Student Services

Bike path on campus. Photo by Jim MacKenzie.

Q: What types of support services are provided for students?

A: Support for UC Santa Cruz students encompasses academic and career advising, personal support, and a broad range of other student services. The campus provides quality medical care through the Cowell Student Health Center on campus, is accommodating to students with disabilities, assists nontraditionally aged students and military veterans in their transition to the university, and helps students with internship placement and career planning. UCSC's Renaissance Scholars provides services and support for students who are orphans, former or current foster youth, runaways, and wards of the court.

More information about support services here at UC Santa Cruz:

Q: What are my transportation options?

A: TAPS - TRANSPORTATION AND PARKING SERVICES is an extensive website with answers to most of your transportation and parking questions.

TAPS Parking Permit Sales Office




TAPS is your main university resource for information on parking, shuttle services, city bus service, bike riding, Zipcar and Zimride membership, methods of getting home (Amtrak, BART, airport connectors, etc.), and event parking.

•••Campus and Santa Cruz County•••

  • Walking – UCSC has an amazing network of paths and trails that often provide the most direct route from place to place on campus. Walking is often quicker than waiting for shuttles, plus it’s the single most sustainable means of getting around. If you bring a good pair of walking shoes with you, you’ll be able to keep yourself (and the planet) healthy – and you’ll also see some of the unique features that make UCSC a special place, many of which can’t be seen from the roadways. New students receive a campus walking map when they arrive for fall quarter.
  • Bicycling - Students are encouraged to bring their bikes to campus. Scenic bike paths abound on campus, including some designated off-road trails in the Upper Campus -- but be prepared for hills! Bike racks are conveniently located next to all major buildings. Getting from class to class is easy on a bike. However, riding on the primary bikeways and shared roads can present some challenges that require special attention, so practicing bike safety is important. Always wear a bike helmet, and be sure to use a light and reflector when riding at night. Be sure to get your required bike license free of charge when you get to campus.
  • Bike Library – UCSC has a bike lending program that offers free use of a bicycle for the quarter. Recipients are selected based on their application due during the first week of each quarter. Applications include a 500-700-word explanation of why they need a bicycle.
  • Campus Transit Service - UCSC shuttles circulate through the campus, day and night, year-round to move students from class to class and to other destinations on campus. Some buses are equipped with front-loading bike racks that carry two bikes at a time.There is also a paratransit service on campus (the Disability Van Service) that provides on-campus wheelchair lift-equipped transportation for those unable to use the regular shuttle system for disability-related reasons. The Campus Transit service is supported by the Student Transit Fee, so no fare is required to ride.
  • METRO Bus Service - Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District's "METRO" buses travel bi-directionally through campus to help students get downtown and throughout Santa Cruz County. METRO service for students is funded through the Student Transit Fee. Showing a valid UCSC Student ID Card provides students unlimited rides on METRO buses with no additional fare required. All METRO buses are wheelchair accessible.
  • Bike Shuttle - Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) operates a fare-free commuter bike shuttle from the Mission Street CVS store on weekday mornings. Cyclists can load their bicycles on a bike trailer and catch a ride in the shuttle up to campus.
  • Zipcar - No need to bring a car to campus! Zipcar is an innovative, membership-based car rental program that gives you self-service access to vehicles on and off campus, 24 hours a day. Licensed drivers 18 years of age and older are eligible to apply.
  • Zimride – UCSC subscribes to Zimride, a campus-specific ride-matching service. It's useful for both regular ride-sharing or single-use trips, like going home for the holidays.
  • Parking - UC Santa Cruz has a parking permit prohibition for first- and second-year residential students who live in any on-campus or off-campus University Housing facility. The parking permit prohibition applies to all types of campus parking permits, except motorcycle permits. On rare occasions, the Parking Review Panel may grant first- and second-year residential students a parking exception through the parking permit appeal process. UCSC requests that students who are ineligible to purchase an on-campus parking permit not bring vehicles to Santa Cruz unless advance arrangements for paid long-term parking off-campus are made. A list of off-campus parking options is available at the TAPS website. Juniors, seniors, and commuting students are eligible to purchase an R Parking Permit to park in the East or West Remote parking lots, or may purchase a C Permit to park in select close-in parking lots. Students who meet carpool permit eligibility requirements may purchase an R Carpool permit. R and C Parking Permit inventory is limited, and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

•••Getting to Airports and Other Destinations•••

Detailed Bay Area transportation resources can be found on the web at:

  • Getting Off Campus
  • Google Maps Transit
  • Airports - San Jose International Airport (SJC) is approximately 35 miles from the UC Santa Cruz campus. San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is approximately 62 miles from the UC Santa Cruz campus. Oakland International Airport (OAK) is approximately 63 miles from the UC Santa Cruz campus. Use the Airports via Public Transportation link to find out how to get to and from airports without a car.
  • Highway 17 Express - Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District offers express bus service on Highway 17 between Scotts Valley and San Jose, including the San Jose Amtrak Train Station (SJC). From the Amtrak Station in San Jose, you can connect with buses and trains that take you through and beyond the Bay Area. The service offers frequent weekday trips, all leaving from the Santa Cruz METRO Center. The Highway 17 Express costs $5.00 each way. For more information call SCMTD at 831-425-8600.
  • Amtrak - Amtrak offers train and bus connections to many California and US locations, including the Capitol Corridor train from San Jose to Sacramento. Call 800-USA-RAIL or visit the Amtrak website for more information.
  • CalTrain - Caltrain operates daily train service from San Jose to San Francisco. Take the Highway 17 Express bus from Santa Cruz to San Jose to connect with Caltrain at the San Jose Cahill/Diridon Station.
  • BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) - BART offers rail service throughout the San Francisco and East Bay areas, including stops in San Francisco, Berkeley, Concord, Oakland, and Fremont. Take the Highway 17 Express bus to the San Jose Cahill/Diridon train station, and then transfer to VTA (Valley Transit Authority) Bus Route #181 San Jose Diridon - Fremont BART on weekdays (VTA Bus Route #180 on weekends). Board BART trains at the Fremont BART station.
  • Greyhound Bus - Greyhound buses arrive at and depart from the Santa Cruz METRO Center, located at 920 Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz.