UCSC Colleges: Crown College


Crown College was founded in 1967. Unlike its predecessors, I don’t believe Crown wasn’t named after anybody in particular — the name Crown just sort of came along. The famous chemist Kenneth Thimann, who the Thimann labs at UCSC  are named after, was the first provost.


Crown’s theme and core course revolve around ethics with technology. What are the social implications of technology — how do we decide what is ethical and what is not?


Crown is located at the top of what is known as “Cardiac Hill”. This is a fairly steep hill that must be climbed to reach Crown and Merrill Colleges.

Crown and Merrill have a bus stop, but only buses going counter-clockwise around campus stop there. If you are going clockwise around campus and want to reach Crown, you can either walk from College 9/10′s bus stop or uphill from Cowell/Stevenson’s bus stop.

Each of those is about a 5-minute walk. You probably won’t have to walk to one of those bus stops frequently unless you’re going off-campus since there isn’t much in that direction from Crown that you can’t reach by walking.

Crown is very close to Humanities and the bookstore area, but because it’s higher up on campus, everything else is farther away. Science Hill is within quick reach due to the bus stop, and the East Field is a short walk, but the McHenry Library and the Media Center will take some time to reach.


Crown students are typically placed into dorms their freshman year. Dorm room sizes are typically doubles, but a decent amount of singles, and an occasional triple. Quad lofts exist as well. The floors and bathrooms are coed unless you request a female-only floor. The dorms buildings are placed into two quads — upper and lower. Each building is several stories high.

DiningCrown shares its apartments with Merrill College, and the apartments are placed farther back. These apartments can be coed (though the rooms are single-sex). The apartments come in three types — four singles, two singles and a triple, and a double and a triple. The apartments don’t share the Mediterranean-style architecture of Crown, however.

The dining hall is located at Crown College and is shared with Merrill College. Crown’s dining hall has the advantage that it’s open until midnight every day of the week except Monday. Most other dining halls close earlier on the weekends, making Crown the only choice for late-night food those days. Living at Crown saves you the hassle of having to cross-campus just for a quick bite to eat.

The food at the dining hall is pretty typical dining hall food in that it can be pretty hit or miss.

Also nearby is the Merrill Cultural Center, which serves organic and healthy cultural foods. I have yet to go there, but I’ve heard very mixed opinions about its food.

Things to Remember

  • Be prepared to walk uphill every time you return to your dorm.
  • Crown has a reputation as a highly academic college. This, combined with being high on a hill, gives it a reputation of being a quiet college.
  • The apartments are significantly farther back — to reach them, you need to walk through Crown and then for another 3 or 4 minutes. It’s not more uphill than Crown is, but if you don’t have a car it will be an inconvenience.