STORIES

A rose by any other name…

SCC
Santa Clara College. Photo from
SCU Archives.


Confusion arises and questions are asked: “Why did the name change from Santa Clara College to University of Santa Clara, and then to Santa Clara University?” “I got my degree from the College of Engineering; why is it now called the School of Engineering?”

With the addition of the law and engineering programs in the early 1900s, Santa Clara College became the University of Santa Clara. In 1985 the name was changed to Santa Clara University (possibly to avoid confusion with the University of Southern California).

In the United States a ‘college’ is distinguished, in part, by a curriculum that terminates at the bachelor’s degree level while the designation of ‘school’ is generally applied to programs offering graduate degrees. After the College of Engineering began offering graduate degrees in 1959, the name was changed to the School of Engineering. So, those who earned their bachelor’s degree before 1959 graduated from the College of Engineering, while those who graduated later refer to themselves as graduates of the School of Engineering. Makes sense, no?