Research Opportunities

The University Library

The University Library is a fundamental resource in the intellectual and academic lives of students and faculty. The combined holdings of the McHenry and Science & Engineering libraries include nearly 1.5 million volumes, over 25,000 current print and electronic periodical titles, 800,000 microforms, and 400,000 audio-visual items. The library also provides access to a growing collection of digital texts including e_books (e.g., ebrary, Netlibrary), electronic journal articles (e.g., JSTOR, SAGE PS Online), full-text archives (e.g., EEBO, CQEL), and Indexing & Abstracting Services (e.g., Public Affairs Information Service, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts, Lexis Nexis Academic).

Students have access to the combined UC library holdings through the 25+ million records represented in the Melvyl Union Catalog and a sophisticated Interlibrary Loan system. Cooperative library agreements also provide UCSC graduate student access to the Stanford University and UC Berkeley libraries. The Gary F.Reed Memorial Endowment for Political Theory supports the development of a strong collection of interest to political scientists.

UC Santa Cruz is known for the accessibility of its computing facilities to students and faculty. The library provides public computing stations which support Internet access, document downloading, pdf viewing, and basic word processing. Photocopier, microform printer, and high-speed laser printer services are available. Wireless network access is available at both libraries and students have remote access to the library's online resources. 

The Center for Cultural Studies

The Center for Cultural Studies builds on UCSC¹s strong history of innovative scholarship in the humanities, and particularly on its unusual strength in interdisciplinary and global cultural studies. The center sponsors conferences, lectures, film series, faculty seminars, scholarly visits, workshops, and discussion groups. It also organizes and supports research clusters of faculty and graduate students working on a variety of topics, including cultural theory, critical regional studies (Asia-Pacific-America, Inter-Americas, and Hawai'i have been recent foci), contemporary cultural production, minority discourse, and queer studies. The center is based in the Humanities Division, but sponsors collaborative work involving faculty and graduate students from the social sciences, the natural sciences, and the arts. It also hosts a residency program for U.S. and international scholars in cultural studies. The center publishes a newsletter every quarter listing events and activities and maintains a Web site with programs, schedules, and other material. The center can be reached at (831) 459-4899 or by e-mail at

The Research Center for the Americas

The Research Center for the Americas (RCA) is a vibrant intellectual hub supporting a broad program of research in Latin America and Chicanx/Latinx Studies, including, but not limited to, the subjects of migration, human rights, the arts, education, culture, labor, indigeneity, and the politics of California's Latinx and immigrant communities. Founded in 1992, and formerly known as the Chicano Latino Research Center (1992-2018), the RCA explores the incredible diversity of the Americas by endorsing collaborative and interdisciplinary research. The RCA funds innovative research by faculty and graduate students and sponsors a range of thematic research clusters to encourage intellectual engagement about pressing issues facing the Americas region. The RCA brings together a broad and diverse group of scholars with nearly 100 faculty and graduate student affiliates across the campus. Further, the RCA promotes and mentors the Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP). As part of the commitment to fostering a public university in service of the community, the RCA hosts scholars and sponsors initiatives between the campus and community to advance dialogues without borders. For further information, visit the RCA website, follow on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) or contact via email at  

Science and Justice Working Group

The Science and Justice Working Group brings together faculty and graduate students from all five academic divisions on the UC Santa Cruz campus—arts, humanities, social sciences, engineering, and physical and biological sciences—to promote interdisciplinary conversations and exchange. We expand UCSC’s historical focus on social justice to include questions about the formation of science and technology, and related public-policy debates. We define social justice broadly to include both the profound human benefits of science and technology and the social and political transformations that they may pose. For further information or to be added to the email list, visit the web:

Research clusters

Various units across campus support a variety of research clusters, composed of faculty, graduate students, post docs and others, to study and discuss specialized topics.  Among research clusters that may be of interest to graduate students are those of the Institute for Humanities Research, Digital Humanities, the Chicano Latino Research Center, Biomedical Research Clusters, Institute of Marine Sciences, Critical Sustainabilities and the Sociology Department.