    Boardwalk; downtown to shop/eat/people watch. Go sit at one of the many beaches. And visit the nicest parks to hike and camp!

    Food and Dining

    It's pretty good! I have never been a fan of cafeteria food, but all the dining halls (besides college 8) are superb (for dining hall food). There is always one open, which is really convenient. Especially because once you learn the campus shortcuts, you are a 20 minute walk from everything.

    Dorm Life

    Fantastic! My dorm-mates and I are still all best friends. Students at UCSC are affiliated with one of ten colleges. Freshman are required to take a course that's theme is unique to their specific college. This allows students to share one of their first college experiences with each other and discuss in ways they would have not engaged. It is a special way to bond with those who live around you.

    Academic Rigor

    As a history major, I have found that my teachers are overly helpful. Professors and TAs are open to student questions and work closely with them on assignments to better facilitate the learning process. I have had formidable professors, and have been enlightened by their intellects.

    Tips for prospective students

    Explore everywhere! Santa Cruz is a peaceful, yet thrilling environment, and everything is very accessible. So see and experience it all, and find out what is good for you. The UCSC and Santa Cruz community focuses on the individual beauty of every person. SC is a place where students can comfortably grow into their unique persons.

    In three sentences

    UC Santa Cruz is a beautiful oasis. The views, environment, and opportunities are open to everyone. The teachers are just as inspiring as the classroom locations, because they are brilliant in their area of study and eager to help their students learn through classroom and one-on-one engagements.

  • 07/06/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    5 out of 5 people found this review useful. 9 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The Campus is extremely safe. it is pretty unaccessible to the rest of the city, being high up on a hill, and there are plenty of police officers roaming the campus that keep it a safe place to live. You can very easily and safely roam the campus at night and never run into any trouble. I felt extremely safe and comfortable throughout my entire time on campus, without feeling violated or suffocated by police and community safety officers. They truly are there for your own safety, and are not out to get you.

    Greek Life

    The Greek life is pretty insignificant to the school at UCSC. Only about 3% of students are affiliated. However, everyone that is in the Greek life loves it. It is completely feasible to have a social life without being a part of the Greek system in Santa Cruz.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are plenty of clubs and activities to be apart of. I personally didn't get involved in them but know many people who did and enjoyed them a lot. There are plenty of opportunities.

    Great for these types of students

    Students who are well balanced and not too focused in one particular area will love UCSC for its diversity. Students who love nature will love UCSC as well. UCSC is fantastic for basically any student who feels the need to be apart of a school with a good football team.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Every year at the first rain, thousands of students begin from the east side of campus and run naked to the west side of campus, ending in the OPERS pool. There are often full moon drum circles at the Porter Meadows as well. April 20th brings thousands of students and non-affiliates to the Porter Meadows for the day and has fun student-run activities such as slacklining competitions. The Rock Garden and the Garden of Eden are seemingly magical places in Pogonip that gathers nature loving students frequently (if you can find them). The amphitheater by the bookstore is also a really cool place. There are tons of secret places around campus that people have found and there are plenty more to be discovered since the campus is located inside a forest.

    Bang for the buck

    UC's are currently overcrowded, tuition is going up, and it is extremely difficult to get classes. This is, in my opinion, the only downside to UCSC. Many popular classes are difficult to get in to, and the classes you do get into are often overcrowded. Since the classes are so competitive to get into, the courses also become more competitive to get good grades in as well. This is both a good and a bad thing.

    What to do for fun

    The beach is a ten minute bus ride away and the beaches are beautiful just like the campus. The beaches are great for surfing so if you are into surfing it is a fantastic place to bring your board. Downtown is always fun to walk around, it is quirky and there are lots of shops to go into and plenty of things to do downtown. the Catalyst Club always gets big names such as Bassnectar, Mac Miller, Snoop Dogg, Rusko, Andre Nickatina, E-40 and many others. Tickets are cheap and there is a school affiliated bus that picks you up right outside the club after the shows. OPERS has plenty of sports facilities to keep in shape and play sports. The field has a fantastic view of all of Santa Cruz as well. The redwood forest is also literally in the campus backyard and Pogonip State Park is walking distance away. Both provide excellent hiking opportunities. The beach boardwalk also has roller coasters and other such attractions which is pretty fun as well. Upper Campus has tons of world-renowned mountain biking trails as well. There is never a dull moment in Santa Cruz.

    Food and Dining

    The dining hall hours can sometimes be strange, and if your particularly dining hall isn't open at the time you want to eat then you have to hike across campus to a different dining hall. Some dining halls are much better than others, and if you end up at a college with a bad dining hall you will find yourself having to hike more often than not to get a decent meal. The food is fine for a while until you get used to it, then it gets very redundant and it tends to taste worse and worse the more you eat it.

    Dorm Life

    The dorm life is fantastic. It is co-ed, which takes getting used to, but to be honest I didn't even notice it when I first moved in. You truly feel like your hall is a family, learning to share everything with each other. In my experience anyways, almost everyone kept their doors open at most times so it felt much more like a big household than an apartment complex. The campus is absolutely beautiful and if at any time you find yourself wanting something to do, you can take a walk outside and meander through the redwood forest. There is always something new, interesting and possibly mystical to discover. Living on campus for my first year at college was a fantastic experience, and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

    Academic Rigor

    The academics are very challenging, but not so challenging that you have the high possibility for suicides such as other much more competitive universities. You definitely have to try hard and study a lot, but you aren't going to kill yourself studying. The academic rigor is such that you must apply yourself heavily but you are still going to have a chance to explore your other interests and keep yourself balanced in other aspects of your life.

    Tips for prospective students

    Attend UCSC with an open mind, willing to accept anything that comes your way. It is definitely not your typical college experience, and if you take it for what it is I believe it to be not only the best over all UC, but possibly the most fulfilling college experience in all of California. It will open your mind to new possibilities and help you truly find yourself if you let it.

    In three sentences

    Santa Cruz is a fantastic place for anyone looking for a unique college experience. There is a perfect balance between academic focus and rigor, extracurricular opportunities and social opportunities. The campus is astonishingly beautiful and the surrounding area is inspiring, being between the beach and the redwood forest.

  • 10/22/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    4 out of 4 people found this review useful. 10 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    UCSC is great for self-motivated students. UCSC is also great for unique and eccentric students. UCSC is very diverse and accepting. If you want to do well here, you probably will.

    Tips for prospective students

    Take a look around campus and sit in a few classes if possible. It's very hard to imagine living here just from reading the advertisements. UCSC is split into 10 different colleges. Research the dynamic in each college. You really want to pick one that suits you so you have the maximum chance of thriving here at UCSC.

    Bang for the buck

    UCSC is expensive, but a lot cheaper than private colleges. It is definitely a higher level of education than JC schools. It doesn't really matter how much you pay for a school. What matters is how much effort you put into learning in your classes. If you put in effort, you will definitely get a lot out of UCSC.

    Am enjoying being here

    UCSC is a beautiful campus with lots of fun activities. Just last night, I went to an arts and crafts night where everyone made Halloween decorations for their doors. People at UCSC are very friendly and the campus will begin to feel like home before you know it.

    Am learning a lot

    Classes at UCSC are challenging although by no means impossible. I think the hardest thing about them is the time management skills you will need to complete all your homework and studying.

  • 12/13/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    4 out of 4 people found this review useful. 11 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Environmentally conscious. Politically Involved Computer/Game Design Art/Theatre Humanities Athletes Go Slugs!!!

    Tips for prospective students

    Be ready for a culture shock, especially if out of state. Go to class, many say you don't need to, but you are paying for it regardless. Embrace it, life only happens once and college is something you don't want to miss.

    Bang for the buck

    School is incredibly expensive these days, but as they say you can't put a price on education. The classes are diverse, the atmosphere is one of a kind, and the people are something you just can't beat; the money I pay to go to school here is well spent.

    Am enjoying being here

    Waking up to the fresh smell of pine and deer is an amazing thing. UC Santa Cruz has a little bit of everything for everyone. With woods, the beach, and the city not to far away UC Santa Cruz can be enjoyed by everyone. The added bonus is the people, everyone is incredibly helpful and the amount of community involvement and free workshops is absolutely amazing. Education extends much farther than the university.

    Am learning a lot

    When I first began to look at schools in high school, I really wanted to attend a UC school and found that my choices were rather limited to schools that offered comprehensive humanities and social science department. At UC Santa Cruz I have a variety of avenues to pursue in the humanities department and the staff is absolutely amazing. As a sociology major and legal studies minor I have found all of my professors to be extremely knowledgeable and helpful. An added bonus is the education one receives about the environment, our impact on it, and how we can change our practices to better our planet's future.

  • 12/18/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    4 out of 4 people found this review useful. 12 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    I highly recommend UCSC for students who love the outdoors but still like to be near a city (Santa Cruz is a lovely city itself), or people who love the outdoors and that's it! Quirky people are welcome! I've read that students who get easily stressed would do well at UCSC, and I think I would recommend it just because I think it might be impossible to get too stressed out with all the trees around. Students at UCSC are serious about their educations - that's why we don't have many big sports teams - but they still know how to have fun! Events are thrown all over campus that help students wind down - events like poetry readings, bounce house parties (act like a kid again!), Quidditch matches, and themed College Nights. Students who like to have a great time but are still serious about their education, who are socially and environmentally conscious, who want a school with personality, and those who want to be a Banana Slug (UCSC's mascot!) should join the UCSC community! Hope to see you there!

    Tips for prospective students

    Be prepared for a lot of walking, which is really okay since it is such a beautiful campus. There is a lot to look at, so the walks are never boring! Whenever you feel stressed, I'm serious, go for a walk and clear your head. Be open minded. People who don't accept quirkiness often don't have a very good time at UCSC. Please don't be afraid to speak up! UCSC is a liberal campus, but that does not mean you should be afraid to express yourself! I do not consider UCSC to be a party school. Don't be too concerned about partying behavior - there isn't much of it, and what there is can be avoided. Research which community within the University (there are 10 college communities) you would like to live in. I moved from Cowell to Merrill because it fit me more - choose the one that suits you the most! And last and most importantly, please visit the campus before you decide on any college. You never know if a college is right for you until you have been there and have interacted with the people yourself! One more tip: Have fun!

    Bang for the buck

    Unfortunately, the educational budget cuts in California are tearing apart every level of education, and UCSC has been negatively affected, just like any other school. Still, students and teachers alike are trying to make the best of a bad situation, and though everyone is affected, I feel that I am still learning a lot, and this campus is a great place to spend your time (and money) if you're going to be stressed about paying so much for college. (Who can get stressed on such a beautiful campus?) In spite of the budget cuts, student groups and the Disability Resource Center aid students who need more help than large class sizes (due to the budget) can give them.

    Am enjoying being here

    I always talk about UCSC by saying our because I feel like I am part of a community! UCSC is filled with kind, friendly people, and I have had a great social and educational experience here. The campus is beautiful - trees everywhere, and on my walks to class I see deer and rabbits every day. It is a fantastic campus and it's said that UCSC students are the fittest college students in California! I have also found a great group of friends that have made me feel very welcome and accepted - which everyone on the campus seems to do anyway!

    Am learning a lot

    UCSC is an excellent school with many professors at the top of their fields. Many of our undergraduate programs are top in the country (or were, before the budget crisis), and I believe that UCSC is greatly underrated as an awesome undergraduate school! Even outside of classes, I am learning a lot because UCSC students are environmentally friendly and are conscious about their impact on the world. We strive to be sustainable, and I feel that I am learning a lot about that by just being on campus. UCSC is a wonderful place to learn about life in general, and I definitely recommend it to everyone!

  • 08/29/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 4 people found this review useful. 13 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Computer Geeks, Ultimate Frisbee players

    Tips for prospective students

    -Get ready to walk up and down lots of hills!

    Bang for the buck

    The cost is very reasonable for the quality of education and facilities.

    Am enjoying being here

    The college community is suprisingly diverse, with a niche for almost everyone.

    Am learning a lot

    The quality of instruction is for the most part very high, and despite large class sizes the classes are well structured. Good science professors.

  • 10/14/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 14 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    this campus is great for nature, freedom, diverse, loving students. If you are the type that hates being bored well this school is right for you. there are always things to do here. students and staff get together to plan events like dances, karaoke nights and many more things. here you will never be bored.

    Bang for the buck

    Many universities have been hit with budget cuts, but either way Santa Cruz satisfies the students needs. the Dining halls are great, they have good food, you can chose to eat in any of the colleges dining halls. The fees are pretty good for this campus i am a low income student and i am living very good on campus i would recommend for anyone to apply and come here.

    Am enjoying being here

    UC Santa Cruz is not only a great place to learn and succeed in a higher education, but also a great place to live. In fact, Santa Cruz was voted best campus for it's cleanliness. surrounded by trees, trees, and more trees the campus is nice and shady on warm sunny days and throughout the whole year great weather. May i add that the beach is within a 5-10 minute drive. If you are someone who loves nature Santa Cruz is right for you. i know it was for me. i love the hills and the trees in Santa Cruz.

    Am learning a lot

    UC Santa Cruz is a great university. There are many majors to chose from, and the advisers here help you chose classes so you can go on the direction you want. The work here is challenging, but the professors here make the lectures interesting and fun. you can learn a lot when you are interested in the lesson.

  • 12/13/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 15 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    For the amount of tuition on pays for attending UCSC, the number of services available to each student is enough to make one's head spin! At first, you may not notice, but as the year progresses and you find yourself needing assistance with school work, or emotional/personal guidance, or anything one can think of, it's available to you at no extra charge. SHOP, LSS , EOP, and OPERS, are among some of the many services available to students, and one would be crazy to not take advantage of some, if not many of them!

    Am enjoying being here

    The environment at UCSC is one that everyone should get the chance to experience. The people who live on and off campus are all very cool and it's very difficult to not make friends here. Having grown up in San Diego, the city life can get very old and tiresome. Santa Cruz can be described as a large town, with a range of different types of people that are easy to befriend and connect with. Aside from the community, the campus is immersed amongst a plethora of trees and forest life, which seem to make the air more fresh and breathable, which can create a relaxing air for the busy life of a college student.

    Am learning a lot

    UCSC not only has the majors I'm interested in, but a wide array of classes to choose from that, at first glance, you will feel are pointless, but as you progress, you will learn the importance of the course and be able to apply the material learned in your everyday live.

  • 12/31/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 16 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Come here if you love being outdoors, (but also just enjoy sitting with a great scenery) are environmentally concious, love the rain, the wind, the beach, huge trees, meeting new, sometimes very odd people, and just enjoy a nice good walk.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you are one for busy large cities, I don't advise coming here. You'll get bored with Santa Cruz's downtown real quick. But if you are looking for a beautiful, natural, laid back place to study, Santa Cruz is it! Be ready to walk a lot (and get lost) because the campus is huge!!! However the walks are really lovely, and it’s fun getting lost to find your way sometimes. Speak your mind, but always remember to be respectful. There are many other people on campus with beliefs you may have never considered.

    Bang for the buck

    Ehh. I didn't think the tuition was that over the top compared to other colleges these days, but i heard that they are going to raise the fees even higher next year... So I don't know. My classes have been great though, I'm not regretting what I'm paying for my schooling. Especially when I start taking four classes, even MORE bang for the buck. I haven't personally experienced the effects of budget cuts.

    Am enjoying being here

    Choosing a college was extremely difficult for me, I mean I'm supposed to be living at the place for 4 years! I really wanted to find a place i loved. Luckily i felt that Santa Cruz fit me :D And i know plenty other people who are quite different than me and fit in as well. There are many types of people here, and I'm excited to meet more people this next quarter. It's not a huge fraternity/sorority, kind of Cliques campus, and most people are very welcoming. The weather is great and I like living amongst the trees with the beach only a few miles away. However I do wish the city was a bit bigger! You have to take the bus to go to some stores that aren't in Santa Cruz, like Target :(

    Am learning a lot

    I'm definitely having more fun in class than i did in high school! The professors are much more engaging and are better at keeping their students awake. I was worried about taking an English class here, because it was college and the phrase FINAL PAPER was so intimidating to me, but here at UC Santa Cruz the English classes are very small (the most I've seen is 25 students per class) and the teachers are very accessible. Learning languages here is also very rewarding, i can actually feel my improvement. However I haven't experienced any of the science or math classes, so I'm not very helpful with those.

  • 07/12/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 17 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Studious, nature orientated people, art lovers, laid-back people. Great research institution. Great astronomy program.

    Tips for prospective students

    Go outside! Dont' stay cooped up. Explore downtown, take a bike, go to the beach. Explore your hallway. Explore the forest. Visit Porter Meadow. Use the exercise utilities. Take a jog, look at the deer, hitch hike. Ask questions, go to office hours, enjoy college!

    Bang for the buck

    It's a bit hard to get into classes unfortunately. I'd advise to even take 4 classes, maybe try and finish early and save a lot of money. You need to be sure to sign up for your classes at your time, and still be flexible with your choices.. Most classes will help you fulfill your requirements (unless it's for your major..)

    Am enjoying being here

    It isn't a big party school, but I was never looking for that. It depends on which college campus you go to - Porter is where I went, full of art students and music kids. I lived there during construction, so the quad was rarely full. Nowadays, I always see kids there, playing music or just tanning. It's quite beautiful and I've met some really great people.

    Am learning a lot

    I love all of the classes here. Really, you when you're still getting your GEs in the first 2 years of school, you have an huge supply of classes from all sorts of interesting professors and graduate students, eager to teach you. Since it is a research institution though, sometimes those professors will be too engrossed in work to really be super jazzed up, but officer hours are a thing rarely utilized by students.

  • 01/31/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 18 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    we get cruzalerts sent to us via text for anything that may be occurring around campus. they let us know if there is danger abound. which i like.

    Greek Life

    yes. although, no frat houses or anything, but there are also a wide range of sororities and fraternities to choose from.

    Clubs and Activities

    clubs are offered for so many different cultures. i am sure you will find something.

    Great for these types of students

    great for anyone who dislikes stress and enjoys nature.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    something odd? we have the first rain run. students throughout the campus run around the school in their birthday suits.

    Bang for the buck

    it is worth it, in my opinion. i would not trade this experience for anything.

    What to do for fun

    you can go to the beach, the boardwalk, or downtown! there is so much to do! along with campus activities, you will never be bored.

    Food and Dining

    so delicious. and has a variety of flavors.

    Dorm Life

    fun and exciting, you get to meet new people.

    Academic Rigor

    hard and difficult, but offers tutoring.

    Tips for prospective students

    if you decide to come to uc santa cruz visit before deciding, it may be a long trip, but it never hurt to check out the campus. you might like it or decide it is not your cup of tea.

    In three sentences

    santa cruz is amazing. the relaxed atmosphere and the fresh air allows a person to feel calm. as a uc, it hold such values to the students and pays attention to their needs.

  • 02/29/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 19 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    extremely safe with a firehouse and campus police 24/7. however, there may be sightings of mountain lions but there is nothing to fear.

    Greek Life

    not at all popular on campus. there are definitely fraternities and sororities on campus but it isn't everyone's interest to join.

    Clubs and Activities

    there are a bunch of opportunities to join clubs such as a latin dancing club or japanese clubs or day trips exploring the forest.

    Great for these types of students

    this school is hipster nation. not many jocks or preps attend this school. this is very much a chill and laid back school. everyone is so easy going.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    there's a lot of secret spots on campus to explore! there's porter meadows and porter caves. there's also millions of trails all over the school. also there's sunset tree that overlooks the bay.

    Bang for the buck

    great positive area with the best people ever. everyone is so positive and friendly.

    What to do for fun

    go to the beach, walk downtown, visit san jose, hiking, movies, museums, great food, bike riding, surfing, going to the boardwalk, etc. there's always a bunch to do in santa cruz

    Food and Dining

    great food and such amazing healthy options. this school was voted number 1 vegan school in the usa. ucsc is very eco friendly and much of the fruit is organic. all dining halls have great options for eating from pizza to salads to pasta, sushi, and more.

    Dorm Life

    make sure to pick a college that relates to you. i lived on a terrible floor my freshmen year but that's because of the college i chose. don't pick a college just because your friends are there.

    Academic Rigor

    the math/science majors expect a lot from you. be prepared to constantly be studying. however, this is a great school for math and science. this is also a great school for theater arts, film and digital media, and art. in any field of study, be ready to put in a lot of study hours.

    Tips for prospective students

    this is great school to attend! work hard in high school to get here. classes are challenging and tend to bring out the student in you. also, be involved, join clubs, sports teams, greek life, etc. the list goes on and on. don't be afraid to get involved. it's probably one of the best choices you can make.

    In three sentences

    this school is absolutely beautiful. the campus is surrounded by a redwood forest and you meet the greatest people. the only thing that gets tiring is walking up the hills everyday.

  • 12/17/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 20 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Liberal and moderate liberals, academically inclined students, those looking towards business, linguistics, liberal arts and biology.

    Tips for prospective students

    Look at the listings of classes before you sign up for them, so you have a better understanding of what to sign up for. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS.

    Bang for the buck

    It is a bit expensive, as it is a UC, but it's nothing student loans can't handle.

    Am enjoying being here

    I love it here. The atmostphere is wonderful, not just for those liberal-hippie types, but for everyone who wants a good education.

    Am learning a lot

    I've got a better understanding of the world through our required core classes.

  • 01/06/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 21 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    This is a priority that campus administrators insist upon. Each student is required to attend an initial campus safety meeting upon arrival. Email is sent out regularly to inform students about any concerns on campus.

    Bang for the buck

    You get what you pay for...UCSC provides enthusiastic Professors, that are ready to help their students succeed...the entire experience depends on your efforts.

    What to do for fun

    The campus has many activities, guest lectures, music, theater, art exhibits, two awesome sports facilities, not to mention that each college has their own activities going on all quarter. Santa Cruz is well known for its pristine beaches, as well as its contemporary music scene.

    Food and Dining

    Each college has its own dining hall, with many ethnic food varieties, the food is fresh and delicious. Plus there are many coffee shops, and independent restaurants on each college campus as well.

    Dorm Life

    There are 10 colleges on this campus, so one can choose to live up in the redwood trees or down lower with a view of the pacific ocean. The dorms are super clean located near hiking trails, coffee shops, and study halls. There is a good distance between the colleges and yet each college is self sufficient.

    Academic Rigor

    This university is on the quarter system, so be prepared and study, study, study.

    Tips for prospective students

    UCSC is approximately a 40 acre compound, so learn about the walking trails through the forrest in order to get around quickly and efficiently.

    In three sentences

    UCSC is the BEST!! McHenry and the Science Libraries are incredible sources for research, both on an off line. This is a school for serious students and has many avenues to ensure a quality education, as well as a unique experience attending college in a beautiful redwood forrest.

  • 02/27/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 22 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    campus safety is exceptional. no one tries to hurt anyone here. or steal for that matter. in case there ever is any sort of emergency, the ucsc alert system is in place to quickly alert the student body.

    Greek Life

    not much to say about greek life, there are few frats here and there. rushing (joining) occurred during the first quarter and ever since then it's been a little quiet.

    Clubs and Activities

    there are a lot of clubs here, i'd recommend checking them out on the ucsc website. if you can't find one you like, make your own. all you need is enough people and boom! you have your own club.

    Great for these types of students

    students who like to relax and learn at the same time. the student body is really diverse so really anyone can fit in here.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    the pogonip forest is a short walk from campus, as is the natural bridges state park. great places to go for the weekend. as for unusual traditions, well, there is a little something called the naked run during the first rain...

    What to do for fun

    there's so much to do here, hiking, running, chilling in the sun. there's always someone in the quad either tossing a frisbee of playing music. there's a multitude of clubs here such as ultimate frisbee, cross country, slack-lining, scuba diving, fencing, tennis and the list goes on.

    Food and Dining

    the dining hall food is surprisingly delicious for dining hall food. the university's dining halls also offer plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. if you ever get tired of the food you can check out the cafes around campus or hop on a bus and go downtown to some fancy restaurants.

    Dorm Life

    the people i have met here at university of california, santa cruz are among the most exciting, and brilliant people i have met. there is always something to do on the weekends and it's easy to meet people who are interested in things you like, or other things that can open your world up.

    Academic Rigor

    the classes here are challenging according to how you approach them. if enough time is dedicated to studying, you should be able to aim for high grades in any class. that said, there are definitely some challenging classes, while others are considered to be easy i'm just doing it for the ge requirements classes.

    Tips for prospective students

    make sure you come motivated and ready to work. don't settle into bad study habits in the first few quarters has an easy workload. it will get harder and you won't exactly have time to ease yourself into it.

    In three sentences

    university of california, santa cruz has a diverse student body that is motivated and ready to achieve their goals. the faculty on campus are quite friendly and have a lot to teach the students, all professors have open office hours. the campus itself is gorgeous, every walk to class is a quiet, quick and peaceful walk in the forest.

  • 03/07/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 23 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    csos are intimidating but if you're not doing anything wrong than they are just helpful folk.

    Greek Life

    not quite popular on campus, but it's one of the only ways to get into parties.

    Clubs and Activities

    all the the clubs have too specific of a social criteria to meet.

    Great for these types of students

    those who love nature, preservation and justice.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    the mystery spot, so called antigravity and paranormal phenomena. the school is literally in a forest, much to be explored.

    Bang for the buck

    don't get fooled with buying readers you'll barley use. but proffesors generally aren't bothered by earlier addition books.

    What to do for fun

    art shows in town, events at the farm, getting involved in some student revolution, be a radical.

    Food and Dining

    great options between the i've dinning hall. many little cafes are the secret treasures of the school, wholesome good quality food.

    Dorm Life

    depends on who your friends are. dorm life can be bustling or might just be dead.

    Academic Rigor

    classes are challenging and competitive. choose something you love to do.

    Tips for prospective students

    really know who you want to be in college or at least what you want to experience to help you decide what kind of companions you should make.

    In three sentences

    ucsc is a community of politically and socially activity adults who want to contribute to the world. the campus is as diverse as the student population, it's hard to go a day without spotting a redwood or deer. although the transition from high school is almost a shock the school eases the pains by creating smaller college settings throughout the school and a variety of smaller sized classes.

  • 06/05/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 24 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Things get stolen occasionally, but it's extremely rare for anyone to actually get hurt or really fear for their personal safety. The general vibe of the campus is very laid back and easy-going and that attitude contributes to making UCSC a pretty safe place all in all.

    Greek Life

    It's actually been getting a lot bigger in recent years. For a long time there was hardly any Greek Life at UCSC but lately a lot of new fraternities and sororities have sprung up and the quality of their activities as well as their membership have both ballooned. Some of them really buckle down and do scholarly stuff and some of them just party stupid hard (my neighbors) but all in all they're definitely on the up and up at UCSC.

    Clubs and Activities

    Everyone I know has had nothing short of fantastic experiences in this arena. From the campus newspaper, to the various literary publications, to the gardens and environmental internships, to the clubs, to the radio station, to the fraternities and sororities, there's an unbelievable amount of awesome stuff to do and get involved with at UCSC.

    Great for these types of students

    Students who like to play instruments, chill and talk, and do 'weird' stuff will love it here. If your favorite song is Rack City and you drive a lifted truck, it might not be the place for you. Although come to think of it I was at my fratboy neighbor's graduation party the other day and they were playing Rack City. And I think he might drive a lifted truck. So who really knows. There's a lot of different types of people in this town and at this school, that's kind of the beauty of it.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Obviously there's the 'first rain' ceremony, where students of all different backgrounds and interests strip butt-naked when the first rain of the school year begins to fall and run through the campus, which is always pretty liberating and a little awkward. Other than that there's plenty of little traditions to find but you'll have to look around a bit or wait to be initiated into them. Let's just say there's lots of huge trees to be climbed and lots of strange/awesome rites of passage that take place at the top of them.

    Bang for the buck

    UCSC's tuition is pretty comparable to all the other UC campuses, and I feel like the education I;ve received here so far is entirely comparable to any other UC. When you factor in the location and the faculty, I think it's money well spent.

    What to do for fun

    Where to begin. With plenty of local bars and wineries, great hiking, awesome beaches, all types of local festivals and events, lots of awesome musical acts passing through and a lively party scene, there's a lot to do in this town. If that's not enough San Francisco is only like an hour and a half away. So yeah, keeping yourself entertained is generally not a problem. Staying inside and studying for finals all weekend when your friends are going out, on the other hand, might be.

    Food and Dining

    The dining halls mostly have pretty good food, and they all vary a bit from one to another. Every Friday a different dining hall serves local produce grown at the on-campus farm or a nearby organic farm, which is always pretty good. That being said there's still a fair amount of bland and unhealthy stuff like burgers with fries doused in nacho cheese, but on the whole there's a lot of variety to be had and the dining halls sometimes cook up some pretty good stuff.

    Dorm Life

    I only stayed in the dorms for a year, but the transfer community at Porter was incredible. The people were nice and into plenty of cool stuff, if you like vinyl, musical instruments, moonlit hikes, making art, some mischief and watching a dude unicycle through the quad while playing a guitar, then I think you'll enjoy the dorm life here. That being said, it does kind of suck to share a room and showers, and to not have a kitchen, but, ces la vie.

    Academic Rigor

    I've found my classes thus far to be extremely informative and fairly rigorous, I have friends who go to Berkeley and UCLA and with a little added reading on my own I feel like my education is in every way comparable to theirs. That being said, you really get out of it what you put into it. If you never go to class and don't do any of the reading, it's pretty easy to take a few classes and feel like you didn't learn anything. Pick classes that actually sounds interesting to you and keep it manageable if you want that knowledge to stick with you.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be prepared to meet a lot of people, some you'll click with and others you won't but as long as you keep an open mind you'll soon find a place you're comfortable in. Try some random activities that sound interesting, they always lead to unexpectedly awesome things, trust me.

    In three sentences

    UCSC is accepting, diverse, academically rigorous, and offers plenty of opportunities for you to get involved in whatever your niche might be. I am constantly impressed by my instructors, both professors and TA's, as they go to great lengths to genuinely communicate with students, make themselves available to talk, and present their material in an interesting and relevant way. Finally, the campus could not be more beautiful and the community couldn't be nicer, I knew I wanted to go to college here ever since I first visited a friend in the dorms during High School.

  • 08/30/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 25 of 203

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    The most beautiful campus I've ever seen! Friendly staff. There's something for everyone.

  • 09/08/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 26 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The university has its own campus alert system that you can link directly to your phone to receive text messages, as well as a campus health center for direct medical needs at a great price. (especially useful for those with a healthcare facility not in the city, ex. nearest Kaiser is in San Jose)

    Great for these types of students

    If you love nature this is your calling, don't pass up the opportunity! It's a beautiful school pledged to conserve more than the 50% woods they have on campus.

    What to do for fun

    There's the obvious options, that being the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and the beach itself, but about half an hour away is San Jose, filled with tons of other things to enjoy. For example, the famous haunted attraction the Winchester House, great for Halloween. There are also the several malls in San Jose, great well-known stores like JcPenny, Urban Outfitters, and Target.

    Food and Dining

    Fresh, Local, Organic and vegetarian options. All super delicious and good for the environment.

    Dorm Life

    Several activities from day one are planned so you and your dormmates may spend quality time with each other. You have the option of smoke/drug-free floors, all women/men, or co-ed. There are several different themed dorms located around the outer edge of campus, making it easier to get to classes which are conveniently located in the middle of campus.

    Academic Rigor

    You choose the classes, you choose the difficulty. They even have online exams so you may have a better sense of what type of math class is best for you, or what type of chemistry class you should enroll in.

    In three sentences

    Breath-taking scenery: once I stepped onto campus I simply couldn't fight the smile that automatically spread across my face. It is an amazing feeling to have about a college, something everyone should feel when they step into their new home.

  • 11/18/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 27 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    havent had any problems yet, always see CSO's every night walking around

    Greek Life

    none connected financially through school

    Clubs and Activities

    lots, make sure to go to OPERS during the second week of school

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Naked run the first day it rains

    What to do for fun

    Outdoor things such as ultimate frisbee, hiking, and many more intermural sports

    Food and Dining

    lots of choices and always a good option

    Dorm Life

    Absolutely amazing people

    Academic Rigor

    It is just a tiny bit harder than High School but I am still getting A's

    Tips for prospective students

    Pick your college the first day you can. You want Cowell.

    In three sentences

    It is a lot of fun. Really nice people fill the seats at this school. Dorms and food are AMAZING.

  • 02/10/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 28 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    Many clubs to join but not a school for sports. Intramural games are more popular than the actual school teams(sadly).

    Bang for the buck

    I would give it a higher rating if they had a more major options. But this school would be ideal for science majors (mainly).

    What to do for fun

    Hang out with friends, meet new frieds, there are a few interesting spots on-campus but for the super-outgoing people: you'll find yourself going off-campus for fun.

    Food and Dining

    Decent but most people will get tired by the end of the first quarter. Really depends on which one you go to and what are your needs.

    Dorm Life

    Dorms are good but way too many people smoke. Not ideal for people who are non-smokers but if you are ok with it, you'll be fine.

    Academic Rigor

    Not much major except for any science majors from what I have seen.

    Tips for prospective students

    Really research what majors you are interested in and check to see if the ones offered are what you are interested.

    In three sentences

    I like the setting of the school but the school itself, there's not much amazing. Really hard to get classes and limited majors:( but if you know your major and UCSC has it, it will be worth it.

  • 03/25/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 29 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I feel extremely safe at UCSC. Everyone I've meant has been a safe and kind person. The campus has a large staff of Campus Safety Officers which help to maintain safety on campus.

    Greek Life

    It's very minimal at UCSC, but the people who engage in it seem to have a great time!

    Clubs and Activities

    UCSC has everything. I've seen clubs related to things I've never heard of before! The only thing we don't have is football, which seems to be a very good thing.

    Great for these types of students

    UCSC is great for people who love life. Students who want to be challenged academically, and help to foster an extremely positive and loving environment are perfect for UCSC.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    UCSC is famous for what we call first rain. The first time it rains consistently for an entire school day, a huge group of students runs naked around the campus. It's an extremely liberating experiences.

    Bang for the buck

    The UC system is very expensive, and the price is only going up. I am very worried about the debt I will have to pay off after I graduate, but the experiences I've had have been priceless.

    What to do for fun

    Hiking in Santa Cruz is amazing, and it's so easy to walk out of your room, if you live on campus, and be on a trail, in the forest. Mountain Biking is also really great in Santa Cruz! UCSC has an excellent fitness center as well! There's never a dull moment at UCSC, and there is always someone kind and friendly to talk to!

