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Founded in 1969, community studies was a national pioneer in the field of experiential education, and its community-focused learning model has been copied widely by other colleges and universities. Community studies was also a pioneer in addressing principles of social justice, specifically inequities arising from race, class, and gender dynamics in society.
Area of Focus
  • Behavioral & Social Sciences
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
Academic Division
Social Sciences
Department
Community Studies
Chemistry is central to modern science and, ultimately, most phenomena in biology, medicine, geology, and the environmental sciences can be described in terms of the chemical and physical behavior of atoms and molecules. Because of the wide appeal and utility of chemistry, UCSC offers many lower-division courses, differing in emphasis and style, to meet diverse needs. Students should also note the numerous upper-division course offerings and select those most suitable to their academic interests.
Area of Focus
  • Science & Math
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
  • B.S.
  • M.S.
  • Ph.D.
  • Undergraduate Minor
Academic Division
Physical and Biological Sciences
Department
Chemistry and Biochemistry
The Art Department offers an integrated program of study in theory and practice exploring the power of visual communication for personal expression and public interaction. Students are given the means to pursue this exploration through courses that provide the practical skills for art production in a variety of media within the contexts of critical thinking and broad-based social and environmental perspectives.
Area of Focus
  • Arts & Media
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
  • M.F.A.
Academic Division
Arts
Department
Art
In the History of Art and Visual Culture (HAVC) Department, students study the production, use, form, and reception of visual products and cultural manifestations past and present. Objects of study include paintings, sculptures, and architecture, which are within the traditional purview of art history, as well as art and non-art objects and visual expressions that sit beyond disciplinary boundaries. The HAVC Department offers courses covering a wide variety of material from the cultures of Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Pacific Islands, including media as diverse as ritual, performative expression, bodily adornment, landscape, the built environment, installation art, textiles, manuscripts, books, photography, film, video games, apps, websites, and data visualizations.
Area of Focus
  • Arts & Media
  • Behavioral & Social Sciences
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
  • Ph.D.
  • Undergraduate Minor
Academic Division
Arts
Department
History of Art and Visual Culture
The linguistics major is designed to acquaint students with the central aspects of linguistic structure and the methodologies and perspectives of the field. Areas of study include: Syntax, the rules that combine words into larger units of phrases and sentences Phonology and phonetics, the sound systems of particular languages and the physical properties of language sounds Semantics, the study of the meanings of linguistic units and how they are combined to form the meanings of sentences or conversations Psycholinguistics, the cognitive mechanisms used in producing and perceiving language
Area of Focus
  • Behavioral & Social Sciences
  • Humanities
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
  • M.A.
  • Ph.D.
  • Undergraduate Minor
Academic Division
Humanities
Department
Linguistics
Language Studies is an interdisciplinary major offered by the Linguistics Department. It is designed to equip students with competence in one foreign language and, at the same time, provide an understanding of the general nature of human language, its structure and use. Students may choose to take elective courses from a variety of departments, concerning the cultural context of the language of concentration.
Area of Focus
  • Humanities
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
  • Undergraduate Minor
Academic Division
Humanities
Department
Linguistics
Cognitive science has emerged in the last few decades as a major discipline that promises to be increasingly important in the 21st century. Focused on achieving a scientific understanding of how human cognition works and how cognition is possible, its subject matter encompasses cognitive functions (such as memory and perception), the structure and use of human language, the evolution of the mind, animal cognition, artificial intelligence, and more
Area of Focus
  • Behavioral & Social Sciences
Degrees Offered
  • B.S.
Academic Division
Social Sciences
Department
Psychology
Feminist studies is an interdisciplinary field of analysis that investigates how relations of gender are embedded in social, political, and cultural formations. The undergraduate program in feminist studies provides students with a unique interdisciplinary and transnational perspective. The department emphasizes theories and practices derived from multiracial and multicultural contexts.
Area of Focus
  • Behavioral & Social Sciences
  • Humanities
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
  • Ph.D.
Academic Division
Humanities
Department
Feminist Studies
Psychology is the study of human behavior and the psychological, social, and biological processes related to that behavior. According to the American Psychological Association, psychology is: A discipline, a major topic of study in colleges and universities. A science, a method of conducting research and understanding behavioral data. A profession, a calling that requires one to apply special knowledge, abilities, and skills to solve human problems.
Area of Focus
  • Behavioral & Social Sciences
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
Academic Division
Social Sciences
Department
Psychology
The ecology and evolution major provides students with interdisciplinary skills necessary for understanding and solving complex problems in behavior, ecology, evolution, and physiology, and includes a focus on both basic concepts and aspects that can be applied to important environmental problems, including genetic and ecological aspects for conservation biology and biodiversity. Ecology and evolution addresses questions on a wide variety of scales, from molecular or chemical mechanisms up to issues that apply to large spatial and temporal scales.
Area of Focus
  • Science & Math
Degrees Offered
  • B.S.
  • M.A.
  • Ph.D.
