Community Studies

213 Oakes Academic Building
(831) 459-2371

Programs Offered

Community Studies B.A.

Founded in 1969, community studies is the oldest interdisciplinary academic program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The hallmarks of community studies are its focus on social justice and its distinctive pedagogy integrating classroom learning and extended field study. Community studies was a national pioneer in experiential education and its curricular model has been emulated widely. Community studies also was a pioneer in addressing principles of social justice, specifically inequities arising from race, class and gender dynamics in society at large, and in critically engaging with strategies for achieving social change.

Community studies alumni pursue a wide variety of professional careers in health care, K-12 education, public policy, social work, urban planning, higher education, and law. According to a 2005 alumni survey, more than 100 alumni have founded non-profit social justice organizations and many more have served on non-profit boards and/or in executive director positions. The phrase “we are everywhere” is an apt description of the myriad contributions community studies alumni make to society through their work and in their everyday lives.