    Food and Dining

    Food at UCSC is very good, but after 3 years of eating it I'm getting a little tired of it. I live in an on-campus apartment now, and have access to a kitchen which has greatly improved my life.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is great at UCSC. I was extremely lucky and ended up great friends with everyone on my floor. Something about Santa Cruz makes people nicer, it could be the fresh air, or the amazing views!

    Academic Rigor

    Depending on your major it can be very easy or it can be very difficult. The school environment is extremely relaxed which helps one cope with the stress of classes.

    Tips for prospective students

    Consider UCSC. It will be an amazing learning experience that will teach you far more than what you expect.

    In three sentences

    UCSC is amazing. The environment is extremely wholesome and accepting of all peoples. I feel right at home at UCSC.

  • 03/27/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 30 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    FIRST RAIN! Everyone runs around campus together naked in the rain. lol you see a lot of people you know but its really cool.

    What to do for fun

    I had a lot of fun hiking with friends. Bike riding around campus is fun and a huge work out. Going downtown or on campus to events like plays or see features guest speakers.

    Food and Dining

    The best organic/vegan food Ive ever had. Crown dining hall is so good, especially when they serve Indian and Mediteranian food. Very diverse and healthy food choices.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are so awesome to live in. Stevenson College is so awesome, friends become family and you have so much fun whether its studying together or going to campus/forest party's.

    Academic Rigor

    It gets pretty intense with quarter system. You don't really have time to slack off.

    Tips for prospective students

    The best piece of advice I can give and previous student have given is , GO TO CLASS! Very essential for success here. Also reading material before class. BANANA SLUGS!

    In three sentences

    The campus is absolutely beautiful. The people and teachers are really awesome. Very chill place. Science department is pretty hard though. Basic science classes are used to weed people out of STEM majors so beware. If you love nature and fresh air, UCSC is the place for you :)

  • 02/28/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 31 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The campus feels very safe and secure. If you ever do not feel safe on campus, you can call the on campus police and and get an escort back to your dorm. There is a fire department on campus as well.

    Greek Life

    There is greek life, but I wouldn't say it is excessive or even all that popular. The fraternity and sorority houses are off campus, and there is no pressure to join if you aren't interested. There are plenty of students on campus who do not partake in greek life.

    Clubs and Activities

    Definitely attend the OPERS Fall Festival at the beginning of the school year. This is a festival where you can sign up and get information about all the clubs and student groups on campus. There are sports clubs, community service clubs, literature groups, student activists, and so much more. There is something for everyone.

    Great for these types of students

    UC Santa Cruz is great for many types of students. If you like to party, there are definitely parties, but they are discreet and you do not feel any pressure to attend if you don't want to. The students here are very relaxed and happy. They like to have a good time, and every student has their own idea of what a good time is. Most importantly, UC Santa Cruz is a place where students can be whoever they want to be; it is a school for where everyone can find their place in the community.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    On the night of the first rain of the school year, there is a Naked Run where students strip down and run from one end of the campus to the other. It's very entertaining, but you will also never be able to un-see it. Try looking for the UCSC Treehouse below Porter College. Also look for the Porter Caves and the Garden of Eden. Ask any student where their favorite location is and each will tell you someplace different, but all equally interesting and adventurous.

    Bang for the buck

    Definitely go into town and try Mission Hill Creamery. They have the best ice cream ever. Also try Hoffman's Bistro for a nice dinner with friends or a significant other. It has great food for a great price, and almost every night, they have live music entertainment. Also in town, you will find so many cute stores and boutiques for anything you could possibly want.

    What to do for fun

    There are endless possibilities for fun activities. You can go shopping in town, go to the beach, or go to the famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Capitola is also a short bus ride away and you can go shopping at the Capitola Mall. You can also learn to surf, kayak, paddle board, and many other water activities. If you choose to stay on campus, there are almost always events you can attend. Or you can go hiking along the many trails on campus, jog around the track, go to the gym, or just hang out in the sun with your friends.

    Food and Dining

    Honestly, the food is relatively good. Considering that it is dininghall/cafeteria food, it is usually very healthy and there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. There are 5 dining halls on campus, and each has it's own feel and atmosphere.

    Dorm Life

    Definitely live in dorms for your first year. If you're lucky, your roommates, hallmates, and housemates will become your family. Each college on the UCSC campus have different styles of dorms. I am in Cowell College, so I only know what the Cowell dorms are like: they are a little small and you have to share bathrooms with your entire floor, but everything works and is generally very clean. The community you build with the people in your dorm is important, and it definitely helps with the transition into college life to have people around you going through the same things.

    Academic Rigor

    As, always, academic rigor is completely dependent on which classes and courses you choose to take. UCSC, however, is a highly ranked 4-year university that offers a challenging academic curriculum. You definitely have to put in hard work and effort to get the grades you want. It is not impossible, but it is definitely a challenge, especially since most students are on their own for the first times in their lives and they have to learn their own time-management and organization skills.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't let your beautiful surroundings distract you from your school work; it is easy to just want to go to the beach on a sunny day rather than studying for that upcoming midterm, but try to stay focused. Professors are available to help you, but you need to be the one to ask for it; go to office hours and get to know your professors and TA's on a personal level. Take advantage of the Student Career Center, especially during your first year. The Career Center provides many helpful resources (i.e. workshops, personal appointments with advisers, counseling, etc.) that are extremely useful for when you have interviews, need help applying for jobs, figuring out a career path, and much more. Go exploring! You live on one of the most beautiful campuses ever, so take some friends, find a trail, and see where it takes you. P.S. Try to find the UCSC Treehouse!

    In three sentences

    UC Santa Cruz is a prestigious 4-year college in an ideal location. Not only do you have the beach and the small college-town feel, but when you're on campus, you are surrounded by beautiful redwoods and are set back from the bustle of the life in town. The students at UC Santa Cruz seem to always be happy and relaxed; it is a wonderful place to be.

  • 01/14/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    0 out of 3 people found this review useful. 32 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Do you love beautiful sunsets? Or the forest? Or hiking? Or just being in a positive environment with stunning scenery? Then UCSC is definitely the school for you. The UCSC campus is breathtaking, the students are diverse and positive, and I've had really interesting professors, to say the least. At least come visit us, you won't regret it! :)

  • 12/13/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    33 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Adventurous, Artsy, Outgoing, Social, Nature-loving, Interested in Social and Political activism.

    Tips for prospective students

    Choose the residence that best suits your interests, and don't be afraid to transfer, each college has it's own personality.

    Bang for the buck

    It depends. The education is superb but some residence halls are definitely nicer than others. I'm living on a newly built 6th floor with a vaulted ceiling and a great view and I'm paying the same amount as someone living in a cramped, dingy room in some other college. Also, the reason the room and board is so expensive is because the food is all-you-can-eat, and the dining halls are almost always open.

    Am enjoying being here

    The people here are incredibly friendly and outgoing, or at least they are at Porter College, where I reside. There is always something going on somewhere. It's very hard to be bored, living in a forest with a beach nearby and events every evening.

    Am learning a lot

    The classes I've taken so far are really great. The teachers are energetic and very knowledgeable about the topics they teach. I felt that even after three classes, I could carry on like an educated person. These subjects are different from high school classes because they are heavily focused and are not simply a glossing over or a summary of a very broad topic.

  • 12/28/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    34 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    UC Santa Cruz is great for those students who like nature. It is in the middle of a beautiful forest, filled with redwoods. Often walking to class means taking a trail down the middle of campus, encountering deer and even raccoons. It is also a great school for those who like to be active with their community. A lot of student organizations on campus are extremely active around the city and state, even nationally.

    Tips for prospective students

    Get Involved, meet people, talk with your professors, and enjoy it. Your undergraduate career is only 4-5 years and it is probably the time of your life where academics are not as serious as it is in grad school or law school, so you can do other things then just being in the classroom and library.

    Bang for the buck

    Unfortunately UC Santa Cruz, like any UC, is expensive, too expensive. This is a problem of our state, largely because of the lack of governance and leadership from our Regents and the backwards investment schemes of our elected leaders. I am not going to lie, you will be paying more and more and receiving less and less. I don't regret coming to UC Santa Cruz because it has taught me so much that I know I wouldn't have known if I had not attended.

    Am enjoying being here

    Im not going to lie, the first year at UC Santa Cruz was not as fun and enjoyable as I wish it would have been. But it wasn't until I found the group of people who shared the same goals (to a certain extent), values, and experiences that I began to enjoy being a student at UC Santa Cruz. This is why I tell all my younger cousins who are entering college to get involved. Be a part of a group with similar ideals, it definitely makes it more enjoyable.

    Am learning a lot

    UC Santa Cruz is very different then other campuses. I have been learning a lot in class, but I think I am learning more outside of class. Getting involved, meeting other student leaders from all disciplines, and talking with professors I think is what has taught me more about, not only educational topics, but about myself, my community, and the society we live in.

  • 01/01/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    35 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    UCSC is great for students who like to work with each other to develop ideas. Students who love taking pictures and love nature should attend.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you want to attend UCSC, you should come on campus! Trees, hills, and grass may not be for everyone. If you do attend bring rainboots!!! Also do not be afraid to talk to students!

    Bang for the buck

    I wish that they did not charge students so much! Each year there is an increase on tuition, but its also making less students want to pursue an education at a university level.

    Am enjoying being here

    I LOVE being at UCSC! The campus is beautiful, there are so many tree, animals such as deer that walk by your side, and the beach is minutes away! The students are helpful, and I enjoy being in the clubs and activities offered on campus.

    Am learning a lot

    As a current Junior I find that each year has been different! I am an Anthropology Major and I love the classes I take. The students are helpful, and the class sizes for upper divisions are small! The majority of the professors are willing to help you in the class as well as in the long run! I am not only learning academics in this school, but also about myself as an individual.

  • 01/10/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    36 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Santa Cruz is definitely great for people who are environmentally conscious and care about being in a safe environment. It's rare that someone won't fit in since there are multiple colleges around campus, all relating to people's different interests. But it's a school that is for people who are curious about life and about learning and really want to work hard for what they will receive.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't get too carried away with your new freedom. It is very easy to just let loose, go to parties, and forget about the fact that you have class at eight in the morning, or a ten page paper to write. Focus on what is really important and don't feel discouraged if your grades here don't exactly mirror the grades in high school--college is harder than high school; it's supposed to be, that is why all the hard work is worth it. Speak up in class, pay close attention to what the teacher really wants, and don't take a class if it doesn't interest you or doesn't really help you in anyway (unless it's really really cool).

    Bang for the buck

    Being a UC, budget cuts are occurring more more every year, so that means that tuition goes up--fees, housing, books, classes. It isn't ideal that one would have to pay so much to receive and education, but it's a struggle that everyone goes through. I did experience many struggles and I guess my advice would be to hang on and to not let any chances for receiving aid pass you by--the school is really worth it and so is the education you are receiving.

    Am enjoying being here

    I honestly really love it here. The environment itself is one of great beauty--You are literally in a forest. There are so many things to do and things to see--from the animals that randomly roam around to the hikes that you can take in the middle of the night with just one flashlight. The people you meet here are also a great part in the school and how much you enjoy it. People are great and it's nice to meet people who are more like you on a personal and intellectual level.

    Am learning a lot

    You definitely learn new things everywhere you go, and especially here in UC Santa Cruz. The classes are all interesting an depending on what you want to take, you'll learn something different everyday. And not only from classes, but from the people you meet and the places that you explore.

  • 01/16/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    37 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Students who are serious about their education but like a less intense and overtly competitive place to learn. UCSC offers indoor and outdoor opportunities. Great for serious bike riders, nature lovers, and hikers. Don't have a car-no problem-great bus system on campus and into town. Martial Arts dojo on campus! Great Linguistics dept--I am told. Astronomy students --UCSC has an observatory. If you are a hands on person UCSC is a great undergrad school with opportunity for research involvement which at other UCS go to most graduate students.

    Tips for prospective students

    You must visit this campus, it is gorgeous and in the redwoods. Bring a small frig and microwave for your room. Keep your grades up and be sure not to get any D's or lower your senior year-you admissions offer can be rescinded. Was great to start as a freshman-easy to make friends and meet new people from all over. Proffs will not spoon feed you homework like in high school-if you do not have homework-study anyway-it is too easy to get behind and the quarters go by fast, before you know it finals arrive. Move in is easy--just arrive on move in day, check in, drive to your college and students help you offload and get stuff to your room. Move in day everyone was friendly and helpful. Go to summer orientation and take a wireless lap top with you. You will sign up for classes at orientation-so BEFORE you go search for classes you want to take.

    Bang for the buck

    All California public UC 's and CSU's are expensive now. With the current cuts being made by our new Gov. and economic pit Ca. is in, there is no hope for an inexpensive 4 year public education in the state of Ca. However, an education is better than no education and UCSC is a great place to get it.

    Am enjoying being here

    Profs. have been easy to communicate with and easy to access. Several dinning halls to chose from scattered around the campus and the food offered is multi-ethnic. Sushi, Indian, Asian, Mexican, and of course salad bars, pizza and burgers. The deer walk freely around campus. As a freshman our first week we spent the evening at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk to get to know each other and have fun! The campus backs up to a redwood forest and the ocean is a short bus ride away. If things get to crazy, just walk outdoors into the redwoods for a while.

    Am learning a lot

    I have had some awesome teachers and classes so far. There are several libraries on campus with great resources. Our provost is easy to access and really cares about our education.

  • 04/12/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    38 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    People who enjoy nature

    Tips for prospective students

    Bring your bike! If you love biking, this is definitely a city to bring your bike to. The campus itself is already huge, and though there are buses that go around the whole campus and come by pretty regularly, biking is very efficient for transportation. Also, don't be discouraged if you cannot get into your classes during enrollment. Learning how to crash courses is very crucial to your college life! Simply show up to the classes that you wish to crash, and stay until the end and ask your professors for a permission code. It is very likely that you will get in. Also, email your professors and show them that you really want to be in the class.

    Bang for the buck

    Tuition for UC's are steadily increasing and many things are getting cut by the budget cuts :(

    Am enjoying being here

    The trees, the view, the beaches, the campus - all amazing! I'm from the San Francisco area, and though I love it there, you don't get a view quite like the one in Santa Cruz. It's only about an hour and ten minutes away from my home, so I can go back home anytime I want, and still enjoy this wonderful environment. There are quite many delightful places to eat around here too. :)

    Am learning a lot

    I came to UCSC completely unaware of what I was going to major in and frankly, was a bit lost. I started taking random classes to fulfill some GE requirements and after taking some Economics classes, I found that I enjoyed it and felt like I was really learning something. I am now a Business Management Economics major with an Accounting emphasis. There are many professors here who have made learning very enjoyable for me. Also, when you first enroll, you are required to pick a college for your college association based on different themes. I chose College 10, which was focused on Social Justice. All students are required to take a Core course during their first quarter, which is a writing class based on the college theme of choice. I learned a lot from that first quarter about social justice.

  • 05/15/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    39 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Nature-loving students and people that like the outdoors. People are really active there and it is a very adaptable campus.

    Tips for prospective students

    Wear comfortable shoes and bring a a sweater when you visit! The weather is usually nice, but it can get a little chilly in the shade of all of those redwoods and oaks.

    Bang for the buck

    They have meal plans by day as opposed to swipes so you can get bagels, pizza made in a stone oven, salads from a huge salad bar, pasta, a sandwich, etc. almost anytime. There is lots of variety for a reasonable price.

    Will enjoy being here

    The campus was beautiful and very user friendly. They have shuttles for students 24-7 around campus and they have numerous stops to wait at so you do not hve to search for one. There were hiking trails on campus, it is twenty minutes from the beach by bus, and the shopping downtown is excellent. The students and faculty were enthusiastic and friendly throughout the college during the tour.

    Will learn a lot

    There were so many student services around the campus to aid in studying, choosing classes, volunteering, etc. There were many places to study with tables outside under the shade of trees and several libraries, computer labs, and study rooms that can be reserved.

  • 05/20/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    40 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    This is good for people who want to have a very liberal and fun environment. People are very friendly, and everyone is always down to have some fun. Everyone here has their own quirk, no one here is boring!

    Tips for prospective students

    My main tip is to go out there and not have a closed mind. There are over a thousand people living in your residential community, and odds are you will not agree on everything. Your opinions and values will be challenged here, but not in a negative way. There is no bashing, just debating. Coming with an open mind leads to having very many experiences and opportunities. You shouldn't miss out on the best years of your life!

    Bang for the buck

    Like every other UC, Santa Cruz is also suffering major budget cuts. Fees are going up and yet the students don't receive any of it back. I do have a hard time getting into classes I need because of the lack of space. It is very unfortunate, but I still think it is doable. I do, however, think it's unfair how we are paying so much and not seeing any of that money go to us.

    Am enjoying being here

    I absolutely love it here. I am in Porter College and the setup of this college is really nice. The freshmen dorms and the transfer dorms are incredibly nice, especially the freshmen dorms. I live on the highest floor and I have amazingly high ceilings and huge windows that overlook the quad. The quad is always filled with students either singing/playing an instrument and playing soccer and/or frisbee. I have met people from all over the world and my views on things have been opened up completely. I have met very fascinated people with very interesting ideas. My residence hall has students from all over California and we have bonded very well. I recommend coming here! I love the people and I love this town. Downtown Santa Cruz is always having something going on! I love it here!

    Am learning a lot

    I have learned about things that I would never have learned back home. Everyone around me has incredible ideas and opinions. My opinions have been challenged here, but not the point where it is bashing. It is merely a debate. At the end of the day, everyone is very accepting and is just open to learning from different people. In regards to the academics, I have met some very interesting and legendary professors. The professors have very interesting backgrounds and are some of the most interesting people I know. They are very passionate abut their topic and genuinely care about the students and their issues. They are constantly telling us to fight for our rights and protest!

  • 05/22/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    41 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    It's great for students who are willing to make something out of themselves. It's a great campus for students engaged in the outdoors or some of the unique programs on campus. It's a great campus for independent students who are willing to try new activities and explore the campus (there are so many hidden secret areas here).

    Tips for prospective students

    Get to know the campus and what's available to you outside of classes. Santa Cruz can seem very small very quickly because it's sort of isolated on its own. Don't be fooled, though, there's A LOT to do! You just have to put some effort in finding it and then you'll never be bored.

    Bang for the buck

    Unfortunately, it's a UC and the UCs are facing heavy cuts under the economic crisis these days. In addition, it's the smallest UC out of all of them and that means that it receives a big portion of the cuts distributed among the UC system.

    Am enjoying being here

    The Santa Cruz campus is one of the most beautiful places I've ever lived. It's bordering two different state parks and another park called Pogonip. There's a lot to do here if you like the outdoors and the downtown is pretty cute.

    Am learning a lot

    I am learning so much here. There is a wide variety of classes with options open for everybody and some of the courses are so unique that you won't be able to find them anywhere else! For instance: the social justice and sociology major/minor. How cool is that?

  • 05/23/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    0 out of 1 people found this review useful. 42 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Awesome people

    Tips for prospective students

    Do well

    Bang for the buck

    Really expensive. Damn budget cuts.

    Will enjoy being here

    Pretty

    Will learn a lot

    Good school

  • 06/19/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    43 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    The school is great if you like the beach, a quiet environment, and a really diverse campus. It's also really good if you like to be outdoors and really care about the environment.

    Tips for prospective students

    As a first year you definitely want to go see the campus and learn how to get around. It's a huge campus and the distances to classes is long, so you want to know where you're going before you're first day of class. Also ditch the bicycle unless you're really into it and enjoy climbing hills that our 45 degrees steep and long. The school offers a reliable bus shuttle service and you get in free on city buses with your id (skateboards are not allowed). You also want to learn the bus system as well but that's really simple, and don't forget that as a first and second year you are not allowed to park on campus unless you have a medical reason.

    Bang for the buck

    College is expensive these days but at UC Santa Cruz you get what you pay for. It is a public college so it's a lot less expensive than a private school, but it is one of the pricy public colleges. Once you see the campus and experience it you understand why it is so.

    Am enjoying being here

    At first I didn't believe I would enjoy being at UC Santa Cruz, but after my first year I felt really lucky to be there. You get such a diverse experience and the campus is really unique. There is no other campus like it and it has some really nice views. The people are very open and friendly and meeting new friends is not a problem.

    Am learning a lot

    This school offers a lot of opportunities to learn and experience a wide range of topics. They offer a lot of different classes from psych and religion to a class about the Beatles. The professors know a lot and have a lot to share. You gain a huge amount of information and all you gotta do is just listen and learn.

  • 06/30/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    44 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    The people in Santa Cruz are friendly and the professors are knowledgeable especially in Chemistry, Biotechnology, and Computer Science. I have also attended two politics courses although, not in my major the classes were interesting and I will likely take a couple more before I graduate.

    Am enjoying being here

    The campus is hidden from view on Google maps, not because it is small, but rather because the campus was built to resemble a redwood forest. The campus when seen from the ground is unique in that you are a ten minute ride from the beach or a twenty minute bike ride.

    Am learning a lot

    I enjoy being here on campus, the professors are great people. Attending office hours is necessary, to form a bond with them. The T.A.'s (teaching assistants) are also great individuals who will help you learn the material.

  • 07/14/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    45 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    It's a UC, as with all UC's, it comes with a price

    Will enjoy being here

    Near the beach, in a forest setting, lots of rain

    Will learn a lot

    I talked to numerous on-campus students who raved about their professors and how UCSC is a great school to learn in.

  • 07/21/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    46 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Casual and open-minded people who like to hang out and just go do stuff, or just enjoy pleasant company. There is a large spread of interests and attitudes, so you're sure to find company. This is also an excellent school for environmentalists - the campus puts a lot of effort into their recycling, renewability, and eco-friendly programs.

    Tips for prospective students

    Take a tour or walk the campus. You'll get a good vibe on the student body's attitude. Believe me, when I had my first tour, I instantly felt a calmness here that has lasted all of the years I've been enrolled. Also, make sure you do your research! If you know what degree you want to aim for, look into how much work related to it goes on where. UCSC has a great school of engineering, but that might not be what you're interested in.

    Bang for the buck

    Needless to say, state budget cuts and tuition increases have made this a difficult category to score in, but you could do worse cost-wise and I consider the people an important aspect of my time there. There is also a variety of living options that can help you cut costs. Still, most people are going to need some scholarships/loans if they want to attend full-time.

    Am enjoying being here

    As one would expect of a community so close to Santa Cruz, variety and casualness are prevalent in the students. They are incredibly friendly and open, so even a social-phobic like me gets along with just about everybody.

    Am learning a lot

    A lot of research takes place at UCSC, so many of the professors are also doing extra work in their related fields, which means they can have good insight that your books won't cover.

  • 08/22/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    47 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    -Open minded -Who enjoy the outdoors -Are go getters -Fun loving

    Tips for prospective students

    It's an excellent school with great professors and students alike. Although it may be labeled as a hippy school you will meet all different kinds of people. Also if a class sounds like it will be terrible, it may end up being you favorite class that quarter, so keep an open mind.

    Bang for the buck

    The professors are excellent and if I'm struggling the university offers free tutoring to help out. Unfortunately due to the state of the state budget classes are being cut or limited, but this is common among all state funded schools and does not reflect the quality of education that you will receive at UCSC.

    Am enjoying being here

    I enjoy being here, especially since it is allowing me to study abroad for a year in Japan. The campus is beautiful, and the wellness center offers lots of different classes that are offered, like belly dancing and massage therapy. I also enjoy that the gym is free and I can also take free PE courses to help keep up with any health goals I may have.

    Am learning a lot

    This school offers a variety of classes which allows me, and other students, to grow and take all different types of classes. Plus these classes also count towards GEs which is always great.

  • 12/16/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    48 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Santa Cruz is an ideal place for open-minded, friendly, fun-loving, and generous people.

    Tips for prospective students

    Explore the campus before and during your stay here. It will help you to find shortcuts to your classes(since the campus is huge!), and the school was made for students to explore the hiking trails.

    Bang for the buck

    Although tuition hikes are making it more and more difficult to afford college, the experiences that you will gain from being at UCSC make it all worth it. You'll never meet a friendlier group of staff and students.

    Am enjoying being here

    If you like the idea of living in the middle of the forest, a busy downtown area, and being so close to the beach that you can see the ocean from campus, then Santa Cruz is the place for you!

    Am learning a lot

    It's hard not to learn a lot at UCSC. Each of the classes take new, progressive views on world issues, and press the idea of social awareness.

  • 12/27/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    49 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    UC Santa Cruz is great for any student especially for environmentally friendly people that love nature and woods. It is like a school has been placed in the middle of the forest. It is really great!

    Tips for prospective students

    Study, study, study! Don't slack off or procrastinate. Stay focused!

    Bang for the buck

    UC Santa Cruz is definitely worth the money and time. It is a great school which gives an outstanding education which will benefit each student after they finish their education.

    Am enjoying being here

    UC Santa Cruz is a lot of fun. Going to class seems like its own hike and I love to hike. The campus is extremely beautiful and there are shops in downtown Santa Cruz you can go to and movie theaters.

    Am learning a lot

    The past 10 weeks that I have been at Santa Cruz have been very informative. Each teacher has 10 weeks to have you learn the material. We are on the quarter system so everything goes by fast but I have learned a lot.

  • 12/29/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    50 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Am enjoying being here

    I do not really like the environment.

    Am learning a lot

    The school has a lot of resources to maximize one's ability to learn.

  • 01/23/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    51 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    santa cruz provides lots of protection its students including: 24/7 police patrolling campus for suspicious activities, phones available at numerous locations on campus if you're walking by yourself, and transportation if you feel uncomfortable walking alone or if you are in a non-sober state. santa cruz wants you to feel at home and that you can go anywhere at any time.

    Greek Life

    always a possibility. rushing is every quarter and the frats and sororities are constantly on campus to keep you in the loop. they also have unofficial homes that are available if you want to live with each other.

    Clubs and Activities

    a ridiculous amount of clubs are provided here, it's hard to choose! you can be in radio, tango, film, drama, surfing, there's just so many!

    Great for these types of students

    hard-working, free-spirited, diverse, creative, and intellectual students.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    santa cruz is best known for its naked rain run. whenever it first rains for a full day here, it is a tradition for students to strip down and run naked through the entire campus. it's fun to watch and you don't have to partake in if you're not comfortable (plus, they're not allowed to video tape you!).

    Bang for the buck

    the school wants you to feel like you've made the right choice and works as hard as possible to give you your money's worth. the financial aid program is extremely helpful, there's always opportunities for scholarships, and they even try their best to give you the cheapest books at the book store! they know your money is important to you and try their hardest to get you perks (such as your tuition also paying for free bus fare all over town for the school year!).

    What to do for fun

    santa cruz resides next to the ocean, which provides multiple activities including: kayaking, surfing, and the ability to become a certified scuba diver. on campus you can join sports clubs, dance clubs, film clubs, or just take a breather and walk around the forest with friends and meditate. there's always something happening at santa cruz!

    Food and Dining

    if you're into health food, then santa cruz is the place for you! we specialize in vegan and vegetarian dishes, and try to make sure to provide organic options. santa cruz is one of the top-rated schools in the country for food, so get ready for some delicious food!

    Dorm Life

    be social and ready to meet people. your hallmates will leave their doors open for you to come in, so don't be shy! enjoy your time with the people on your floor (you will most likely make friends for life on this floor).

    Academic Rigor

    courses in the science department can be more challenging since that is the department earning the most grants. psychology, film, and biology are some of ucsc's most impacted majors because students want to work hard in these fields. you need to study, or else you'll be left behind.

    Tips for prospective students

    don't ever wear heels since the campus is made up of multiple trails and heels. take a yoga or pilates class here in between courses to help you relax with your studies. classes can be strenuous but are also extremely fulfilling and if you're willing to put in the time for them, which will give you more than your money's worth here.

    In three sentences

    santa cruz is a beautiful campus surrounded by a lush forest that helps students feel connected with nature as they walk around. the classes range from small to large and can include lots of attention or little towards their students depending on your preference. the school focuses on making sure its students are constantly happy by having their opinions voiced as often as possible.

  • 02/06/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    52 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    hipsters, liberals, intellectuals, chill, activist students.

    What to do for fun

    beach, natural bridges, boardwalk, kayaking, hiking, concerts, dance studios, skate park,

    Food and Dining

    dining food is quite healthy and fresh.

    Dorm Life

    community.

    Academic Rigor

    it depends on the effort an individual puts into studying. investing time in academics will pay off in finals, trust me.

    Tips for prospective students

    #1 research university in california #2 beautiful campus in the world #1 vegan university in the u.s.

    In three sentences

    the experience at ucsc has been the best. great environment, awesome and inspiring professors, and a lot of recreation. slugs have fun, how about you?

  • 02/10/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    53 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    tis a forest.

    Greek Life

    minimal.

    Great for these types of students

    artists, hippies, outcasts, those who don't fit into a category at all, those with open minds.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    first time it rains: everyone gets naked and runs around campus. also, if you find a banana slug, kiss it.

    What to do for fun

    enjoy the outdoors - woods, rivers, beachs, fields. go to the city.

    Food and Dining

    it's cafeteria food, but some of it's organic and/or from the ucsc farm.

    Dorm Life

    it is what you make of it.

    Academic Rigor

    however hard you want to push yourself.

    Tips for prospective students

    come walk around. and meet some folks in your department. everyone's talkative.

    In three sentences

    sometimes it feels like a beautiful experience learning in the redwoods, from some open minded brilliant professors. occasionally its more like highschool in a box.

  • 02/13/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    54 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    rarely issues on campus, an occasional mountain lion stalking may be an issue but i have yet to hear of an attack...safe and protected area.

    Greek Life

    eh there are a few but ucsc is not a greek centered campus at all.

    Clubs and Activities

    just check out the campus event calendar online, list of guitar lessons, zumba, belly dance, meditation, guest lectures and more are a regular occurrence on the ucsc campus. i have gone to many guest lectures and enjoy being able to hear about topics that may not necessarily be apart of my major.

    Great for these types of students

    people who are slightly independent and do not need to wear heals, again the campus is big so this involves lots of walking.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    for the first rain...the naked run!

    Bang for the buck

    school is seriously getting out of hand expensive...but i have yet to pay for a class and regret it. the staff of ucsc know that times are hard and try to make the best of it all while giving students the best education possible. the mchenry library was just re-modeled and it is beautiful and equipped with top of the line mac computers.

    What to do for fun

    so many trails to hike or ride your bike on. the beach is minutes away! farmers markets are frequent downtown and every second sunday there is an antique fair, also the venue the catalyst has frequent and fun shows for people of all ages.

    Food and Dining

    there are cafes and dining halls at almost every satellite college. options are almost endless and if you get bored of whats on campus it is easy to take a bus to the boardwalk or downtown for some excitement.

    Dorm Life

    i hear it is crazy in the dorms though i have not lived in them myself, constant pranks and noise going on. so if you like quiet maybe this is not for you...

    Academic Rigor

    there is always lots of reading to do, what with being on the quarter system we move fast and do not waste time. stay on top of any readings or assignments because slacking means getting behind faster than one would think. budget time wisely!

    Tips for prospective students

    take a day to figure out the lay out of the campus, it is very big and is easy to get lost in. also do your readings for your classes please, you will get so much more out of your education this way.

    In three sentences

    i would rate this school as amazing! i know everyone says this but...the campus is gorgeous, there is so much to do and see. also the professors and overall academic environment is top of the line, at least tour the campus if interested.

  • 02/13/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    55 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    we have many security systems in place. i personally more worried about getting attacked by a mountain lion or a deer then anything else. but there is only so much you can do to protect yourself from nature.

    Greek Life

    greek life isn't that prominent only because they do not allow the houses to be on campus. but those who are involved in greek life are very active.

    Clubs and Activities

    there are tons of intramural sports and clubs. i don't know much about them though.

    Great for these types of students

    i would say ucsc is good for all different types of students.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    on campus, because it is so huge, there are lots of interesting places. there are caves, a mining quarry, lots of places to hike, and even a coy pond and a waterfall.

    What to do for fun

    it's a lot harder to find fun things to do off campus, if you cant drive and are under 21 especially. but there are always events going around all the time in your own college as well as others.

    Food and Dining

    i personally don't find our food that terrible, i have been to places where it is way worse. there is always salad bars (most of them organic) and fruits. there is also the unhealthy pizza, burgers, french fries etc. along with other entrees also pretty decent desserts. plus if you don't like food at one place you can go to 4 other dinning halls, and i think there are over 10 cafes also.

    Dorm Life

    dorms can be small, and are hard to get used to at first, but i think they are a fine way to live. the housing system here is great, it is community based, and tries to promote closer knit living.

    Academic Rigor

    being a uc the standards are set higher. i find all the classes i have taken so far to be academically challenging in one way or another.

    Tips for prospective students

    only pack what you really need. attend any free event that seems interesting don't hesitate to talk to strangers and make friends professors aren't that scary, go and talk to them, they're just people

    In three sentences

    university of california santa cruz, is a beautiful campus. every professor i have had has been dedicated to my learning. people here are friendly, and warm in general.

  • 02/28/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    56 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    i never felt very unsafe on campus. paths are lit and there are emergency call stations scattered about. every once in a while there is a mountain lion sighting, but the campus is located in the forest and i didn't feel threatened.

    Greek Life

    there are some fraternities/sororities but they don't have their own houses and they're not very big on this campus. i wasn't involved in anything like that so i can't speak to that experience.

    Clubs and Activities

    i was involved in a theatre performance at the barn, which was student directed and completely student run. i also was involved in rainbow theatre, a multi-cultural theatre arts troupe that performs a series of plays and poetry performances. rainbow was an awesome way to meet people and to bridge the gap between theatre and social issues.

    Great for these types of students

    ucsc would be perfect for anyone who appreciates the outdoors.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    the first rain of every year, everyone runs around the campus naked. it is even more ridiculous than it sounds (but it's extremely fun). there are also caves behind porter college. at the base of campus, the barn is...well, an old barn that has been converted into a stage for theatre arts. it is a very unique experience.

    Bang for the buck

    i don't believe that a public university should cost anything at all, especially since the master plan for the uc system was supposed to make the institution available to everyone.

    What to do for fun

    i love to walk along westcliff and go to the beach at natural bridges. in the fall, the monarch butterflies cluster on the eucalyptus trees and it's truly magnificent. there are also many hiking trails in upper campus.

    Food and Dining

    there are lots of vegetarian and vegan options. a portion of the produce in the dining hall is grown organically at the ucsc farm right here on campus!

    Dorm Life

    i lived in an apartment my freshman year, where i shared a room with two other girls and we had two male roommates who lived in the other bedroom. i really appreciated having a kitchen since i love to cook. i prefer living off campus though. personally, i appreciate having separation between school and home.

