The University of California, Santa Cruz, UCSC is a well-known research-based higher education institution that currently operates under the umbrella of the University of California system. The university has been consistently highly ranked among similar research institutions both inside and outside the US.
Founded in 1965, UCSC began as a showcase for progressive cross-disciplinary undergraduate education, innovative teaching methods and contemporary architecture. Since then it has evolved into a modern research university with a wide variety of both undergraduate and graduate programs while retaining its reputation for strong undergraduate support and student political activism. The residential college system which consists of ten small colleges is intended to combine the student support of a small college with the resources of a major university.
The idea for the establishment of the university came as a result of a bid to the governing board of the University of California system to provide the largest city in California, Santa Cruz, with a competitive public institution of higher education.
The University of California, Santa Cruz, has been dedicated to excellence in undergraduate education, graduate studies and research and has been developed as an arena for interdisciplinary education and research opportunities in arts, engineering, humanities, physical and biological sciences and social sciences. UCSC students can take advantage of innovative academic planning combined with the research resources and scholarship strengths of the University of California system. At UC Santa Cruz a program of general education is enhanced with opportunities for academic specialization.
UC Santa Cruz was tied for the 79th in the list of Best National Universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report's 2017 rankings. Money Magazine ranked UC Santa Cruz the 114th in the country out of the nearly 1500 schools it evaluated for its 2015 Best Colleges ranking. In 2016–2017 UC Santa Cruz was rated the 146th in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. In 2016 it was ranked the 83rd in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities.
Famous people to name UCSC as their alma-mater are film director Cary Fukonaga and CEO of Buzzfeed and the Huffington Post Jonah Peretti.
The university offers 63 undergraduate majors and 35 minors with graduate programs in 33 fields. Popular undergraduate majors include Art, Business Management Economics, Molecular and Cell Biology and Psychology. Interdisciplinary programs such are Feminist Studies, American Studies, Environmental Studies, Visual Studies, Digital Arts and New Media and the unique History of Consciousness Department are also hosted alongside UCSC's more traditional academic departments.