Academic Advising

Academic advising at UC Santa Cruz aims to assist students in clarifying their educational goals and in developing academic plans to achieve them. The core of UCSC’s advising system is housed in the colleges and academic programs and is supplemented by advising and support services throughout the campus.

College academic advisers (some of whom are called “academic preceptors”) are generalist advisers who focus on orientation to the university, pre-major advising, academic success, and campuswide requirements such as general education and university requirements. Each college has an advising team that can provide you with individual and group advising and can refer you to resources and educational opportunities. You remain affiliated with your college advisers throughout your undergraduate career.

Staff advisers in UCSC’s academic programs (sometimes called “major advisers”) focus on areas related to a student’s major or minor. Major advisers can help you understand declaration and major requirements, and can assist you in planning a program of study. They can help you identify enrichment opportunities within the major and refer you to appropriate faculty advisers. Faculty advisers may serve as mentors in your field, recommending courses and helping you refine your educational goals. For transfer students and for students in many majors (such as those in the physical and biological sciences, engineering, and the arts), it is important to review information provided by major advisers prior to your first quarter on campus.

For help in assessing career interests and exploring and choosing career options, contact the Career Center. The staff also can assist you with choosing a major, résumé preparation, interviewing skills, applying for an internship, and job-search strategies.

If you plan to go on to graduate school, consult with faculty in your major. Faculty advisers are the best people to ask about the quality of graduate programs in your field of interest. In addition, the Career Center offers advising and workshops on applying to graduate school.

If you intend to pursue graduate study in a field not offered as a major at UCSC, you can often prepare for your intended program through one of the campus’s regular majors. You must plan your studies carefully, however, and advising will be especially important. The Career Center has information that will help prepare you for graduate and professional programs. The following are some fields in which UCSC alumni have pursued graduate study and successful careers:

  • Business
  • Conservation
  • Film
  • Finance
  • Guidance and counseling
  • Health fields
  • High-tech industry
  • Human resources
  • Industrial and labor relations
  • International relations
  • Law
  • Marketing
  • Museum administration
  • Public administration
  • Urban planning

The Career Center includes advisers with specialized expertise in preparing for careers in medicine or another health-related field (including dentistry, nursing, nutrition, occupational therapy, optometry, osteopathic medicine, pharmacology, physical therapy, public health, and veterinary medicine), and in preparing for careers in law.

A number of programs provide additional academic and comprehensive support services to students with specific needs. Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP), Services for Transfer and Re-Entry Students (STARS), and the Disability Resource Center are described below. Counseling on personal and family issues is available through Counseling and Psychological Services. If you need assistance that is not listed in this section, consult The Navigator or check with your college advisers.

Your first step in accessing advising at UCSC is to complete the online Slug Orientation courses.