    Academic Rigor

    i never felt like i took a class where i didn't learn anything or didn't challenge myself. definitely some of the upper division sociology and spanish classes i'm taking in my final year are pushing me the hardest.

    Tips for prospective students

    the classes offered are interesting, yet they are hard to get into being that classes are being cut and there are tons of students trying to get into a few classes. do a lot of research on what classes you might be interested in, and contact the professor beforehand to ensure a seat in the class.

    In three sentences

    ucsc has an incredibly beautiful campus; in a redwood forest with a view of the ocean. the small town atmosphere makes it easy to be a student as there are few distractions and it's easy to get around. nonetheless, my review is not 100% positive given that my entire major was eliminated due to the muddled priorities of the uc system.

  • 03/02/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    57 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    in santa cruz, there is a beach, with lots of surfing. in all honesty, i can't think of anything else to do in the area, and even this i'm not a fan of. it's rather boring, aside from going to class and hanging out with friends at your home.

    Food and Dining

    i eat mostly off campus, so my opinions are of the local cuisine. as for the local cuisine, you'll see a lot of small restaurants and shops, and less of the larger ones. expect costco to be your primary food stop if you're living off campus, or a cvs pharmacy if you're really lazy. nothing special.

    Dorm Life

    i transferred here, so i know little about the dorms themselves.

    Academic Rigor

    the work isn't too terribly hard compared to a community college, however you will have to do a lot of work outside of class in order to get as in most classes. it's good to have professors as a resource (outside of class), as they will end up proving a valuable advancement tool while at the university.

    Tips for prospective students

    this is a good school for people within the bay area who may not be up to the standards of say, berkeley, and would prefer going to a uc over a csu (ie san jose state). admission requirements are fairly relaxed, and this uc has an acceptance rate of about 60%.

    In three sentences

    the campus is amazing, and you will definitely get a workout here! the class sizes are optimal, but there are few good lecturers. as with most universities, expect to do a lot of the work yourself.

  • 04/15/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    58 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There is a lot of wooded areas and also mountains lions have been seen from time to time. The campus is so spread out that you may get creeped out in the dark. There are emergency stations to call 911 scattered around for convenience, but they are rarely needed.

    Clubs and Activities

    Anything you can think of.

    Great for these types of students

    Nature-loving, hard working kids that also know how to have a good time.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    April 20th will show you the true hippie tradition of UCSC. Porter Hill is packed with pot-smoking students and locals alike.

    Bang for the buck

    California is broke and tuition can only buy you so much... Professors work hard so you need to as well. Classes are VERY limited because of budget cuts.

    What to do for fun

    Go downtown, shop, see a movie, or just hike! Natural Bridges is close by, not to mention other great beaches and forests. San Francisco is only an hour away.

    Food and Dining

    A lot of vegan/vegetarian/special diet meals are offered, with great local and organic food.

    Dorm Life

    I did not live in the dorms so i know nothing about them.

    Academic Rigor

    Great professors for the most part. A lot of academic resources to help the struggling student.

    Tips for prospective students

    You should really enjoy hiking - rain or shine. It is a beautiful campus, all uphill. Don't be frightened by Santa Cruz's weird reputation. We really don't bite :)

    In three sentences

    There are a lot of animals and trees. The science department is amazing. It is not very easy to get the classes you want.

  • 04/29/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    59 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There's always email updates to notify you of any animal dangers or suspicious activities.

    Greek Life

    It's not as big as other colleges (we don't have houses), but it's still popular.

    Clubs and Activities

    There's more than you can count or even know of by the end of your first year.

    Great for these types of students

    Those who like the outdoors, sports, and all that good stuff.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    THE NAKED RUN IS SOMETHING TO SEE.

    Bang for the buck

    It's college! Of course it's going to be pricey.

    What to do for fun

    Downtown's cool, the beach is great.

    Food and Dining

    It's cafeteria food.

    Dorm Life

    It's surely amusing, but first time roommates can be a hassle. Make sure you and your new roomy(ies) lay down the law before trouble arises.

    Academic Rigor

    It's a bit of adjusting to, but you'll get into the groove of college in no time. Don't overestimate yourself.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure you're okay with walking around. You'll be doing a lot of that!

    In three sentences

    The atmosphere is extremely relaxing. The nature helps calm everyone from the business school can get.

  • 05/03/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    60 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    You can do a lot things like from hiking, going to the beach, to exploring downtown.

    Food and Dining

    It also depends on what dining hall you go to, but the food is good since pretty much everything is local and fresh.

    Dorm Life

    It all depends in what college you decide to attend (Santa Cruz has 10 different colleges within it), some have nicer dorms like the newer colleges (9 and 10).

    Academic Rigor

    Hearing from current students, the academic rigor is challenging but not impossible.

    Tips for prospective students

    I recommend buying some rain boots because even though it does not rain a lot, it does get muddy. Oh and get used to walking up hills!!

    In three sentences

    I am really excited to attend Santa Cruz. The campus is beautiful even when its raining. I really recommend it if you love nature.

  • 05/13/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    61 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    The dining halls are definitely above average. There is a variety of options for everyone, hard to find something you wouldn't like.

    Dorm Life

    Each college has a different atmosphere. College Nine was a great dorm experience, the rooms are very nice because it is the newest college.

    Academic Rigor

    Depending on the class, they can be very challenging. Time management is a very important tool to use in the quarter system because of how fast-paced the classes are.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure to visit the campus, it's really different from every other school out there.

    In three sentences

    Beautiful campus, a great variety of classes, and an overall great experience so far. Santa Cruz is definitely an ideal place for college because of how different it is from most other schools.

  • 05/13/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    62 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Not very big here, we have the smallest greek life of any campus but it exists and is not hard to find.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    First Rain! The first rain of the year everyone does a naked run through campus, and I mean everyone. Hundreds of people. It's awesome. Also you should kiss the first banana slug you see.

    Bang for the buck

    Well all UCs are ridiculously expensive. If I'm being honest I'd encourage people to go to state schools because they are so much cheaper and the student loans aren't worth it.

    What to do for fun

    There are a lot of things on campus, both organized and not. Campus is so huge. There is no underestimating it. So a lot of kids go explore on the weekends. There are some legendary things on campus like the Hell Hole, Porter Caves, Garden of Eden and the Rock Garden. It's fun to go try and find these and explore campus.

    Food and Dining

    We have 5 dining halls on campus so it's great to have a lot of diversity and choices. I think Merill/Crown dining hall is the best, although its not open on the weekends.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is great. All the dorms are different depending on what college you choose. Stevenson, College 8 and Cowell are more preppy and you'll find more Greek life there, while Porter is theatre, Kresge is very hippie and crunchy. Crown is science-y. By the way, these are all STEREOTYPES and while they do hold truth you'll find whatever you want anywhere.

    Academic Rigor

    I haven't been to another college so I can't really compare, but UCSC is definitely not the stoner school people think it is. It is a UC therefore it is rigorous. The classes I've taken are challenging but very fun. I'm a Psych major, and I've had a lot of teachers in the humanities and social sciences who are very alternative, ie no tests, no final, paper only. It's a great relief and I love having a different set up for every class.

    Tips for prospective students

    You will be walking around campus A LOT! Lots of hills, but I personally love it. Walking through campus is so enjoyable because there are a million paths to take and it's so beautiful I don't mind at all. Campus is big, so you'll get lost and that's okay. The college you choose within UCSC isn't too important, you'll love it no matter where you go.

    In three sentences

    It is an absolutely beautiful campus. Very liberal, yet you can find anything you're looking for here. The most unique UC and a great experience.

  • 05/18/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    63 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    You could go to the beach or the Boardwalk, which has bowling and mini golf and an arcade, plus on weekends or during the summer the fair is open with rides and stuff. You could also go downtown and see all the people who live here, which is interesting in itself.

    Food and Dining

    Unfortunately the food in dining halls isn't wonderful, but manageable nonetheless.

    Dorm Life

    It's fun getting to know other people this way.

    Academic Rigor

    It's not too bad, but I was in AP and IB so I'm not exactly sure.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure you're ready to hike because everywhere on campus is up and down hills. This campus is huge and pretty much entirely nature, so make sure that's what you want. Other than that, it's quite a fun college!

    In three sentences

    It's a beautiful campus with so much nature and lovely scenery it feels like you're not really in school at all. The classes are large, but that's normal in UC schools and all the teachers here seem to be pretty down to earth. I absolutely love it here and the people are always so nice!

  • 05/18/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    64 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There a hidden treasures all over campus that are great to explore. Like the merry go round by the physics building.

    What to do for fun

    There are many physical education and trips through the recreational center. Also Pogonip forest is located right on campus so it's easy to go on hikes with friends.

    Food and Dining

    Food is good.

    Dorm Life

    Very fun and new experience meeting so many people everyday.

    Academic Rigor

    There are always challenges with classes. Taking 3 classes per quarter is a good amount.

    Tips for prospective students

    Stay active when stresses from studying arise. Learn to balance fun and learning and work

    In three sentences

    It is located on a beautiful campus full of many activities. Many fun and interesting activities to do while taking break from studies. Many new people to interact with everyday.

  • 05/26/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    65 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The campus is safe, there are UCSC police around the campus 24/7.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are many different clubs and organizations in the campus.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    I am currently admitted and applied to college oaks for my housing.

    Bang for the buck

    The tuition is about $15,000 which is a little bit higher.

    What to do for fun

    There are more than one hundred of clubs and organizations that you can choose from. Different sports.

    Food and Dining

    The food and dining are open 7 days and there are different types of foods out there.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm has different themes that might interest different students.

    Academic Rigor

    They are one of the top research school in the country.

    Tips for prospective students

    Visit the university first before making decision and check the majors they offer.

    In three sentences

    UCSC has the degree or major that I wanted. They are an environmental school. The campus is diverse.

  • 06/03/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    66 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    You can hike, bike riding, go to the beach, visit the boardwalk, climb trees theres always something to do.

    Food and Dining

    There's lots of kinds of foods what ever you want they have it.

    Dorm Life

    All the dorms are great beeautiful views to the ocean and very clean.

    Academic Rigor

    Its great you can actually learn.

    Tips for prospective students

    Go see the campus for yourself and see if you like it. Check if they have your major.

    In three sentences

    Its a beautiful Campus there's lots to see. There's a lot of walking to do. You have the mountains, city and ocean all there.

  • 06/05/2012

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    67 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Pretty safe but just like anywhere else, if one is out at night, a group or a car is the best option.

    Clubs and Activities

    There a lots of student groups, and many students, that will go out of their way to make sure that you feel at home at UCSC. Find your home!

    Great for these types of students

    Great for students who are outgoing, athletic, and students like to explore.

    Bang for the buck

    This is a really cool place that offers a great beach, a dynamic city, and great experiences if you're willing to explore.

    What to do for fun

    Since the school is in the forest, right by a beautiful beach, and only a short distance away from the big city, it really depends on what you want to do.

    Food and Dining

    Meat-eater? Great choice in pizza, nuggets, beef, and soups. Veggies-Person? Awesome choice in salads, fruits, and vegan foods.

    Dorm Life

    It really depends in the College you live in and with whom. For the most part dorm life ranges from cool to pretty awesome.

    Academic Rigor

    This school has classes that demand students time and study, however, it also offers many opportunities and organizations for student success.

    Tips for prospective students

    Take time to look around and discover areas downtown, there are so many places that can offer a fun time or a leisure time.

    In three sentences

    UCSC is a great area to focusing on school work because of it's small town aesthetic, which complements the Big City of San Jose and San Francisco only about an 2-3 hrs away.

  • 06/13/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    68 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    Haven't been to the dining hall, but there are amazing coffee shops.

    Dorm Life

    I haven't lived at the dorm and I don't have any problems.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you are a student that is out going and loves the wild life and nature this is a great place.

    In three sentences

    I love the university so far.... let's see how the rest of the years go.

  • 06/15/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    69 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Despite that fact that UCSC is in the middle of a forest, I have never felt safer than when I am on campus. Most students feel safe walking to and from classes, even late night ones. Other than an occasional spotting of wild animals, there is very little reason to feel unsafe at this school. People are always willing to help and UCSC works hard to create a safe and family-like atmosphere on campus.

    Greek Life

    There is not much of a Greek life at UCSC. However, there are multiple sororities and fraternities available for those that are truly interesting in being a part of one.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    UCSC has the tradition of the First Rain/Naked Run, where students streak around the campus on first full day of rain. It is actually quite interesting to watch and even participate in.

    What to do for fun

    UCSC is surrounded by the perfect combination of downtown shopping, movie theaters, the beach (Boardwalk), and nature reserves/hiking trails. Students can get downtown and to the beach relatively easily because of the bus system that runs through campus. Also, UCSC backyard is filled with hiking trails and nature to explore for those that love the outdoors. Also, there is a fantastic sporting facility at OPERS, where students can use their UCSC ID to go swimming, play sports (i.e basketball) in the gym, play tennis, play on the field(i.e soccer, baseball, rugby, football, ultimate frisbee, volleyball), or workout in the gym.

    Food and Dining

    There are 5 dining halls near each of the 10 colleges, with multiple coffee shops near classes. The dining halls offer a huge variety of food and an all-you-can-eat style of dining. They have great choices for vegans and vegetarians, as well as offer organic and fruit bars eat each dining hall. The food can get a bit repetitive, especially if you only eat at one dining hall, but it is good none-the-less.

    Dorm Life

    The small living communities at each of the colleges really builds a unique family atmosphere. You eat with the same people you live with and you find yourself knowing everyone in your buildings. It is great for those who want to make friends and enjoy hanging out in the hallways. However, it can be a problem if you are not used to sharing a bathroom with 10 other people (even though almost everyone gets used to it and they are cleaned daily).

    Academic Rigor

    It is not the hardest academic UC, but it is still a challenge compared to many community colleges, state schools, and private institutions. Depending on your major and the number of classes you enroll in, academics can be quite a challenge. However, both academics and social life play key roles in student's lives at UCSC. There is definitely a good balance between studying and hanging out with friends.

    Tips for prospective students

    Definitely visit the campus before choosing your residential college, since you will want to get a feel for where you will be living and the type of atmosphere that fits you best.

    In three sentences

    UCSC combines a large campus education with a small campus living environment. It is welcoming and the perfect combination of UC academics mixed with social justice and activism, as well as a place to meet new friends and create your own UCSC family. UCSC is a unique learning experience and gives students to opportunity to explore different hobbies, clubs, and interests.

  • 06/17/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    70 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The first rain of the year they have a tradition that everyone runs naked around the campus!

    What to do for fun

    There is an incredible field, were you can do all sorts of activities.

    Food and Dining

    The food was great they had a lot of options! Unfortunately, for me it was difficult to enjoy because I am a picky eater, but most would say they are satisfied with the service and food assortment.

    Dorm Life

    I had a great first year experience. I love they the campus is separated into colleges because it make the experience less overwhelming, and it is easier to meet new and interesting people.

    Academic Rigor

    Attending lectures, sections, and MSI will help answer any question you may need. I recommend that you attend as many as possible in order to succeed academically.

    Tips for prospective students

    Stay on top of all reading and assignments the quarter system goes really fast and it is easy to fall behind.

    In three sentences

    The University of California, Santa Cruz provides a great study environment as well as an active campus. Students are encouraged to speak their minds and to apply themselves in every aspect the of their academic lives. Overall, this school is excellent for motivating students and providing them with the guidance they need to succeed.

  • 06/17/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    71 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Overall the campus is pretty safe, I only heard of one campus robbery throughout the entire year and you always get alerts through text and e-mail if there is a dangerous situation.

    Greek Life

    Greek life is available at UCSC but don't expect sorority row houses or anything like that. It is pretty low-key but still if you want to join a sorority or fraternity they are available.

    Great for these types of students

    Adventurers that like to hike or explore. Also great for nature lovers that would enjoy the forest and the occasional run in with deer and raccoon.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    One unusual tradition is the Naked Run. It happens every year on campus during the first rain of the year, it is extremely fun. I didn't join the run but I cheered on the runners from the balcony in my building, people really get into it.

    Bang for the buck

    UCSC is a great campus but for the amount of tuition I am paying I would expect more classes to be open and more subjects to be studied.

    What to do for fun

    Exploring downtown can be fun and once you have seen all there is to see there are still other things to do. You can go hiking in upper campus or go to Natural Bridges, one of the beaches in Santa Cruz. A bit of exploring through the forest paths on campus is always the most fun though.

    Food and Dining

    At first the food at the dining halls can seem exciting and appealing but after awhile you get tired of it, the best solution to this is to try out all the dining halls on campus and not just go to the one located near your college.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life was pretty well, my roommates and me got along perfectly well. I have heard horror stories though about roommates who are extremely mismatched in personality but that can happen at any college. Overall dorm life was good, the rooms were nice enough and hallmates were nice.

    Academic Rigor

    The academic rigor depends on the type of class you are taking and on whether the subject is your strong suit. I hear the chemistry, biology, and math classes are pretty difficult but I haven't take one yet. The classes I have taken varied in difficulty with astronomy being hard and writing being relatively easy.

    Tips for prospective students

    Visit the campus and town! Santa Cruz is a small town and if you are used to big cities it can be hard to adjust but if you have a little creativity you will find ways to entertain yourself. Also try to have your 4 years planned out that way you get the classes you need out of the way as soon as possible or take GE classes in community college so you don't have to worry about them later.

    In three sentences

    UC Santa Cruz is a beautiful campus! I love living here. All the people are friendly and nice. The classes can fill up fast and lectures do tend to be big but the teachers and TAs are helpful almost all the time.

  • 06/18/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    72 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The has not been a serious incident at the University of California Santa Cruz this year, and I feel very safe walking around campus even at night.

    Greek Life

    There is very little Greek Life at the University of California Santa Cruz but there are fraternities and sororities that students can join if the want.

    Great for these types of students

    The University of California Santa Cruz is great for students who are laid back, enjoy nature, and who want to experience the culture that is Santa Cruz.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Every year when school first starts there is an event call First Rain. When it rains from 7pm-10pm students with gather at Porter College (one of the 10 residential colleges) strip naked and run around the campus.

    Bang for the buck

    The University of California Santa Cruz is an expensive school to go to, especially with the tuition for public university on the rise. However I enjoyed my time there immensely and can't wait to go back again this year.

    What to do for fun

    There are so many fun activities a person can do in Santa Cruz. You can surf, hike, bike, enjoy the culture of Santa Cruz, and much more. The is always something going on here and if you are bored the only person you have to blame is yourself.

    Food and Dining

    The University of California Santa Cruz has one of the best dinning hall programs in the nation. All of the fruits and vegetables are organic and fresh. The all-you-can-eat style dinning halls is also a plus.

    Dorm Life

    I lived in the crown dorms, which were a bit on the small side. However, once you get used to living there it becomes a second home. The janitors do a good job and the bathrooms are clean most of the time.

    Academic Rigor

    The courses at University of California Santa Cruz are challenging and a student will have to work hard to perform well in them.

    Tips for prospective students

    Know what classes you want before your enrollment date. Classes tend to fill up quickly and if you know what you want, you can enroll much faster and are more likely to get the classes you want. Don't Skip classes! I cannot stress this point enough. Introduce yourself to your instructors. They will find it a lot harder to fail you and will be more willing to give you points if they know you.

    In three sentences

    The University of California Santa Cruz has a beautiful campus, great instructors, and a great atmosphere. The courses are challenging, but a student who pays attention in class will learn much here. The Dinning hall experience is also one of the best in the nation.

  • 06/20/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    73 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus is extremely safe. We have a CruzAlert system that sends immediate emails and texts if there is even suspicious activity as well as emergency posts students can use to contact the on-campus police station within a minute. Campus also closes at 8 pm and all entering people must be called in and checked in.

    Great for these types of students

    Nature friendly, kind, adventurous, and for people that love cooler, but beautiful weather and the redwoods.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There are special hiking trails on campus that lead to fun hangout spots for college students. There are places people can meditate, trees full of wishes (a special willow called the wishing tree), ponds, and cafes people can go to everyday. There is a naked run on the first rain of every year, which is a blast. There are also traditional activities within each college in order to bring people together to socialize.

    Bang for the buck

    College is expensive, but for how much your paying here, you're getting a pretty nice deal.

    What to do for fun

    There is so much to do for fun at UCSC. There are clubs, sport teams, recreational activities and more! There are events in each college frequently, a downtown, a beach nearby and many hiking trails to explore!

    Food and Dining

    The food is fresh, some local, vegan friendly, and mostly organic.

    Dorm Life

    Due to how friendly people are in Santa Cruz, the dorm life is acceptable.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes can be challenging, so be prepared to study hard and put in a good effort!

    Tips for prospective students

    Review the different colleges online before picking your top choice so that you get to know each college a bit more. This will help your college experience.

    In three sentences

    UCSC is one of the most beautiful campuses I have ever visited. Not only does it lie right next to the beach, but it's situated in the middle of a gorgeous redwood forest. It provides a large amount of academic opportunities, it's diverse, and the staff and students are incredibly friendly.

  • 06/24/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    74 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Going into town, there's the Boardwalk, and a bustling nightlife in downtown Santa Cruz.

    Food and Dining

    Dining hall food is not limited to one location. There are five different locations, each with its own distinct properties. Try them all!

    Dorm Life

    You get to meet a diverse group of people when living on campus.

    Academic Rigor

    With any college campus, the workload is significantly steeper. The quarter system is very fast-paced.

    Tips for prospective students

    Study hard, work hard, play hard.

    In three sentences

    It's a beautiful campus. Offers a whole lot, and it called my name when I visited the campus a few years ago. I enrolled, got accepted, and really enjoy it here.

  • 06/26/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    75 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The campus has many spots where students can reach security if they feel threatened or if there is any sort of emergency. The campus security take about a minute to get to the location, which is good.

    Greek Life

    Greek life in UCSC is not too big, but it is definitely something worth looking at. People in Greek life always have events to do and others to help them with anything. Im not part of the greek life, so I can't say too much about it.

    Clubs and Activities

    Intramurals and clubs are fun, there are many different choices for both and everyone always finds something they enjoy.

    Great for these types of students

    Students who have a passion for nature or environmental sustainability will have a great time here at this campus because that is a major focus of students that attend this school. The school always encourages these sort of students because that is the type of person typically found in the city.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There are all sorts of secret areas and different traditions we have only on this campus, but you need to come here to find out!

    Bang for the buck

    As great as the school is, being a UC is also expensive. Budget cuts and rising tuition cause the public universities to become second choices, which is sad. There is not much to do about budgets, but the school is becoming very active in fighting the issues behind our rising tuition.

    What to do for fun

    There is a downtown area in Santa Cruz with a few clubs, San Jose and San Francisco are not very far, and the beach is right by campus. The forest surrounding the campus allow for hikers to hike through and behind the campus. Getting to know upperclassmen can really open up more opportunities to do fun things.

    Food and Dining

    The dining halls are all-you-can-eat, so it is very easy to gain weight here. The selection of food is great though, some of the food is actually grown on campus! Of the UC's, I would say the food is in the top 2. There is plenty to choose from, but if you visit the same dining halls it can get repetitive.

    Dorm Life

    Dorms are great, a life changing experience. After the first year, most students move into apartments, which are much more spacious and include their own kitchen and living room. The variety is great and there are even different colleges to choose from.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes are a bit tough, most of the difficulty depends on whether you spend your time at the beach or studying at the library, time does fly by with the quarter system!

    Tips for prospective students

    Coming to this campus you need to memorize where everything is, otherwise it is pretty easy to get lost. During welcome week get accustomed to the different buildings, paths, and locations of different resources.

    In three sentences

    UCSC is a great school and is very much accepting of different cultures and backgrounds. I love the natural feel to it, as everything is surrounded by the forest. With the beach a mile away and different places to getaway, I find this school to be a perfect fit for almost anyone.

  • 06/27/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    76 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The streets and paths are well-lit at night, but I would avoid the forest and middle of campus at night. Off-campus late at night can be a little unsafe, but the dorm areas and libraries are safe. Just be smart about your surroundings, like anywhere.

    Greek Life

    Not huge, but gaining a presence. No frats or sororities on campus.

    Clubs and Activities

    Intramural sports, other sports teams (not huge, but there is a presence), sustainability classes & organizations, surfing, tons of recreation classes & trips

    Great for these types of students

    Outdoorsy, environmentally minded, open-minded, liberal, different, adventuresome, environmental studies students, engineers, people who love the beach, people who love surfing, backpackers, hikers, banana slugs!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The first day of the school year when it rains all day, students strip naked and run around the campus in a giant loop, ending at Porter College where they have a drum circle in the rain. Yes, it's the famous Naked Run. We also kiss banana slugs, compost our dining hall food, and have crazy forest raves. Upper campus has its own interesting culture, with its own history and traditions. So much to explore, don't miss out!

    What to do for fun

    Check out the beach, join a student organization (especially if you're into sustainability--we've got so many!), hang out in East Field at the gym or the field that overlooks Monterey Bay, take a hike into beautiful upper campus... there's so much to do outside! You can also play videogames in the library (no, seriously, you can!), hang out downtown (an easy 30-minute bus ride away), surf!, bike... the list goes on.

    Food and Dining

    UCSC was recently voted the most vegan campus in the nation! But we also have great meaty, cheesy, and non-vegany options. We have two dining halls open until 11 PM and the others have great hours, as well. There are plenty of ways to become creative so that dorm food doesn't become boring over the year.

    Dorm Life

    The residence halls are great, the RA staff are wonderful people, and depending on what you're interested in, you can choose which college you live in your first year, and second year, and so on. The university has a 10-college system, each with its own unique flavor based on your interests, not necessarily your academic focus.

    Academic Rigor

    As a literature student, I haven't taken many science or math classes, so I'm speaking from a humanities standpoint: the classes are not that difficult if you pay attention and do the reading. You learn, but if you're looking for a real challenge, UCSC might not be the best place for you. If, however, you're looking for a nice balance and a campus that has a lot of other stuff going on besides just class, UCSC is where it's at!

    Tips for prospective students

    Take advantage of the extra-curriculars offered! Sure, we don't have fabulous sports programs, but you can participate in the ones we do offer, or take a hike through the forest on your way to class. There are also tons of student organizations, opportunities for internships, and you can always hit the beach--check out Natural Bridges State Beach, as it is along the 20 bus route and easy to walk to from there.

    In three sentences

    The campus natural beauty and student culture is beautiful and thriving. The courses could be more challenging, but the fact that they aren't leaves plenty of time for exploring internships, building relationships with other students, and getting to enjoy college life however you see fit. UC Santa Cruz is a wonderful place--not to mention we have the best mascot that also happens to be native to our campus: the Banana Slug!

  • 06/28/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    77 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    UCSC is a very safe campus. You can walk around all hours of the day and night and feel safe.

    Greek Life

    There aren't many Sororities or Fraternities here at UCSC, but the ones that do exist are great for people who have a need to have a consistent party scene.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are lots of Clubs and Activities for students who look for them. There are many research and internship positions available that are not advertised- one must only go to their teachers office hours. I suggest either researching professors to find out what research they are doing, or just show up at a professors office hours who you like and ask them what they do, professors here are very kind and would love to give you a job to do.

    Great for these types of students

    If you like to run, then UCSC is the place for you! You must check out the trails of Pogonip, Upper Campus, and Wilder Ranch. There is also a long path along the beach that leads to Natural Bridges and is absolutely beautiful.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    An unusual UCSC tradition is the Naked Run where students celebrate the first rain of the year by taking off their clother, running through all of the different colleges within UCSC, and finally jumping into the OPERS pool. An unusual location on campus that is a great place to chill out and eat lunch is the Amphitheater, which is closed off, but is located just up from the Bay Tree Bookstore. Last year, every Wednesday at the Amphitheater was Wine Wednesday where you could purchase and drink lots of cheap wine. Fun!!

    Bang for the buck

    During the summer, the Santa Cruz Boardwalk had dollar nights, where most rides are only a dollar. Another great deal is the rental equipment provided by the UCSC OPERS center, you can get camping gear for very cheap. A great free activity in Santa Cruz is Thursday night free shows at the Crepe Place, where you can see indie bands play great music for free, and even buy a deliscious dessert crepe.

    What to do for fun

    One of my favorite things to do for fun in Santa Cruz is to go hiking in Pogonip, a protected forest with beautifully groomed trails, which is located just east of UCSC and is accessable from campus. I also love camping, a great campground near Santa Cruz is Big Basin, located just 45 minutes up Highway 5.

    Food and Dining

    Dining hall food at UCSC is quite good, with fresh produce offered from the UCSC farm. There are many other dining options offered on campus, some of my favorites are Tacos Morrenos, and the food trucks that are located on science hill during lunch hours.

    Dorm Life

    I lived in Cowell when I was a freshman at UCSC. The dorms were old, but beautiful, with a view of the huge green OPERS field, running track, pool and gym, and beyond that the city of Santa Cruz, and Monterrey Bay.

    Academic Rigor

    As a physics and mathematics student, classes and exams are quiet difficult, but there are many resources offered such as MSI, Sections, and office hours, so if you try your best to succeed, you certainly can.

    Tips for prospective students

    My first tip for prospective students would be to investigate the resources available to you at UC Santa Cruz, such as the Career Center, OPERS Center, and your Academic and Faculty advisers. My second tip would be to explore Santa Cruz. It is a beautiful city, and it's very unique in that it is surrounded by forests that offer great hiking and camping.

    In three sentences

    As a Physics major and Mathematics minor, UC Santa Cruz has wonderful professors and facilities. I have never had problems getting into classes I want, which is a huge plus. Along with having great academics, UCSC has a beautiful campus, and great extracurricular opportunities, including camping trips through the OPERS center.

  • 06/28/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    78 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I feel extremely safe. I have never felt more safe. There are CSO's on duty which is like on campus police.

    Greek Life

    Greek life is moderate but growing..

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There is first rain, enough said. Once your there you will see what I mean. There are so many beautiful locations to visit.

    What to do for fun

    The beach is close by, take the opportunity to ride down and enjoy some fun in the sun(cheesy, I know but true). There is also downtown, you will always find entertainment there.

    Food and Dining

    The food is good, its not great. There are different dining halls throughout the campus and you will easily find out which one is the best but you be the judge of that. Just know you will never starve.

    Dorm Life

    I truly loved living at the dorms. You will find some of the greatest people in your life. I recommended because it gives you a sense of independence and responsibility. Not only are you on your own but it gives you the full college experience. Dorm life is what you make of it. Don't be shy, the students at UCSC are genuinely nice.

    Academic Rigor

    College is different than high school. Regardless of the type of school you went to, you will find yourself to actually have a challenge. It may or may not be difficult depending on how you take in information, still you will fin out that you have learned a lot.

    Tips for prospective students

    Always go see your advisers, they will help you with any question you may have. Don't be scared to ask for help, the resources are their. Take advantage of what is being offered.

    In three sentences

    This is truly an amazing school. The school and its staff truly care of each and everyone of their students. They try their hardest to make us succeed.

  • 07/02/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    79 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Blue-light phones in most places, although there are still some dubious areas. CSO (community safety officers) patrol at night and are on call as well. Campus is very safe for the most part. THIS PART IS IMPORTANT: The UCSC campus and downtown Santa Cruz are about a 20 minute bus ride away from each other. If by any reason you go from campus to downtown after about 9pm, prepare yourself for some hobo's walking the streets. They are not dangerous but you should avoid them if you don't like bad-smelling people. Just the same with any city, don't go out late at night alone. This shocked me the first times I saw it but I eventually got used to it and now find it humorous when a cop tries to reason with one of them.

    Greek Life

    There is some greek life but since they got kicked off of campus you have to go to them for the most part. They rush at the beginning of each quarter so if you really want to join the greek life it isn't too hard. Just look for them at the Quarry plaza.

    Clubs and Activities

    Clubs? Ehhhh...not too many. There are a lot of cultural clubs (i.e. CSA, FSO, ISO, etc.) but other clubs are varied in availability. For instance, there's a backpacking club, karate club, and other ones but it's hard to find that many actively on campus. Sporting events? We have those! Water polo, basketball, and most field sports are very popular on campus. We do NOT have a football team or any super pro teams like the other colleges, but intramural sports are very fun to do. Intramural sorts include dodge-ball, inner-tube water polo, and others.

    Great for these types of students

    Students who are: Nature lovers, liberal, relaxed, deer-lovers, sciencey types, don't like wearing shoes, don't mind the occasional crazy guy on the street.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The dense wilderness behind UCSC is home to many locations that are either very beautiful or make a great hang out spot. Finding them is up to who's willing to show you. I recommend the porter caves, garden of eden, and pogonip park. Unusual traditions? 4-20...look it up, it happens here.

    Bang for the buck

    As with most public colleges, financial strains are very high here so the cost is still rising. There have been some public protests against these tuition hikes but I can't really say much is being done about it. Having worked at the financial aid office on campus, I can honestly say that each adviser you talk to is genuinely interested in getting you the most affordable college aid possible.

    What to do for fun

    Recreation? Yes we have it at our OPERS (gym/rec facility). There are pools, tennis courts, a large field, a martial arts room, a fully stocked gym, racquet ball courts, and much more. All of these come with a very nice view of the bay. Nightlife? Tons of parties off campus as well as clubs downtown. I'm not into that kind of stuff but to each their own. Clubs or sports? see the section below about that Recreational Drugs/alcohol? Yes, unfortunately recreational drugs such as marijuana and alcohol are present on campus, and most other colleges, but are easily avoidable. If you aren't into that stuff like I am, it's not hard to have a great experience without having to see them.

    Food and Dining

    There are 5 dining halls on campus, each with their pros and cons...here they are: Porter/Kresge - Pro = Best salad bar, Con = Rest of the food a bit lacking College 8 - Pro = Decent reliable food that varies, Con = late night sucks...go to (see below) College 9/10 - Pro = THE late night spot, open till 11pm every day and will always have burgers, fries, pizza, etc. as well as a decent salad bar. Con = They will always have burgers, fries, pizza, etc...No variety at all Cowell/Stevenson - Pro = Above average food and excellent view of the bay, Con = ummm....I'll get back to you on that Crown/Merrill - Pro = Best food maybe once a week (hit or miss really), Con = closed on weekends and early on friday, also the food is not so good except in that rare chance it's awesome

    Dorm Life

    I had a great experience with my dorm life freshman year. This was due to the awesome and lively people I was living with. I've seen dorm floors that are silent day in day out so I guess I can consider myself lucky. The only pain is that in some dorms/apartments, the small rooms (small doubles/small triples) are pretty damn small depending on the college you get. If you get college 8 apartments though, you get very big small rooms. The pro of getting these small rooms though is that you get to live with a whole lot of other people on the floor which leads to the festive environment I described above. If you get yourself a single, be sure to be pro-active in talking to your neighbors or else your floor will be as dead as William Shatners career.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes here are UCSC are what you make of them in terms of difficulty. There are many motivated and hard working students, you can find them at the library most of the time, and there are also the slackers who take academics as a lower priority to other things. Being a biology major myself, my academic rigor is very high because I'm taking classes like organic chemistry and cellular biology. There is room for electives and GE classes too so if you're interested in the sciences you don't have to take just all science classes.

