Housing & Dining

Campus Life - A Time and Place of Growth and Discovery

For many transfer students, the opportunity to live on campus is an important part of the university experience. As an incoming transfer student you’ll enjoy a “dual-citizenship” status that enables you to participate in programs at your affiliated college and the housing community where you live.

Most new transfer students live at the Transfer Community, which is located at Porter College and situated on campus to provide easy access to Services for Transfer and Re-Entry Students (STARS). Incoming transfer students affiliated with any UCSC college are welcome at the Transfer Community


The Housing Application

When you complete your online housing application you will have the opportunity to rank preferences for various room and theme options. This will give us an idea of the type of housing you are most interested in.

You will also be asked to complete a Lifestyle Questionnaire. Roommate assignments are based on the questionnaire so it is in your best interest to answer the questions as fully, thoughtfully and honestly as possible. Specific roommate requests may be met as long as they are mutual.


Your Housing Experience

Assigning rooms and roommates is not an easy task. Your roommates may or may not become your best friends, but will surely be remembered simply because of the experiences you will share. We will do our best to find you compatible roommates, but please do not assume they will share all your lifestyle preferences. Regardless of where you live, remember one thing: much of what living on campus really offers is what you and students like yourself bring to it.

Your attitude toward, and your enthusiasm for, your new living situation is the real key in determining what your new life will be like. We do promise one thing… given the opportunity, we will do all we can to make you feel welcome and at home.

Living in a Triple Room

Housing Options

At UC Santa Cruz, all students are housed in small-scale residential communities, which provide close-knit, vibrant living/learning environments within the larger university. Live-in student and professional staff members provide orientation, support services, safety and crisis response, and a variety of social, educational, and cultural programs for residents.

Each community is welcoming of transfer students, and seeks to ease their transition to campus life and help them build a strong connection to the campus. The information in this guide will help you learn more about each of these housing options.


Residence Hall Living

Transfer Community and College Residence Halls

Residence halls have a variety of room types, with triple rooms being most common. The buildings typically house 15 to 50 students per floor and have common bathrooms.

Students can choose between single-gender or mixed-gender residence halls, in which members of any gender live in the same hall or floor. While bedrooms are single-gender, bathrooms may be mixed-gender and are designed to ensure privacy. On single-gender floors, bathrooms are primarily used by people identifying as that gender.

Rooms are furnished. Each resident is provided an extra-long twin bed, a desk, a chair, and storage space such as wardrobe or closet. You will need to bring your own bedding (sheets, pillowcase, etc.), lamp, clock, and other personal items essential to your daily life.

Transfer Community Quad
Apartment Living

Apartment Living

College Apartments

Apartments, which are typically shared by four to eight students, have common living/dining rooms, kitchens and bathrooms, and a combination of shared and private bedrooms, with triple rooms being most common. Bedrooms in apartments are furnished the same as in the residence halls.

The common living areas of apartments are furnished and kitchens have ranges, refrigerators, sinks, and cabinets for storage. Residents are responsible for bringing kitchen items such as silverware, pots and pans, and general cookware.


Other Housing

A limited number of spaces for transfer students are also available at the University Town Center (UTC). The UTC houses students amidst all that downtown Santa Cruz has to offer, including cafés, restaurants, shops, museum, movie theaters, library and more! Residents enjoy two- and three-person studio apartments with private bathrooms and kitchenettes. The UTC is located one block from the Santa Cruz Metro Center with frequent buses to campus. Meal plans are optional at the UTC.

Apartment Living

UC Santa Cruz Dining

Our dining program is as much a part of your college life and experiences as academics. Students find mealtime an opportunity to meet friends, visit and relax, study, and, of course . . . eat! All students living in campus residence halls and apartments have a meal plan included in their housing contract.

With the convenience of five all-you-care-to-enjoy dining halls situated throughout the campus, you’re never far from satisfying your cravings. Your student ID card, which also functions as your meal card and bus pass, may be used at any of the dining halls.


Deliciously Sustainable

We strive each day to prepare delicious, fresh menus throughout breakfast, lunch, and dinner including your in-between hunger attacks! Our ever rotating menus will keep you from getting bored and yet we will look to always keep your favorites available.

Our program is nationally recognized as a leader in sustainability and this means plenty of local and organic selections available to you. A wide selection of vegetarian and vegan options are available throughout the day and night, and we work closely with the campus Student Health Center to develop meals for those with restricted diets. Our staff continually strives to meet your needs.

What to Bring to College

Addtional Housing & Dining Resources

Yummy Food
College student
Triple room
Happy college students