Students Say

It’s easy to be dazzled by this University of California’s “incredible location” in stunning Santa Barbara, but UCSB is much more than a “safe and beautiful campus.” “It has one of the top chemical engineering departments in the country,” a “highly ranked” mechanical engineering program, and is generally “strong in the sciences.” Outstanding students can enroll in the College of Creative Studies, which acts as the university’s Honors program and requires a supplemental application: CCS students report that it “allows me to pursue my academic interests with maximum freedom.”

Overview

Applicants
66,813
Acceptance Rate
36%
Average HS GPA
3.98

GPA Breakdown

83%
Over 3.75
13%
3.50 - 3.74
3%
3.25 - 3.49

Test Scores

SAT Reading
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
550 - 670
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
570 - 710
SAT Writing
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
570 - 690
ACT Composite
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
24 - 30

Deadlines


Regular
November 30

Other Admission Factors

Academic

Rigor of Secondary School Record
Academic GPA
Standardized Test Scores
Application Essay

Selectivity Rating

Overall

Students Say

It’s easy to be dazzled by this University of California’s “incredible location” in stunning Santa Barbara, but UCSB is much more than a “safe and beautiful campus.” “It has one of the top chemical engineering departments in the country,” a “highly ranked” mechanical engineering program, and is generally “strong in the sciences.” Outstanding students can enroll in the College of Creative Studies, which acts as the university’s Honors program and requires a supplemental application: CCS students report that it “allows me to pursue my academic interests with maximum freedom.” While they love the “laid-back” atmosphere, students regard their course work in any school as both “academically challenging” and “down to earth”: “Every other college on my list seemed locked in an ivory tower. UCSB was the exception with both the warm, sun-kissed charm of a beach town and excellent academics.” “I would challenge any Ivy school to match” the quality of professors at UCSB, asserts one student, and another says the “outstanding professors” “are definitely an important source of inspiration for me.” Some students comment on the “wide range of professors,” and point out that “many of [the] professors are Nobel Prize winners or well-known in their field; however, these individuals are not necessarily the best teachers.” Overall, though, UBSB undergrads name the “accessibility and knowledge of the professors” as one of the university’s strengths. If you’re seeking a dynamic college experience with choices within and outside the classroom, UCSB could be for you: “UCSB is the perfect blend of academics and social life. I get to study at a renowned research university and work closely with professors, while living on the beach and making lifelong friendships.”

Faculty and Class Information

Student/Faculty
17:1
Total Faculty
1,079
with Terminal Degree
1,079

684
Men
395
Women
200
Minority
27
International

Most frequent class size
2 - 9
Most frequent lab / sub section size
20 - 29


Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
69%
Graduate in 5 years
79%
Graduate in 6 years
81%

Majors

  • Area, Ethnic, Cultural, and Gender Studies

  • African-American/Black Studies
  • Area Studies, Other
  • Asian Studies/Civilization
  • Asian-American Studies
  • Hispanic-American, Puerto Rican, and Mexican-American/Chicano Studies
  • Italian Studies
  • Latin American Studies
  • Near and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Women's Studies

  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences

  • Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology, Other
  • Biochemistry/Biophysics and Molecular Biology
  • Biology, General
  • Biology/Biological Sciences, General
  • Cell/Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences, Other
  • Ecology, Evolution, Systematics and Population Biology, Other
  • Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography
  • Microbiology, General
  • Molecular Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology, General
  • Zoology/Animal Biology

  • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services

  • Actuarial Science
  • Business/Managerial Economics

  • Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs

  • Communication, General

  • Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services

  • Computer Science
  • Computer Science

  • Engineering

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Engineering, General
  • Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering
  • Engineering, Other
  • Mechanical Engineering

  • Foreign languages, literatures, and Linguistics

  • Chinese Language and Literature
  • Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General
  • Comparative Literature
  • Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, Other
  • French Language and Literature
  • German Language and Literature
  • Germanic Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General
  • Japanese Language and Literature
  • Linguistics
  • Portuguese Language and Literature
  • Slavic Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General
  • Spanish Language and Literature

  • History

  • History, General
  • History, Other

  • Legal Professions and Studies

  • Legal Studies, General

  • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities

  • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities, Other
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies

  • Mathematics and Statistics

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics, Other
  • Financial Mathematics
  • Mathematical Statistics and Probability
  • Mathematics, General
  • Statistics, General

  • Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Biopsychology
  • International/Global Studies
  • Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other

  • Natural Resources and Conservation

  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Studies

  • Philosophy and Religious Studies

  • Philosophy
  • Religion/Religious Studies

  • Physical Sciences

  • Chemistry, General
  • Chemistry, Other
  • Geology/Earth Science, General
  • Geophysics and Seismology
  • