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

Articles of interest

Applying to a grad program? by SciCom director Robert Irion, ScienceWriters, National Association of Science Writers, June 2010

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