The Charm of Our Santa Cruz Campus

Five Branches University has two campuses that lie about forty miles apart. The Santa Cruz Campus is located just a block from the ocean. It’s just a short walk to Twin Lakes State Beach. The San Jose Campus is in north San Jose, the largest city of the innovative Silicon Valley.

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We allow students to take classes at both campuses. This gives you a lot of flexibility as far as timing. If you need to work, and the class that you need is taught at the other campus at a better time that is more convenient for you, you can do it. It’s just that you need to declare a home campus and then you have to take the majority of your classes in that home campus. But if occasionally you need to take the class at the other campus, then you can definitely do that.”

Beyond the faculty, each location has its own unique charm. Despite being less than an hour’s drive apart, San Jose and Santa Cruz are two vastly different communities.  At the Santa Cruz campus, I would say the majority of our students are not local, they have a bachelor’s degree usually, or higher.” About half of the Santa Cruz students move to the area to study. Many are graduates of UC Santa Cruz. Others have family or friends in the area or vacationed there and have fond memories. They have diverse backgrounds such as massage therapists, yoga and martial arts practitioners, nurses and business majors.

“Santa Cruz is a nice place for someone who does not like a big city, that prefers to have more of a homey town, a small-town feel. It’s next to the ocean on the coast of Monterey. People who enjoy water sports will enjoy being so close to the ocean because, while cold, the coastline is easy to swim. The weather in Santa Cruz is relatively tepid for most of the year with only a few weeks of hot weather during the summer. If you come from an area that is cold and rainy or super humid, living here is a nice place for the years while you go through your education. Santa Cruz has a lot of draw from beyond that. It’s a community that loves spiritual growth.

There are personal growth types of events and seminars, a lot of health-oriented events, a wonderful farmers’ market, a lot of alternative health. Santa Cruz is very progressive. There are a lot of athletic things too, whether it is running, mountain biking, rock climbing, there are a lot of opportunities to participate in physical sports in Santa Cruz. From city & state parks to soccer pitches, outdoor basketball courts, and more.

“I have lived here for over 20 years. Even I just recently discovered that there is a huge park with cows roaming in the meadows in the middle of town. I didn’t even know that it existed and just by accident, I found out. Ariana Gulch. So nice! You can have a long trail, a picnic, so there are all these hidden gems in Santa Cruz.