Cowell College

Cowell 118

Academic Programs

Academic Literacy Curriculum
College Scholars Program

Academic Emphasis

The academic theme of the college encourages students to pursue their general and disciplinary study with attention to the values of a liberal arts education: understanding one’s individual perspectives by exploration of one's historical background and world context. Students affiliated with the college pursue majors from all departments on campus.

In satisfying their general education requirements, first-year Cowell students are required to take the Cowell core course in the fall term. The core course is taught in small seminar sections and seeks to develop critical reading, analytical writing, and seminar discussion skills through engagement with a selection of classic and contemporary texts focused on the theme of justice.

Enrichment courses are offered every term at the college, and priority is given to Cowell students. Some courses emphasize the development of skills such as public speaking or researching in library collections. Some courses take a broader perspective, examining the role of education in democracy or the epistemological bases of our judicial system.

The college also enriches the intellectual and cultural life of the campus by sponsoring events of various kinds: lectures and presentations by local faculty and visiting scholars, theatrical and musical performances, and forums and debates on topics of current interest.

Students who develop ideas for research, creative projects, community service, or internship experiences may apply to the college provost for financial support. The college also awards several annual scholarships and sponsors prizes for outstanding academic work.

The faculty fellows affiliated with the college represent all academic divisions (arts, engineering, humanities, physical and biological sciences, and social sciences). The faculty fellows guide the college academic programs and often contribute to the college-based advising system.

The college academic buildings house humanities faculty, with notable concentrations in philosophy, classics (study of ancient Greek and Latin language and civilization), and modern foreign languages, especially Chinese, French, Italian, Russian, German, and Japanese. Interdisciplinary faculty groups in visual and performance studies and in pre- and early-modern studies are centered at Cowell College.

Core Course

COWL 1, Academic Literacy and Ethos: Imagining Justice
Offered fall quarter

Cowell College One, Imagining Justice, is a first-year analytical reading and critical thinking seminar required of all first-year students, offered only in the fall quarter. It provides intensive practice in critical thinking and analysis, while also giving students opportunities to increase their speaking and presentation skills, and to engage in creative expression. More broadly, it introduces students to university-level discourse including key skills and common practices, and UC Santa Cruz’s academic expectations. It works to build an intellectual community here at Cowell College not only within the incoming class, but across all students at Cowell, since some texts are held over from year to year, so that students from frosh to seniors have reading and ideas in common.

College Advising
Cowell College Administration Building, Room 118

Cowell College advisers help students interpret academic policies and procedures and clarify educational goals. They provide support to students to ensure their academic success and progress toward their degree throughout their time at UCSC. Advisers help students make informed decisions, develop resiliency, and develop the ability to take ownership of their academic choices. Advisers also connect students to resources that will enrich their academic experiences.

Other Academic Programs

College Scholars Program

Along with several other residential colleges, Cowell participates in the College Scholars Program, a program that engages first- and second-year students with faculty research in research seminars and service learning opportunities on campus and in the Santa Cruz community. Some students begin by invitation in the fall. Others apply to start in the spring. In the spring of their first year, the spring-start scholars join the fall-start scholars in a special two-credit class together, which includes special lectures and dinners. The program continues with selected seminars in the second year.

Cowell hosts several campuswide programs including the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Internship Program (CUIP), Model United Nations and Mock Trial.

Cowell supports student research through quarterly research awards and through a variety of scholarship and service awards.