Stevenson College

Stevenson College
(831) 459-2020

Academic Literacy Curriculum
College Scholars Program
Cowell-Stevenson Collaborative

Academic Emphasis

The faculty at Stevenson, drawn from a variety of disciplines in the social sciences, humanities, engineering, and physical and biological sciences, share a common concern for the study of social processes that shape modern society and determine the quality of our individual lives throughout various global regions and periods of world history. Linguistics, history, sociology, politics, psychology, biology, chemistry, and computer science are strongly represented in the college.

Stevenson distinguishes itself as the only college with a required two-quarter core course intended to provide all first-year students with a common academic experience. The core course allows for more rigorous development of students’ critical, reading, and analytical skills. It provides a unique learning environment and a supportive intellectual community for all Stevenson first-year students. Those admitted as transfer students are exempt from the core course requirement but may take the core course at their option pending available space.

Stevenson’s second quarter of the core course satisfies a further general education requirement, the TA, or textual analysis designation.

Students in majors that have a large number of course requirements, including those in the Baskin School of Engineering who are also subject to the policy that they must complete three of a specified set of courses by the end of their first year, should consider how they plan to fit both the two-quarter college core course and their intended major’s first-year requirements into their first year at UC Santa Cruz.

Students are encouraged to consult with both their college and major advisers. Stevenson College advisers can be found on the Stevenson advising website.

Students who are placed in the Multilingual Curriculum when they enter UC Santa Cruz will be required to take only the first quarter of the core course requirement.

The Stevenson core course, Self and Society, enables students to examine the nature of the self and the relationship of the individual to society. It teaches foundational concepts for intellectual exploration and personal development within an academic community—analysis, critical thinking, metacognition, engagement with others across difference, and self-efficacy. In addition, the course fosters an intellectual commitment to the general philosophy that has helped to define Stevenson College since its inception: preservation of human dignity, the social cultivation of individual creativity and citizenship, and a belief in ethical responsibility. The core course reflects the college’s long-standing commitment to interdisciplinary and culturally diverse readings, while at the same time affording students an opportunity to develop research interests, to acquire greater understanding of the role of research universities in contemporary societies, and to acquire the requisite skills to engage in increasingly more sophisticated intellectual work while at UCSC.

Core Courses

STEV 1: Academic Literacy: Self and Society, offered fall quarter

Introduction to University Discourse: Self and Society. College 1 helps students develop academic and civic proficiency in reading, critical thinking, and “academic ethos,” and habits of mind and practice tied to a sense of belonging and academic success. This course prepares students for success in other UCSC courses requiring critical thinking, listening, discussion, and effective communication. It explores rhetorical principles and conventions of university discourse and considers the roots of modern society using foundational religious texts and major classical and modern philosophical works. Enrollment is restricted to first-year college members.

STEV 2: Academic Literacy: Self and Society 2, offered winter quarter

The Winter quarter class that follows College 1 continues the development of critical

reading, analysis, and effective speaking exploring conflicts inherent in modern society. The course fulfills the TA GE and investigates themes of colonization, race, gender, class, as well as cultural conflict. Enrollment is restricted to first-year and sophomore college members.

Other Academic Programs


Students have the opportunity to apply for funding for special research projects each quarter. Stevenson also provides several annual scholarships and service awards, including the Josh Alper Marines Memorial Award, the Michele Guard Memorial Scholarship, the Matthew Graviano Memorial Scholarship, the John Halverson Scholarship, Davis Art Makers Funding, the Sandor Callahan Scholarship Award, and the Robert Dodge Service Award.

Junior Fellow Program

The Stevenson College Junior Fellows Program offers juniors and seniors an opportunity to serve as instructors in Self and Society. Junior fellows, who must have completed outstanding work in Self and Society during their first year, undergo a rigorous application and selection process. Junior fellows (enrolled in Stevenson 120, Teaching Practicum) earn five course credits.

Writing Assistance

Stevenson provides writing assistance for all of its students. Stevenson Writing Assistantships are paid student positions open to juniors and seniors with excellent academic records. Click here for additional information about the Stevenson College academic events

College Advising

Located in the Stevenson College Office in the Stevenson Administration Building, Rooms 118-119 across from the Stevenson Coffee House patio

To schedule an appointment, contact the Stevenson College Office at; phone number 831-459-4930.

Appointments: Daily 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Drop-in Advising:  Monday-Wednesday and Friday, 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m., and Monday-Friday, 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

The Stevenson advising staff assists students in their academic endeavors by providing them with guidance, support, and information. They advise students on many issues, ranging from helping them select their first UCSC classes to making sure that they’ve fulfilled all graduation requirements. Advisers provide students with tools and resources so that they feel confident and empowered to navigate the university.

Advisers encourage students to enter into an active partnership with staff and faculty to ensure that they will learn about existing programs, deadlines, procedures, and opportunities. Advisers also encourage students to become involved in the many extra-curricular activities available at the college. Stevenson students pride themselves on being the most politically active on campus. With this involvement comes the responsibility of maintaining academic goals as a priority. Advisers help students maximize their potential and balance their commitments inside and outside of the classroom so that they can get the most out of their education during and after their time at Stevenson.