Health and Well-Being

Stay healthy!

The UC Santa Cruz Student Health Center has a full-service health clinic with a wide range of medical services including lab, x-ray, pharmacy, dental, and optometry support. They offer confidential health screenings, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), and numerous Student Health Outreach and Promotion (SHOP) programs. The Office of Physical Education, Recreation, and Sports (OPERS) offers multiple programs including boating, intermural sports, scuba, wilderness orientation...and more. Membership is free for registered students during the academic year. The Wellness Center has classes, cardio equipment, weights TRX training zones, an outdoor lap pool, and stunning views of the Monterey Bay.

Mental Health

photo of woman doing yoga in McHenryOur personal lives are inextricably linked with our professional and academic lives. Taking care of one’s self is important for overall well being and performance.

Counseling And Psychological Services (CAPS)
Provides counseling, psychiatry, and wellness services to all UC Santa Cruz students.

  • Support Groups
    CAPS offers various support groups specifically for graduate students only including a Graduate Men’s Group and a Graduate Women’s Group 
  • Let's Talk
    Counselors also offer brief drop-in sessions and are sometimes workshops tailored just for graduate students.


  1. Schedule in self-care breaks, such as walks with music or making tea. 
  2. Seek counseling to navigate stress, family boundaries, self-care and other topics.
  3. As appropriate, share with your advisor, trusted colleagues and/or community your needs and where you need support.
  4. There are a lot of options to do outdoor activities like hiking, surfing, bike riding, etc. in Santa Cruz if you wanted to explore and get to know the city a little better.
  5. Getting an appointment with an on-campus therapist can sometimes take a while and the number of visits are limited. One alternative is to ask CAPS for a list of off-campus therapists based on your needs and then make an initial appointment with them. If you have GSHIP, you would only pay a minimal co-payment for each visit (~$10).

Health and Well-being

Health Insurance 
Graduate students are automatically enrolled in UC SHIP. For those that choose to accept this insurance, most services on-campus (medical, pharmacy, & mental health) are covered or low-cost. Other off-campus services are also included like vision and dental.

Student Health Center
The on-campus health center is a full-service clinic, providing in-person appointments for medical services, including eye care and prescriptions.

  • LiveHealthOnline
    Visit a doctor without going to the doctor's office. Speak to a healthcare provider any time, any day. Appointments are available for a variety of common problems. 
  • Student Health Outreach and Promotion (SHOP)
    Supports student education on issues such as alcohol/drugs abuse, sexual health, and general wellness. SHOP lists a number of well-being resources on their website and includes classes and access to mindfulness programming and meditation.

  • The Radical Resilience initiative
    A collaborative effort with the Division of Student Affairs and Success, the Student Health Center (SHOP, CAPS), and Healthy Campus, this initiative support a series of trainings available in Canvas and programming.

Offers faculty, staff, and students recreational facilities (gym and tennis courts) as well as group exercise classes, cooking courses, medical certifications, outdoor adventure, co-ed sports, and other programming.
  • Outdoor adventure & recreation classes
    Some courses are for graduate students only and are offered for low or no cost. These classes are held annually and can include beginning surfing, kayaking, and hiking trips.