Artist's rendering of planned facility for UCSC's new Institute of the Arts and Sciences.

Subject: The Arts: An Introduction

Date: Feb. 24, 2017

I am happy to hear of your interest in the Arts Division at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Should you be admitted to the university, I want to make sure you have the information you need to make an informed choice about the arts at UC Santa Cruz. Students here receive an education that combines the advantages of a small-college setting with the resources of a major research university. Our undergraduates have the opportunity to pursue their selected major, while engaging in research and/or art production with leaders in their fields.

The arts at UC Santa Cruz provide incomparable opportunities for students to work creatively at the leading edge of their disciplines. Our programs immerse arts majors in history, theory, and criticism, as well as in creative production.

We offer the following degree programs in the arts:

Undergraduate Programs

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Art and Design: Games and Playable Media

Film and Digital Media

History of Art and Visual Culture


Theater Arts

Bachelor of Music (BM)




Electronic Music

Film and Digital Media

History of Art and Visual Culture



Theater Arts

Graduate Programs

Master of Arts (MA)


Social Documentation

Theater Arts

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Digital Arts and New Media

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Music Composition

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Film and Digital Media


Visual Studies

The Arts Division sponsors many co-curricular opportunities in the arts, such as music concerts, dance and theater performances, art history lectures, and film and video screenings (student films, guest filmmakers, and selected film festivals). In fall, winter, and spring, the Art Department undergraduate students are able to exhibit work in Open Studios. For a sampling of our extensive annual events, please visit our Arts Events Calendar.

Our arts facilities are among the most technologically advanced in the nation. These include a 400-seat recital hall, rehearsal and practice rooms, teaching studios, a gamelan facility, electronic music studios, an audiovisual media lecture hall with equipment for slide, film, and digital media projection, a 500-seat thrust stage, an experimental theater, and the Digital Arts Research Center (DARC).

I invite you to explore the links below to learn more about studying the arts at this extraordinary university.



Susan Solt

Dean of the Arts

Fine arts instruction at UC Santa Cruz includes the following areas: drawing, electronic arts, intermedia, painting, photography, print media, public art, and sculpture. It does not include ceramics, crafts, graphic design, or illustration.

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