Higher Education & Marine Science

Higher Education & Research: Overview

The region is known for strong programs in higher education and research, with unique combinations of talent and language, and a broad spectrum of curriculum. The area boasts eleven institutions of higher learning, five wildlife and/or marine-related reserves, and seven government agencies, each one contributing to an extensive research environment. In addition, six language programs ranging from community college to the graduate level are available in the region, as are several graduate business programs, a law school, and a public policy institute.

Higher Education & Research By the Numbers

  • Total Enrollment Full and Part-Time: approximately 79,000
  • Total Faculty and Staff Employed: approximately 14,000
  • Total Operating Budgets: $1.7 billion
  • Total Research and Grant Dollars: approximately $410 million annually
  • Total Jobs Created Locally*: ~66,000 (* Using an AAU impact analysis)




Big Data Research: Sensors, the internet of things and mass data collection by businesses, governments and research institutions require powerful equipment for data analysis and industry experts to analyze data to create actionable recommendations.

The Monterey Bay Economic Partnership supports collaborative discussions among regional leaders in the fields of higher education, big data, GIS mapping, and analysis for policy and programs. These experts have come together to form a thought leadership group for global excellence in data analysis for policy and program creation: the Monterey Bay Analytics and Research Consortium (MBARC).

MBARC consists of data and analysis experts with deep industry expertise from the following institutions support national and international governments and companies:

  • NPS
  • UCSC
  • DMDC

Marine Science: Overview

The Monterey Bay Region leads the nation in marine science, with 24 research organizations, over 2,100 research professionals and staff, and annual budgets exceeding $300M.  Research includes sea floor mapping, autonomous underwater vehicles, chemical sensors, coastal ocean processes, biogeochemistry, climate and weather research.

The UCSC Genomics Institute is one of the leading computational genomics research groups in the U.S.  Researchers at the UCSC Genomics Institute are taking advantage of the dramatic decline in the cost of genome sequencing and huge gains in computing, storage, bandwidth and open systems to develop more precise cancer treatments, identify causes of congenital abnormalities, and control autoimmune disease.  The Institute’s genomics browser is the leading tool used worldwide to analyze genomics data.  Recent companies to spin out from the Institute include Five3Genomics.

The Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) provides a research center named The Center for the Blue Economy to promote ocean and coastal sustainability. Please check out their page here to learn more.

Higher Education & Marine Science Data Tracker

Our Higher Education & Marine Science Data Tracker showcases key indicators focused around the following institutions and topics:
  • Educational Attainment
  • UC Santa Cruz
  • CSU Monterey Bay
  • Monterey Peninsula College
  • Hartnell College
  • Cabrillo College
  • Marine Science Institutions

Higher Educational & Marine Science Data Tracker. This data tracker focuses on educational attainment, degrees awarded, student transfers and marine science.

Higher Education Demographics Data Tracker: This additional data tracker focuses on student and faculty demographics for our higher education institutions

Please note: you can scroll over each graph and click on the “gear” icon to delve further into the data. Dashboard may take a moment to load.


Reports and Presentations


Geomapping of Education Services employment

Click on the image below to go to MBEP’s Regional Geomapping tool to see an interactive detailed look at education services employment in the region.

College Scorecard

The College Scorecard website, provided by the U.S. Department of Education, offers data and factors about higher education in the United States that is important to prospective students.

College Scorecard provides information on:

  • Average annual cost
  • Graduate rate
  • Salary after attending
  • Students receiving federal loans
  • Typical total debt
  • Graduation rate
  • Student body  diversity
  • SAT/ACT scores
  • Academic Programs


Click on the links below to view the College Scorecard summary for our schools in the Monterey Bay Region:

Higher Education & Research location map

The following map is from the Competitive Clusters (C2) initiative of the Monterey County Business Council

UC Santa Cruz

For more UC Santa Cruz achievements please see the Recent Achievements page from UC Santa Cruz.

The University of California Information Center provides additional data on the UC Campuses, including UC Santa Cruz. Click below to find more data tables on:


The data dashboards below present a view on student enrollment by demographics and transfers in each UC Campus provided by the University of California Information Center. To view UC Santa Cruz, please use the “Campus” drop down selection.



CSU Monterey Bay – Undergraduate degrees awarded

To view additional data on CSU Monterey Bay (CSUMB), please visit the CSUMB University Factbook page to dive deeper into data on:

Community Colleges – Student Headcount

The California Colleges Chancellor’s Office Data Mart page provides additional data on the states community colleges, including a deeper dive into:

Visit the California State University data page on California Community College transfers to view additional information on:

  • Community College Transfers By CSU Concentration
  • Community College Transfers by Campus
  • Community College Transfers by Ethnic Group
  • Community College Transfers by Campus by Ethnic Group
  • Community College Transfers by Ethnic Group by Campus

Header photo by Anchor Lee on Unsplash