Academic Division
Physical and Biological Sciences
Department
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
The marine biology major is designed to introduce students to marine ecosystems, including the great diversity of marine organisms and their coastal and oceanic environments. The emphasis is on basic principles that help us to understand the processes that shape life in marine environments. The marine biology major is a demanding program that offers a B.S. degree and requires several more courses than the general biology B.A. major. Students with bachelor’s degrees in marine biology find employment opportunities in a variety of fields. In conjunction with a teaching credential or graduate degree in teaching, students often use their marine biology background to teach science at the K–12 level.
Area of Focus
  • Science & Math
Degrees Offered
  • B.S.
Academic Division
Physical and Biological Sciences
Department
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
The plant sciences major is designed for students with an interest in plant biology and its associated curricular fields such as plant ecology, plant physiology, plant pathology, plant molecular biology, and soil science. The plant sciences curriculum draws from faculty expertise in the departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Studies, and Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology. The close integration of coursework in Biology and Environmental Studies, combined with off-campus internships with diverse agencies, creates the opportunity for outstanding training in applied plant science fields such as agroecology, restoration ecology, and natural resource management.
Area of Focus
  • Science & Math
Degrees Offered
  • B.S.
Academic Division
Physical and Biological Sciences
Department
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
The most significant purpose of the politics major is to help educate a reflective and activist citizenry capable of sharing power and responsibility in a contemporary democracy. Courses address issues central to public life, such as democracy, power, freedom, political economy, social movements, institutional reforms, and how public life, as distinct from private life, is constituted. Our majors graduate with the kind of sharp analytical and critical thinking skills that set them up for success in a variety of careers.
Area of Focus
  • Behavioral & Social Sciences
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
  • Ph.D.
  • Undergraduate Minor
Academic Division
Social Sciences
Department
Politics
The biology departments at UC Santa Cruz offer a broad spectrum of courses that reflect the exciting new developments and directions in the field of biology. Outstanding faculty, each with a vigorous, internationally recognized research program, teach courses in their specialties as well as core courses for the major.
Area of Focus
  • Science & Math
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
  • B.S.
  • Undergraduate Minor
Academic Division
Physical and Biological Sciences
Department
Not Applicable
The Theater Arts program combines drama, dance, critical studies, and theater design/technology to offer students an intensive, unified undergraduate experience. The lower-division curriculum requires a range of practical work in various sub-disciplines and a rigorous exposure to the history of theater from ancient to modern drama. At the upper-division level, students take classes in a range of history/theory/critical studies topics and are given the opportunity to focus on an area of interest through limited-enrollment studio classes and through direct interaction with faculty.
Area of Focus
  • Arts & Media
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
  • M.A.
  • Undergraduate Minor
Academic Division
Arts
Department
Performance, Play and Design
The Biotechnology B.A. is not job training for a specific job, but a broad overview of the field of biotechnology. The requirements of the degree are deliberately minimal, to allow students to shape their own education by choosing appropriate electives—the major is designed to be suitable as a double major for students in the humanities or social sciences.
Area of Focus
  • Engineering & Technology
  • Science & Math
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
Academic Division
Jack Baskin School of Engineering
Department
Biomolecular Engineering
Sociology is the study of social interaction, social groups, institutions, and social structures. Sociologists examine the contexts of human action, including systems of beliefs and values, patterns of social relations, and the processes whereby social institutions are created, maintained, and transformed.
Area of Focus
  • Behavioral & Social Sciences
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
  • Ph.D.
  • Undergraduate Minor
Academic Division
Social Sciences
Department
Sociology
Art & Design: Games & Playable Media (AGPM) is an interdisciplinary undergraduate program in the Department of Performance, Play and Design at UCSC. The program is closely affiliated with the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science: Computer Game Design in the Computational Media Department in the School of Engineering. Students in both programs work together throughout their studies at UCSC, from foundation courses to a year-long capstone sequence that results in team creation of a releasable game demo. Students in AGPM obtain a degree focused on the design of game systems and other interactive experiences, including their connection to a wider arts context — with a full grounding in the fundamentals of artistic practice and expressive game development.
Area of Focus
  • Arts & Media
  • Engineering & Technology
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
Academic Division
Arts
Department
Performance, Play and Design
Anthropology studies what it means to be human, and how humans make meaning. Anthropologists look at people from all angles: how they come to be, what they create, and how they give significance to their lives. At the center of the discipline are questions of physical evolution and adaptability, material evidence for past life ways, similarities and differences among past and present peoples, and the political and ethical dilemmas of studying cultures. Anthropology is a rich and integrative discipline that prepares students to live and work effectively in a diverse and increasingly interconnected world.
Area of Focus
  • Behavioral & Social Sciences
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
  • Ph.D.
  • Undergraduate Minor
Academic Division
Social Sciences
Department
Anthropology
The American Association for Applied Linguistics (our discipline's main international organization) defines Applied Linguistics as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry that addresses a broad range of language-related issues in order to understand their roles in the lives of individuals and conditions in society. It draws on a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches from various disciplines–from the humanities to the social and natural sciences–as it develops its own knowledge-base about language, its users and uses, and their underlying social and material conditions.
Area of Focus
  • Humanities
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
Academic Division
Humanities
Department
Languages and Applied Linguistics