General Course Information

UC Santa Cruz operates on the quarter system, with most courses being offered during the Fall, Winter, or Spring (academic) quarters. Course offerings during summer quarter are much more limited.

Most UCSC courses carry five units of credit, and the normal full-time course load for graduate students is 15 units (or three courses) per quarter, including research credits.

Graduate students may take any course offered by E&PS or by other Departments with the approval of their committee.

Students entering the graduate program with a Bachelor's degree often need to broaden their background by taking additional courses in areas of undergraduate deficiency or in areas related to thesis research interests, whereas students entering with a M.S. may be more focused on acquiring specific research skills. There is no foreign language requirement in the UCSC Earth Sciences graduate programs. Please see the information for new E&PS graduate students for more information on course requirements and other aspects of academic and research planning.