    Tips for prospective students

    Take a tour of the college, it is a beautiful campus but can also be a bit too nature-y for some. Make sure you get financial aid straightened out so you can see what you're putting yourself into if you decide to go. When in doubt, call the financial aid office, there are some very nice and helpful people there. If you have decided on attending UCSC, make sure to pick the right college. There are 10 colleges in all and each is pretty unique. There's.... Crown - geeks and science students mostly Merrill - quiet kids...I think Stevenson/Cowell - Athletes and writers mostly College 9 & College 10 - The main Asian communities live here but is also pretty international College 8 - Eco friendly college Kresge - All apartments and very quiet Porter - THE PARTY PLACE...and artsy place too. If you don't wanna see drugs, do go to this one Oakes - Commonly stereotyped as the minoritycollege All of these descriptions obviously have their exceptions, just be sure to check out what course is required for each college, as each one has their own unique course. For example, I went to Crown freshman year and took Ethics and Technology as the Crown Core Course.

    In three sentences

    We live in a forest and people think we're all pot smoking hippies but we're not; only some of us are. The campus is beautiful and walkable wherever you go but to go downtown you will need a bus or car. There are 10 colleges within UCSC and picking the right community to live in is important.

  • 07/02/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    80 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    Get involved with clubs! CalPIRG, Student Environmental Center, ABSA (African Black Student alliance), MeCHA (Mexican/Chicano Alliance), APISA (Asian/pacific islander) Brown berets, E2, and other groups. AVOID GREEK LIFE! D.O.C and Theta Chi are the worst of the worst. Less than 3% of UCSC is greek affiliated, so it's not an overpowering force, as it is with many other american universities.

    Great for these types of students

    UCSC is perfect for student who are more lay back. You will definitively find some of the most down to earth individuals here.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The First Rain run is a student run throughout the campus where the participants are partially or, more likely, entirely naked. It generally takes place on the first major nighttime rainfall during Fall quarter.

    Bang for the buck

    Tuition hikes apply to most or all schools. Tuition will be ridiculously high in years to come.

    What to do for fun

    There are many wonderful aspects to UCSC. Wildlife, outdoor culture and activities; tons of trails for mushroom foresting, biking, hiking, Full-moon drum circles, and 2,000+ miles of protected national park redwood lands in north campus, the Pogonip trail, and expansive views of the Monterrey bay that span all the way to Big Sur.

    Food and Dining

    People complain about the dining halls, but I think things could be a lot worse.Most people complain about meatless Mondays due to UCSC vegetarian awareness. They have good varieties, and many options. There are 5 dining halls to choose from with a very diverse menu. They even serve pozole; which is a Hispanic dish.

    Dorm Life

    There are 10 residential colleges to choose from within UCSC. Each has a theme, for example College 10 was Social Justice & Community. These themes mean nothing more than the topic of your first writing core class (one qtr) & have nothing to do with your major. Each college carries a certain reputation.

    Academic Rigor

    You have extremely competent professors and interesting class offerings. Perfect for science, psychology and theatre majors. Many other majors too but this is definitely a focused science school. Many research and other leadership opportunities.

    Tips for prospective students

    By considering UCSC you are one step closer to entering a completely different atmosphere. Trust your instinct and attend UCSC. Im sure you wont have any doubts once you attend.

    In three sentences

    University of California Santa Cruz is tremendously captivated a beauty. Its environment provides students with a peaceful location that allows students to peacefully expand their knowledge. The abundance of trees really gives that wild life feel.

  • 07/09/2012

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    81 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    Don't assume that this is a school just for liberal hippy types. This school has an excellent science and engineering programs

    In three sentences

    This is a school for people that are concerend about the world we live in. The campus is gorgeous. And the professors are excellent.

  • 07/09/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    82 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I was always getting Cruse Alert texts that made me feel like the campus really wanted to keep the students informed and safe. Most were about mountain lions rather than kidnappers and whatnot. Just don't be out frolicking in the woods too late and you're golden.

    Greek Life

    Like I said before, the greek life is present but not as important as other schools. You will not in any way be left out if you don't rush because there are so many other things to do here; and if you do you're welcomed into a fun and spirited group of people.

    Clubs and Activities

    Tons of activities happening at every college every week I cant even describe them all. I enjoyed the open mic nights and dances. Wish I could have done the free drop in figure drawing classes. No football or baseball team but we do have cheerleaders...

    Great for these types of students

    EVERYBODY. Everyone. All types of people. I have seen so many diverse and interesting things this past year that nothing surprises me in Santa Cruz anymore. I really feel like there is little to no judgement in this town; it is so laid back and has that beachy, go-with-the-flow vibe.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    First rain and 420! Need I say more?

    Bang for the buck

    College is expensive. UC's are expensive. It's absolutely ridiculous. but I know I would not have have been happy staying home and going to a jc for 2 years. Its wonderful if you wish to choose that option, and it saves a ton of money, but I got accepted to my dream school and I wanted to move out of my small town and get a true college experience that I wouldn't change for anything. I loved my first year and if I could do it again I would in a heartbeat.

    What to do for fun

    There is so much to do in Santa Cruz! The beach and Boardwalk are fun, they have a boardwalk frolic for freshman the first week. Poganip is an amazing state park to hike in. You can walk to the Garden of Eden, you can go through the rock gardens and see lots of deer along the way. Downtown is always lively and they have tons of fun restaurants and shoppes, and street art and music. Night owl cookies are a great treat to order at night and Domino's delivers until I believe 2 am. In college there's a club or group for just about everything and lots of teams you can join. I've been to a comedy show and I know they have had queer proms and fashion shows. the dances on campus are actually really fun, but I've been to a few that were lame in college 10. The school also provides transportation until 1 or 2 in the morning from downtown.

    Food and Dining

    If you are vegetarian or vegan we have the best options for you out of every UC. For every meal that came out of my dining hall there was either a vegetarian or vegan option. We even had meatless Mondays once a month. I've had friends come UCLA and Berkeley who have told me their food sucks and ours was better. Cowell has the best dining hall, but I also like 8 and Oakes.

    Dorm Life

    I lived in the dorms my first year as all freshman should. It is where you meet everyone and bond so everyone feels like they're getting that college experience. I lived in Cowell College, and I absolutely loved it. Where you live does not depend on your major!! Think of UCSC like Hogwarts. Although Hogwarts has only four, we have 10 residential colleges for different personalities and preferences so you'll fit in and feel more comfortable wherever you choose.

    Academic Rigor

    I am a Human Bio major and let me tell you it is tough! UCSC is a UC and most UC's have the same academic rigor despite the stigma that UCSC is easy because we don't have grades and hippies go there. we are very culturally diverse, and I promise you we have grades. Of course there are majors that are harder than others, and TA's who are tougher graders than most; It really all depends. However this is a UC, so don't expect a walk in the park just because it's Santa Cruz/

    Tips for prospective students

    We have a greek life if you're interested! People seem to think we don't. Yes it is small, but more popular than I would have expected. If greek life is important to your college experience, this is a prospective school for you. If it isn't, there are plenty of groups you can belong to and sports you can play that will make you feel apart of something because that is important part of college. You aren't missing out if you decide not to rush though, we have plenty of fun in the dorms too.

    In three sentences

    UCSC is the most beautiful college campus I have ever seen. Besides the ever so friendly deer, the students are approachable and you can tell the professors really care. This campus has some of the most breath taking views imaginable and is located in a fun college based town.

  • 07/11/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    83 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Very safe

    Greek Life

    some greek life but not not much

    Clubs and Activities

    film club surfing, chess, hiking, sailing, study abroad club

    Great for these types of students

    Students who like a big campus with a small feel and have to go to all your classes

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    IDK any as of yet

    Bang for the buck

    The views are wonderful and you can see deers walking on campus

    What to do for fun

    hiking, clubs, volleyball, the beach, biking etc

    Food and Dining

    great nice selection

    Dorm Life

    Awesome you have your own themes for each college dorm

    Academic Rigor

    on quarters so it can be fast pace don't miss any class

    Tips for prospective students

    Use your advisers, get a tutor if needed learn good time management skills study hard attend all classes.

    In three sentences

    This school has a great film and Media Dept. The academics are great! The campus is beautiful and not over loaded it's a wonderful study environment for me.

  • 07/12/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    84 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Since UC SC is on a hill, there are many hiking trails and trails for people who like to run and bike. Since Santa Cruz is near the coast, students can go to the Boardwalk or beaches around the area via the bus. There are not many stores at downtown Santa Cruz, but there are a variety or Japanese sushi restaurants, greek restaurants, froyo stores, and sandwich shops to try out.

    Food and Dining

    Meatless Mondays at the dining halls are not the best, but you do have five dining halls to choose form, in addition to the various cafes and sandwich shops scattered across the campus. Students living on campus have a choice between a five day meal plan or a seven day meal plan, which basically means that you can enter the dining hall as many times as you want. The best dining halls would have to be Cowell and Crown. They always have an unique variety of food.

    Dorm Life

    Living in co-ed floors makes it easier to get to meet people. Also co-ed floor restrooms get really dirty compared to the all girls floor. The first week of school is the best week to get to meet people. Leave your door open or get out to your floor and introduce yourself to your floor mates. If you miss the opportunity, you might never meet some of the people on your floor.

    Academic Rigor

    The classes at this school is not necessary really difficult. It really depends on how much time you spend on studying. There are many resources available to students who may be struggling in classes such as tutoring and sections. Also, the difficulty of the classes varies depending on your major. Students who are interested in entering the medical field, of course, have tougher science courses in addition to long lab classes. But for students who are literature majors or business majors have easier classes and less requirements. Usually most college classes have hardly or a little bit of homework. It all depends on yourself to attend class and study.

    Tips for prospective students

    Students who are interested in attending UC SC should maintain a high GPA and high SAT score. Students should try to be involved in school activities, clubs, or sports to have a more competitive edge. Make sure you revise your personal statements before submitting online.

    In three sentences

    As a student attending UC SC, I have to say I really like the forest like environment even though I am a city girl at heart. Majority of the students on campus are super friendly and helpful. Also, the campus is beautiful since you can always find deers/raccoons wandering around.

  • 07/13/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    85 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Santa Cruz is big on safety, there are emergency lights and police phones located across campus. UCSC is also the only campus to have its own fire station ( due to the forrest area that UCSC is located in) Also they have a campus escort service that will meet you anywhere on campus and walk you to where you need to be so you do not have to walk alone at night.

    Greek Life

    Santa Cruz has greek life, but only about 2% of campus is involved in Greek Life.

    Clubs and Activities

    Like many schools there are endless amounts of clubs on campus, there are clubs dedicated to playing sports for fun as wells as ones dedicated to the environment and other causes.

    Great for these types of students

    Santa Cruz has a very diverse community. Students with open minds who are willing to accept others opinions is a big part of UCSC's values.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The mascot is a Banana Slug, not the most fast or ferocious of mascots, but definitely the most unique.

    What to do for fun

    You can see the ocean from campus, its 5 minutes away, there are also places about 10 min from campus to go Ziplining and do Adventure Courses, there is the SC Mystery Spot, whale watching, bowling, movie theaters ( with discounted student tickets), San Fransisco is only about an hour away.

    Food and Dining

    Meal plans here are perfect, you can get a 7 day or a 5day meal plan, 5 day meal plans allow you to enter the dinning halls unlimited amounts of times Monday-Friday, the 7 day plan allows you to enter the dinning hall unlimitted amounts of times any day of the week. You can get as much food as you want once you enter a dining hall, you can visit any of the 5 dining halls on campus whichever one you prefer. Students also recive flexi dollars which are accepted at the resturants on campus and the quicky mart.

    Dorm Life

    I was suprised with the size of dorm rooms, they are actually quite a bit bigger than most of the other dorms have toured. For a double room (which is my living situation) Each student gets a bed, their own desk and dresser a closet or wardrobe and a bookcase or bookshelves. Each floor has about 12 dorm rooms and a communal bathroom located in the center of the floor. There are many options for living situations such as sub-free floors, all female floors, ect. and there are also other sub groups such as athletic, or slug spirit, for those students who have great school spirit. Santa Cruz has ten different dorms each with its own core values. It is very easy to find a place that best suits each personality.

    Academic Rigor

    Santa Cruz is a UC school and therefore has a tough academic rigor. But that should never discourage anyone from applying or attending. Santa Cruz is also known for its studies in biology, specifically genetics.

    Tips for prospective students

    Definitely visit the campus, It is located in the hills of Santa Cruz, where there are lots of trees. The campus is beautiful but there are tons of hills and the campus is spread out significantly. There is a bus system that students can take to go from each part of campus in a shorter amount of time.

  • 07/15/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    86 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Expect CruzAlerts (via text and e-mail) every time a suspicious package is found somewhere on the 2,000 acre main campus or, more likely, whenever a cougar is spotted in the forest. Still, http://www.stabsantacruz.com/

    Greek Life

    There is no Greek life at UCSC, only off-campus business fraternities. Quite frankly, though, this is not a school for people looking for Greek life. This is an institution for people who DIDN'T peak in high school.

    Clubs and Activities

    Anyone can find their niche at this school. Counter-intuitively, we even have a College Republicans Club.

    Great for these types of students

    More than just a stoner school, UC Santa Cruz is also a place for people who backpack, skate, make art, surf, swim, and honestly need to get away from the city for a while.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    First Rain, or the Naked Run, occurs during the first rainfall of the school year. Beginning by the totem pole at Porter College, students gather together in the nude and run throughout campus. In the rain. Naked. While the rules for First Rain are debated each year, in truth, the naked people decide when it happens. 4/20, an unsanctioned event not at all supported by the campus, is a large gathering of students in the meadow and the surrounding trees behind Porter College to smoke marijuana each April. Drum circles abound. A police force is present, though, they are mostly there to ensure that people stay safe.

    Bang for the buck

    UCs are increasingly expensive and the cost of housing almost matches tuition itself. More expensive than a CSU but much less than a private college, UC Santa Cruz will give students experiences they will not forget, however it should be noted that a lot of students study abroad or transfer (in or out) after two years.

    What to do for fun

    Go on a hike, go to the beach, paint a mural at Porter College, play an instrument in a public place, join a club, take a random P.E. class at the gym--I suggest tai chi chuan, skateboard in the one parking structure, join a pot luck at the on-campus trailer park, rearrange the furniture at lounges, leave a filing cabinet full of Red Bull in the library during finals week, lick banana slugs, feed the squirrels.

    Food and Dining

    Every two colleges share a dining hall; there are five dining halls scattered throughout campus. Each one serves a variety of fresh, organic produce. Main entrees, though, are hit or miss. The halls cycle recipes and some dining halls prepare dishes better than others (Cowell/Stevenson, for instance). Make piece with the well-stocked sandwich bars and one will make it through the year. Also, every Monday, one of the five dining halls goes Meatless, promoting a more sustainable and vegan-friendly approach to eating.

    Dorm Life

    UC Santa Cruz has a special set of dorms just for incoming transfer students. Here, one is able to meet people also experiencing the same transitions (possibly for the first time) without feeling out of place or unwelcome at such a large university. The dorms themselves are small and their condition varies throughout campus. Quiet hours become a bit of a hassle (10 on weeknights, 12 on weekends) and Campus Security Officers do not hesitate to interfere. In short, partying in the dorms can be difficult, so most students choose to do so off-campus. A low-key kickback, however, is very possible (twenty-five students can fit in a double).

    Academic Rigor

    I had no problem transferring from a community college to this university. The campus is very student-friendly; staff and administrators actually answer e-mails or have decent office hours. I found the Services for Transfer and Re-entry Students (STARS) especially helpful, since they had two offices. A possible challenge may be the transition from a sixteen-week semester system to UCSC's ten-week quarter system, though many students prefer the faster pace because it affords the opportunity to take more classes in less time.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do not be surprised if you feel lost, alone and/or overwhelmed navigating this expansive space. The people on campus (and in the city) are easy-going and ultimately mean well. Santa Cruz is magical; you wake-up next to redwoods and fall asleep beneath the clearest skies and brightest stars.

    In three sentences

    The campus itself is enchanting; I have never seen so may trees in one place at a time. The people are different, an eclectic mix of hipsters and hippies, and do not hesitate to speak their minds. The mascot is a banana slug, absolutely something to pride.

  • 07/15/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    87 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    The dining halls and/or dorms will have lots of events throughout the year. Check them out. They're pretty fun. Clubs and sororities/fraternities are also available to join, and don't forget those Super Mario Smash Bros tournaments! (And the occasional LoL tourney...) Orrr, you can just visit the Boardwalk and lay at the beach or something during one of those sunny days...

    Food and Dining

    All of the dining halls are quit delicious except for ONE particular dining hall.... but that's to decide for yourself. (: (Hint: the one horrible dining hall never changes what's on the menu and is one of the only ones that open late night.)

    Dorm Life

    There are two methods of picking which dorm you'll stay in.. (1.) Pick it based by the theme (some college focuses on English, another focuses on Technology, another Law..) or (2.) pick the dorm based on looks (9/10 dorms are fairly new.. Cowell is like the oldest or something.. Picking a dorm superficially has its pros and cons. Pro - you'll live in luxury. The showers/bathrooms won't be crappy as crap. The hallways won't be scary and you won't feel like you're in the ghettos. Con - if you pick a dorm based on the theme that really corresponds with what you're interested in pursuing in college, you'll definitely find people with similar tastes. Picking a dorm based on looks? Uh...better luck!

    Academic Rigor

    The quarter system is hard. Everything needs to be learned in ten weeks, and before you know it, midterms and finals bombard you like asteroids. You're studying your butt off while your friends in other Universities are enjoying their break and taking their sweet time studying. Take the right classes, know what you want as a Major. It'll make your life easier and school experience much more fun. Trust me.

    Tips for prospective students

    Think about what you want to major as, take the right classes, and for God's sake, avoid College 9/10 for dinner!!

    In three sentences

    UCSC is a very chillax college with great weather, interesting teachers, and students from all over the place! Just be sure to be mentally prepared for quarter systems, because the school year is fast paced and in a blink of an eye, it's all over.

  • 07/16/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    88 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    All, There is a place for everyone.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    No just beautiful trees and wooded areas.

    What to do for fun

    Go to the movies, hiking, bike riding, restaurants.

    Tips for prospective students

    Work hard. stay focused, and prioritize your time.

    In three sentences

    The University of California, Santa Cruz is an excellent college. There are many opportunities, both educationally and for extra-curricular. In addition, it is a welcoming campus with friendly and helpful students and staff.

  • 07/21/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    89 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Greek Life is quite small here at UCSC and we don't have a Frat Row, or any greek houses for that matter. There are several social sororities and fraternities, as well as co-ed pre-med, community service, and business fraternities.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    We have a First Run where, on the first heavy rain storm of the year, students strip down and run all over campus in the nude. There is also a large 4/20 event in Porter Meadow, although it is easy to avoid for those non-smokers out there.

    What to do for fun

    Campus is in the forest, so there's always lots of exploring to do and mountain biking trials to ride. We also have a great field overlooking the Monterey Bay for running and sports playing. The beach, wharf, and boardwalk are about 15 minutes away on the city bus, and downtown is about the same, making any adventure easy to get to. San Jose is just 30 minutes away and San Francisco is about 90 minutes away, making them great places to go out for a special evening occasion. We have several bars and nightclubs downtown, and a few music venues (including the Catalyst) where well known performers often visit.

    Food and Dining

    There are five dining halls around campus, making it easy to stop by any one on the way to class. The food in most of them is okay, although some are definitely better than others, so check them all out! There are many vegetarian and vegan options at all dining halls, and much of our food is locally grown and organic, and the bakery on campus makes a lot of yummy breads and desserts. Joe's (sandwiches and pizza) is centrally located and very very yummy, and we also have a mexican restaurant, two 'quicki-marts', several cafes around campus, and two food trucks around lunchtime. A cafe was just added to the newly renovated library, which is great and convenient for a study break and snack, especially during finals time.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life can be a bit boring, as there aren't a ton of activities put on by res. life. To fix that, we would just create our own events and plan activities together. Being proactive is the best way to get things done. The dorms themselves are quite nice (especially in the newer colleges), and be sure to check out all five dining halls, as the one closest to your dorm may not be your favorite.

    Academic Rigor

    While our academics are seemingly not as rigorous as some of the other UCs, classes tend to be challenging and interesting. In ten quarters I have only taken two or three classes that I really did not like. Stay on top of your work (even reading!!) and study hard, and everything will be okay :) Also, make sure to take advantage of sections, TA and professor's office hours, MSI sections, and tutors..these are all set up to help you succeed!

    Tips for prospective students

    Make friends in other colleges! It is easy to get stuck in your own dorm area, but branching out will make your experience here much better. Taking classes outside of your major whenever possible is fantastic and can open your mind to a lot of new and interesting things. Also, participate in extracurriculars and take time to explore our beautiful campus.

    In three sentences

    This campus is great--it is heaven for the adventurous, outdoorsy student and those who don't enjoy hiking around can still appreciate our locations beauty in the comfort of the dorms, libraries, and classrooms. Since the campus and living areas are all spread out, there isn't much of a common hang-out area, and the lack of large sports teams doesn't do much to help inspire school pride. There are loads of great professors though, and you get out what you put into your classes.

  • 08/02/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    90 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Tons of dedication and time consuming.

    Clubs and Activities

    There is a variety of clubs and if you cant find something that you like or are interested you can always make your own club.

    Great for these types of students

    You must enjoy nature or at least like the nature.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    You must find that out on your own its more exciting that way!

    What to do for fun

    UCSC is a place for adventure tons of beautiful sites for hiking, tons of cool hidden spots you must visit throughout your years. The beach is beautiful and the boardwalk is tons of fun with a group of friends. The best part of Santa Cruz is all the extremely tasty restaurants, from burgers to sushi!

    Food and Dining

    Many options to eat including vegan, and gluten free diets.

    Dorm Life

    Porter is extremely beautiful. The vibe from everyone just makes porter a very unique place.

    Academic Rigor

    Although General Education classes are expected to be easy, do not be fooled they are also very challenging.

    Tips for prospective students

    Always dress in layers in the morning it might be a bit chilly but once you get out of class the weather turns warm. In class don't be scared to ask questions, because there is no such thing as a dumb question.

    In three sentences

    Once you arrive to Santa Cruz the air feels fresher with a hit of peacefulness. You feel as if you are in a beautiful forest surrounded by beautiful deer. The people you encounter are always extremely nice.

  • 08/04/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    91 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus police provide safety for the students, as well as a firefighter station within the campus.

    Greek Life

    Plenty of Fraternity and Sororities available for anyone interested.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are many clubs and activities, too many too type, so many that there is a fair at the beginning of every school year where all the clubs and fraternities and sororities get together to recruit interested people into their organizations.

    Great for these types of students

    Great for anyone who is super friendly and outgoing, loves and cares for the environment, may be vegetarian or vegan, and loves to be outdoors!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Every year at the very first rainfall of the fall semester, the students get together to do the naked run, in which of course they run naked around campus! At the end, they jump in the hot pool by the gym.

    What to do for fun

    There is lots to do in Santa Cruz! Hiking and camping in the Santa Cruz mountains is amazing! The beach is also right downtown, about 5 miles from the university, maybe less, and offers surfing, paddle boarding, and sailing. The Santa Cruz Boardwalk sit right on the beach, attracting tourists and residents everyday! There is a downtown in the heart of Santa Cruz with lovely little shops, restaurants, and cafes, as well as museums, record shops, and a skating rink. The Santa Cruz mission itself is a historic landmark that rests on a hill next to the downtown area.

    Food and Dining

    Santa Cruz is known for being very vegan and vegetarian friendly! The food is imported locally so it is always fresh!

    Dorm Life

    Amazing! The people are friendly and everyone is unique because they come from different places from all over the world! There are 10 colleges throughout the universities, each its own community. You meet new people everyday.

    Academic Rigor

    Although Santa Cruz is one of the top schools with academic achievements, they are not a competitive and high demanding as most universities may be.

    Tips for prospective students

    Explore! Santa Cruz is sitting in a forest filled with adventures! Hike, run, climb trees, watch the sunset on a hill while over-looking the ocean. It is truly a beautiful place to be.

    In three sentences

    A charming university nestled in the hills of the Santa Cruz mountains, I find it welcoming and exciting. The forest and the ocean, as well as the small town contain opportunities for adventure and discovery. The people are some of the friendliest and interesting people I have ever met for they contribute to the welcoming and exciting environment.

  • 08/06/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    92 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    The campus is close to the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk. It is nice to go with friends when you are free of time.

    Food and Dining

    The food and dining are great. You can never go hungry.

    Dorm Life

    You can relate to anyone and everyone are social

    Academic Rigor

    tutoring can be very helpful in the university.

    Tips for prospective students

    The baskin engineering of engineering is a neat building to see.

    In three sentences

    University of California Santa Cruz is a well organized school. The college life is unique because everyone can relate by college residents. The university is open for any help needed by students and parents.

  • 08/09/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    93 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There are very few incidents here, and they are always dealt with quickly and appropriately.

    Greek Life

    HA. It does exist, but we try to keep it on the down low. A huge draw for prospective students is that there isn't much Greek Life here.

    Clubs and Activities

    Great if you are part of ethnic-minority, but if you're not it can be a challenge to find a club that interests you.

    Great for these types of students

    Liberal, artsy, hip, athletic, and serious. There's a pretty huge variety here, but the main factor is that this college is very liberal and LGBT-friendly.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    FIRST RAIN and 4/20!! During the first rain the campus has a naked run at night, starting at Porter College and spreading across campus. Be prepared to join, watch, or hide!! Also, Porter Meadow is in/famous for it's HUGE 4/20 celebration. People from all over come to take part in the festivities.

    Bang for the buck

    I LOVE it here, but it really is just too expensive.

    What to do for fun

    Go to the beach!! Or stay on campus and check out the trails. Downtown has lots of fun shops, too, which are easy to get to if you just take the bus from campus.

    Food and Dining

    The food is great, but it definitely gets tiring after eating at the dining halls all year. Thankfully, most meal plans offer flexi-dollars, which allow you to dine or buy food at the campus cafes, stores, and restaurants. It's also very vegetarian and vegan- friendly here.

    Dorm Life

    It depends on which of the ten colleges you attend. Each has a distinct feeling (and stereotype) and some of the buildings are much newer than others.

    Academic Rigor

    Some of the classes aren't very challenging, some are way too challenging on the quarter system, some are just right. You'll get a mixture of all of them.

    Tips for prospective students

    Learn your way around campus, don't be afraid to try a new trail... it could be a shortcut!! Also, quarter system moves super fast, so make sure to stay on top of work and due dates right from the start.

    In three sentences

    UCSC's campus is beautiful. The professors and students here are friendly and happy and willing to help you find your way around campus. The only problem is that it is too expensive!!

  • 08/14/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    94 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    UC Santa Cruz has several sports, clubs, and activities for its students. From Zumba to jiu jitsu and from wilderness hikes to crew, UC Santa Cruz is dedicated to the well being of its student population. And if there is an activity that is not already set up, then one can easily get a few friends and start a new club.

    What to do for fun

    UC Santa Cruz host several events for its students, but one can spend their time simply exploring the wilderness of the campus. Students also enjoying shopping downtown in the city or going to see a movie. Then there is also the famous Boardwalk, where one can ride roller coaster, play volleyball on the beach, or take a swim in the ocean.

    Food and Dining

    There are many options of where to eat at UC Santa Cruz. While the cafeteria food is not he greatest, there are many small restaurants on campus where food can be bought and several places down in the city. Students at UC Santa Cruz also enjoy the ethnic variety in the food that is served on campus as well as the variety that can be found in the city itself.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms at UC Santa Cruz come in all different shapes, sizes, and environments. There are floors that cater to video game lovers or people who stay up till 3 in the morning. There are also on campus apartments. The trick is to find the atmosphere that best suits you.

    Academic Rigor

    The professors at UC Santa Cruz will have you studying late into the night. However, there are many study groups and chances to talk to the professors throughout the quarter if assistants with homework or understanding of the class material is needed.

    Tips for prospective students

    Students who are looking to become apart of UC Santa Cruz should be proactive and like nature. The school is very eco-friendly and is surrounded by trees, deer, and other aspects of nature. One should also be prepared for the hard rains and the hot sun when in Santa Cruz.

    In three sentences

    UC Santa Cruz is an engaging and friendly environment. There are many opportunities for students here to find, all one needs to do is ask. This school has a beautiful campus and has a home away from feel on camps and with the surrounding neighborhood.

  • 08/19/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    95 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    During the school year we hear cops and the ambulance all the time, but mostly just for alcohol poisoning.

    Greek Life

    Although Greek life is not very big it is expanding and it is a lot of fun. I highly recommend Greek life.

    Great for these types of students

    Hippies!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    On the first rain of the school year there is a naked run around campus. Thousands participate, and yes they are really naked.

    What to do for fun

    Going to the beach on the weekends is fun especially in the fall and spring because the boardwalk is open.

    Food and Dining

    The food is good for the first three months. After it gets pretty boring. Same ol' Same ol'

    Dorm Life

    Since they separate the school into 10 smaller colleges, dorm life feels like a community. You really get to know the people in your college. As a freshman you wont feel lost or out of place because everyone is friendly and welcoming!

    Academic Rigor

    Courses vary from easy to hard. Stay focused and dedicated.

    Tips for prospective students

    Enjoy your surroundings! I am not the type of girl who would stop and smell the flowers but being in such a beautiful place has really taught me to appreciate the free things in life.

    In three sentences

    UCSC is unlike any other school in California. The atmosphere is mellow and very relaxed due to the fact that we are surrounded by nature. It takes time getting used to it, but I love it!

  • 08/22/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    96 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    There are a lot of different clubs that will be a great fit for every kind of student.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There is this thing called First Rain in which the first time it rains continuously for the whole day students gather at Porter in the night and run around the entire school completely naked and end up skinny dipping in the OPERS pool.

    What to do for fun

    There's always the beach, checking out the cool shops downtown, the boardwalk or just staying at school. There is a lot of nature to be explored and there are a lot of hiking trails and go exploring in the woods.

    Food and Dining

    The food is excellent! I've heard from other schools where pizza and burgers are a twenty-four seven thing but at Santa Cruz the food looks homemade and there is a large number of variety. The fact that we have five different dinning halls gives students even more option every day.

    Dorm Life

    Santa Cruz is set up in a way where it has ten different residential building, each with its own theme that you get to choose. It is therefore more likely to end up with a lot of people that share similar interests as yours.

    Academic Rigor

    The classes and professors themselves are very challenging but at the same time the professors are willing to help, they want to help. Go to office hours!

    Tips for prospective students

    You definitively want to go looking for your classes before you start because the campus is fairly big and easy to get lost when you don't know your way around.

    In three sentences

    It was definitively the right choice for me. The people there are extremely friendly and open-minded. The beach is just a fifteen minute bus ride away and there is never a boring minute.

  • 08/23/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    97 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    The offers are endless you can join in anything. From dance to religion, to politics and sports there's always an organization or hobby students would love to do than spend the day in their room being bored

    Food and Dining

    The food is delicious!!!!!! You can expect nothing but the best, and if your vegetarian no need to worry because they also serve food for the people in those conditions and more. They even have College Nights, events that occur in the college dining halls that makes a plain meal into a fun moment (Alice in Wonderland, Folklorico Night, Etc.)

    Dorm Life

    What students worry most when it comes to moving in is the people they will share the room with. No need to fear the housing offices for each college does the best they can to get each student what they ask for. What's best is the fact that they even find the people that best matches your personality so your dorm life won't be as terrible then expected.

    Academic Rigor

    Academics depend on the class your taking or the professor who's teaching the class. No need to worry there are sources that can help you pass any class or help you make the decisions when it comes enrolling in new classes. The most important thing is that you do all your work and readings on time, because those are the lesson that will reflect on the lectures and exams.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be open of the opportunities this campus has to offer, join in clubs that you thought you'd never join in (for it may be your new passion). The amount of work assigned to students is always a work load, try to manage your time with school and social life. And finally don't procrastinate if you follow those simple tips and you'll have an amazing college experience.

  • 08/28/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    98 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I want to say it safe becuase nothing has happen to me directly but we do sometimes get reports of stealing and a few other things. Other than that the campus is safe.

    Clubs and Activities

    I use to volunteer in the beginning but I did not like the people whom I was working with so stopped going. Still that was something I did for myself not be the school so finding fun things to do depends on the person. Still I have not entered in many clubs and participated in a few activities.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Besides the rain run that started in the fall and the 4/20 event that happen as well as the protest on May, no nothing out of the ordinary.

    Bang for the buck

    Right now I'm just getting my G.E. out of the way as do all freshman students do. Unless you have a specific major and are following a course plan for that major, it may not feel like bang for your buck.

    What to do for fun

    There's lots to do you just have to find it. There are usually fliers around telling you of events coming up as well as e-mail. but most people i see just exercise on their own since the campus is beautiful to look at.

    Food and Dining

    Because a like at a college 10 dorm my food is quite diverse and is very delicious. however it does boring after a while so another college dining area would be college 8/oaks, their food is just as good.

    Dorm Life

    This is all luck from who your roommates are, to the dorm room to who will be living in the same floor as you. I was luck to get great roommates who understand and respect me, and an awesome big room with a sink. Also being social to your floor mates is not as bad as most people think.

    Academic Rigor

    Some class are hard and difficult but the teachers are willing to help. It all a matter of self discipline from going to class to asking for help. Usually general class are less strict.

    Tips for prospective students

    Join in something, anything that seems interesting. You may like it or you may not but its a fun experience to try new things while expanding your horizon and your social network because one thing is for sure when you enter college the one thing you'll need are friends.

    In three sentences

    The best looking campus ever. Not only do you learn as a college student but there are opportunities to join the community and be apart of something big. With 10 Themes to choose from it makes the school even more diverse, making it fun to find friends with the same interest as you.

  • 08/30/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    99 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    One would think that the campus would be less safe, since it's in a forest, but they would be wrong. Most of the dangerous activity that occurs happens in and around the dormitories instead, the same as with any other college. We have a CruzAlert system which allows the police to send out notifications of dangerous or suspicious activity on campus to the entire student body. It's worth signing up for (it's free).

