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 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 10 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.

Minimum requirements

  • bachelor’s degree in science or engineering from an accredited institution
  • 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 no longer 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
  • preferred but not required: high-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