Although several state-of-the-art buildings exist on UCSC's campus, relatively few bear any name aside from a purely descriptive one. Also, construction of the campus is not yet complete, as the campus' Long Range Development Plan calls for new campus colleges, as well as new instructional buildings and remodels of older buildings. Some of the major buildings include the following, divided up by purpose or location (with attention drawn to Art Hill and Science Hill:
- Hahn Student Services, the campus center for enrollment, admissions, housing, etc.
- Bay Tree Bookstore, the university-run bookstore and school supply store.
- The Chancellor's House.
- Kerr Hall, a newly remodeled home to university officials, where students seldom trespass.
- Cook House
Non-College Affiliated Campus Housing
- Stevenson/Cowell Dining Hall
- Crown/Merrill Dining Hall
- Colleges Nine/Ten Dining Hall
- Porter/Kresge Dining Hall
- Oakes/College Eight Dining Hall
- Science and Engineering Library, home to the campus' collection of science publications and texts.
- UCSC Physical Sciences Building, the newly-built home to the campus' chemistry department.
- The Natural Sciences Building, along with its Annex, hosts the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics as well as numerous classrooms.
- The Interdisciplinary Sciences Building is attached to the Natural Sciences Building, and is home to the physics and astrophysics departments.
- Center For Adaptive Optics, a building dedicated to the pursuit of more accurate imaging through ground-based telescopes.
- Thimann Lecture Hall, the largest lecture room on Science Hill.
- Earth and Marine Sciences, a building with confusing stairwells.
- Thimann Labs
- Sinsheimer Labs, a fearsome building with foreboding signs.
- Jack Baskin Engineering 1, a building with a post office on the first floor, the mathematics department on the second floor, classrooms on the third, a financial aid office on the fourth, and (occasionally) telescopes on the roof.
- Jack Baskin Engineering 2, an award-winning building constructed in 2003.
- Feminist Studies Library
- McHenry Library, the central library, currently undergoing a remodel.
- Page Smith Library
- Science and Engineering Library
- Stevenson Library