A mural at Kresge College, one of UCSC's ten colleges and home to the SciCom program.

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 work in the lab or the field gives our graduates an edge in their careers, 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, but we also admit outstanding candidates with bachelor's degrees.

We enroll 10 students annually from a pool of about 40 applicants. Foreign students must meet the same criteria as U.S. citizens and must demonstrate proficiency in written English.

Minimum requirements

  • bachelor’s degree in science or engineering
  • academic research or professional experience in your field (six months minimum)
  • three to five strong letters of recommendation
  • Graduate Record Examination general test

All students must submit official GRE general test scores (use campus code: 4860, no department code). We do not require the GRE subject test.

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)
  • digital recorder for interviews
  • digital camera (high-quality phone camera or SLR)

Helpful articles for prospective students

Applying to a grad program? by director emeritus Robert Irion, ScienceWriters, June 10, 2010

Spotlight on the UCSC Science Communication Program by Stephen Ornes, The Science Writers' Handbook, August 12, 2014

Office Hours with Robert Irion at The Open Notebook, June 23, 2015