University of California – Santa Cruz


The University of California – Santa Cruz Computer Science Degree Programs

The University of California – Santa Cruz appears in our ranking of the Top 50 Master’s in Computer Science Degree Programs.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a wide range of positions available for those who hold a degree in computer science. Computer support specialists earn an average of $53,470 per year while computer systems analysts earn an average salary of $88,740 per year. Both of these careers require an associate or bachelor’s degree for entry-level positions. Computer information research scientists require a master’s degree or higher but earn salaries of $118,370 per year.

he University of California – Santa Cruz offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a concentration in Computer Game Design that is focused on the construction and design of interactive computer games. The program provides an understanding of the cultural and economic importance of the computer gaming industry as well as the complexity and specialization of computer gaming systems. Students gain also learn the technical, narrative and artistic underpinnings of games. Students gain an understanding of algorithms, data structures, complexity, and software engineering and development. Courses required for the program may include Algorithms and Abstract Data Types, Visual Communication and Interaction Design, Critical History of Digital Games, Video Games as Visual Culture, Game Design Experience as well as Game Design Studio I, II and III.

The Bachelor of Arts in Network and Digital Technology prepares students for positions on engineering design teams, work with technology development or work in computer networking. Students learn to apply knowledge of math, science, and engineering as well as how to design a system, component or process. Courses that may be required include Logic Design, Introduction to Computer Networks, Introduction to Electronic Circuits and Computer Architecture.

The Master of Science in Computer Science and Engineering is available in either a thesis or non-thesis track. Students choose from four concentrations including Artificial Intelligence, Hardware Systems, Software Systems, and Theory. The program requires 43 credit hours and some of the courses required include Analysis of Algorithms, Programming Languages, and Computer Architecture. The thesis program requires students to submit a written proposal to a thesis advisor while the non-thesis option requires an individual or team-based project supervised by an adviser.

The University of California – Santa Cruz offers a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering that can be completed in five years with full-time study. Each student is required to complete at least one quarter of teaching assistantship. A qualifying examination must also be completed. Once the qualifying examination is completed, students must research, write and defend a dissertation. This must include in-depth research, be an original contribution and include material worthy of publication.

About University of California – Santa Cruz

Although discussion began to open an institute of higher learning in Santa Cruz as early as the 1930s there was no action until the City of Santa Cruz bid to join the University of California Regents in the mid-1950s to build a new campus in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The area was chosen for its beauty but because it was remote, the decision was made to create a campus that was mostly residential. The school opened in 1965.

The city of Santa Cruz already had a strong conservation ethic when the new school was built. However, combined with the counterculture of the 1960s, the establishment of the university fundamentally altered the development of the town. In 1971, the voting age was lowered to 18, creating a strong student voting bloc. Quickly, the liberal attitudes of students and alumni at the University of California – Santa Cruz changed the town from conservative to liberal.

The National Research Council has named the school first in the country for its computer engineering Ph.D. program and named the school as first in degree programs, scholarships and support for Hispanic students.

University of California – Santa Cruz Accreditation Details

The University of California – Santa Cruz is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission. It has held that accreditation since it opened in 1965. Accreditation indicates that the school meets the high standards for quality, capacity, and effectiveness based on criteria developed by the Association. In addition, programs throughout the University are accredited by ABET and the American Psychological Association.

University of California – Santa Cruz Application Requirements

In order to apply for the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a concentration in Computer Game Design, applicants must have completed four years of mathematics, including advanced algebra and trigonometry. They also must complete any available courses in college math, arts, and media courses. Transfer students must have completed at least three of the lower-division foundation courses by the fall term in which they are applying and the remaining two by the spring term. The courses must be completed with a GPA of 2.80 or higher.

In order to apply for the Master of Science or Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering, applicants must provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities. For the master’s program, they must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher and for the Ph.D. program, they must hold a master’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university. They must provide three letters of recommendation and a current resume. A statement of purpose, personal history statement, and GRE test scores are also required.

University of California – Santa Cruz Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time undergraduate tuition is $13,989 per semester. Full-time graduate tuition is $13,809 per semester.

Financial aid is available and students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All students, regardless of income, as some financial aid is based on merit rather than need. Undergraduate students may be provided grants, scholarships, work-study or loans. Graduate students are responsible for obtaining their own financial aid. Most graduate students find employment as interns at companies in the surrounding area. They may also find assistantships or fellowships on campus to help offset the cost of tuition.

The University of California – Santa Cruz is a unique university, combining the intimacy of a liberal arts college with the rigorous curriculum and learning of a major research university.

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