UC Santa Cruz has a strong commitment to queer studies and the critical study of sexualities and genders. This is demonstrated through course offerings, faculty interest, and research programs in these areas. Courses with queer content can be found in departments such as American Studies, Anthropology, Feminist Studies, Film + Digital Media, History, History of Consciousness, Legal Studies, Literature, Sociology, and Theater Arts.

Although UCSC does not yet have a major or minor in Sexuality Studies, majors as Feminist Studies, Sociology and Literature, to name a few, have sufficient flexibility to allow students to design a course of study that will enable them to explore these interests. For students who prefer to take a more self-directed course of study, there is the option of designing an independent major.