    Greek Life

    There are fraternities and sororities, but the Greek housing is off campus, so they tend to leave those living on campus alone. I am not personally a fan of Greek life, but I know that some are, so it is available if you come to Santa Cruz.

    Clubs and Activities

    The OPERS facility is great and there are clubs for just about anything you could think about. Go to the OPERS Fall Festival at the beginning of each school year to learn more about the various student groups on campus. I have been involved in the UCSC Ninjutsu Training Group for three years now, and I don't regret a single minute of it.

    Great for these types of students

    Santa Cruz is a highly liberal campus, and it caters to the sorts of people who enjoy being around nature.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Every year during the night of the first full day of rain, hundreds of students run a circuit of campus in the nude. It's referred to as the First Rain run, and it can be an interesting experience to take part in or simply to watch.

    Bang for the buck

    The site is gorgeous, but tuition keeps going up. It is becoming increasingly more unreasonable to call the UC schools public as their tuition begins to more closely resemble that of private schools.

    What to do for fun

    When people think of Santa Cruz, they tend to think of the Boardwalk. I have been a student at Santa Cruz, and the only times I have chosen to go there myself has been for the Boardwalk Frolic at the beginning of each year, where the students have exclusive access. There is plenty to do on campus to keep someone busy for many years. Get involved with student groups. Go exploring. There are mountain biking trails and caves to explore all on campus. You can go hiking or running or find a quieter group that enjoys Magic the Gathering or watching Anime. Santa Cruz has it all.

    Food and Dining

    The dining halls serve great food, and the 7-day meal plan allows you to go in whenever you like as long as they are open and eat all that you care to. It's a good value, especially if you tend to eat a lot. The food is good, too. While dining halls have staples like pizza and burgers, each dining hall is slightly different and the menus change every day. They also take suggestions seriously, and try to meet any requests. They have a wide variety of food for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-intolerant students as well.

    Dorm Life

    I was a Resident Assistant at Merrill College for two years, and I can tell you that the dorms are a great place to start. Hall events occur throughout the quarter to bring everyone together, and the dorms provide an environment in which you can meet others with similar interests. On top of this, the dorms are on-campus, so you will be living in the middle of a redwood forest.

    Academic Rigor

    The classes at UCSC are challenging, and you get a grade that matches the amount of work that you put in. In upper division classes, it is not uncommon to have over 300 pages of reading to do each day for class on top of essays and other work. You get out what you put in.

    Tips for prospective students

    Get lost on campus. Go out and explore. Campus is big and can seem a little intimidating at first, but there are treasures to be found everywhere. From rope swings in the forest to a massive library, UCSC has something for everybody. The quickest way to learn it all is to get lost and find your way around.

    In three sentences

    Santa Cruz is the most gorgeous university I've ever seen. It's located in a redwood forest with clear and easy access to the beach, creating a learning environment unlike any other. The academic program is great, but the site itself is what really distinguishes UCSC from other schools.

  • 08/30/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    100 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Those darn CSO's. Haha

    Greek Life

    Not that popular, but increasing!

    Clubs and Activities

    The recreation office is great! So many outings! It is insane! Must take advantage of it.

    Great for these types of students

    Open minded. Chill.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    NAKED RUN! I have yet to do it but on the first rain of the school year, the students run butt naked around campus. Pretty crazy.

    What to do for fun

    Beach Boardwalk. Arcade. Bowl. Movie theater. Beach. Bars. Clubs. HIKE. Explore.

    Food and Dining

    The Cafes are good! Dining Halls are good too. Freshmen 5 because of all the hills.

    Dorm Life

    ABSOLUTELY A MUST. So much fun! You meet most of your friends at the dorms.

    Academic Rigor

    Some majors are INTENSE and you have no life (computer science, electrical engineering, the science majors) but other majors are chill like literature, psychology, sociology. There tends to be curves so do better then the class average.

    Tips for prospective students

    Go to the professor's office hours. Make a friend in each class to have a study buddy. Don't forget to have fun.

    In three sentences

    Such a chill environment. Growth as a person. Empowered by knowledge.

  • 09/05/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    101 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Very safe and CSO's (campus police) are available immediately after you call the dispatcher.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There is a cave named Porter cave that has three different levels underground and is a popular adventure spot.

    What to do for fun

    You can go to the beautiful beaches like Natural Bridges or the Boardwalk. Check out the Mystery Spot for only $5. Go downtown, shop and go to the movies.

    Food and Dining

    Dining halls offer a variety of foods. Plenty of cafes on campus to dine at.

    Dorm Life

    I had the best experience at Oakes College. I made many friends and felt like part of the community. We had community bbq's and activities.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes are challenging but easy to understand.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do not take office hours for granted. Look for help in different resource centers.

    In three sentences

    UC Santa Cruz is a great university where students can achieve academically and be part of multiple organizations on campus. Professors and teacher assistants have very flexible office hours and sections to help students achieve. Classes are easy to sign up for and many are available for all three quarters.

  • 09/06/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    102 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    It is low

    Great for these types of students

    Outgoing and love the nature

    What to do for fun

    Santa Cruz Boardwalk

    Tips for prospective students

    Do not be afraid of going far to go to this school. It's a great experience

    In three sentences

    I love the education here as well as the atmosphere. A very well located University with tons of adventures and experiences yet to see. Recommend this place

  • 09/10/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    103 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The Naked Run; the day of the first rain on a weekday from 10am to 7pm hundreds of students run from college to college naked and finish with a dip in campus pool. Not far from Stevenson College is a rope swing into a river and a place called Garden of Eden. It's just a short hiking through Pogonip forest. Porter meadows is favorite party spot and 420 hangout.

    What to do for fun

    Hiking, swimming, relaxing at the beach, soccer, rugby, tennis, running, Ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, parkour, gaming, dances, parties, raves, free movies on campus, concerts.

    Food and Dining

    Dining halls vary in quality. They're usually pretty good in the beginning of each quarter and slowly get worse.

    Dorm Life

    Each college has it's own community. Stevenson and Cowell have a lot of athletic people, Crown and Merril have a lot of gamers, Nine and Ten have a lot of people from the Bay, Porter and Kresge have a lot of stoner/hippy types, and Eight and Oakes have a lot of SoCal people.

    Academic Rigor

    Most classes are challenging and fun thanks to the great professors.

    Tips for prospective students

    Have fun and make friends. College is more than just academics.

    In three sentences

    UCSC has a very inviting and fun atmosphere. The professors are all nice, intelligent, and love their jobs. The campus is very beautiful and has a great view of Monterey Bay.

  • 09/10/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    104 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus is located on a hill a mile or so above the rest of the city, which makes it safer. In the two years that I lived on campus, I never really felt unsafe.

    Greek Life

    Not the place for those looking to go greek. Most students reject greek life, though there are a few sororities and fraternities (they aren't allowed to have their own houses, though).

    Clubs and Activities

    I don't really know about these. I've heard they're fine-ish. Seem sort of lacking in variety, esp. in the sports department.

    Great for these types of students

    Liberal-minded people; people from diverse backgrounds (though the school itself is somewhat lacking in ethnic diversity). Good for those planning to major in science, linguistics, or the social sciences.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    -Naked Run (AKA First Rain): happens the night of the first rain (everyone has different variations of the exact definition of what counts as raining) -4/20 at the Meadow

    Bang for the buck

    With rising price of tuition, it makes more sense to transfer here. Overall, I don't feel too ripped off, though. I feel as though I've gotten a decent quality of education. Like I said, it's up to you to determine how much you get out of your experience (which is true almost anywhere, I'd imagine). Cost of living in the city, however, is very expensive.

    What to do for fun

    Hiking/exploring upper-campus (AKA the woods). Hundreds of different paths on campus. Go to the beach. Downtown is pretty decent--good coffee shops and places to eat.

    Food and Dining

    There are 5 dining halls, they're pretty average overall. Great salad bars and decent cereal selection. Very vegetarian/vegan friendly. Some tasty cafes: the Owl's Nest, Stevenson Coffee House (favorite), Cowell Coffee Shop, Taco's Morenos, and more.

    Dorm Life

    Each college attracts different groups of people and has its own stereotype (usually pretty accurate). I, unfortunately, did not know this and entered under the (mistaken) assumption that the experience would be the same regardless of college. Wrong. So very wrong. Merrill=isolated, loners, stoners (sterile merril; merriljuana); Crown=nerds, computer geeks; Stevenson=hipsters; Cowell=normal-ish people; 9/10=normal-ish people, pre-med and bio; Kresge=art kids, hipsters; Porter=druggies, art and music kids; College 8=So Cal bros/hos; Oakes=Latinos and other minority groups

    Academic Rigor

    Academics at UCSC can be as rigorous or as relaxed as you choose. Certain programs/majors are more intensive than others and professors within each department vary. During my first year or so, I did not actively seek to be challenged and thus was bored. Once I began taking upper-div courses and decided to double major, however, I found the perfect amount of intellectual stimulation. Because academics are not extremely rigorous here, I've been able to double major and put energy into exploring my interests in a way that I might not have been able to do at a more demanding school.

    Tips for prospective students

    Really research the ten colleges--each is very different and will shape your experience at UCSC in a very big way. Each college has a completely different feel, attracts different people. I regret not finding out more about them before my freshman year.

    In three sentences

    UCSC is a good school; not a great school, but a solidly good one. Beautiful, if inconvenient location. Somewhat disconnected student body--maybe more so than schools with a football team, but the rejection of traditional college experience/atmosphere also serves to unite in a way.

  • 09/12/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    105 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus is very safe. School police make sure to keep it that way.

    Greek Life

    Not very important considering most of the students are hipsters and don't like the greek life. But it's definitely there to try it out!

    Clubs and Activities

    There are many clubs to fit everyone's interests.

    Great for these types of students

    Environmentalist, musicians, and nature lovers, you'll love this school.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The Naked Run On the first rain of the school year students will gather at nighttime in the Porter quad and run across the campus naked. Note: For it to be the official rain, it must rain all day as long as it last into the night. Past midnight.

    Bang for the buck

    You'll often come across a deer when going to class!

    What to do for fun

    1. Hiking 2. Drum circles 3. Surfing 4. Boardwalk 5. Stroll in Downtown 6. Club activities 7. The Secret Spot

    Food and Dining

    The food at first is great because it's all you can eat. But like many students, you will get tired of the food by the end of the years because it's not as delicious as it seemed the first time. Rest assured, they make sure to cater to vegans as well. The food they serve are mostly organic.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is a blast! There are a total of 10 collages with their own theme. You will be associated with the college that fits your major.

    Academic Rigor

    Although it's not a very competitive school, that doesn't mean you should slack off. Professors are great so are the advisors. They do expect lots from you, because they know you can do it.

    Tips for prospective students

    1. Prepare yourself for lots of rain. If you lived all your life in southern California and plan to move to UCSC or up north, make sure to buy a pair of rain boots. 2. Bring lots of warm clothes. 3. Last but not least, a camera. So you can take pictures of all the wild animals and amazing sun sets.

    In three sentences

    UCSC has been everything that I expected, but it also continues to surprise me. I'm a city girl, but this school has turned my world upside down. It's on the top of a hill where you can overlook the ocean and it is filled with many opportunities to appreciate and fall in love with nature.

  • 09/18/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    106 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Mountain lions are present in the area, and you'll find an occasional bum.

    Greek Life

    hahahahaha.

    Clubs and Activities

    There's a decent selection. Don't be afraid to start something of your own.

    Great for these types of students

    Flexibility is a virtue. Someone who can work hard when no one else is.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    NAKED RUN.

    Bang for the buck

    Your paying for an education in America. Don't expect much from the bang/buck ratio.

    What to do for fun

    Hiking, Beach, House Parties, Downtown, Day trips (Big Sur and SF), live music

    Food and Dining

    TACOS MORENOS. The dining halls are mediocre. Lots of vegan options, though.

    Dorm Life

    UCSC is unique in this respect as well. There's 10 different residential colleges, each of which has it's own vibe. Porter is rowdy, and attracts the creative type. Kresge is filled with a bunch of faux hippies

    Academic Rigor

    This varies from department to department. Linguistics is killer.

    Tips for prospective students

    Research your department as best as you possibly can. Find out who your profs will be and look into what they're doing. This will help you taylor a schedule that fits you well (this is more important for upper div work). Be mindful of the people you surround yourself with--there is a strain of lethargy that is quite pronounced.

    In three sentences

    UCSC boasts a gorgeous campus that overlooks the Monterey Bay and is nestled amongst new-growth redwoods. The community is warm, accepting, and unique--Santa Cruz has a flavor you won't find in neighboring locales. With a keen social/academic sensibility, and a bit of good taste, you can arrange a top notch college experience.

  • 09/26/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    107 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    You will always be safe special security that stays protecting the school until 3am, and seriously who will even want to be outside after that.

    Clubs and Activities

    A great variety of clubs and activities, with quite a few being randomly planned and accepted.

    Great for these types of students

    UCSC is great for anyone that hates to be inside. You have a great environment and you'll just want to be exploring it all day.

    Bang for the buck

    Well worth the money. If you're going to go into debt, might as well go into debt in a place as nice as this.

    What to do for fun

    Boardwalk, Arcade, beach, hiking, camping, a INCREDIBLY long list of things to do.

    Food and Dining

    I've never had anything this good in any restaurant, the food is so good I can't stop going back. I'm afraid I'll gain to much weight. It's also Vegan friendly and organic.

    Dorm Life

    Great!!! Nothing else to say if you have people you have something in common with, which is what housing makes sure happens, you'll have a great time.

    Academic Rigor

    You need to be on top of things but the professors and staff here make everything quite easy.

    Tips for prospective students

    Learn bus routes and policies, you will need to be prepared for a rough life and it's best to be knowledgeable in all your actions.

    In three sentences

    UCSC has a beautiful campus along with many nice people and staff. Green and trees everywhere there is no place you cannot find relaxing for a little study session. Beach and Boardwalk near so a nice place to relax from studies..

  • 09/26/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    108 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    I have not tried the food.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms look nice but have not lived in them.

    Academic Rigor

    I feel like it is an other with a mix of hard and easy professors.

    Tips for prospective students

    Always be optamistic of your chances of getting in.

    In three sentences

    I really love how this school is close to the beach. It offers tons of majors.

  • 09/26/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    109 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    It's a tradition to kiss the first banana slug you see on campus. Another very crazy tradition is to run naked on the first day it rains in the fall.

    What to do for fun

    For fun you can go hiking, biking, go to the movie nights that are held in certain colleges within UCSC, or other events like the Boardwalk Frolic which is where the beach boardwalk is reserved for UCSC students and they can hang out at the beach and get on the rides as well as others things. There also going shopping downtown where people perform instruments or sing and do other types of entertainment. You can also go to the Capitola mall or to the mall in san jose.

    Food and Dining

    UCSC has both dining halls and cafes. The dining halls come with the meal plans so student that have that can go there but when the dining halls are closed students go to the cafes where they can use felxi dollars or cash. Flexi dollars are used by swiping the students ID card, they're basically like Debit Cards: you can put money into them and use it to buy food.

    Dorm Life

    I live off campus so I wouldn't know but what I do know is that the room&board is vey expensive!

    Academic Rigor

    Lots of work D: Be dedicated to your classes and do your work on time because it is a lot of work especially if you decide to do your assignments last minute. Proffesors say your supposed to study 15 hours for each of your classes. I have 3 so that means 45 hours of study :/

    Tips for prospective students

    Be friendly, don't be afraid to make new friends. College will be so much better if you have people that are going through the same stages as you are. Remember to also keep up with your work. You don't want to slack off at the last minute and end up failing the class becuase you got too confident.

    In three sentences

    It's a good school. It has a lot to do with nature, recycling and taking care of the environment and place we live in. It's a school dedicated to finding new ways to better & reduce the usage of water, energy and other things.

  • 09/27/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    110 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    Go to class and get involved.

    In three sentences

    UCSC is a beautiful school. It's a great place to walk to classes from its natural setting in the woods and enjoyable in the classroom with the great professors. Its 10 colleges within give you a variety of what kind of experience you would like to go through when attending this school.

  • 10/02/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    111 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    1) Tango lessons at the Palomar 2) Natural Bridges Beach 3) Seabright Beach 4 ) Trivia night at Woodstocks

    Food and Dining

    Lots of options for vegetarians. Less, but actual options for vegans. There are five dining halls and each is different. Those alone are fun to explore. Also look for the taco trucks!

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are expensive, and often small. The people that work to make the dorm experience as good as it can be are great however.

    Academic Rigor

    Students and teachers are serious here about academic rigor, and about academic integrity.

    Tips for prospective students

    Attend all lectures. Use LSS and MSI if possible! Attend sections. Don't be afraid to use office hours!

    In three sentences

    Unifersity of California, Santa Cruz is a very welcoming campus. It is full of many unique research opportunities for undergraduates. It is underrated.

  • 10/12/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    112 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    One very unusual yet cool tradition we have here at UCSC is the First Rain. There are certain rules in order for this event to occur. First, it has to rain for 10 consecutive hours before students can run around the campus naked.

    What to do for fun

    For fun, one can really join clubs. There is not much to do in the city besides shopping, so if you really want to have fun around here it is important that you get involved in clubs or sororities.

    Food and Dining

    The dining halls here are excellent! There is such a great variety in foods that its almost hard not to eat so much!! This facility is known to have the best vegan-friendly menu offering diverse, healthy and even organic foods!

    Dorm Life

    The dorm life is great!! The people, the clubs, the activities are endless! If you really want to have the ultimate dorm experience it is important that you communicate with your roommates, talk about your likes, dislikes,what makes you comfortable or uncomfortable etc.

    Academic Rigor

    The school has lots of potential to create young, and educated individuals but the only thing that is keeping this school from further excelling is funding. As we may know, the state of California keeps cutting down on education causing schools to cut back on programs that could potentially help students better their education.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you are planning to attend UC Santa Cruz, keep in mind that you'll be exposed to a small town, lots of nature, hills, and walking, taking the bus or riding your bicycle to get around.

    In three sentences

    This campus is just simply gorgeous!! On top of all of this the campus is culturally diverse. I love it for its beauty, diversity and the students political activism.

  • 10/24/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    113 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    perfectly safe. the scariest part is probably the raccoons.

    Greek Life

    it's almost nonexistent here. don't do it!

    Clubs and Activities

    not enough clubs, most of them are for minorities.

    Great for these types of students

    It's amazing for computer science since it's so close to Silicon Valley, a lot of recruiters come. Also any type of science major. Don't come here if you're a republican.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The naked run is at 10pm on the first rain. It's intense and thousands of people actually do it!

    Bang for the buck

    You must go to Burger, it's on Mission and Bay.

    What to do for fun

    Hike, explore, poetry slams, open mics, the catalyst downtown, shop, and restaurants.

    Food and Dining

    It's as good as any dining hall gets. The food is fresh, there are 5 different cafeterias to choose from, and that's not including the cafes! Really good variety, just wish there was a starbucks.

    Dorm Life

    The rooms are decently sized, and the bathrooms are cleaned regularly. There are also quiet hours that ensure time to focus on school without being distracted. You also make most of your friends in your hallway.

    Academic Rigor

    The quarter system is more intense then I originally anticipated. It involves a big load of course work and you can't afford to fall behind. Be aware of that and try to keep up.

    Tips for prospective students

    For anyone that wants to attend UC Santa Cruz, make sure you appreciate the forests here. There are so many secret trails and unknown waterfalls. Also, always make school your number one priority and try to join some clubs in order to be more involved.

    In three sentences

    It's one of the most beautiful schools in the entire world located in the middle of the Redwood Forest. Anyone who goes here is lucky to breathe in the fresh air and take in the unique views. Academically it's also very challenging.

  • 11/02/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    114 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    It is safe but I have encountered theft. So it just takes carefulness.

    Greek Life

    Most people are not part of a fraternity or sorority, but those who are are very involved.

    Clubs and Activities

    You've got to take initiative. Otherwise, it won't get you anywhere, but if you take initiative, great future awaits you!

    Great for these types of students

    Hippies

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Weed... weed everywhere.

    Bang for the buck

    Considering the quality of other schools, this is decent for its price if you have financial aid.

    What to do for fun

    Explore caves, forests, and look at deer all day. Go out to great parties / concerts down town.

    Food and Dining

    There's extra effort and quality in dessert, bakery and breakfast. Other meals are not shabby neither.

    Dorm Life

    Just like any other dorm lives but since people are not separated by majors, it makes a great mix!

    Academic Rigor

    Much to say about the engineering school: since it is relatively new in this university, the quality of education in that field is less of the prominent.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be very independent with your goals and be determined early. Otherwise, you will not graduate in 4 years.

    In three sentences

    It is a place with students that have diverse ethnicity and financial background. The atmosphere is rather mellow, but no one can stop you from having fun. The scenery is vacation-class keeping it a lively living environment!

  • 11/04/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    115 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The campus is well lit and patrolled. However, the campus is in the middle of a large, dense forest, and that can make some scared or uncomfortable at night given it's unpredictability. However, I have never seen anything bad happen in my time here related to that. Mostly just kids being stupid. The opportunities to be safe are all there.

    Greek Life

    Not overly prominent, but definitely there if you want it. Probably how it should be at more campuses.

    Clubs and Activities

    There is a lot of stuff going on, but it can be hard to reach, and often times you end up in your dorm because of that inconvenience.

    Great for these types of students

    People who are genuinely interested in being unique and having a unique experience. There is no place quite like Santa Cruz, and I have met many people that absolutely love it here who I wouldn't necessarily expect to enjoy it here. That being said, if you can embrace this kind of place, it can really open your mind.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    First Rain. Nuff' said.

    Bang for the buck

    The campus is worth every cent. Some of the services and offerings are maybe not so inspired. It falls to about average after you run into some of the shortcomings.

    What to do for fun

    Going to town can be fun, but the buses usually aren't exactly speedy so don't plan on any quick trips. Other than that, you have a whole forest to explore, and can usually find plenty of privacy, so have at it. There are some spots you'll learn about early on that most people go to, but don't limit yourself.

    Food and Dining

    Typical dining hall food. I heard otherwise before attending the university, but it just about average here at College 8. The dining halls are assigned 1 per 2 college, so there can be times during the day when long lines form and increase wait time. The best food is at Cowell College, hands down, something to consider if you are very food conscious. They do have great options for vegan/vegetarian eaters at all times, however.

    Dorm Life

    This is where that whole College choice comes into play. Obviously, as with any school, there are many what if's when it comes to dorm life. Roommates, RA's, and room situations are not things I can comment on.However, I have noticed a generally positive atmosphere at College 8: I live in a quad(which is a great choice for those looking to save some money and don't minding living with 3 other people. With my roommates at least, the extra space is more than worth it.) and have not run into any problems. While it can be very boring at times, and access to downtown is limited, and may not be the typical college experience, it is definitely fun and easy going. I am lucky enough to have an awesome RA however, some may not be so lucky. One note: Colleges are spread out across the campus, so much so that often it will not be appealing to make the trip to another college, be warned.

    Academic Rigor

    So far in my academic experience here, I have noticed highly varying degrees of difficulty. Some classes require constant devotion and a rigorous work ethic, while others are much more similar to High school in terms of difficulty. Regardless, thanks to the schools location and goals, there are many interesting classes to take.

    Tips for prospective students

    This is definitely a place of ideas, liberal and environmentally conscious individuals, and a constant passion for gaining knowledge and inspiring those around you. The University prides it'self on these traditions, and lets you know it as soon as you walk in the door. Be very aware of what college you choose to attend as it has a huge impact on your experience.

    In three sentences

    Environmentally inspiring location. A breath of fresh air and very liberal. Not for everyone.

  • 11/13/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    116 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus is somewhat safe. But it is very dark and there are a lot of animals

    Greek Life

    Not as active as other campuses but still a fairly strong presence.

    Clubs and Activities

    Great Variety of Clubs and Organizations.

    Great for these types of students

    Artsy, Nature Loving, Non Competitive, Students of Color, Activist-like

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Naked run around campus to celebrate first rain. Acid Steps at Kresge College. Porter Caves at Porter College. Merry-go-round at Science Hill Garden of Eden, a good two hour hike away

    What to do for fun

    The beach is very close. The campus is beautiful so hikes and star gazing are always fun. Downtown SC is also a very interesting place, very artsy vibe, not a big city but def home to enough to entertain anyone. Strip to shop on, and the Catalyst which hosts many concerts.

    Food and Dining

    Number one vegan school in the nation, also great food for those meat eaters.

    Dorm Life

    Friendly people and beautiful campus dorm life is amazing.

    Academic Rigor

    Academically the school is very relaxed. Not a competitive environment, rather a supportive one.

    Tips for prospective students

    -Be ready for unpredictable weather -Come to UCSC with an open mind, people here have a lot to teach -Be ready to be challenged to think critically.

    In three sentences

    UCSC is a friendly campus staffed with professors and advisers who are eager to help new students. As a student of color I felt welcomed here, their are an abundance of resources available to help students from diverse communities. UCSC is an absolutely beautiful campus and an incredibl supportive community as a whole.

  • 11/13/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    117 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I can honestly say I can walk around campus at midnight and feel as safe as if it were noon. The scariest thing about walking around campus at anytime are the racoons, but if you leave them alone, theyll leave you alone.

    Greek Life

    Its a joke.

    Clubs and Activities

    Have to search them out. Most don't advertise other than at the beginning of the school year

    Great for these types of students

    Environmental

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Naked run: first rain of the year everyone goes out in the rain and runs either completely naked or in their underwear

    What to do for fun

    Hiking, camping, boardwalk, beach

    Food and Dining

    Dining hall options are alright. On Campus food other than dining halls is okay, nothing excellent.

    Dorm Life

    Not much to do. First quarter is fun, but then it new-ness wears off and things start to get boring.

    Academic Rigor

    Upper division classes are easy if you are interested in what you're studying, otherwise they get really hard really fast.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you're planning on attending, look into clubs and outside activities that you would be interested in, because school work will not take up all of your time, and not being involved will leave you hating the beauty.

    In three sentences

    The school itself is great. For the most part teachers are good at what they do, once you get into upper division courses. Location isn't great, though; there's nothing to do in town and students usually leave whenever they get the chance.

  • 11/19/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    118 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There are CSO Officers and call boxes. Very safe.

    Greek Life

    My friends are in a sorority and they love it!

    Clubs and Activities

    Amazing clubs! Many of them! I am in amazing film clubs! They are the best! They give you tons of experience and are tons of fun!

    Great for these types of students

    All types! The school is so big everyone fits in, it just depends on the college (dorm) you choose.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    First Rain: Starting at Porter everyone runs around the campus (1 mile) naked. Porter Caves, Garden of Eden.

    Bang for the buck

    The dorm is expensive, but overall its all worth it.

    What to do for fun

    There are tons of places to explore, such as the abondoned amphitheater and the Porter Caves. There are also tons of events, dances, and parties.

    Food and Dining

    The food is good. Sometimes it can be hit or miss, but it is very vegetarian friendly. The variety is good, and there are 5 different dinning halls to choose from. There is an unlimited meal plan! Eat as much as you want, as many times as you want, whenever you want!

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are great. The RA are cool. The rooms are expensive, but good sized.

    Academic Rigor

    It depends on the classes and major you choose, and also on the teachers you have.

    Tips for prospective students

    Come visit the campus and take a tour!

    In three sentences

    This is an amazing college in a redwood forest. The teachers and classes are great. The people are unique and fun.

  • 12/03/2012

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    119 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Clumsy people, there are a lot of hills.

    Clubs and Activities

    Filipino Student Association, Haluan Hip Hop Dance Troupe, Pilipino Cultural Celebration, A Step Forward, Rainbow Theater, Global Brigades, Acquire A Capella, ALAY

    Great for these types of students

    Self-motivated students who like exercise, exploring the outdoors, and great views. Students who don't mind public transportation.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Drum circles

    Bang for the buck

    GET INVOLVED WITH STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS! They give you a great network and helps personal/individual growth

    What to do for fun

    Hiking through the campus (literally built in a forest), star-gazing, watching Theater Arts productions, working out at OPERS, and getting involved with student organizing at S.O.A.R. and Engaging Education.

    Food and Dining

    Many local restaurants on campus that were good, but would have benefitted to have franchise restaurants as well. Dining hall wasn't too bad, there were plenty of options.

    Dorm Life

    There are 10 different college-themed dorm buildings, so students have the option to choose where to live. Would also need to get used to using public transportation (bus or bike), which is a lot easier than stressing out about finding parking.

    Academic Rigor

    There is always work to keep up with, but are plenty of resources to help students succeed.

    Tips for prospective students

    Participate and communicate with professors, TAs, and counselors as much as possible. They are more than willing to help out with academic planning, school work, and projects.

    In three sentences

    UC Santa Cruz has a beautiful location, surrounded by redwoods and views of the bay. The programs are great and foster a team-like environment for students (unlike some other, cut-throat, competitive programs).

  • 12/16/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    120 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Everyone is so polite and nice to one another you wold rarely, if ever, find someone bullying another person. I have never heard of anyone carrying a gun or something like that in this community, so I give this school a 5/5 stars for safety.

    Great for these types of students

    The campus is a great place if you are not into an urban community. There is not much stores out there because it is a very small town. If you like wild life and nature, it is also a great place for you because you see deer, raccoon and other animals running around campus.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There is this tradition when students get naked and run around the whole campus when it starts to rain for the first time during an academic year. It is literally called the naked run.

    What to do for fun

    If you are making friends while you are there, there is always something to do. You and your friends might decide to go to a boardwalk to go on rides, or simply enjoy your day at the beach. There are great hiking grounds on this campus, very beautiful and bursting with wildlife.

    Food and Dining

    There is a total of 5 dining halls on campus, and a couple of cafes around campus. There is always something new in the dining halls so you definitely do not get bored of food. Also since it is a green campus, you are offered with great choice of healthy foods. I give this school a 5 stars for food because they offer great options for vegetarians.

    Dorm Life

    Overall its great. However it does get loud at night very often, especially if you are living near the lounge like I do right now. I was lucky enough to get a very spacious double room with my roommate, who is also my friend from high school. I have no roommate issues, so overall its a very positive experience

    Academic Rigor

    From my perspective the academics at this school are not tough, but not quite so easy. If you attend the lectures and go to sections that are provided especially for you, you are most likely to pass the class. It is all about how much time and effort you put into the course to achieve the grade you deserve.

    Tips for prospective students

    If interested in attending this institution, I would advise you to do good in your school. You do not have to be involved in something for your community or play any sports. I graduated the school with a GPA of 3.7 and SAT score of around 1400 and was able to get in. In other words if you are good at your academics, you are good to go.

    In three sentences

    Overall a very fine institution. Profound view, great nature landscapes. Very great opportunities for the research, especially in Bioengineering, Biological and Bioinformatics fields.

  • 12/17/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    121 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Great school for environmentalists. The green opinion is definitely a first here. Open minded individuals will also fit right in with this campus's atmosphere.

    What to do for fun

    Going downtown or to Capitola Mall can be really enjoyable. There is much to explore and do down there. Also when weather is good, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is definitely a good place to check out.

    Food and Dining

    Dining is good to an extent. Depending on where you live, you go to a different dining hall. Some dining halls are definitely better than others in food will others are better in availability.

    Dorm Life

    Rooms can get very crowded especially when living in a three person small dorm. Hall-mates will be interesting though and some days will be really fun. Avoid drinking and joining such groups. Floors with such people often wreak of alcohol and vomit. Not the most pleasant atmosphere.

    Academic Rigor

    Depending on the classes one takes, this level will change. As a college freshman I took Multi-variable Calculus, a very challenging course with a wonderful teacher, which made me find the school very challenging.

    Tips for prospective students

    Work hard in high school, but still keep an open mind. Do not label UC Santa Cruz as too easy. This school is definitely both challenging and a wonderful school to get into.

    In three sentences

    UC Santa Cruz is a very welcoming school with many open minded people. The atmosphere is nearly always friendly and accepting. Most teachers here really care about teaching and helping their students prosper.

  • 12/17/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    122 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    It's all you can eat, so i do not complain. I workout and eat a lot. People may get sick of dinning hall food repetition, but it's still food.

    Dorm Life

    I personally enjoy the dorm life, especially in Oakes. Everyone is friendly, welcoming, and caring. It is also a great learning experience.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes are only difficult if you get distracted by fun or other activities.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you are a city type of person, i do not recommend UCSC for you.

    In three sentences

    The college is on a mountain, so the air is as fresh as air can be. Taking the bus or any sort of transit is required because the campus is huge.

  • 12/23/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    123 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Hike around! Take a bus into town or to the ocean! Hang out with friends in their dorms, go to the gym, read at the library.

    Food and Dining

    Excellent food. I wish all the college dining halls were open later- there's at least one open til 11, nothing later than that though and many are closed on the weekends which is but a minor inconvenience. Great selection for vegetarian and vegan students, the school makes an effort to make organic and local foods available as well, and composts the food waste.

    Dorm Life

    I LOVE my floor! The Queer and Allied dorm is full of great people, we all get along wonderfully and our RA plans fun activities and has really helped create an environment that feels safe and nurturing.

    Academic Rigor

    I've only complete one quarter so far, but the material is interesting and the curriculum at a reasonably fast pace. Read your textbooks, attend the lectures, complete and turn in the essays. Mostly common sense, right?

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure you're prepared for the chilly weather- wind and rain. Heavy blankets for your bed are recommended, as are a pair (or two) of good rainboots (extra points if they've got good grips like hiking boots too).

    In three sentences

    Political, globally and culturally conscious school. Gorgeous location. Fabulously interesting people.

  • 12/31/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    124 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Nearly nonexistent, just how I like it.

    Clubs and Activities

    The outdoors clubs are fantastic: backpacking, climbing, kayaking...

    Great for these types of students

    Easygoing but hardworking students thrive at SC.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Naked run: during the first rain of the school year students run naked throughout Santa Cruz.

    What to do for fun

    Climb some trees! Go downtown! Enjoy the company of friends! Do good in school!

    Food and Dining

    Crown/Merrill is the best!

    Dorm Life

    Crown is the best!

    Academic Rigor

    Good rigor if you are willing to challenge yourself.

    Tips for prospective students

    Bring layers! It gets cold. But really, one of the most important things is to make connections with professors and other students.

    In three sentences

    Santa Cruz has a beautiful campus and an amazing set of professors. I love being at Santa Cruz, and I will be proud to get my degree there.

  • 01/01/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    125 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    There are actually a lot of things to do in Santa Cruz. You can go shopping in downtown, hang out at the boardwalk, have fun at the beach, hike on the trails that lead on and off campus and party responsibly with friends.

