Porter College

Ars Longa, Vita Brevis

Congratulations and Welcome

To help prepare you to apply for housing and to live on campus, we offer this housing guide containing important information about your college, housing options, and answers to many commonly asked questions about campus housing.

It is our goal to provide you with an academically and socially supportive environment that will help you build a strong connection with the campus and get the most out of your UCSC experience.

We look forward to having you as part of our campus community!

Your College

Porter College, the fifth college at UC Santa Cruz, is named as a memorial to Benjamin F. Porter, the grandfather of three University of California benefactors whose generous donations in support of UC Santa Cruz included nearly 70 acres of land, the establishment of the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery, and other gifts that enabled the campus to give scholarships to support UC Santa Cruz students from underrepresented backgrounds.

The college, founded in 1969 as “College Five,” was formally dedicated as “Porter College” on November 21, 1981. The motto of the college is congruent with our commitment to creativity: Ars Longa, Vita Brevis (Life is short, Art endures).

Porter's Students

A little less than half of all Porter students graduate with a major in one of the arts. The other half consists of students representing the sciences, humanities and engineering, who have also found compelling co-curricular reasons for affiliating with Porter College. This diversity of academic interest provides the basis for wide-ranging collaboration and debate and for the exceptional appreciation of individual differences that is a hallmark of Porter.

Students in Porter plaza
Porter art exhibit

Porter's Theme

Our theme, “Ars Longa, Vita Brevis: Life is Short, Art Endures,” points to our emphasis on both scholarly and creative endeavors. Through our academic courses and the numerous co-curricular events sponsored by Porter College, students experience diverse exhibitions and performances and learn about the cultures in which they are created, performed and interpreted. In Porter’s art galleries and informal performance venues, students may actively develop their own roles as musicians, composers, actors, playwrights, dancers, painters, filmmakers and media artists.

Porter College Map


Community Activities

Student Government
The Porter Student Senate represents Porter students in all aspects of the college experience by organizing events to enhance the sense of community at Porter College. Your college membership fees and the college endowment provide funding for programs and activities open to all Porter students.

College Committees
All members of the Porter community are invited to join any college committee. Current committees include Activities, Murals, Porterpalooza and Graduation.


Porter College residence hall
Students enjoying a meal at Porter/Kresge Dining Hall
Triple room at Porter College
Porter students in residence hallway