The University is located on a 106-acre campus in the city of Santa Clara near the southern end of the San Francisco Bay in one of the world’s greatest cultural centers. More than 50 buildings on campus house 15 student residences, a main library, a law library, two student centers, the de Saisset Museum, extensive performing arts and athletic facilities, and a recreation and fitness center.
Santa Clara’s campus has the advantage of being located in Silicon Valley, a region known for its extraordinary visionaries, who have designed and created some of the most significant scientific and technological advances of our age. Silicon Valley is more than a location—it is a mindset, and home to more than 3 million residents and 6,600 science- and technology-related companies (not including San Francisco, which is located just an hour away).
Santa Clara’s campus is well known for its beauty and mission-style architecture. Opened in 2013, the brick-paved Abby Sobrato Mall leads visitors from the University’s main entrance to the heart of campus—the Mission Santa Clara de Asís. The roses and palm and olive trees of the Mission Gardens surround the historic Mission Church, which was restored in 1928. The adjacent Adobe Lodge is the oldest building on campus. In 1981, it was restored to its 1822 decor.
Amidst all this beauty and history are modern, world-class academic facilities. Students study and thrive in places such as the Joanne E. Harrington Learning Commons, Sobrato Family Technology Center, and Orradre Library, where individuals and groups can study in an inviting, light-filled, and open environment. Notably, the library features an Automated Retrieval System, a high-density storage area where up to 900,000 books and other publications can be stored and retrieved using robotic-assisted technology.
Another example of Santa Clara’s excellent academic facilities is Lucas Hall, home of the Leavey School of Business. This modern 85,000-square-foot building houses classrooms, meeting rooms, offices, study spaces, and a café. Classrooms are equipped with state-of-the-art videoconferencing equipment as well as a multiplatform system to record faculty lectures for later review by students. Vari Hall, adjacent to Lucas Hall, is home to the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics as well as academic departments, classrooms, and a 2,200-square-foot digital television studio, regarded as among the best studios found on any campus nationwide.
University Library and Learning Commons
The Santa Clara University Library & Learning Commons is a central hub for students to study and collaborate. The Learning Commons has a mix of both individual and group seating, group study rooms, computer labs, outside patios, as well as a cafe on the first floor. Throughout the year, the University Library hosts events, art exhibits, and late-night hours. Library staff are available to support student research. Library staff are available in person at the Library Help Desk, by making an appointment online, or through our 24/7 chat service, “Ask a Librarian.” The Library's Archives & Special Collections provides access to rare books, manuscripts, historic photos, and artifacts.
Library resources, which can be accessed in the Learning Commons and remotely, include an online catalog (OSCAR), over 250 general and subject-specific databases, research guides for many subjects and classes, and interlibrary loan programs. The library’s collection includes books, ebooks, magazines, newspapers and journals, streaming videos, and more.
Schott Admission and Enrollment Services Building
Located near Vari Hall is the Schott Admission and Enrollment Services Building, a welcome center for campus visitors and home to several University departments. Opened in 2012, the lobby of this LEED Gold equivalent structure includes technology-infused exhibits that illustrate Santa Clara’s Jesuit mission.
Among other green features on campus are two solar-powered homes built in 2007 and 2009 for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon. Both homes now serve as laboratories for solar and sustainability technologies.
Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation
Opened in the Fall of 2021, this 270,000 square-foot building is the home to the School of Engineering and many of the science departments of the College of Arts and Sciences. The building has classrooms, Innovation Zone, teaching and research labs, engineering and science shops, faculty and staff offices, collaboration spaces, and a cafe. The Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship and the Frugal Innovation Hub are also located in this state-of-the art building. The central landscaped courtyard and rooftop terraces provide excellent places for gathering.