    Food and Dining

    The food from the dining hall is acceptable.

    Dorm Life

    I have had a wonderful dorm life experience thus far. Of course nothing is perfect but it's close.

    Academic Rigor

    I haven't began taking classes for my major yet but the academic rigor is pretty extensive, even when GE's alone.

    In three sentences

    When I first arrived to Santa Cruz, I felt somewhat out of place because a lot of the people there love to protest and protect their rights. Before attending this University I wasn't passionate about speaking up, but now I am more willing to speak up and express how I feel about certain everyday conflicts. Santa Cruz is a very beautiful place, and is very accepting of individuals' differences for the most part.

  • 01/03/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    126 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Its is pretty safe here. There are cops who check IDs of people coming into campus after 8 PM. You see cops walking back and forth once a while when in campus. The campus even has their own fire department which respond to fires very quickly.

    Greek Life

    We have a few fraternities and sororities on campus, but Greek life is not very strong here because of the city's regulations on Greek Life. The frat brothers and sorority sisters are very friendly and they have a weekly fundraisers in the quad. Also, there are no Greek houses in Santa Cruz.

    Clubs and Activities

    There is a great variety of clubs here ranging from sport clubs to social clubs.

    Great for these types of students

    This school is great for outgoing, Eco-friendly, adventurous, and beach loving students. There are also a lot of animals here so people who love animals can also fit in.

    What to do for fun

    On campus you can hangout with your friends in the library, cafe, or restaurants. You can also lift weights, run on the track, or go swimming. If you want to go off campus, you can go downtown where there are a lot of shops and restaurants there or you can go to the boardwalk or the beach.

    Food and Dining

    The food and dining is good. The dining halls serve great food, but you grow sick of it once you have eaten there many times. They don't change there menu very often, but they only do it when they switch meal times. The cafes and restaurants on campus serve great food and are in great prices.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms and apartments are very expensive on campus and some of the housing are old. The people living in the dorms are very friendly and outgoing and also you have options in what type of dorm life you would like to live in.

    Academic Rigor

    The classes here start out pretty easy, but at the end they become very difficult. I recommend going to all of the class discussion sections and all of the teachers office hours to have answers questioned. The students here are all pushed to do some type of research and gain experience in work.

    Tips for prospective students

    I recommend prospective students to be prepared for the quick quarter system. The quarter system flies by very fast. It is only 10 weeks and this makes it great because you quickly finish classes and move on to the next on. Prospective students should not also under estimate classes and should keep up with their assigned readings before each class.

    In three sentences

    University of California, Santa Cruz is a great place to learn and make new friends. There may not be as many majors here, there is still a lot of research opportunities with the majors it already has. It also surrounded by redwoods and has a great view of the ocean.

  • 01/10/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    127 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Hardly any violence, campus security officers always readily available.

    Greek Life

    Many different fraternities and sororities, widely varied, no hazing allowed.

    Clubs and Activities

    Mock trial, a Capella, various performance groups, cross country, sports, etc.

    Great for these types of students

    Academically rigorous, scientifically oriented, artsy-fartsy, politically active, and just about any other type of student will fit in perfectly.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    themed college nights at the dining halls.

    Bang for the buck

    UCSC is a bit pricey, but it is far worth it. And it has a very high rate of employment in graduates.

    What to do for fun

    Hike, run, hang out in community rooms and fireside lounges, play video games, various clubs, and more.

    Food and Dining

    UCSC has many dining options available in many dining halls and on campus restaurants, all offering a wide variety of choices.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are very well kept, and have a positive atmosphere great to relieve stress.

    Academic Rigor

    The University of California, Santa Cruz is incredibly academically intensive, but not in a terrifying sort of way.

    Tips for prospective students

    Work hard without burning out, and don't hesitate to use the many resources available to you.

    In three sentences

    The University of California, Santa Cruz is a top of the line school. It has an excellent atmosphere, and fosters success. Additionally, it has received numerous national and worldwide awards, including the nation's happiest campus.

  • 01/12/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    128 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Go to the beach. Go downtown. Lots of on campus clubs and activities.

    Food and Dining

    Food for all diet needs! Vegan. Vegetarian. Lactose intolerant. Gluten free. Very concious of all needs.

    Dorm Life

    Great! A diverse oppurtunity for many different styles of living for all grade levels.

    Academic Rigor

    Depending on your major and intended field of study classes will be harder or easier.

    Tips for prospective students

    The essays are far more important than grades or test scores.

    In three sentences

    A great school for liberal minded, eco-friendly, accepting students. A beautiful campus where students are surrounded by nature and wildlife with easy access to downtown and the beach. Friendly students and staff.

  • 01/15/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    129 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Play sports with your friends.

    Food and Dining

    Food is not as good as your mom's cooking but it is not bad.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is good as long as you get along with your roommates.

    Academic Rigor

    It is difficult but worth it.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't take to much at a time do a little at a time. Manage your time well.

    In three sentences

    It is very beautiful campus. Great place to come study you receive a lot of experiences in coming here. Worth coming here.

  • 01/16/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    130 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    First Rain- A naked run throughout campus scheduled on the first day that meets the conditions. Conditions are: Must be a school night, has to start at Porter College, and must be raining continuously from 6p.m. to 10p.m.

    What to do for fun

    Lots of outdoor activities and clubs. You can take a bus downtown and watch a concert at The Catalyst or go view a movie, or you can go down to the Boardwalk, beach and other scenic choices.

    Food and Dining

    in 2011 UCSC won the best Vegan food on a college campus. The food is good for omnivores too. There is a wide variety of dining locations on campus, 5 dining halls and specialty restaurants on campus. With your housing you will have the option of selecting a 7 day unlimited food plan, which means you can enter and eat at any hall as much as you want and whenever you want. The availability of food is as good as the quality.

    Dorm Life

    RAs and CSOs are both prevalent throughout campus. Fun still happens and there is lots of outdoor activities to keep you entertained. In the dorms you are closer to your classrooms than you would be if you lived off-campus. Wide range of dorm sizes and UCSC sends out a questionnaire to best place you in the dorm. The questionnaire lets you rank your preferences from greatest to absolutely not that

    Academic Rigor

    Classes are on a Quarter system so normally students take 15 units, 3 classes, during the quarter. Homework and reading is a daily occurrence, and some classes require you to attend additional sections for your grade.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be prepared for class, some schools will have a syllabus week, this is not one of those schools. If you don't know your way to class take a map or get lost and find different trails and secret locations throughout the campus.

    In three sentences

    UCSC is a leading research institution making progress on the Human Genome. It has an eclectic variety of majors from Computer Engineering to Psychology to Mathematics to History and many more. It's convenient location near the ocean leads to very in depth classes for Marine Biologists and Oceans Majors.

  • 01/22/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    131 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    There are a wide variety of clubs and activities to do on campus. I highly recommend PICA, Program in Community and Agroecology, which is a sustainable living co-op that centers community time and activities around building a sustainable and biodiverse food system on campus and in the wider community.

    Great for these types of students

    UCSC is great for the types of students who love and appreciate nature, outdoor activities, the ocean, wild animals, and farming.

    What to do for fun

    I recommend going for a hike in the natural spots on campus such as Upper Campus, Pogonip, Porter Caves, etc. I also urge students to visit all the college gardens and the CASFS farm!

    Food and Dining

    Excellent, high-quality whole foods with environmentally-conscious options. They have weekly themes such as Meatless Mondays to reduce the carbon footprint of eating meat and Farm Fridays to promote consumption of local, seasonal fruits and vegetables. UCSC is the most vegetarian/vegan friendly campus too!

    Dorm Life

    I currently live at the Sustainably Living Center/PICA at The Village located in the Lower Quarry part of campus. The Village is not exactly a dormitory, but more so a mix between apartment and house living. There is a tight-knit sense of community here, and PICA is right by the student-run gardens and the CASFS Farm. I highly recommend this place for students to live at!

    Academic Rigor

    Depending on what classes you take and what kind of major you are in, academic rigor at UCSC varies. Upper division classes, which requires more work, are the classes most students dedicate their time and energy to. Most, but not all, lower division classes (i.e. GE's), however, are less energy intensive and cover broad knowledge of subject matter. Academic rigor is really measured on how organized and motivated you are as a student and how well you manage your time studying!

    Tips for prospective students

    If you love nature, trees, the ocean, farming/gardening, wild animals, then this school is for you.

    In three sentences

    UCSC is a beautiful campus surrounded by redwood trees with an epic view of the Monterey Bay and Pacific Ocean. It is inspiring in its natural setting. It is a school known for creating radical global activists.

  • 01/28/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    132 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Greek life is not very big on campus, however, there are many frats and sororities and they seem to be getting more popular and more attention.

    Food and Dining

    There are five different dining halls on campus (two colleges share a dining hall) and you can eat at any of them even if you are not affiliated with that specific college. They provide salad bars and vegan and vegetarian substitutes with a wide variety of foods at each meal.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life, for me, has been great so far. You really get to connect with other students and make friends that you may not get the opportunity if you were living off campus. There are ten different colleges at UCSC all of which contain dorms that are unique in their own way.

    Academic Rigor

    I am only a freshman at UCSC, but so far my classes have been exciting and constructive. Not all classes are going to be full of excitement, but I have yet to find a class that wasn't as thorough as it was said to be in the course description. There are many class courses ranging from a wide variety of topics.

    Tips for prospective students

    Prospective students should definitely come visit University of California, Santa Cruz if interested. Its beauty is captivating, but one also gets a sense of the culture just after walking around the campus for awhile. Anyone interested in studying about the environment and its inhabitants would be in the ideal place.

    In three sentences

    The University of California, Santa Cruz, is a beautiful campus where one can study in the center of nature. There is much diversity not only among the students and staff but also within the culture, architecture and plants and animal life. It is a great school with a lot to offer.

  • 01/30/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    133 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Although it is an open campus, if you are coming in to campus, and are not a student, with a car you will be stopped and will have to have someone on campus call you in.

    Great for these types of students

    Hippies, stoners, nature lovers

    What to do for fun

    Hike, go into town, walk around campus, go to the beach, and explore everything the community has to offer.

    Food and Dining

    All the dining halls offer different types of food with varying levels of healthfulness. The dining halls are okay but the on campus restaurants are a very nice treat. The coffee shops have a great selection of drinks and snacks.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are nice, everything you could want is there.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes are challenging without being too hard to pass. It all varies depending on the teacher. In general the professors are very helpful and want you to succeed.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure not to get too caught up in all the fun things there are to do here and get your work done.

    In three sentences

    The campus is extraordinarily beautiful, it's the perfect blend of city, ocean and nature. The environment here is amazing in all aspects. Wonderful classes and teachers as well as an amazing student body.

  • 01/31/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    134 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Safety is very secure for those who live on-campus. For freshman, there are RA's or NA's in dorms that are required to take care of the students living in dorms to ensure no drugs are allowed or for no violence. There are also CA's that make rounds after 7pm in the dorms to ensure more safety for the student living in dorms.

    Clubs and Activities

    Everytime of club is found on the campus if UC Santa Cruz. You can create your own club and hold your own fundraisers. But you would have to contact the SOAR office for that.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Tradition: when it has consecutively rained in Santa Cruz for the whole day, there's a naked run! All students are running with no clothes and start from Porter college throughout the whole campus. Its pretty exciting. One can also run fully dressed.

    What to do for fun

    The Santa Cruz Boardwalk is merely a 1 mile from the campus of UC Santa Cruz. You can walk there if you would like or take the metro bus downtown and it drops you off right in front of the boardwalk. The boardwalk has laser tag, bowling alley, roller coasters, and of course the beach with volleyball nets.

    Food and Dining

    We have about 5 dining halls on campus, which is a lot compared to other colleges. UC Santa Cruz provides fresh meals at every dining hall with spacious room in the dining halls. Breakfast is soooo good at all the dining halls.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm Life is the best during a college experience. You will meet really great and nice people in dorms that can or may become your long-life friends.

    Academic Rigor

    Excellent research programs here! UC Santa Cruz ranks #2 in research. Our linguistics program is also very excellent amongst many other schools. The professors are all very nice and easy to talk to, don's hesitate to take to a professor. Wonderful teachers here.

    Tips for prospective students

    For students expecting to enroll at UC Santa Cruz. Well, do not hesitate to choose UC Santa Cruz, because like all other colleges this college will give you the best undergraduate experience you wanted. But in college time management is very crucial. Balancing academics, social life is very important for one to succeed. So just prioritize your needs and stay focused!

    In three sentences

    I have adapted in this school and have really started to appreciate that the beauty of this school is very exquisite. The opportunities provided here are plentiful if one takes interest. In the past two years here I have really discovered a lot about myself and I can say with confidence now that I know who I am today because many of us struggle with identities and this place was the place for me to discover myself. Could not have been more happier in my life than I am now.

  • 02/01/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    135 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Hard-working who enjoy an entertaining yet chill night after.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Naked run every first rain!

    What to do for fun

    Hike, interact with new people, make art, music, go around the city

    Food and Dining

    #1 vegan school is not #1 for me

    Tips for prospective students

    There are hills to get to pretty much any class. Bring a water bottle. Every school day is a hike. Do your own thing.

    In three sentences

    I am very interested in the things that I am learning both inside and outside the classroom. The campus is beautiful, but you can't be lazy here with all the hills. I like this school.

  • 02/06/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    136 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Unlike most UCs, we have both a fire department and police station on campus, cutting our emergency response time to about 3 minutes. Our campus closes at 8pm, which only allows students with ID cards or parking permits to gain access to campus. People who aren't students can gain access, but a student has to allow them on.

    Greek Life

    About 10% of students are involved in Greek life, but due to Santa Cruz zoning laws, we aren't allowed to have Greek houses. We do, however, have unofficial ones, which enable those involved in Greek organizations to socialize freely.

    Clubs and Activities

    We offer over 100 clubs on campus, with some more unusual ones called things like: Milk and Cookies Club, and the Zombie Apocalypse Preparedness Club

    Great for these types of students

    Highly recommended for students who appreciate nature, but it is not a requirement!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Every full moon there are drum circles at both the Porter Meadow and Upper Campus.During the first rain of the year, a select group of students do a clothing-optional circuit run around campus.

    What to do for fun

    The city of Santa Cruz offers so many fun things to do! We're located right on the Monterey Bay, so access to our many beaches is easy to come by. Downtown Santa Cruz is full of little shops and great restaurants, and the campus itself offers so many options for hiking and exploring.

    Food and Dining

    Dining hall food can be a little repetitive, but the staff is always looking for student input to improve their service. If you get bored, we have a plethora of cafes and eateries around campus that offer alternatives to the dining halls.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life in Santa Cruz is so much fun. Each college is different, but the dorms in Stevenson are spacious and clean, and the houses become like family!

    Academic Rigor

    I know that I am expected to complete my work at a high level of proficiency, but I never feel the pressure of competition, though I know it exists.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make use of your advisers and other resources available on campus!

    In three sentences

    UC Santa Cruz is a beautiful school, with a very diverse population. Our research programs are some of the highest ranked in the world. We have a vast array of opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students.

  • 02/06/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    137 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I've never seen any dangerous-looking people on campus. UCSC is somewhat isolated from the actual city of Santa Cruz. And although it is an open campus, it closes at 8PM. At that point a student ID is required to drive in.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are LOTS. I'm in a club that produces films every quarter, but that's it for now. One interesting program is Cruz Fit, where students form teams and set physical fitness goals for themselves. If they reach those goals by the end of the quarter, everyone gets a t-shirt. There are also competitive/intramural teams for swimming, lacrosse, water polo, etc. There is no football team though.

    Great for these types of students

    Like I said earlier, UCSC pretty much has something for everyone. I think it's been pigeonholed as a school for liberals, hippies, etc. And while there certainly are those types here, there are lots of types here.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The first rain of the year is accompanied by a naked run across campus. Participation is obviously optional. Apparently there are also some neat caverns near Porter College, though I've never seen them. The Grateful Dead archive that is housed in McHenry Library is pretty interesting.

    Bang for the buck

    UCSC is an expensive school, but so are all UC's. As a Freshman I'm still feeling out what kinds of special opportunities are available to me here in Santa Cruz. I like to think that I will take away what I put in. I'm in Silicon Valley, so if I work at it I should be able to get some pretty great internships... right?

    What to do for fun

    Students are always out playing sports on the East Field or in the gym near Cowell / Stevenson. Soccer, Lacrosse, tennis, basketball, swimming, and more are all available. Of course, it's never hard to find some buds to play video games with. And Downtown Santa Cruz is just a bus ride away; all you need to do is flash your ID to get on the metro. From there the town is yours to explore. Pacific Avenue alone has plenty of interesting restaurants, a couple movie theatres, and a variety of fun shops. Not to mention The Catalyst, a venue for bands and whatnot. Aside from all this we've got the Boardwalk, the Wharf, and a bunch of different beaches. And there are plenty of events on campus too, many of them free.

    Food and Dining

    Although I can't say for sure, I would guess that UCSC's food is better than average. Like the dorms, there is something for everyone. UCSC was rated Most Vegan-friendly, and I can see why. There are always choices for vegans, vegetarians, the lactose-intolerant, and of course carnivores and omnivores. Different cereals, coffees, juices, sandwich ingredients, and milks are always available. The main dishes rotate daily. Everything from porkchops and mashed potatoes to tilapia to burritos to sushi!

    Dorm Life

    Dorms are decently large, although with more freshmen than ever UCSC has started putting three people into what used to be two-person rooms. Dorm buildings are well-maintained and students get 10 residential colleges to choose from. Some are newer than others, but there is definitely something for everyone. I live in Stevenson, but I think all the colleges look fun.

    Academic Rigor

    Things have been tough but definitely manageable so far. I'm anticipating a stress spike as I advance to more difficult classes.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be prepared to walk up and down hills everyday to get to class. If you wanna be near the gym or have a nice ocean view just outside your doorstep, Cowell and Stevenson are good picks. All the colleges are neat and unique, though.

    In three sentences

    Everyday I wake up to a beautiful campus in a redwood forest, complete with a view of the ocean and clean air. Given that we are on a mountain, a trip downtown requires a bus ride. The quarter system means fast-paced classes, but all my professors are good.

  • 02/07/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    138 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Not any more or less than other campuses I suppose. So far, I've only been alerted for minor thefts. No major crime.

    Greek Life

    There are a number of welcoming fraternities and sororities on campus including social, business, and mixed gendered.

    Clubs and Activities

    Any type of person can find a club or activity that would suit them well on this campus.

    Great for these types of students

    Outdoors, relaxed people, beach lovers, rain lovers, abstract thinkers

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The First Rain is when all of the students strip down and run nake through the campus during the first full day of rain.

    Bang for the buck

    It is a bit expensive seeing as it is a UC. But each course is usually 5 units, meaning only three courses are required per quarter to be a full-time student. Graduation comes faster this way as well. The student fees cover a lot of costs such as the bus, events on campus, and food from cafes.

    What to do for fun

    On campus, there are events such as plays, karaoke, hiking, amongst others. Off campus, there is the beach, shopping centers downtown, movie theaters, and restaurants. San Jose is a half hour drive from Santa Cruz and there are plenty of activities for entertainment there as well.

    Food and Dining

    There are several meal plans at the dining halls available for the students. 7-day unlimited and 5-day unlimited plans are offered to dorm and apartment residents whereas the 55 day meal plan is available to apartment residents only. The titles are self explanatory. Quantity is not an issue for dining halls; which ever meal plan is chosen, you may eat limitlessly while in the dining hall. Quality of food fluctuates.

    Dorm Life

    Santa Cruz is unique in the sense that each college has its own community that you can choose to live during your first year. It makes it easier to find your niche and get to know people. Choose wisely.

    Academic Rigor

    The courses are challenging but if you put in the time and effort, you should be able to manage it well.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you enjoy an outdoors environment, nature's beauty, research opportunities, and rigorous studies, this campus is perfect for you.

    In three sentences

    UCSC is such an awesome place. The people are welcoming and the school itself is very beautiful; both aspects contribute greatly to the aura of the college. Overall, I enjoy this campus and its environment very much.

  • 02/09/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    139 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    We have campus security. They are not intimidating at all.

    Greek Life

    Non-existent.

    Clubs and Activities

    Lots of intramural sports. There are many ways to get involved. Most clubs revolve around preserving the earth and not wearing fur (PETA lovers).

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    When it rains really hard for the first time, kids run around butt-naked in the rain. All over campus. Weirdest and most uncomfortable experience by far.

    Bang for the buck

    Like I said before, it's not that bad of a school but it's definitely an acquired taste. You have to want to go here or you'll be miserable.

    What to do for fun

    Chill in the woods. Go downtown and watch people play the guitar and sing on the sidewalks. Sometimes they have cool concerts going on at this place called the Catalyst, but it's pretty rare. If you like clubbing and going to parties every second, don't even bother applying here.

    Food and Dining

    Food is terrible. There is no such thing as freshman 15 here because you're not eating anything!

    Dorm Life

    Dorms are nice. People are nice. Most dorms are not that diverse. If you're looking for diversity you may not find what you're looking for here.

    Academic Rigor

    A lot of the choices you have for classes kind of, for lack of a better word, suck. I wanted to take ancient world history classes and business and marketing classes, even creative writing or design classes. They don't exist. This school is for those kids out there that want to find ways to end world hunger and science/math wizards. Don't get me wrong, it is in fact a great school. It's just one of those schools that you really have to want to go here in order for to you actually to love it and want to stay all four years.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you are a prospective student looking to attend this school, do your research first. Make sure this is the kind of school that you want to be at. Be sure that they have the programs you want and more importantly, look at the campus life. Ask questions about what kinds of activities they have. This school is notorious for being everyones second choice, including mine. Well it was more like my very,very last choice but definitely do you research. You don't want to regret applying here. Trust me, these are words from the wise.

    In three sentences

    On a scale of 1-10, I would give this school a 6. Academically, it's a great school especially since it's a UC school. But, the campus life is strange and something that I wouldn't normally choose to be in.

  • 02/10/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    140 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Pretty safe. It is an open campus, so technically anyone can walk in

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    first rain: after a rainy day and night, run throughout the campus at midnight...naked

    Academic Rigor

    It's not very hard. The school offers a lot of help through the professors themselves, different types of tutoring and tutoring clubs

    In three sentences

    Great for people who love nature, and for anyone else too. It's located on a foothill close to the coast and neighboring a national reserve forest, it grants great views around campus at all times; great sunsets, views of Monterrey Bay, the Pacific Ocean, the night stars, as well as great trails for bike riding, jogging or just a relaxing walk.

  • 02/22/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    141 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Go to the beach, downtown, activities around campus.

    Dorm Life

    It is really fun! Plus, you get to meet a lot of new people who could possibly become your best friends.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you are looking to not gain the freshman 15 and want to be near the beach but also feel inland, Santa Cruz is the place for you.

    In three sentences

    It is amazing and I love it! I feel very comfortable here.

  • 02/23/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    142 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Naked run that happens on the the First Rain. Porter Meadow.

    Bang for the buck

    Boardwalk bowl. Crown Dining hall.

    What to do for fun

    Go to the beach, hang out with friends, go downtown, or hike. There are various things to do here, so there are small chances of becoming bored.

    Food and Dining

    Organic food and not processed. The food variety may be bland, but the food content is very healthy and nutritious. The food isn't as bad as people have perceived.

    Dorm Life

    Very crowded but a great experience to have. Living with other people and adapting to others' ways of living, including your own, is a great way to learn how to be more independent. Although sharing the bathrooms and showers seem gross, it isn't all bad if people clean up after themselves. It is so important to be responsible and take care of your own stuff, especially making sure that your stuff is always clean and put away.

    Academic Rigor

    Studying hard pays off when a good grade on a midterm or final shows up. I see it as important to always study and be ahead of the class because the courses are extremely tough and challenging. Juggling time with friends, studying, and enjoying the environment is a great way to succeed.

    Tips for prospective students

    Study hard and be sure to always go to lecture. It is important to read the materials and follow along in class because you are paying for the education.

    In three sentences

    Very open to any gender identity and a variety of people. Greta academic set up for general education and major intended classes. A great atmosphere and environment to learn in.

  • 03/15/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    143 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Our recreational facilities are very expansive. There are a lot of opportunities to join outdoor recreational clubs, sports teams, cultural and activist organizations. There's definitely a space for everyone here, you just have to go out and find it first!

    Tips for prospective students

    For students coming from big cities, Santa Cruz is a big change of pace, but it's an awesome pace!

    In three sentences

    It has been a pleasure to attend UCSC! Like all universities, UCSC fosters a community that encourages much discourse about issues pertaining to social justice. This is a great place if you are open to expanding your views and questioning things you have taken for granted.

  • 03/15/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    144 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There are police that patrol the campus at night, and nighttime shuttles every day on campus except for campus closures. At each bus stop and along hiking trails when walking to class, there are emergency phone lines in case anyone runs into any kind of trouble.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are many different clubs and activities on campus, although our sports lack a bit, the clubs are wide-ranged, and easy to start if enough people are interested in a club you want to make.

    Great for these types of students

    Anyone! :)

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There is the UCSC first rain run, also known as the naked run. Students, on the first heavy rain of the year, between specific times, will strip down their clothes, get together in a large group, and run a mile...naked.

    Bang for the buck

    Some things are, like most colleges, unreasonably high priced. The campus store is pretty much a rip off for textbooks, best bet is to buy used ones from someplace else, but the student store does have a wide variety of items for last minute, short notice needs.

    What to do for fun

    There are plenty of things to do for fun in Santa Cruz. There are the porter caves,a short walk from porter meadow (on campus) to explore! There is tree 9 where people climb it to look at the beautiful view around. Also, there is a beach within the forest nicknamed the garden of Eden. It's a nice hike from campus trails and Is a wonderful place to visit.

    Food and Dining

    The dining isn't always great, but they still have many foods from different cultures for people to try. Depending on your tastes, you will either love the food, hate the food, or have a neutral feeling toward it. Dining is open most nights and has three separate meal plans to choose from (each have different benefits).

    Dorm Life

    The dorm life, depending on which college you choose to live in, is very different. Each college dorms' have unique atmospheres that reflect the students affiliated with that college. None-the-less the dorm life is an experience you don't want to miss!

    Academic Rigor

    Academics here at UCSC provide students with knowledge, information, and challenges. Some classes have introductory courses if people need/want extra help or and introduction to better understand material. UCSC focuses on research, but each professor teaches differently.

    Tips for prospective students

    Focus on keeping a nice, well maintained GPA, but also make sure you are in extra curricular activities, and possibly play some sports. The more stuff you do, the better your chances! Also, this campus is full of really friendly people, so don't be shy!

    In three sentences

    The campus environment is peaceful, beautiful and relaxing to study anywhere on campus. The city transportation is easy to take, although buses can run late sometimes. The people here are really friendly as well.

  • 03/21/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    145 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Those who aren't too excited for a stressful highly academic based atmosphere will thrive here. The pace is enjoyable.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Naked run....

    What to do for fun

    Beach, hiking, shopping, and seeing the variety of athletic and artist talent on campus.

    Tips for prospective students

    Enjoy walking.

    In three sentences

    Beautiful campus, a great learning environment. Campus is laid back but there is still lot of focus on academics. Variety of classes and extracurricular options available so that everyone can find something they're interested in.

  • 04/06/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    146 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    There are fraternities and sororities.

    Great for these types of students

    Nature oriented, athletic, and studious.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The boardwalk with roller coasters. There is the first rain tradition. When there is the first rain of the school year, people streak through campus and end at the athletic area.

    What to do for fun

    There is the boardwalk and the beach. There are many stores downtown and there is a fraternity/sorority life.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make your decision based on the program you want and what you want to study. This school is not as competitive as UC Berkeley but there are smaller class sizes and you will still get a great education.

    In three sentences

    A very liberal college. There is beautiful weather all year round. Great learning environment.

  • 04/08/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    147 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The campus is really safe. They have their own police and firefighters on the campus. There are blue boxes all over and the campus closes at 8pm, so it feels very secure there.

    Bang for the buck

    Santa Cruz is awesome and beautiful and a great school... but one thing it isn't is cheap!

    Food and Dining

    The food is great! My friend goes and so I've eaten in the dining halls a few times. The food is fresh, healthy, and there's a big variety. They really care about the ethics of the food and there are tons of vegan and vegetarian options.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms seem to have a great sense of community and they are clean. The are really pricey though, its a lot cheaper to live off campus

    Academic Rigor

    I don't go here yet, so I can only speculate on this. The school ranked #2 on times list of best research schools and a lot of the professors are very famous and well-respected in their fields.

    In three sentences

    I don't go here yet, but I can't wait to attend! The campus is gorgeous and its a great school!

  • 04/23/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    148 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Isolated because on a hill Also gates at the bottom of campus

    Greek Life

    Not big here but I know people enjoy them on our campus

    Clubs and Activities

    A lot of cool clubs ! Im happy I finally joined one and I joined a dance class this quarter too A lot of different types

    Great for these types of students

    There is variety of students so I think people feel very accepted here

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The Naked Run Porter Caves The lost boy's cabin Garden of Eden Forest Raves

    Bang for the buck

    Very pricey but it is a UC school. There is a lot of research oppurtinties and the classes are a great learning opportunity. Im happy I have the opportunity to attend a UC school.

    What to do for fun

    Go to Natural Bridges ! Beautiful beach Use a rent a car or a zip car to go on road trips Hiking on beautiful trails Take a trip or class through OPERS Downtown - restaurants, shops and the Del Mar is a cool movie theater Dances on campus or off campus

    Food and Dining

    It was rated #1 in vegan food I think in 2011 which a plus to me because Im a vegetarian so they do have a lot of options compared to others schools. Usually has a good variety of healthly food and unheathly food. But they start to serve the same stuff and it gets old.

    Dorm Life

    I was put into a single and I wanted a double. I was nervous at first that I wouldnt meet people but I live on a co-ed floor and my floor has become really close ! Its easy to meet people when you get involved also. I would recommend a co-ed floor. The co-ed bathroom might seem werid at first but its fine.

    Academic Rigor

    Im challenged everyday and have had very hard classes. On the other hand, I definitely have time to make time for other aspects of my life.

    Tips for prospective students

    Pick one of ten campuses you think fits best for you and where you would thrive Get invovled in a club or a class offered on campus. I regret not doing this at first but Im happy Im more invovled. Also there is some pretty cool events held on campus also Get off campus when you can. For me at least I came from a big city to a small town so sometimes I feel antsy being on campus so staying busy and getting off campus helps

    In three sentences

    When I took a tour of the school I loved the beauty of the forest and the beach. People here are very open and diverse. The professors I have had overall are very friendly and brilliant.

  • 04/28/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    149 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Patrols all night and there's a fire department right on campus.

    Greek Life

    I've heard they don't have the best Greek life, but it's still present. I plan to make it even bigger if you ask me ;)

    Clubs and Activities

    Clubs are fun fun fun! The a capella club is my favorite!

    Great for these types of students

    Everyone! A wide variety of people. Love it!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    You'll have to find out for yourself :-)

    Bang for the buck

    It is definitely worth the tuition. It becomes a little more overwhelming when you're an out-of-state student, but if you're a CA resident, go to UCSC!

    What to do for fun

    Santa Cruz has all sorts of things to enjoy. From surfing to hiking to biking... everything! The boardwalk is amazing. You'll find things to do always.

    Food and Dining

    Food is varied and yumm!

    Dorm Life

    The colleges and their separate dorms are lovely!

    Academic Rigor

    Challenging education. One of the best things is that the professors are accessible. It becomes really handy later on.

    Tips for prospective students

    Definitely check the campus and choose the college wisely!

    In three sentences

    The campus is gorgeous. It is one of the top research universities. You will not regret coming here!

  • 04/29/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    150 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The campus is very safe. Santa Cruz in general is very safe.

    Greek Life

    UCSC is know for having a small greek life, but it has gradual growth. Since we are so small then the university has a very close knit greek community.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are various clubs and activities at UCSC. If you really want to get involved then you will not have a hard time doing so. It's just a matter of deciding what you want to do.

    Great for these types of students

    If you like nature and small city settings Santa Cruz is the place for you. If you love the beach then you already know Santa Cruz has beautiful beaches.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Before the Banana Slug was the official school mascot, UCSC was known as the seals. Every year students go to a cite where there are seal statues and paint them yellow. Also when you first see a banana slug people tend to lick them. Yes I know it's disgusting but hey it's tradition.

    Bang for the buck

    Times are hard and UCSC understands that. During your first week you will be given a coupon booklet with great deals. Many places like Denny's also give you student discounts. And remember it doesn't cost a penny to go enjoy a nice day at the beach.

    What to do for fun

    Of course everyone knows of the infamous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. There other beaches if you enjoy a more private setting. Santa Cruz has the Mystery Spot the defy the laws of gravity. If you have a sweet tooth, downtown Santa Cruz will be your haven, will many local ice cream and cookie places.

    Food and Dining

    UCSC has 5 different dinning halls that you can go in at whatever time as many times a day as you'd like. The school is very good at accommodating to vegan and vegetarian needs. Each college rotates meals so there is always a different meal at each college.

    Dorm Life

    There are 10 different dorm buildings referred to as colleges. Within the colleges staff provide various activities that create bonds within the residents. By the end of your first quarter the different buildings become a small community, As a first year dorms are the best way of making friends.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes vary in academic rigor as you approach upper divisions and the major you are selecting. Science and engineering have a very challenging program that really prepares you for you career. The psychology classes tend to have A LOT of writing.

    Tips for prospective students

    Remember that in college no one is going to babysit you. You are your own motivator. For your homework and make sure to study. You are paying $28,000+ to get an education not to party and go on Facebook during class.

    In three sentences

    Coming from a small town attending UCSC was a good transition. Being surrounded by nature gives the school a very serene atmosphere. The town is not very big but it is very close knit, and if you feel spontaneous and miss the big city San Jose is just a bus ride away.

  • 05/14/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    151 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There are campus officers available to help other those in need.

    Greek Life

    No present greek life

    What to do for fun

    Go downtown to the boardwalk and the beach.

    Food and Dining

    Good food just a bit repetitive.

    Dorm Life

    Exciting at first but difficult to study after a while.

    Academic Rigor

    Pretty difficult but doable if time is devoted.

    Tips for prospective students

    Bring rain boots.

    In three sentences

    A very beautiful campus. Full of open minded people. Great professors readily available to help.

  • 05/20/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    152 of 203

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    UCSC is an outstanding academia.

  • 05/23/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    153 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Porter caves! I heard its scary but cool....

    Bang for the buck

    Be sure to open your circle of friends, you will learn, experience, and benefit more than you think.

