About the College
Porter College was founded in 1969 as the fifth of UC Santa Cruz’s residential colleges and was later renamed in honor of a generous grant from the Porter-Sesnon family. Its mission is to foster achievement in all areas of study. Porter is especially dedicated to achievement in the arts, believing that creative inquiry is an essential part of a rigorous and broad-minded education, a flourishing society, and a happy life.
The Porter College curriculum encourages students to explore unusual topics and provocative ideas, to test and revise hypotheses about the meaning of their experiences, to learn from the failures that are an inevitable part of new learning and discovery, and to assume responsibility for the decisions they make in their studies. In addition to Core courses for first-year students, which provide rigorous training in critical reading and writing and study skills, Porter offers a variety of smaller interdisciplinary seminars that combine historical and theoretical approaches to the arts, humanities, and sciences with practical experience conducting scholarly research and making creative work.
Porter College fellows hail from every academic division on campus and from many non-academic professions, but all of them share the philosophy of education that the College’s curriculum embodies: first, discover how to learn; then, learn by doing; and finally, let your learning make a difference in the world.