Santa Clara has unique Residential Learning Communities (RLCs) housed in eight on-campus residence halls. The RLCs include both suites and traditional double rooms, allowing for both a traditional and communal on-campus experience. The RLCs focus on eight different themes, bringing co-curricular programing and events that inspire all students to thrive in the campus setting. RLCs also instill a sense of belonging because students can create, join, learn, and contribute to the community the moment they arrive on campus. Juniors and seniors may apply for townhouse-style living in the 138-unit University Villas and in several neighborhood units surrounding campus.
The Robert F. Benson Memorial Center serves as a hub for campus life. The Benson Memorial Center offers dining services and houses the campus bookstore, student and administrative offices, lounges, and meeting rooms. The University’s main dining hall, The Marketplace, resembles an upscale food court with numerous stations and options. For a more informal experience, The Bronco is the Center’s late-night venue, serving beverages and pub-style food.
Another hot-spot for student life, the Paul L. Locatelli, S.J., Student Activity Center, includes a 6,000 square-foot gathering hall with a high ceiling that can accommodate dances and concerts as well as pre- and post-game activities. Designed with environmental sensitivity, the building is energy efficient and has daytime lighting controls and motion sensors to maximize use of natural light. For fitness-minded students, the Pat Malley Fitness and Recreation Center features a 9,500-square-foot weight training and cardiovascular exercise room, three basketball courts, a swimming pool, an adjacent outdoor workout area, sand volleyball and basketball courts, and other facilities to support the recreational and fitness needs of the campus community.
The campus includes many locations for quiet reflection, such as the St. Clare Garden, which features plants and flowers arranged into five groups to portray the stages of the saint’s life. For campus members who want a more hands-on relationship with nature, the Forge Garden, SCU’s half-acre organic garden, serves as a campus space for course research, service learning, and sustainable food production.
Athletics and the Arts
The importance of athletics to the University is evident everywhere on campus. Among the newest additions to Santa Clara’s athletics facilities are the Stephen Schott Stadium, home field for the men’s baseball team, and the state-of-the-art Stevens Soccer Training Center, funded by a gift from Mary and Mark Stevens. The gift also allowed Santa Clara to upgrade the stands in Stevens Stadium (formerly Buck Shaw Stadium), home to the men’s and women’s soccer programs, and build a plaza to celebrate Bronco sports—its past, present, and future. The plaza celebrates the history of Santa Clara University football as well as the legacy and future of men’s and women’s soccer at SCU. Bellomy Field, 4.7 acres of well-lit and turfed outdoor playing fields, provides space for club and intramural sports, such as rugby and field hockey. Adjacent to Bellomy Field is the well-appointed women’s softball field, which opened in 2013. The Leavey Event Center houses the University’s premier basketball facility. Over the years, the Leavey Event Center has hosted nine West Coast Conference Basketball Championships.
The University recognizes the arts as a central part of life at Santa Clara University. The Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building, opened in 2016, houses an integrated art history and studio arts program that is a center for inspiration, innovation, and engagement in the arts and art history in Silicon Valley. An important arts destination in the Bay Area, the Department of Art and Art History's gallery exhibits work from a diverse group of established and emerging artists, and provides a dynamic teaching and learning resource for faculty, staff, students, and the community. The de Saisset Museum, the University’s accredited museum of art and history, presents changing art exhibitions throughout the year and serves as the caretaker of the University’s California History Collection, which includes artifacts from the Native American, Mission, and early Santa Clara College periods.
SCU•Presents represents the University’s commitment to the performing arts on campus, which includes performances at venues such as the Louis B. Mayer Theatre, the Fess Parker Studio Theatre, and the Music Recital Hall. The Mayer Theatre is Santa Clara University’s premier theatrical venue, housing 500 intimate seats in either a flexible proscenium or thrust-stage setting. The Fess Parker Studio Theatre has no fixed stage or seating. Its black box design, complete with movable catwalks, provides flexibility in an experimental setting. The 250-seat Music Recital Hall provides a contemporary setting where students, faculty, and guest artists offer a variety of performances.