    What to do for fun

    Boardwalk, Downtown, Hike around campus, beach, food around downtown!

    Food and Dining

    Good food! Healthy choices too, not AMAZING but satisfying, wish they could lower the prices for food and living though!

    Dorm Life

    Definitely a great experience especially with the right people. Just remember, you are only as different as the people around you!

    Academic Rigor

    Professor that I met was very open minded and taught like a elitist class teacher, you really learn a lot by listening to your peers opinions and being able to express your own without teacher input.

    Tips for prospective students

    The hardest thing for us students is to STAY FOCUSED. Don't procrastinate, skip classes, not do your work, be close minded, introvert, it will not help you be a better student! Know your goals and imprint them in your memory so you will never forget. YOU WILL HAVE FUN, so just know your balance between fun and work. Enjoy your time but don't forget the reason why you are paying that huge tuition bill!

    In three sentences

    UC Santa Cruz definitely holds up to their standards of informing you of everything you need to know about college, your campus, and just about anything. They have a huge variety of resources up from the Career center to the bookstore to the free psychological services available. Not only this, the environment is relaxing and everyone seems open minded and friendly, don't feel shy to say hi!

  • 05/27/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    154 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I feel incredibly safe on this campus at all times.

    Greek Life

    I personally am involved in Greek life and love it. It is small but that it what is so great about it. It is not the typical Greek life at other schools with huge wild parties all the time. It is simply a good way to meet people and get involved.

    Clubs and Activities

    There is everything.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The Porter Meadows is a traditional location.

    Bang for the buck

    I think we over pay for the food and housing.

    What to do for fun

    There are activities of all kinds. You just have to be interested and get involved.

    Food and Dining

    There are lots of great options for every eater.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are something that all college students should experience at some point.

    Academic Rigor

    The classes are not only difficult to get into, but due to the large class capacities, are often difficult to get the same level of education as you may have in high school.

    Tips for prospective students

    I advise to keep an open mind and get involved within the school and community.

    In three sentences

    I believe the University of California Santa Cruz offers a unique college experience from any other four year university. Both the culture of the community and the school seem to mesh together to form an environment full of open-minded individuals. The welcoming environment we are embraced in, always us as students to flourish and get the most out of our college experience.

  • 06/09/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    155 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Very good system of campus police and safety measures.

    Greek Life

    Not too prominent.

    Clubs and Activities

    Very active campus.

    Great for these types of students

    Smart, environmentally conscious, social, and accepting.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The first rain involves people running around campus naked.

    Bang for the buck

    Good public school price, yet a personalized private-school-esque education.

    What to do for fun

    Go to events held by clubs or go into town. There are also the beaches and the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

    Food and Dining

    There are 6 dining halls with a variety of healthy and tasty food. The plans can allow you unlimited access either 5 or 7 days a week.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms seem nice and well kept. The living communities each have their own unique style.

    Academic Rigor

    The classes seem like they have rigor, but are not unbearably difficult.

    Tips for prospective students

    Research what individual college you want to be in at the university.

    In three sentences

    It has a beautiful campus and a friendly, inviting atmosphere. Everyone I met there is really nice and eager to help. The staff seems professional and knowledgeable in their respective fields.

  • 06/10/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    156 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Unusual traditions = naked run! After a certain amount of hours (i want to say 13) you get to run naked around the school! yes, that means no clothes!

    What to do for fun

    explore the forest, go downtown, go to the boardwalk (beach!).

    Food and Dining

    We have 5 dining halls, and they're all pretty great!

    In three sentences

    It's a great school overall. Lovely people, great environment, and definitely great professors! It's like you're living in the forest; there's a lot of deers and, of course, there's banana slugs!

  • 06/16/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    157 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Not big, but it looks fun.

    Great for these types of students

    Outgoing and Openminded

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Naked Run.

    What to do for fun

    Hiking.

    Dorm Life

    Expensive but fun.

    In three sentences

    It is a great school and the professors are great, the campus is beautiful, but on campus housing is expensive!

  • 06/16/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    158 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I have never felt unsafe on campus. Every night after 8pm Campus security officers make rounds around the dorms and commonly traveled areas. While they mostly are looking to bust drinking and drug use in the dorms, they are there to ensure our safety.

    Greek Life

    Greek life at this school is very small, and the majority of the school is very against it and not around it often. But when your around it it is very apparent. The Greek system is mostly located around Cowell and Stevenson, and they have fall rush and some fraternities and sororities have winter or spring rush. They are not super exclusive, and a large majority of those who rush are given a bid. Although I am not a part of Greek life, a lot of the people I know are. Most of their events are not super exclusive, and can be attended by other people outside the Greek system.

    Clubs and Activities

    In the beginning of the year fall quarter, there is a thing call OPERS fall festival on OPERS field below Cowell and Stevenson. Every club and organization on campus has a booth and has sign up sheets. You can walk around and talk to the people in the club and sign up.

    Great for these types of students

    This school is honestly great for any type of student. Because of the college system, the school is extremely diverse. Every college has a different feel, and in my experience my freshman year, the overwhelming majority of people were friendly and welcoming to meeting new people.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    In the forests behind campus there are some weird things like a cat shrine, a natural koi pond in the forest, and a bunch of strange Blair witch things you don't want to wander into at night.

    Bang for the buck

    I would say this is the best UC to attend. It has a fairly small undergrad population, and feels even smaller because of the college system. (Go Cowell!)

    What to do for fun

    The campus is absolutely amazing. There are two state parks on either side of our campus, so the hiking is ridiculous. We are also a 10 minute bus ride from the beach, and downtown Santa Cruz has great shopping and food.

    Food and Dining

    The food gets very old extremely fast. the dining halls have the same food day after day with one new entree rotating every day.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life was great my first year. The dorms are not too small, most bathrooms are co-ed, and the co-ed halls allow you to meet a ton of people and become close with your entire dorm.

    Academic Rigor

    Lower division science classes are really hard. Professors do not cut you any slack, but most are available to help out with any extra questions during their office hours.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do not fall behind. The quarter system is 10 weeks, and after 3 weeks you already have a midterm. Falling behind early on will absolutely make you fail.

    In three sentences

    Classes are hard to get into in the science majors. Lower division classes are very big and do not have very specialized attention. However, there are smaller sections and the campus and environment of the campus is great.

  • 06/16/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    159 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    CSOs (Campus Security Officers) walk around campus all day and all night until 3am to ensure student safety. UCSC is a closed campus, meaning anyone entering the campus after 8pm must either have a valid student ID or be called in to the gate as a guest.

    Greek Life

    Very low percentage of the school population but also make up a large proportion of the party life on campus.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are plently of clubs on campus, including sailing and hip hop. Every college sponsors activities all year round and the dining hall serves specific college night dinners with special themes.

    Great for these types of students

    Environmentally friendly and passionate, outdoorsy, hipster, hippie, 4/20 friendly.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The Naked Run occurs once a year on the first rain. It only occurs if it has been raining nonstop from sunrise to sundown.

    Bang for the buck

    This is one of the most expensive college campus' in the United States. I would say that you get your money's worth of beautiful scenery and education. The living costs are not worth it for what you get.

    What to do for fun

    The Stevenson Knoll is a fun, picturesque place of campus. I would also recommend hiking around Upper Campus or exploring Pogonip (which isnt technically campus, but it is just behind Stevenson College).

    Food and Dining

    We have a lot of fresh, organic, and vegetarian/vegan friendly dining on campus. There is always a choice that you can eat. The dining halls also strive to meet many ethnic backgrounds in the meals provided. The cafes around campus provide coffee, baked goods, ice cream, and many other things.

    Dorm Life

    The dorm life really depends on which of the campus' 10 colleges you reside in. Some are better structured for a community feel while others can leave some folks feeling somewhat isolated.

    Academic Rigor

    Most of the people on campus strive for similar goals and students make a strong effort to team up and conquer classes.

    Tips for prospective students

    Focus on your schoolwork because it is easy to get caught up in the party scene.

    In three sentences

    UCSC is an amazing school. The campus is beautiful and we are extremely eco-friendly. You can always find someone to talk to or something to do.

  • 06/17/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    160 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Santa Cruz is a very safe campus and the security guards look out for all the students. Not only that, but the students and professors look out for each other so you are always safe here.

    Greek Life

    Only 1% of the student population is involved with Greek Life so it is not a huge part of part campus. But, there still are frats/sororities to join so If one would like to, they are never discouraged to!

    Clubs and Activities

    There is about a club for anything. From dance clubs, to singing club, to community service clubs you are bound to find one where you click with. The clubs are very inviting and will allow anyone the chance to sign up.

    Great for these types of students

    Science majors will benefit a lot by going to UCSC because we have many research opportunities and facilities available for them.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    UCSC is a very big campus so the location is magnificent. It would take you an entire day to explore our whole campus so there are many locations on campus that stand out.

    Bang for the buck

    U.C. schools are pricey but they are worth it. The learning environment is very rigorous and it is fast-paced so you always have to be alert. The dorming experience is excellent if you really try to make the best out of everything. The dining areas are mediocre but it is livable.

    What to do for fun

    Santa Cruz is the best place to relax. There are multiple beaches everywhere you can go to to just have some fun in the sun with some great friends. Not only that, but you can go hiking, go to the Boardwalk, or even take a walk through the forest. It is a very peaceful community that will allow you to really connect with nature and yourself.

    Food and Dining

    It is definitely not like good old home-cooked meals that is for sure. Dorm food/dining can get hectic especially during nights and it can sometimes taste not up to par but it is manageable. You'll get used to the taste sooner or later and will sometimes even miss the food there.

    Dorm Life

    Again, this topic is one of those things that are enjoyable if you make it enjoyable. If you are willing to branch out and talk to other people, your dorm life experience will be amazing. I was very blessed to live in such a great place where I found friends that I was able to instantly connect with.

    Academic Rigor

    All schools are challenging and it really depends on how hard the student works and how much effort they are willing to put. I did slack off in the beginning of the school year so I did not earn the grades I wanted. But as the year went on, I spent nights and countless hours studying and earned outstanding grades.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you are planning on attending UCSC, remember to bring your walking shoes. Although we live in a beautiful campus, there is a lot of walking to do from place to place so one must be ready for that. Also, do not procrastinate. Because we are on the quarter system, everything is extremely fast paced so missing out on one lecture or not doing a particular homework assignment could be the dividing factor between a passing and non-passing grade. Also, remember to branch out and have fun. College is a once in a lifetime experience so along with working hard, remember to meet new people and try out for clubs or other extra curricular activities to help you spread your wings and meet the people whom you can call your lifetime friends and family.

    In three sentences

    UCSC is just like home. Not only are the science programs and departments extraordinary, the students attending are compassionate, easy-going, and kind. I t feels so surreal attending a great university like UCSC because I actually enjoy going to school and learning everyday.

  • 06/18/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    161 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Durring my free time I go to the beach with my friends.

    Tips for prospective students

    Take your time. Taking hard classes all at once is difficult.

    In three sentences

    Wonderful campus. Great people. Hard classes.

  • 06/20/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    162 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Open Minded, happy, musical, outdoor people, athletic, politically motivated, and chill.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    We have a random school and that's a big understatement. We have something called the First Rain which you should look up on Google because I don't feel to comfortable writing about this tradition on Cappex:)

    Food and Dining

    UNLIMITED DINING!!! ENOUGH SAID!

    Dorm Life

    You live with your classmates and some of them will turn into family after a short time. We have a different set up than other schools but each section of the school has something unique to offer.

    Academic Rigor

    Look college is a big change but your whole life you have learned to adapt to your surroundings and UC Santa Cruz is no exception. You have engaging and motivated professors that smile at the chance to help out a student.

    Tips for prospective students

    Come here with an open mind and I promise you you will find the right major for you. Also even though you think you are only a freshman you can accomplish big things your first year if you tear down your own wall of insecurities and welcome the environment around you.

    In three sentences

    This university isn't your average school. You have the forest and you have the beach surrounding you so it's mother nature in all here greatness. You find out who you are when you are free from the city life and take in the fresh air when you walk through the school.

  • 06/27/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    163 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    play

    Food and Dining

    yummy

    Dorm Life

    very fun

    Academic Rigor

    classes are quite hard

    Tips for prospective students

    students, this is a great school

    In three sentences

    This school has a beautiful environment and great people here too . Although classes aren't always mandatory, part of college life to be responsible and manage your own time. I feel that UCSC has much more to offer and am determined to excel in this school.

  • 07/01/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    164 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    There's a lot to do even without a car. You can go to the beach, boardwalk, and downtown. There's also a concert venue downtown where there is always someone to go watch (tickets are fairly inexpensive. Usually $15-20).

    Food and Dining

    The food can get bland. LOTS of pasta, hotdogs, and hamburgers. All day, everyday.It does get tiring so try to get creative with what they have.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is what you make of it. If you seclude yourself, it can get boring and lonely. However, if you actually try to get to know those around you, dorm life can be fun. The RA's are really helpfull and talkative. They try to get to know you. Also, leave your door open for at least the forst week. It helps with meeting new people.

    Academic Rigor

    The quarter system move very quick.Don't put things off to the last minute because you will regret it. Also, go to office hours if you need the extra help. Professors are more than willing to help. THey want you to go.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't let our reputation for marijuana put you off. There are MANY students who prefer not to touch the stuff and that's completely okay. Come in with an open mind. It'll open up many oppertunities and you'll experience/learn things you would never have thought of. Be prepared for the hills. It might feel like your hiking to class but your legs will thank you.

    In three sentences

    If you want the perfect balance between academic life, buns of steel, and a social life, Santa Cruz is the place for you. The vibe on campus is relaxing and open. Academically, professors are extremely enthusiastic so your sure to get a great education.

  • 07/02/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    165 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I felt safe on campus, the only incidents that occurred in the academic school year 2012-13 were in town.

    Greek Life

    UCSC does not support greek life because one year a fraternity killed and cooked one of the koi fish in the porter koi fish pond as an initiation right of passage.

    Clubs and Activities

    OPERS offers a lot of activities such as yoga, fencing, tennis, kickball, basketball, quiqong, jiu jitsu, etc.

    Great for these types of students

    Students who consider themselves liberals or hippies.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    At UCSC we have first rain which is when we run around the campus naked starting from Porter college when it rains for the first full day in the year.Another tradition we have kept at porter is the 4/20 celebration, everyone gathers at the porter meadow and enjoys time with their friends. Lastly, we hold an annual GLBT parade at kresge college as well as the GLBT fashion show held in porter college.

    Bang for the buck

    Porter dorms are really nice if you live on the 6th floor but they are very very expensive. It has been described by my peers as a fascist institution because although we pay top dollar to live there, students are still criminalized and punished for a lot of things without having any proof of the incident and/or aren't given the opportunity to rebuff the accusation.

    What to do for fun

    �¢���¢hikes �¢���¢cave exploring �¢���¢dance parties �¢���¢porter weekend activities �¢���¢college paloozas �¢���¢music shows �¢���¢college festivals �¢���¢sports/activities at OPERS �¢���¢first rain

    Food and Dining

    Porter dining hall is probably the worst dining hall on campus, so if you're lucky enough to have a kitchen when you're living at porter I would advise you skip the 5 and 7 day meal plan.

    Dorm Life

    I lived in Porter and the dorm life was unreal, there is always something to do and the forest is your backyard and everyone is really incredibly awesome! The CSO's were a pain in the butt though, they are always on everybody's case because the school gets money from the government to bust students for pot and alcohol.

    Academic Rigor

    The courses are a bit difficult but as long as you do the readings and attend class you should be able to do really well.

    Tips for prospective students

    Take time to know yourself your first year and don't underestimate the power of independence.

    In three sentences

    University of California-Santa Cruz is everything I thought it would be, the everyday walks to class and wildlife on this campus is spectacular. There isn't a day where you don't meet friendly new people and find yourself appreciating something different. I had two inspirational and dedicated professors; however that isn't always the case and it's really difficult to find classes due to the limited courses being offered at this university.

  • 07/04/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    166 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    There are a bunch of dining halls around campus, near the dorms.

    Dorm Life

    The dorm that I visited looked very nice, but very apartment style. There are options to have two to four people in a room. Freshmen are required to live on campus their first year, so bring a bike and not a car.

    Academic Rigor

    Probably pretty tough since it is a California school, but they did look like they had ways for students outside CA to get in.

    In three sentences

    The campus is just gorgeous. The library is huge, and the science department is as well. The food looks great and there are librarys everywhere.

  • 07/06/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    167 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There are two entrances to UCSC campus. After 9PM, every day, there are guards posted at the entrances checking for IDs before any cars can enter the campus. Community Safety Officers, CSOs, patrol the campus all day long.

    Greek Life

    There are over 25 Greek organizations on campus. I did not join it. But during OPERS Fall Festival, all of them come out with their tables to make themselves known for anyone who are interested in joining their Greek life.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are over 100 clubs available at UCSC. I joined the Vietnamese Student Association, VSA. I met a ton of new faces from freshmen to seniors. There are foreign language clubs, sports clubs, and clubs for community service.

    Great for these types of students

    UCSC is a great school for all kind of students. If you love nature, UCSC is for you.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    First Rain is an annual event held at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) which began at Porter College. It is also known as the Naked Run. During the first rainfall of the school year, students run naked through the campus, generally starting at Porter College.

    What to do for fun

    The beach is a 30-min bus ride away from campus! The beach is always a great place to go for fun! Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is fun too! It is an amusement park right next to the beach. Attractions such as arcade, bowling, and laser tag are always fun to go to with a bug group of friends. Going out to eat is enjoyable too! There are Mexican, Thai, and Vietnamese restaurants to explore your taste buds. Downtown Santa Cruz is fun to explore as well.

    Food and Dining

    At UCSC, there are four different dining halls. My main dining hall was College 8's dining hall since I lived close to College 8. In the beginning, the dining hall food was not appealing to me. I was used to home-cooked meals. The dining hall is similar to a buffet. It is served in an all-you-can-eat style. But a month into the school year, I got used to eat dining hall food.

    Dorm Life

    The dorm life is awesome! You will meet a ton of people through your dorm. You will be living with them for the remainder of the school year. These people in your dorm will be your best friends and study buddies! You will eat, go to class, and hang out with these people.

    Academic Rigor

    You will face challenges attending any kind of colleges. You are far from home, living independent now. You will have to learn to manage your own time; time for classes and sections; time for studying outside of class; and time for socializing with your new friends. Finding a balance for everything without any constant reminders from your parents will be hard for you.

    Tips for prospective students

    Prepare yourself for an amazing year that awaits you this upcoming fall! The staff and students are very friendly and welcoming. Be open-minded! Join clubs! You will meet tons of new people from all over California!

    In three sentences

    University of California-Santa Cruz is a great school by the beach. Santa Cruz definitely have a different environment than the other six Universities of California. UC Santa Cruz is a public university like no other in California, combining the intimacy of a small, liberal arts college with the depth and rigor of a major research university.

  • 07/08/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    168 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    At night you can call the Campus Security Officer's if you need an escort from where ever it is you are back to you dorms if you have to. As far as safety goes I never once felt threatened or in danger. Just keep a eye out for the raccoons they might scare in the middle of the night.

    Greek Life

    Your typical run of the mill Greek life also lives in Santa Cruz as well, and being a Greek member does have it's perks.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are various clubs to join and, there is a fall festival to showcase all of them to see if you are interested, and joining a club is a commitment just keep that in mind. For activities there's always something going on so if you truly are bored you can attend the various events that are held at opers field for some entertainment.

    Great for these types of students

    If you the laid back type and still want to get an education, they say no more this is the kind of place for you. There's even a gym for all those who just love to pump iron. Even if you the shy type there is many outlets for you to meet more people just like you.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The naked run a very unusual tradition that occurs after the first full day of rain, no describing should be needed as this can be very pleasing to the eye. There is a point near campus where gravity can be defied, as water falls up , and you can defy gravity yourself definitely something you should experience at least once.

    Bang for the buck

    While other schools can be all work and no play and tons of money, here I believe you do get your money's worth, you get your education, and fun. You get to experience everything here and there's even the beach, the only school with a closer beach is UCSB, so I believe it is worth the money you spend on your education.

    What to do for fun

    Santa Cruz the school with the boardwalk, there is much fun to be had at the beach, volleyball, swimming, the roller coasters, bowling, eating, tanning, relaxing, if this somehow gets old there is many other things to do. If you a nature lover there is a giant forest to explore, take hikes, discover hidden tree houses that lie in the deep forest, the is the beautiful view of the stars at night, and places that defy gravity.

    Food and Dining

    The first week of food was great afterwards it got boring, you might find yourself eating out more often than you think, so be prepared for this. Stevenson by far best dining hall can have long lines though. However sometimes you can't beat college ten's late hours.

    Dorm Life

    Must dorm at least one year of college or else you would be missing out on all the fun. You can get pretty close to some of the people that you meet, or you could just become hated enemies either way this is a must. You meet all sorts of people that could help you with classes and homework, and meet new best friends as well. The sharing of the bathroom and showers was fine no one ever did anything out of line to make anyone feel uncomfortable these rules remained well respected throughout the year.

    Academic Rigor

    For the academics, they have the standard math and science classes, which are curved nicely so as far as the difficultly as long as you study for the class you should be fine. As far as the competition in these classes, it isn't to bad there's always that one person who is just so far ahead that you couldn't really catch up if you tried, but it isn't to mentally rough on you. The homework loads are more than manageable, and the tests are hard, but it wouldn't be consider college if everything was easy.

    Tips for prospective students

    Those who want to experience the thrills of college without having to stress horridly about school work and exams constantly, are more than welcome here. Yes there are classes that challenge you if you wish to do so, but the laid back style of this school surrounded by nature allows one to do as they please. There are many friendly professors at Santa Cruz that do take the time to help individuals succeed, and their help is much appreciated. Overall it is a good experience here at the University of Santa Cruz.

    In three sentences

    The best experience you can have adjusting to college life is here with peace and quiet and beautiful nature all around. Santa Cruz may not be the top dog in academics but it doesn't mean you can't prosper here. The education level will only be as good as the effort you put into learning, which could be said about any school or university.

  • 07/12/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    169 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    I've met some of my best friends during my club activities.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    In UCSC, whenever we have the first rain of the year, the First Rain, everyone would run around the campus, naked.

    What to do for fun

    I hang out with my friends, joined club activities, go to downtown, and etc.

    Food and Dining

    There are two colleges that have the best dining hall, but other than that, its edible.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life was very exciting. Within UCSC, there are ten residential colleges; all with different themes and culture. Dorm life is different from every college. But mine, at Stevenson College, was closely knit and everyone had a good time.

    Academic Rigor

    Personally, the first year was quite challenging. I was overwhelmed by the workload and the college itself. Although it may be frustrating at times, if one pace themselves, they'll be able to get through it.

    Tips for prospective students

    There isn't any specific tips for UCSC. Just like any other colleges, learn to manage time, and stay focused.

    In three sentences

    The University is known for its Hippie Culture, and many people don't take it seriously. Although the university itself is laid back, it contains many students who are highly motivated and enjoy learning. If one gives the university a chance, it can show many roads of possibilities.

  • 07/13/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    170 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Our University is located in the corner of the forest so there are many people that go camping or have bonfires which is really fun. Also there is a Boardwalk where many students go for a fun weekend, as well as having a beautiful beach. Santa Cruz has the best of both worlds in where we have the beauty of nature and the beach. There are many other things that you could do but that is up to you and only to discover and enjoy this wonderful place.

    Food and Dining

    Dinning hall food may seem the best food in the beginning but after a while it can become annoying. On the positive side there are many cafe's and five other dinning halls in the University so you will always have many options to choose from. Also it can be a good place to meet people as well. One of my favorite things that I enjoy is that I can always try to be creative with my food and invent interesting meals. Living on campus financially can be tough that is why you should appreciate the food you get because there will be days where you get really hungry.

    Dorm Life

    The dorm life can be somewhat packed or claustrophobic but it is a great start to meeting new people that are as well starting college. Also it is very beneficial because classes and resources are closer to your dorm compared to people that live off campus. Also there are many activities within the dorm life that can be very fun and as well start meeting a lot of people and get to share your background and stories. It is always fun to come out of your comfort zone and get .to experience a new life.

    Academic Rigor

    There are some classes that can be hard and some that can be easy depending on how you approach the class and talk to your professor. Always make sure to try and talk to your professor because it will show that you are interested in the class. Also Also there are classes that will take up almost all day and some that can be done within four to five hours depending o how you manage your time. If you are taking an class that is intended for your major then you should focus more on that class but it doesn't mean that you should forget about the other classes just make sure you can balance time and organization.

    Tips for prospective students

    Always expect for the unexpected because going into college is a different environment where time management is a huge factor. Always remind yourself why are you in college and what are your priorities because there will be obstacles that will guide you into making small but important decisions. Hard work pays off as well as dedication, keep that in mind as you enter college. There may be days in where you feel like quitting college or are depressed but that is an obstacle that can be helped and there is no reason why you should feel alone there are many resources and people as well that are willing to help you succeeded.

  • 07/13/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    171 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    The beach is a couple of minutes away. You can surf or just plain and simple have fun at the beach. You can also go and explore Mother Nature which is all around the campus.

    Tips for prospective students

    Study hard and don't slack off!!

    In three sentences

    It's a beautiful school. Students here are very nice and easy to get along with. It'll challenge you academically.

  • 07/14/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    172 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Go to the forest, go to the beach, go into town, go for a bike ride, the list goes on...

    Food and Dining

    The dining hall food gets monotonous and is expensive. Not sure if it worth the meal plan, but off campus dining and home cooked food are the best.

    Dorm Life

    It is a great way to start off making friends. Make sure that you get into a college that suits your personality best.

    Academic Rigor

    It really isn't that tough as long as you have a good work ethic and take the initiative to seek optional assistance. I have struggled in courses but found the discussions and MSI tutors to be extremely helpful and convenient. As long as you attend lecture and perform what the professor requires then any course is approachable.

    Tips for prospective students

    You should get focused and consider what it is you're interested in early on. Santa Cruz offers a lot of wonderful opportunities, but being prepared is the best way to take advantage of these resources.

    In three sentences

    This University has the most unique campus in all of California, which creates an incredible learning environment. It is a great place to learn about environmental issues and scientific research on a sustainable future. This is a school for students that are looking to improve mankind's role in the natural environment.

  • 07/15/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    173 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    I love to get lost on the woods following trails that never end, its a great experience for knowing shortcuts around the school. Downtown Santa Cruz and the Boardwalk are also great attractions when one needs to relax and have fun from all that studying at UCSC.

    Food and Dining

    Food is good depending on the dining hall all of their bars are excellent let alone the staff, welcoming and super friendly. Food is great and they have meatless mondays for those who are meatless lovers!

    Dorm Life

    I lived here for 3 years in the same dorm for two and switched to one. My first year was great met wonderful hall mates and they remain to be friends that I can rely on as well as my second year I met more people which I keep contact with during the breaks and do many activities together.

    Academic Rigor

    Professors are welcoming and understanding. Do not be afraid to ask for help that's what they're for. I have met some great lecturers and professors here as well as tutors.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be open minded considering people are open about everything there are no judgements on background, ethnicity, culture, etc. This is definitely a safe campus and you will fall in love with its nature; big trees, hiking trails, etc.

    In three sentences

    UCSC is a beautiful campus with its green and wildlife atmosphere. This college is diverse and people there are kind on and off campus, I have never felt safe in an unknown and new area when I first attended there. To me UCSC lets one expand different horizons from learning about different cultures, people, and let alone one's own self.

  • 07/16/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    174 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    So many clubs and the school is constantly having events and some awesome artists come visit the school, as well as poets.

    Great for these types of students

    If you're into being surrounded by nature, meeting people that are interested in being both socially and politically aware. And if you're interested in science, they have great majors! Take into account the campus is big and has a lot of hills, so you should be open to walking.

    Bang for the buck

    Graduating from this school you do get the UC name. However it is hard to get into classes depending on how impacted your major is (Psychology, Human Biology etc.) I've had some amazing professors and opportunities at this school that I guess the cost is worth it. I wish housing on-campus was a lot cheaper, then again it is a UC so the price is high. Not going to lie I do get anxiety about the cost, fortunately I get a lot of financial help from the school so I've managed to keep my loans small.

    What to do for fun

    Santa Cruz has a lot of great venues for concerts and shows, as well as about four movie theaters. If you're into shopping downtown has a couple of smaller shops, closest mall is a bus ride away (30-45 min.) Santa Cruz also has some awesome trails and hiking areas! Check out Natural Bridges if you're into the beach and of course the boardwalk. (Also Santa Cruz is really big on roller derby!!!)

    Food and Dining

    Dining hall was not my favorite, this really depends on which dining hall you'll be closer to and what your dietary needs are. For vegetarians I found there aren't many great tasty options, on occasion I'd be surprised to find good food (stick to the salad bar!) For meat eaters there a wide array of meat, burgers etc. Usually I'd make the trek to Merrill dining hall which has more vegetarian friendly options. Another good dinning hall would be Cowell/Stevenson dining hall, more variety if you happen to be lactose intolerant like me. Again it's a big school and has to make large quantities of food so it makes sense the food might not be so good.

    Dorm Life

    Dorms at Santa Cruz are nestled into the natural environment. You'll find you'll get close to floor mates, living in dorms makes it easy to make friends. Sadly the restrooms aren't as private as you'd like and depending on the cleanliness of your neighbors you may find some surprises in the shower. Wi-fi also tends to be very spotty in the dorms, you'll have to get a router for better internet access.

    Academic Rigor

    Academic rigor depends on the classes you take, taking a chemistry class will be more rigorous than say an english class. However professors expect a lot, you'll find yourself working hard especially when your crunched for time on the quarter system.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure to research beforehand, Santa Cruz is a great institution but if you have a wide range of ideas for a major you may find yourself having to transfer later on. If you attend Santa Cruz make sure to take advantage of resources like tutoring etc. after all you are paying for it! Most importantly visit the school! I had friends leave because they we're coming from a large city to a smaller town and didn't like the change.

    In three sentences

    At UC Santa Cruz you'll find a beautiful campus, with many students that work together to achieve their academic goals. A great place for both a scientific focus and gain inspiration for learning from the surrounding nature. You'll be welcomed by fresh air, Santa Cruz is a relaxing place to study!

  • 07/23/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    175 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Little greek life, you can get to their parties off campus sometimes but they don't do anything too close and nothing on campus.

    Great for these types of students

    Students into social activism, earthy people, those interested in health and fitness, and anyone who is down for some real people learning and acceptance building.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Go to the mushroom tree(s) for climbing, and wander through the forest, you'll come across many old student projects and cool spots to hang out.

    What to do for fun

    There's so much to do for fun there, hang out around friends in the dorm doing nothing, go out into the wilderness and hike or bike, go downtown or to the beach, explore other parts of the city, or play a sport and join a club on campus. There are always events going on either on campus or in the city, lots of cool musicians, artists, and speakers come to Santa Cruz. That in itself should give you a little hint of how people feel about our little coast side paradise.

    Food and Dining

    The food is pretty good for a college campus! Lots of healthy, vegan and vegetarian options, as well as plenty of meat and breakfast for dinner.

    Dorm Life

    Dorms are worth the tight living quarters. You meet a ton of new friends whom you wouldn't have met otherwise most likely, and it's a good way to try lots of new things and test out what you like to study, practice, and spend your own independent free time doing.

    Academic Rigor

    Make it how hard you want it to be, you can find out which professors are easier for your learning and what kind of work your grade will depend on. It may be time consuming, but the work load is never too much where you can not get enough help in order to pass.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't be afraid to try new things-there are tons and tons of clubs, organizations, causes, and hobbies to get active with! Take advantage of the constantly growing and developing of the minds and actions of those around you in an educational environment.

    In three sentences

    Santa Cruz is a truly unique and awesome university and campus. The professors are phenomenal, the campus is beautiful in the midst of all the giant redwoods and there is opportunity for everyone in this school and city. There is activism aplenty, and progressive, accepting people everywhere you go.

  • 07/23/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    176 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Just try to avoid going out by yourself at night. And if you get intoxicated or high, do yourself a favor and stay away from the bridges.

    Great for these types of students

    Focused, driven students. Students willing to learn, but have fun at the same time.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The Naked Run -- on the first full day of rain, students are allowed to run around outside naked (evening/night time). But often students get it wrong, so you might see some naked people cheering outside when it's not even the correct day.

    What to do for fun

    CAs may set up activities to do, like Dodgeball or hiking or arts and crafts tables. The Porter Chalk Festival is pretty cool. You can go to downtown and hang out with some friends, watch a movie, eat, go shopping. Beach Boardwalk is also close by, if you want to go there. There are plenty of other beaches that students can access. Spend the day in the sun with friends. Read a book on the grass. Play frisbee in the Porter Quad. Go to dress-up events. Bike along the trails on campus.

    Food and Dining

    Food is average on some days, gross on other days, and better than normal on the rest of the days. Great desserts. College nights have pretty decent food.

    Dorm Life

    Some hallmates can be inconsiderate, and a lot of times the bathrooms look nasty. Just do your part and clean up after yourself, because you're not the only one using the bathroom.

    Academic Rigor

    Since I'm an art major, I don't have as intensive a work load as the students going into Chemistry, Biology, or math-related subjects.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do your work and don't wait until the last minute. If you have roommate problems, try to talk it out. Save money for supplies and downtown food, because sometimes the food in the dining halls are gross. Don't be afraid to reach out and make friends; everyone comes from a different background. Talk to your professors if you're having trouble in class, they are very knowledgeable about their subject.

    In three sentences

    All the hills give you huge amounts of exercise. The buses are unreliable. Some classes are fun, but the rest are great places to sleep.

  • 07/24/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    177 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The only UC campus that has both a Police station and a Fire station on the campus.

    Great for these types of students

    Hippies, Activists, International Students, Surfers, Vegans, Vegetarians, and the Environmentally or Socially Conscious

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    First rain - the first time it rains you're supposed to go streaking form what I hear.

    Bang for the buck

    With the grants that UCSC will give you, Cal Grant, and the Pell Grant, someone who is low income should have no problem affording tuition. While I haven't attended class yet, UCSC seems to be run very well and I'm sure I will have a great experience here.

    What to do for fun

    There's always the boardwalk, the beach, various state parks you could explore, Monterey is just across the bay, there's a lively music scene, and there are a bunch of underground events that happen every week that aren't well know, so keep an eye out!

    Food and Dining

    The dining halls have a very wide selection of food, and it's very good. There are also several restaurants scattered throughout the campus, and there are a great many places to eat in the town of Santa Cruz.

