Merrill College

Merrill College seeks to expand its students’ awareness of their own heritage and of the diversity of cultures around the world, past and present. Merrill faculty specialize in a number of different areas of study, concentrating especially on social theory, international affairs, and social change, and from a variety of disciplinary perspectives including history, the social sciences, literature, and foreign language study. The college makes a special effort to be a home for students from different cultural backgrounds and for international students; it presents unique opportunities to those who value multicultural perspectives.

Merrill houses the departments of Politics, Legal Studies, and Latin American and Latino Studies. It also hosts KZSC, the campus radio station; the Research Center for Americas (RCA); UCSC’s Cantú Queer Center; the student-run Pottery Co-op (the only one of its kind at UCSC); and the Ming Ong Computer Center, a computer facility with more than 40 personal computers.

Academic Emphasis

Cultural Identities and Global Consciousness is the ethos of Merrill College. This pairing signals the college’s commitment to drawing on the “funds of knowledge” brought by individual college members to the community of scholars, and a corresponding commitment to understanding these identities within a larger global context.

Additional information about Merrill College academics, including Core Course requirements and other academic programs, is available here.

College Community and Facilities

At Merrill College, we believe that the experience of living in our on-campus residence halls and apartments offers students not only support for their academic experiences, but also unique opportunities for learning about the concept of community. When college students feel connected to a community during their studies, they experience a smoother transition to university life, greater academic success, and higher satisfaction with their college experience. The Merrill Residential Education team understands community not as a product we can deliver to our students, but an experience that they are responsible for creating for and with each other. Even so, we do not ask our students to undertake this weighty task on their own. The Residential Education team aims to partner with students, striving to be “good companions” on their journey by facilitating experiences that help them to cultivate and apply the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to create, participate in, and lead caring and socially just communities.

The Merrill Programs and Leadership Office (MPLO) and Merrill Student Government (MSG) create space for student voice and experiences to personal and academic growth and development.

Located on a hilltop between UCSC’s famed Chadwick Garden and Santa Cruz’s Pogonip parkland, Merrill’s recently renovated, award-winning buildings thread upward through the edge of a redwood forest. Four residence halls house approximately 600 students in two high-rise structures and two smaller buildings. The Merrill Residence Halls offer a coed environment (single-gender bedrooms with all-gender bathrooms) as well as a few all-female floors and trans-inclusive housing options.

Glass curtain walls provide views from the A & B Buildings of the reconstructed college center and new restaurant building. Merrill’s plaza, complete with Vivas Organic Mexican Restaurant and a large lawn, makes excellent use of the ample sunshine and provides common space for students living in the residence halls and other housing options.

The apartments, located a short distance from the central area of the college, house approximately 200 continuing Merrill students. Grouped amid winding pathways and redwood trees, these three-story buildings have two or three apartments per floor. Each apartment houses four to six students in a combination of single, double, and triple rooms, and comes fully equipped with a kitchen and a bathroom, a large living area, and an outside deck. Residents of the apartment complex share a large community room, two laundry rooms, and plenty of outdoor space.

Facilities at Merrill include the Cultural Center, where large events (including dances) take place; the Baobab Lounge, which provides study space, informal gathering space, a piano, and a television; and Casa Latina and Merrill Academic Success (MAS), which provide Merrill students with quiet places to study. Finally, at the student-run pottery co-op, students can throw, fire, and glaze their pieces in the workshop space.

The physical facilities of Merrill College were provided through a partnership of public funds and gifts from the Charles E. Merrill Trust and the family of Ming Ong, a student in the 1980s.

For more information, visit the Merrill College website or call (831) 459-2144. For residential information, call the Housing and Residential Education Office at (831) 459-5689.

Merrill College Fellows and Staff

Merrill College faculty fellows are listed on the college's faculty directory.

Merrill College staff are listed on the college's staff page.