Undergraduate Opportunities

UCSC actively recruits undergraduate students that have taken part in the many graduate school preparation programs that are available in and out of the University of California system. Below is a listing of a few of the UCSC-sponsored programs that are available to UCSC and non-UCSC students.

    University of California Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees

  • UC Leads

    The goal of the University of California's new Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees (UC LEADS) program is to educate California's future leaders by preparing promising students for advanced education in science, technology, mathematics and engineering. The program is designed to identify upper-division undergraduate students with the potential to succeed in these disciplines, but who have experienced situations or conditions that have adversely impacted their advancement in their field of study.

  • Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Information Technology (SURF-IT)


    Juniors or seniors in computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, bioinformatics, or a similar area can receive a stipend while participating in an intensive and personalized summer program for women, minority, or disadvantaged undergraduates.  Participants perform research directly supervised by a UCSC faculty member and attend weekly meetings focused on graduate school preparation, how to present research results, research ethics, and field trips to Silicon Valley research laboratories.

    Application Deadline

    Further Information
    School of Engineering
    University of California, Santa Cruz
    Santa Cruz, CA 95064

  • The STEPS Institute for Innovation in Environmental Research

  • The STEPS Institute was established in 2002 as a campus-wide effort to facilitate interdisciplinary environmental research across the university’s Division of Physical and Biological Sciences, Division of Social Sciences, and Baskin School of Engineering. The Institute provides fellowships for interdisciplinary graduate research, and research grants to faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students. Most of the funds are for research projects that either link multiple research laboratories at UCSC or link UCSC laboratories with outside agencies or policy makers. The Institute also works to increase dialogue among environmental researchers along California’s Central Coast through a variety of seminars and workshops. 

    Application Deadline

    Further Information 
    The STEPS Institute 
    410 Interdisciplinary Sciences Building
    University of California, Santa Cruz
    Santa Cruz, CA 95064

  • Research Mentoring Institute (RMI)

  • The Center for Biomolecular Science & Engineering (CBSE) at UCSC offers the Research Mentoring Institute (RMI) for outstanding undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing research projects in areas relevant to the human genome, including the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of genome research. This grant-funded program, sponsored by the National Human Genome Research Institute, offers two honor award programs that support research projects related to genomic sciences and ELSI: diversity awards for undergraduates and diversity fellowships for graduate students. The institute offers a mentoring community and individual support for students to continue their studies and pursue a related career.

    Application Deadline

    Further Information
    CBSE Diversity Outreach Program 
    501C Engineering 2 
    University of California, Santa Cruz 
    1156 High Street 
    Santa Cruz, CA. 95064