The Santa Cruz science writing program is unique in requiring not only a degree in science or engineering and excellent writing skills, but also research experience. Full-time laboratory or field work gives our graduates an edge over science writers who lack such experience, and it creates a bracing intellectual environment in the classroom. About two-thirds of our students have done graduate work at the master's or Ph.D. levels.
We admit ten students annually from a pool of 30 to 40 applicants. Foreign students must meet the same criteria as U.S. citizens and must demonstrate proficiency in written English.
- bachelor’s degree in science or engineering from an accredited institution
- academic research or professional experience in your field (six months minimum)
- strong letters of recommendation
- Graduate Record Examination scores: general test (all students) and subject test (Ph.D. applicants exempt)
All students must submit official GRE general test scores (use campus code: 4860, no department code). Those without a Ph.D. also must submit a GRE subject test score in one of the following areas: biochemistry, cell and molecular biology; biology; chemistry; computer science; mathematics; or physics. The geology test is no longer offered; if you are an earth sciences major, we ask that you take another advanced test. Mention in your application that it is outside of your subject area.
Requirements for enrolled students
- car for commuting to internships (most are within one hour of Santa Cruz)
- wireless-enabled laptop or tablet computer (our computer lab uses Macs exclusively)
- digital recorder for interviews
- preferred but not required: good-quality digital camera
Article of interest
Applying to a grad program? by SciCom director Robert Irion, ScienceWriters magazine, National Association of Science Writers, June 2010