Advising Clusters

The UC Santa Cruz application requires students to select a “proposed” major or, for freshmen undecided on a major, an “Advising Cluster” to indicate a potential area of academic interest. Advising Clusters allow students not yet focused on a specific major to explore and prepare for UCSC majors in an intentional way, by completing necessary placement and first year courses that will assist them in choosing and qualifying for a major. While each student may officially designate only one Advising Cluster, undecided students may review the information for any cluster of interest.

The links to the left and below provide information about initial placement and first year courses for each cluster. General information about UCSC majors is available through the Admissions web site, and specific information about the requirements for each major is in the UCSC General Catalog. UCSC students are expected to move from an advising cluster to a “proposed” major by the end of the first year, and must be formally qualified for and declared in a major by the end of the sophomore year.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS: For students interested in economics, business management economics, global economics, or the combined major in economics & mathematics.

EDUCATION: Students who are interested in education or a teaching career may select the Education cluster; those who do so will also need to select a discipline to pursue as a major.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES: For students interested in chemistry (with a concentration in environmental chemistry), Earth sciences (with a concentration in environmental geology or ocean sciences), environmental sciences, ecology and evolution, environmental studies, marine biology, plant sciences, or in combined majors between environmental studies and biology, earth sciences, or economics.

HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY, CULTURE AND SOCIETY: For students interested in anthropology (or a combined major in anthropology & earth sciences), cognitive science, community studies, critical race and ethnic studies, feminist studies, Latin American & Latino Studies, legal studies, politics, psychology or sociology.

ENGINEERING AND COMPUTING: For students interested in bioengineering, bioinformatics, computer engineering, computer science game design, electrical engineering and information systems management. Note that because of the Baskin School of Engineering's Proposed Major policy, students interested in this cluster should move from the cluster to a proposed major as soon as possible.

LANGUAGES, LITERATURE AND COMMUNICATIONS: For students interested in literature, linguistics, language studies (Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, or Spanish), and inter-disciplinary studies with a particular focus in a language: classical studies, Italian studies, Jewish studies, Latin American and Latino studies, and Spanish studies.

LIBERAL ARTS AND AREA STUDIES: For students interested in classical studies, critical race and ethnic studies, feminist studies, history, history of art and visual culture, Italian studies, Jewish studies, Latin American and Latino studies, philosophy, and Spanish studies. These majors focus on a particular area and include perspectives on relevant history, literature and social structures.

LIFE AND HEALTH SCIENCES: For students interested in general biology, ecology and evolution, human biology, molecular cellular and developmental biology, marine biology, plant sciences, neuroscience, and cognitive science, and/or for students interested in pursuing pre-professional health programs such as medical school.

PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATH: For students interested in applied physics, chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology, earth sciences, environmental sciences, mathematics (concentration in pure mathematics, computational mathematics or mathematics education), physics, physics (astrophysics), and physics education.

VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS AND MEDIA: For students interested in art, art and design: games and playable media, film and digital media, history of art and visual culture, music and theater arts.

Updated for frosh entering in the 2018-2019 academic year