UC Santa Cruz is proud to be the only NCAA Division III athletic program in the UC System. Colleges and Universities in Division III place highest priority on the overall quality of the educational experience and on the successful completion of all students' academic programs. UC Santa Cruz was in the Top Ten of Division III in receiving the 2002 Academic Achievement Award for a highest student-athlete graduation rate above the student-body average.
Division III athletics seek to establish and maintain an environment in which a student-athlete's athletics activities are conducted as an integral part of the student-athlete's educational experience. They also seek to establish and maintain an environment that values cultural diversity and gender equality among their student-athletes and athletics staff.