    Dorm Life

    I cannot say - I do not live in the dorms.

    Academic Rigor

    I am not able to say - I have not attended class yet.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be prepared to walk a lot, and try to live on campus if at all possible. I'm a transfer student living with my partner and her cat, so it has limited our housing options a lot! Housing is VERY expensive here - one of the most expensive places in the country. So don't do what I did!

    In three sentences

    The campus is beautiful, vast, and relaxing. Transportation around the college is very easy, as there are a number of free bus routes that run a large loop through the entire campus. I wish I could live on campus, because I'm sure you'd have almost all you'd need there with all of the facilities that are provided, and campus life seems quite nice form what I've seen.

  • 08/14/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    178 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    I'm involved with Greek Life and I never thought I would be either. However, I don't regret it. Joining Greek Life is like joining a club, except there's an interview. It's fun to some people but it's dumb to others.

    What to do for fun

    In SC most people like to roam around downtown or go to the beaches. SC has a variety of beaches and they're quite wonderful to go to. I also enjoy hiking around the campus because there are a few distinct places to go to. Plus, there's the Boardwalk, so you can never fail there.

    Food and Dining

    Many of the dining halls close early, however there are two main dining halls that are open the latest. The other shops/carts on campus that serve food are okay. I wouldn't complain much but I wouldn't eat at a few places either.

    Dorm Life

    It was great living on-campus as a first year -I highly recommend it to all/most first-year students. You're able to build a community with those you are surrounded by and it's an excellent chance to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people. However, many would argue that the dorms are segregated by race, ethnicity etc.

    Academic Rigor

    UCSC moves at a quick rate just like any other UC. If you don't understand what you are learning, drop by office hours. You have to be dedicated as well as motivated to do good and succeed.

    Tips for prospective students

    The professors at UCSC are ok -many are helpful while others, not so helpful. The classes are at a large ratio of students:professors so if you aren't comfortable with sitting beside hundreds of students at once, it will be a struggle. The main focus here is Psychology and Biology.

    In three sentences

    UCSC is a beautiful school surrounded by wilderness and plenty of hiking adventures. However, UCSC does not have any sports' fields except for soccer. UCSC requires lots of walking uphill and downhill, bussing and biking.

  • 08/26/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    179 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Awesome alert system that still sends me texts and notifications even when I am not within the area.

    Great for these types of students

    Outdoors, Adventurous, Hippie. Marine Biology students.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Naked run during the first rain. Interesting tradition that stays true to the irreplaceable feel of Santa Cruz. Go up to garden of Eden to hike on campus and also all the big Wishing trees.

    What to do for fun

    Explore all the hiking trails and beach. Walk along sunset cliffs when you need to clear your head and know where the 24/7 diners are for fun nights out with friends

    Tips for prospective students

    Take risks in what you want your major to be. Don't let a bad professor steal your thunder and passion. Look up clubs and get involved. Talk to everyone you can to help focus you in on what your end goals are for the years attending college.

    In three sentences

    Impacted classes and semi-engaging professors. Quick quarter system that makes me feel as if I'm getting gipped for price of my education. Love the forest and city of Santa Cruz and campus environment.

  • 08/29/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    180 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    For the most part it's pretty safe as long as you make smart decisions and lock up your room and your things. Like anywhere, you just never know what could happen so take the proper precautions on campus. As for the surrounding areas, I've heard of criminal activity in the down town area at mightier down by the board walk, but those are usually just the locals. I avoid going off campus in the evenings anyway.

    Greek Life

    It's not that popular on campus but it's slowly growing in popularity every year.

    Clubs and Activities

    Like I said before there's a diverse group of students on campus and there are just as many diverse groups to get involved in. From theatrical, artistic, science, political and athletic groups, there's something for everyone.

    Great for these types of students

    Everyone!

    What to do for fun

    Well of course there's the beach but there are great hiking trails and an amazing view from the gym and pool areas to enjoy. If you're into more lively atmosphere there are several local spots in town that are just a short (free) bus ride away. Down town Santa Cruz also has a great vibe with some larger retailers and small shops as well. If you really need more then the Highway 17 Express in either direction will take you to larger towns with more to offer.

    Food and Dining

    Lets face it if you eat the same thing several times a month you will most likely become tired of it pretty quickly. The dining halls do offer a variety but they tend to serve the same thing multiple times a month. The best dining hall, in my opinion, is Porter and keep in mind there are other options on campus if you use your flexi dollars wisely. The one really great thing about UCSC's meals is that most of the locally grown produce is organic and there are a ton if vegetarian options.

    Dorm Life

    I personally live in an apartment with several,other roommates, so the dorm life is a little different for me.The one thing I've learned is mutual respect for Luther's property and personal space goes a long way. While most students here seem to be fairly honest you can never trust everyone so don't forget to lock up your computer or bike and most definitely your dorm room.

    Academic Rigor

    UCSC is on the quarter system so the courses are much shorter in length, be prepared to stay on top of assignments and projects as the end of grading period comes up pretty fast. Never put assignments off and keep up on your reading and prep and you should be able to manage the courses here.

    Tips for prospective students

    UCSC is a large campus, plan your course schedule accordingly. Mae sure when choosing classes you take into consideration how long it will take to get from one class to the other.

    In three sentences

    UCSC attracts a diverse group of students. There are students from just about every walk of life attending school here. Not only is UCSC academically challenging but it's got something for every one from the sciences to the arts.

  • 09/04/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    181 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    NAKED RUN!!!! First rainfall that arrives every year.

    What to do for fun

    There's tons of things to do, you really can't ever get bored. The parties are alright, get shut down a lot by the po-po. Beach, heading down to Capitola for the mall or grabbing something to eat at a vegetarian restaurants downtown.

    Food and Dining

    Compared to other universities, UCSC has a lot of options and 5 dining halls so you can go to anyone and eat there if you aren't feeling the dining hall closest to you.

    Dorm Life

    The whole college stereotype is true. Pre-Freshman me, I did not want to believe they were true even though other students that were going there said it was, so I chose a college that I stuck out like a sore thumb and felt a bit awkward. Overall, pick the right college out of the 10 and you'll make tons of friends and do fine!

    Academic Rigor

    It is fast paced because it is on the quarter system. Attend office hours and study a lot and you will definitely pass the class well.

  • 09/05/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    182 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    The Boardwalk is nearby from what I remember, always a great place to have some fun or relax.

    Tips for prospective students

    Work on getting more people involved.

    In three sentences

    Seems very intersting with multiple opportunites. The acception rate is not too high. There is a very beautiful environment.

  • 10/02/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    183 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    The city of Santa Cruz has a surfeit of little shops downtown that are so popular to locals or tourist for their unique customer service. Also the Famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is that far at all as well as the many other visiting sites that would sure leave someone in awe for the beauty this little town has.

    Food and Dining

    The dining halls always have a variety a food choices for every taste possible. Whether you go vegan for a couple of days or want to indulge in the traditional american classics like fried chicken or hamburgers, the dining halls UCSC are ready.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is such a fun experience but may be awkward at times especially in the first couple of day or even weeks if it takes longer to get accustomed to the sudden change. It is your chance to get out socialize with some of people who may or may not end up being life long friendships.

    Academic Rigor

    In college there is no one to constantly remind us to resume studying or to just finish work on time. Its all on us to stay on top of our game and have schedule to when we could fit things in such as free time some alone time or just study time.

    Tips for prospective students

    I'd say be prepared for anything, things are bound to go wrong but it is safe to always have a back up plan. High school does a great job at preparing students and you'll come to realize it may be somewhat simpler than what you are use too. Being on our own is very liberating but we have to learn to balance our social times with our academic time. Also be prepared to walk a great deal around campus.

    In three sentences

    UC Santa Cruz is such a welcoming community. It has a great scenery whether its the forest or the ocean view. Also has some very interesting classes.

  • 11/08/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    184 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    I like to take walks. you can also go downtown since the bus is free for all students and it is fairly cnear.

    Tips for prospective students

    Visit the campus before deciding that this schools for you. Familiarize yourself as well before starting classes.

    In three sentences

    The school has great resources for new transfer students like myself . Professors are really available to help out with any problems. The campus is extremely beautiful, you'll fall in love!

  • 11/15/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    185 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Never had any issues with the safety of the campus. Might be safer because it is separate from the city of Santa Cruz.

    Greek Life

    Greek life is currently growing and UCSC. In the three years that I have attended I have only seen an increase in its popularity. Greek life is small, but growing.

    Clubs and Activities

    There is a club for any activity that you are interesting in at UCSC. From fencing to breakdancing there is a club for you.

    Great for these types of students

    Outdoorsy students. Students that have a love for the ocean

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Nake Run. Every year at the first rain UCSC students get nakes and run around the campus starting at Porter going to Stevenson.

    Bang for the buck

    UCSC is an expensive school, but i think the whole experience is more than worth it. You might see your money going further at a different school, but I wouldn't say UCSC is a waste of your money.

    What to do for fun

    Go into the Forest! There are many awesome forest spots to explore and trees to climb! Stevenson is right next to Pogonip which has the koi pond and rock garden and many amazing trees.

    Food and Dining

    UCSC has many healthy options, but you are still very likely to gain weight and eat unhealthy at the dinning hall.

    Dorm Life

    Living in a dorm and being a residential advisor for the dorms I can say that UC Santa Cruz dorm life is awesome. There dorms can be a little crowded which leads to conflicts between roommates and residence.

    Academic Rigor

    It varies across every student at UCSC. I see everything, from the students that never go outside and study all day, to those that never take school seriously. For the most part very intelligent students.

    Tips for prospective students

    Stevenson College is the greatest college at UCSC prime location and great people. Most of your classes will say you have to buy books, but there are many ways to get around it and save money.

    In three sentences

    The University of California is an amazing campus located literally in the forest. The students have a great time balancing school work with living on such an amazing campus in an amazing city. There are several life changing teachers at UC Santa Cruz, but it depends greatly on your major whether you receive the best teachers

  • 11/20/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    186 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Last night's naked run was fun..hehe

    What to do for fun

    Beaches, the gym, hiking and CAVES! Tons of ON Campus events

    Tips for prospective students

    Be willing to be challenged!

    In three sentences

    UC Santa Cruz is the UC's BEST KEPT SECRET.

  • 11/22/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    187 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Tons of outdoor activities such as hiking, nature walks, biking etc.

    Food and Dining

    If you have any dietary concerns, the dining halls do an amazing job working with you. There are plenty of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. It does get boring after a while, but you will miss it once you don't have a meal plan.

    Dorm Life

    There are ten different colleges, so your dorm will really depend on where you choose to live. My dorms were co-ed and tiny, but it's an important experience regardless. Living in a dorm is an opportunity you will only live through once, and its important to enjoy it while it lasts.

    Academic Rigor

    In every class you take you are given the opportunity to participate and learn. Do not take that opportunity for granted. You will only get back what you are willing to put into a class and it is your responsibility to challenge yourself.

    Tips for prospective students

    Bring an open mind to Santa Cruz. We are much more than the stereotypes that follow us. Don't be afraid to challenge the norm.

    In three sentences

    U.C. Santa Cruz is the most beautiful place to learn in California. Regardless of your identity, the students will welcome you with open arms. It has broaden my spectrum of thought endlessly.

  • 11/24/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    188 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Since UC Santa Cruz is kind of isolated and away from town, and there are only two entrances to campus, it is pretty safe here, not many people pass through here unless they are students.

    Greek Life

    There are sororities and fraternities on campus, although the Greek life is not a huge deal here. There is a wide variety, too. Latino ones, Religious ones, LGBT ones. Anyone can be a part of Greek Life here.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are TONS of clubs on campus, I myself am part of the Condom Co-Op, where we sell condoms to students for really cheap in order to promote SAFE sex, and help prevent against STIs and pregnancy. I am also part of the Pottery Co-Op, for people who like ceramics and playing with clay.

    Great for these types of students

    Chill people who like the smell of fresh air and trees, like being able to see a bunch of stars at night instead of airplanes, and people who don't mind seeing squirrels and raccoons occasionally.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There is the First Rain: on the first day of the year that it rains continuously all day, at night, a bunch of people run naked in the rain together. It is definitely a sight, I'll tell you that much.

    Bang for the buck

    It is a UC, so it is expensive, but financial aid helps immensely, scholarships help a lot, too. Plus, you don't only pay for the school, but you live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Seriously, Santa Cruz is where celebrities like Brad Pitt get their second homes. Trust me, it is worth it, compare the tuition with how much it costs to have a house here.

    What to do for fun

    UC Santa Cruz is... in Santa Cruz! There are cool places to check out on campus, but there are also buses that run through campus that will take you into town, to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, to the beach, and a bunch of other places! The great thing about the location is that you can go hiking in the woods, which is basically your backyard, or you can go to the beach, just thirty minutes on the bus. And if you like shopping, take a bus to Pacific Ave, where there are lots of shops, and two movie theaters and lots of restaurants.

    Food and Dining

    There are a lot of different dining halls around campus, and they all serve different dishes every day, except breakfast is pretty much the same every day. I have heard from many people that the College 8/Oakes dining hall does not serve good food, but there are other dining halls to go to anyway. There are also lots of organic food, and some foods even come from the farm that is on campus.

    Dorm Life

    Before I came here, I thought that I would not really be friends with anyone that would be on my floor because I thought that they would think I was weird. I have only been here for two months, and my floor mates and I are very close! We study together, have classes together, socialize and hang out with each other. Overall, it is a great environment that encourages me to do well here.

    Academic Rigor

    I find myself challenged in a way that makes me want to do the best that I can. Some of the classes are hard sometimes, but I am also learning a lot, and I am using and expanding my critical thinking skills.

    Tips for prospective students

    UCSC had 10 different colleges within it. They all have different themes that they focus on. If you plan on going to UCSC, think hard about the colleges you rank on the top.

    In three sentences

    The college campus is incredibly beautiful, which makes it an even better place to live in and learn in. In classes, I find myself interested in topics that I have never found interest in, and I also feel challenged in a positive way that helps me grow. The students and faculty here are welcoming and very helpful, and I am proud to call myself a UCSC banana slug.

  • 12/03/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    189 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Safe. I have had no trouble on campus, and have never felt insecure at any time while on it. The city itself is more dangerous due to a large homeless population and a pretty healthy meth/heroin scene.

    Greek Life

    Thankfully small.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are many. Join the student run Radio State or get a $13,000 year stipend as president of the student government. Those aren't the only two options, they are just the first two that came to mind. And if the organization that you want to join doesn't exist, create it.

    Great for these types of students

    Socialites, artists, musicians, philosophers, stoners, ravers, psychedelics, introverts, extroverts, tumblrs, twitters, hipsters, spinsters. Come one come all; there's no way the student body can be generalized fairly or accurately.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    First Rain is an unusual tradition. Basically, the first time that it rains heavily in fall quarter, people get naked at around 10 PM and run from all corners of campus to the OPERs (the school athletic center) pool. It's very fun as a Freshman living on campus. Once you become a veteran though, you'll probably think once was enough because you can't be arsed to leave your off campus housing.

    What to do for fun

    Make fun of neo-hippies and rad-fems. Alternatively, become a rad-fem neo-hippy. Experience carnal pleasures. Drink. Read a novel. Make some music in the quad. Associate with your peers. Debate your peers. Berate your peers. There's a wide variety of entertainment to be had. But keep in mind Santa Cruz is not a metropolis. There are no museums or opera houses.

    Food and Dining

    It's fine. Meal plans are expensive though. Porter makes pretty good Indian food. College 9/10 has the most organized/ well balanced servings. Most of the dining halls are buffet style-all-you-can-eat. If you're out of meal plan, the student workers will most likely let you in for free. Ask the students in blue shirts-- they don't care. The green shirts are their overseers, and they may care.

    Dorm Life

    It's great. Very fun. I don't want to get too illicit, but I will say the student body is wild and rad. Plenty of new experiences to be had. If one is not into the whole crazy-party scene, most dorm doors are thick enough to keep out the pandemonium. Most rooms are small, however, and on-campus living is absurdly expensive. Luckily, most dorms are nestled in the iconic redwoods that make this campus utterly unique. It always smells fresh, and the air is clean.

    Academic Rigor

    The academic rigor of UCSC receives a 3/5, but that's because there are so many different classes and professors that it's impossible to make a generalization. In my experience, you gain what you put in. In some ways, University ends up being easier than high school because you'll only have three courses a quarter that meet two to three times a week. High School was more dense. Personal experience: my easiest class was the trivial Porter core class. One basically had to write one paper a week (usually written a few hours before it was due) that was peer reviewed. The hardest class I've taken, on the other hand, was Early Modern Political Thought. That class nearly melted my brain. I hear many science classes are difficult, but thankfully I'm a politics and legal study major.

    Tips for prospective students

    I don't want to write tropes about doing the best you can, being yourself, and all of that jazz. But it's important to realize that once you're in college you have to rely on yourself. You have agency, you make the decisions, and this new found independence can be liberating. At Santa Cruz it's easy to have a social life; but that social life needs to be balanced with studies. The education at this school will end up costing you over $100,000, so you, the prospective student, need to remember that the time spent on this campus is an investment. This in mind, my main tip is for people who consider themselves anti-social. When you arrive, join an organization or two, and feel uninhibited. There are so many clubs and student organizations that they should be considered part of what you're buying. Joining these clubs will allow you to make more friends than you could ever need, and these friends will expose you to interests that may stay with you for the rest of your natural life. It's so easy to meet new people if you just let them in.

    In three sentences

    It is in an enchanted forest. The student body is left of center. Before I arrived I was skeptical, but after the first night I realized there's no other place I'd rather be going to school.

  • 12/08/2013

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    190 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    This may seem like an intimidating place to be since the campus is spread over a forest, but there are many safety measures so most people feel safe. There are security guards all over the campus. There is an on-campus police department and fire department. There are emergency phones stationed near every bus stop and at various other places around campus. If you ever felt unsafe, you can call the on-campus police or your college Community Safety Officer (CSO), and they will happily help you out.

    Greek Life

    Greek life is not a dominant thing at UCSC, but it is still very popular. There are many sororities and fraternities for all kinds of people, and they rush at least twice a year.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are many, many clubs and activities offered here. I mean hundreds, really. There are all kinds of outdoor clubs, sports clubs, and indoor activity clubs. If something you really want is not offered, then go ahead and start it! With thousands of students, there are likely quite a few who share your interests!

    Great for these types of students

    This school is great for any student! For students with a love of the outdoors and a sense of adventure, the campus and surroundings offer countless opportunities and a place you'll want to keep coming back to even when you graduate. For students who are studious and want an academically challenging college, this is also a great place, with so much to learn and many large and small libraries to study in. This school truly offers something for everyone.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    UC Santa Cruz does have a few unusual traditions. One is the popular run that happens during the first rain here... hundreds of students like to run all over the campus wearing, well, just about nothing. It is definitely shocking for those who witness it, but many bystanders decide to join in. It is a very strange tradition, and if it is not something you are comfortable with, just stay nice and warm and cozy indoors. There are also many strange locations on campus, and even a book devoted to such places, called An Unnatural History - UCSC. It is always fun to explore the campus and see all it has to offer!

    Bang for the buck

    Because this is a University of California, it is rather pricey. Of course there are many financial aid possibilities. However, as far as UC's go, this one has the best campus and location by far, so it is well worth the price. You will love it here!

    What to do for fun

    This school offers so much for fun. The recreation department offers physical education classes, including sailing and surfing, as well as guided excursions such as camping, hiking, food tasting, or going to a museum. The campus is also next to two different natural parks and has an extensive forest in the upper campus, which all offer ample running, hiking, and biking opportunities. For those who like more indoor activities, there are many different clubs such as chess, singing, anime, or poetry, among many others. So if you want something to do besides study, there are countless opportunities!

    Food and Dining

    With five different dining halls and a few coffee shops, restaurants, and a food store, there are many different dining options here! There are always vegetarian options for those who need it, and the different dining halls offer a wide variety of dishes to expand your palette or eat the foods you love!

    Dorm Life

    There are many on-campus dorm options. With ten residential colleges that make up the university, you can definitely find one (or many!) that offer the atmosphere you seek in a living situation. It also allows you to make friends very easily. Some of the ten colleges have better views of the ocean, some are closer to the forest in the upper campus, and some feel more like apartment living. There are themed halls in every college living area, so there is definitely a place for you!

    Academic Rigor

    This school may not be an Ivy League school or have the best reputation, but it is actually quite academically challenging and the students who graduate go on to be the top in their fields. Lower division classes are naturally a bit easier, and they give you a good preparation for the demands of the upper division classes. Any class can be difficult, but if you put in time and do your work, you will learn a lot and succeed.

    Tips for prospective students

    It may seem like a lot of days start out foggy, but the afternoon is usually bright and sunny. There are many peaceful places to study among the trees or in the many libraries on campus. The recreation department is massive and has so many amazing opportunities! Never be afraid to use the resources available to you: office hours with professors and TA's, tutoring, and study groups. There is always help available! Prepare to see tons of deer, squirrels, and racoons. They are everywhere!

    In three sentences

    You just can't beat living by both the ocean and a redwood forest. This campus is one of the prettiest campuses you could ever hope to see, by feeling almost like a summer camp as you walk among the trees, with beautiful views of the ocean. If you love the outdoors and the ocean, this is the campus for you.

  • 12/12/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    191 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Fraternities: Sigma Pi, Theta Chi, TKE, AEPI Sororities: KKG, Gamma Phi

    Great for these types of students

    Great for the student that enjoy the mixture of hot and cold weather

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The First Rain Run is a run that occurs on the first day of the year that it rains the entire day and is still raining at nighttime. It begins at Porter College and runs a loop around the school. Everyone runs naked, though a small handful only partially naked. The run ends in a drum circle in the Porter Meadow, though the end is even less official and tends to end however the runners end up wanting it to. Tree Nine is a massive tree above College Nine with many branches that many students climb their first year at UC Santa Cruz. It's not so much event based, but it has been referred to as a rite of initiation to be a real UCSC student. April 20th, or 4/20 is, as you probably know, a nationwide and possibly worldwide event that is specifically for smoking marijuana, at 4:20 on the dot, though not everyone follows that rule. One of the largest gatherings in the nation for this unofficial holiday occurs in the Porter Meadow. Lots of precautions are taken by campus security to keep illegal activity to a minimum on this day, as well as visitors to campus. A lot of people go and don't even smoke, but the tradition is to be in the meadow and do whatever you decide to do with your friends on this day. Drum circles happen in the various meadows at Santa Cruz, especially at the full moon. Everyone gets together to dance, play music, and be with friends.

    What to do for fun

    You can go to the beach or lovely garden areas.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you live in California and you are concern with distance because you don't want to be so close to home this is a perfect distance with great academics and more.

    In three sentences

    UC Santa Cruz has a beautiful view. The campus is diverse. UC Santa-Cruz also is one of the competitive school to get admmitted to

  • 12/17/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    192 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Low interaction with Greek Life.

    What to do for fun

    Go for a hike! Meet new people! Go downtown.

    Tips for prospective students

    Always go to meadows with a friend.

    In three sentences

    I feel in love with the forest here. Everyone here is accepting and its really easy to make friends considering how kind everyone is. I enjoy the different types of colleges one can get into and allow one to focus on a topic at least for a quarter.

  • 12/21/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    193 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There is a fire station located on campus so whenever there is an emergency they are there. Other than that, the campus police aren't there much of the time.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are many clubs to be involved in and the activities that occur can help a student become more social with others.

    What to do for fun

    For fun, people go downtown to shop or go to the movies and there are different groups on campus people can get involved with to get that college experience.

    Food and Dining

    The food is GREAT!!!

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are great. For me personally, I had to move out because I didn't like the way my roommates were treating me and the dorm. I would recommend to dorm with somebody you know or if it's somebody you don't know, then get to know them to make sure they are a good match for you.

    Academic Rigor

    The workload can be stressful because the professors expect so much out of us, so make sure you don't miss any lectures and stay on track with the work.

    Tips for prospective students

    Get involved...it's a great way to meet new people and never be afraid to ask questions. This is a new experience and you will need some support.

    In three sentences

    The campus is very beautiful and many people are very friendly. It's a huge transition for people who are not from Northern California, as myself, but it is very nice here. The courses are great and many people are involved on campus.

  • 12/22/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    194 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    It's not the big thing at Santa Cruz

    Great for these types of students

    Open-minded, ethnic, white, stoner, nerd, punk, basically anyone can have a good time. Everyone is accepted.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    First rain everybody runs naked!

    Bang for the buck

    Definitely overpriced, but worth the debt.

    What to do for fun

    There are all kinds of clubs and organizations you can look into. I personally just go on nature walks and skateboard for fun. Also play music.

    Food and Dining

    Its good for the first quarter, then gets tiresome. Learn to cook by the time you move off campus.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is awesome for a quarter or two. You get sick of the having to look over your shoulder constantly to not get in trouble. But you meet all your friends in the dorms so its worth the hassle

    Academic Rigor

    The professors are interesting and intellectually stimulating. but honestly the classes aren't all that hard. But I am also involved in the social sciences and humanties divisions.

    Tips for prospective students

    Prospective students should definitely do some research on the 10 residential colleges before choosing which one to live in. Your college is going to be your home and you will spend a majority of your time around your residential college. If you go into UCSC with an open mind I promise you will love every minute of it.

    In three sentences

    UC Santa Cruz is the best school in the world. It is located in an area with diverse scenery that is unmatched. The people here are beautiful, inside and out.

  • 12/23/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    195 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    -boardwalk -surfing -hiking

    Tips for prospective students

    -Meet with your professors and counselors regularly.

    In three sentences

    UC Santa Cruz is a beautiful California University that resides on the coast of California. The campus is in the middle of a huge redwood forest and is one of the largest in the UC system. The academics are rigorous but I'm having the best time of my life so far.

  • 12/24/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    196 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Students with open minds, and liberal voices will find it invigorating to be on campus.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    It has been said when you spot a banana slug on campus, you have to kiss it! Banana slugs only come out after it rains though, so be cautious of those little guys!

    What to do for fun

    With the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk close by, weekends can never be too dull. From amusement rides to carnival games, The Boardwalk is great for all ages.

    Food and Dining

    UCSC had the honor of placing first place in PETA's Most Vegan Friendly College in 2011. The dining halls try something new at least once a week, always finding new ways of mixing up the menu.

    Dorm Life

    Living with someone other than your family can be scary. UCSC makes sure to relief you of that stress and to introduce you to diverse people all over! The RA's put effort into meeting you, and to organizing events for you and your friends can enjoy ans bond over!

    Academic Rigor

    Classes were meant to challenge and stimulate your brain! Classes that open your mind, and that teach you valuable lessons to use later on in life. UCSC offers an array of classes to choose from, even Muppet Magic!

    Tips for prospective students

    1. Don't worry about taking a picture of the deer, you'll run into them again quite a few more times before you graduate. 2. Santa Cruz welcomes students of all kinds, from every where. You'll fit in. 3. Keep up the hard work and it pays off!

    In three sentences

    A breathtaking campus filled with trees and deer all around. A caring and protective campus with faculty who care. A place where students come to thrive, learn, and grow.

  • 01/01/2014

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    197 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Naked Run: During the first rain of the fall semester, all the freshman get naked and run through the rain around campus. There are also several locations to hike to that are 'hidden', including natural springs and a small cave.

    What to do for fun

    Explore! The campus has a lot of cool hidden spots.

    Food and Dining

    Rated very high for having organic/meat-free/healthy options, which is important for vegetarians and vegans like me!

    Dorm Life

    I don't know much about dorm life, but have heard from many students that UC Santa Cruz students are fun to be around.

    Academic Rigor

    This depends entirely on how much effort you are willing to put in and what you plan on majoring in. As a science major, I know that no matter what school I attend, I will have a lot of work to do. However, students in other majors may find it easier to skate by (or maybe spend more time getting real-world experience).

    Tips for prospective students

    Visit the campus! I promise you will fall in love. Also, before you choose a college (your dorm/housing), research the different colleges beyond the school's website. Current or past students have a lot to say about each college's reputation, environment, and general feel, which is information not generally given by the college.

    In three sentences

    The campus is absolutely gorgeous, with the buildings hidden among all the redwood trees. The people seem unique and approachable. However, the downtown area is pretty small.

  • 01/29/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    198 of 203

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    There are movie theaters, little clubs, and some house parties happening in the town.

    Food and Dining

    Stevenson and Cowell dining hall is the best and it still is not that good.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are normal dorms. People are semi-friendly. Be weary of the weekends when the bathrooms aren't cleaned.

    Academic Rigor

    It can be hard to keep up with sometimes, but time management is key.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure you realize you will be in the woods. Ask a lot of questions Join clubs or you won't meet anyone

    In three sentences

    Big, Eccentric, Nice

  • 02/03/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    199 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    This year (2013-2014), we do not have guards at the entrances of campus anymore so almost anyone can set foot on campus, however we do have CSO's and escort systems if you're feeling unsafe at night.

    Clubs and Activities

    Clubs and activities is also fun when you want to meet people but the only problem with Santa Cruz is that we don't have large places to meet up at for individual clubs, sports, frats, etc.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Every year, we have this thing called First Rain or The Naked Run in which students will run through the campus nude in order to represent our mascot, the banana slug, coming out when it's wet outside.

    What to do for fun

    No matter what anybody says, there is a lot to explore right on campus. The campus is in a forest so there are pathways that you can walk on and discover places that many people do not know about. There are caves, the cat graveyard, tree nine, the rock garden, and plenty of other places I still have yet to see. You just have to take time to go out there and look for something interesting and surely, you will find something interesting.

    Food and Dining

    There's plenty of healthy choices along with other dishes you can choose from. Some colleges have happy hour with delicious desserts. Sometimes the food isn't as great but most of the time, you can find something to eat that will satisfy your stomach for a few hours.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is one of the best parts of college, especially if you're a first year. The dorms is where you can easily meet a lot of people who could end up as a longterm friend.

    Academic Rigor

    There are some classes that are easier than others but for the majority of your major classes, studying is key. Classes will be tough if you don't put any effort into them.

    Tips for prospective students

    College is a fun experience but make sure to have a fine balance between fun and academic work or else you might end up on academic probation.

    In three sentences

    UC Santa Cruz is built in a redwood forest which is great if you ever want to go outside and relax in nature. There's always some sort of event going on every week within the 10 colleges that UC Santa Cruz consists of so there is always something to do if you look around the right areas.

  • 02/10/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    200 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    The food is great, there are many different varieties of food you can chose from. Everyday the food changes, it has food from all over the world, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, and American. The food is really good, its like dinning out everyday. On Mondays healthy Monday there is no meat, most of the food is vegan.

    Dorm Life

    Living in the dorms is a great experience, living with different people and different cultures is very interesting because you learn a lot, you learn different backgrounds and traditions, and when doing work they are there to help you if they can. A con of living in the dorms is that you might live with people that you do not like and that's a problem because you will not be comfortable in the room and will make your living experience not so pleasant. So when applying for housing be as honest as possible so the school can match you up with people who have a lot in common with you.

    Academic Rigor

    UC Santa Cruz is very strict about keeping you grades up, if u slack around and your grades fall then the school will give you a warning, and tell you to bring up your grades. If you do not bring up your grades, then they will ask you to leave and go to a community college. Also, the majority of the professors do not accept late work.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you are thinking about coming to UC Santa Cruz, start chocing classes as soon as you can, it will make your life much easier. In the first few quarters start window shopping because you may find something that you may be really interested in, something you would have never imagined you would like.

    In three sentences

    UC Santa Cruz is a great science and engineering school, the computer science classes are fun and entertaining. If you are interested in engineering this is the school to attend. I am a computer science major and enjoy all my computer science classes.

  • 02/21/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    201 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Really safe!

    Greek Life

    Tons of them!

    Clubs and Activities

    Hundreds of student clubs and organizations!

    Great for these types of students

    Any type!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Naked Run after 24 hours of rain.

    Bang for the buck

    It's the best college in the world!

    What to do for fun

    Go to OPERS, hit the Gym, go for hikes, go to the beach!

    Food and Dining

    The food kind of sucks sometimes. Is always fries, hamburgers, pizza and hot dogs.

    Dorm Life

    It's all good, you just need to set rules.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes are challenging but easy.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you live in the dorms apply for a triple, is more convenient.

    In three sentences

    UC Santa Cruz is really awesome! The view, the natural environment, the people and the classes are great! I couldn't have chosen a better college.

  • 02/25/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    202 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    Out-of-state people it might be a waste of money if you already like your city or there are neighboring cities near you that are fun. It is a great experience to be far away from home however.

    What to do for fun

    There isn't much to do in terms of under 21 in the city but if you're looking for parties join a greek organization, they are all very welcoming.

    Food and Dining

    There is such a variety of food both for special diets and meat lovers!

    Dorm Life

    dorm life is complicated. Clean your room more often than you think you should and make sure to actuarially LEAVE your dorm to go explore.

    Academic Rigor

    Some classes are harder than others. Do not take three or even two high level classes your first year despite how interesting they seem.

    Tips for prospective students

    The dorms will get you distracted. Go to the library often even if you have to force yourself. Go to class!

    In three sentences

    The university is not diverse but it is accepting. The teachers are passionate and interesting in the most part. The environment is great and natural, but not too rural.

  • 03/05/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    203 of 203

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Police and fire department is near by and have a good response time, also RA's and staff are well trained. However, the campus is in the woods so there are many hills and stairs that are not very accessible to every body.

    Greek Life

    Greek life is present on campus but is not very prominent nor popular. Known for putting on a lot of fundraisers.

    Clubs and Activities

    Several! you can choose by interest or major or you can even make one of your own.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    First rain: students run naked around the entire campus the first day of rain in fall quarter. Kiss a banana slugs: our mascot is a banana slug, so you kiss the slug for good luck.

    What to do for fun

    The beach is only a ten minute bus ride away, there you'll also find the bowling alley and boardwalk rides and games. Downtown youll find a lot of shops, restaurants, and movie theaters

    Food and Dining

    The dining hall food is decent, but after your third year it is not your go to. On campus cafes and restaurants are definitely a must in between classes.

    Dorm Life

    The dorm experience is a great part of college, freshmen year especially. Your roommate and hallmmates can very much be your lifelong friends!There are programs out on for residents every week, definitely make sure to make time for thos

    Academic Rigor

    I rate academic rigor at this school as 3 1/2, because although this UC is quite rigorous, your workload very much depends on your major.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure to have good study skills such as keeping an organized planner, there are three quarters and they go by faster than you might like. Also, Prepare for all sort of weather

    In three sentences

    The quarter system is very fast paced. This school has a friendly environment. The ten college communities are all very different but all community based.