Graduate Programs & Designated Emphasis

Graduate Programs

Applied Mathematics MS/PhD

The goal of the applied mathematics programs is to help students develop into independent scholars who are prepared for productive careers in research, teaching, and industry. AM students use mathematical methods and reasoning to solve real-world problems of a scientific or decision-making nature in a wide variety of subjects, in engineering, medicine, the physical and biological sciences, and the social sciences. Read More »

Biomolecular Engineering & Bioinformatics MS/PhD

The MS and PhD programs in Biomolecular Engineering and Bioinformatics cover many interdisciplinary areas of research and accept students from a wide-variety of backgrounds. A typical cohort includes incoming students from molecular biology, genetics, computer science, engineering, and mathematics. The unifying theme of our research training program is using quantitative approaches to addressing fundamental questions in biology and biomedical science. Read More »

Computational Media MS/PhD

Computational Media is all around us — video games, social media, interactive narrative, smartphone apps, computer-generated films, personalized health coaching, training and more. To create these kinds of media, to deeply understand them, to push them forward in novel directions, requires a new kind of interdisciplinary thinking. The graduate programs in Computational Media at UC Santa Cruz provide knowledge and practical training for students interested in this varied and emerging field. Read More »

Computer Science & Engineering MS/PhD

The Computer Science and Engineering Department (CSE) offers a graduate program leading to the master of science (M.S.) and doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in Computer Science and Engineering. Students can choose between two types of M.S. degrees — project track and thesis track. Graduate students in these programs acquire core knowledge by taking graduate courses in computer algorithms and programming languages, and then proceed to a thorough study of their selected area of specialization. Read More »

Electrical & Computer Engineering MS/PhD

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the University of California, Santa Cruz offers Electrical and Computer Engineering M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs in the following areas: Electronic Circuits and Energy Systems; Photonic and Electronic Devices; Robotics, Control, and Cyber-Physical Systems; and Signals, Image Processing, and Communications. The ECE Department at UC Santa Cruz aims to achieve engineering discoveries that benefit humankind through a combination of curiosity, open-mindedness, and inclusiveness. Read More »

Games & Playable Media MS (We are not accepting applications for Fall 2023/24)

Among the top-ranked programs in the world, the UC Santa Cruz MS in Games & Playable media is a 12-month, intensive program in which students are offered unparalleled access to a game industry experience. From in-depth studio tours to our amazing advisory board to our challenging courses, this is the education you were hoping for. Read More »


Natural Language Processing MS

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a rapidly growing field that provides key capabilities for many areas of Artificial Intelligence. NLP focuses on the development of computer programs that can understand, generate, and learn from human language, and  provides algorithms, methods and tools for analyzing both text and speech for such applications as conversational agents,  machine translation, question answering,  knowledge discovery from text, sentiment analysis, and text summarization. Read More »

Human Computer Interaction MS

UCSC’s new Master of Science in Human Computer Interaction aims to train students in core skill sets for human-computer interaction professionals: design methodologies, prototyping and technical build skills, eliciting and integrating subject matter knowledge, designing and conducting efficacy measurements, effective teamwork, and career planning – all within the context of user experience and interaction. Read More »

Scientific Computing & Applied Mathematics MS

The Department of Applied Mathematics now offers an M.S. program in scientific computing and applied mathematics (SciCAM). SciCAM students will learn a combination of cutting-edge computational methods for modern high-performance computing architectures and applied mathematical modeling. The M.S. is ideally suited to meet the increasing need for graduates in the rapidly growing markets of computational mathematics, modeling, and high-performance computing. Such computationally knowledgeable and experienced modelers are highly sought after in industry and government agencies. Read More »

Serious Games MS

UC Santa Cruz offers the only dedicated professional M.S. degree in Serious Games in the United States. This degree is offered in our Silicon Valley location, where we interact closely with local independent developers, startups, and major companies. The degree provides a strong education in game design and development, as well as a deep focus on the elements that define Serious Games, including working with subject matter experts and conducting efficacy measurements. Students create polished projects in areas such as learning, wellness, social connectedness, citizen science, issue advocacy, and infusing playfulness into everyday activities. Read More »

Statistical Science MS/PhD

Statistics is a discipline devoted to the use of mathematical methods and reasoning to solve real-world problems of a scientific or decision-making nature in a wide variety of subjects, principally (but not exclusively) in engineering, medicine, and the social sciences. Statistics, construed broadly, is the study of uncertainty: how to measure it (using ideas and methods in probability theory), and what to do about it (using concepts from statistical inference and decision theory). Read More »

Technology & Information Management PhD (Discontinued)

Technology and information management (TIM) is a distinct discipline within engineering, combining technology management, systems engineering, and information technology. TIM’s research and academic programs, combining information technology with both knowledge management and systems management, address problems facing firms today as they deal with more complex decisions in a global environment, facing new business models (e.g., “services”) and business practices. TIM places special emphasis on research arising from challenges faced in creation and management of knowledge-based services and enterprises. PLEASE NOTE - The Technology & Information Management graduate program has been discontinued. We are no longer accepting students to this program. 

Designated Emphasis

Computational Media

The graduate designated emphasis (DE) leading to the degree notation “with an emphasis in Computational Media” provides specialization in the theory, principles, and practices of the field of computational media. Read More>>

Data Science

The graduate designated emphasis (DE) leading to the degree notation “with an emphasis in Data Science” aims to train students in state-of-the-art tools and methods from statistics and computer science in order to enable them to extract knowledge from data in support of discovery and decisions. Read More>>

Human Language Media and Modeling

This program will enhance the training of master's and doctoral students in conducting research around issues related to theories and computational models of human language data in a range of media. Read More>>


Robotics and Control Emphasis

The Robotics and Control Designated Emphasis (graduate minor) may be pursued with any UCSC graduate program, but is most appropriate for students in the Applied Mathematics, Computer Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering graduate programs.  Students pursuing the designated emphasis satisfy all the requirements of their home MS or PhD program, as well as course, seminar, and research requirements related to Robotics and Control.  Read More>>

Scientific Computing

This program will provide master's and doctoral students with a formal opportunity to demonstrate mastery in scientific computing through coursework and research in computer simulations, numerical algorithms, and techniques for data analysis, visualization, and storage.  Read More>>


Students from another degree program who meet requirements can have the designated emphasis of "statistics" annotated to their degree title. For example, a Ph.D. student in Electrical and Computer Engineering who meets the requirements would get a certification that read "Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering with an Emphasis in Statistics".  Read More>>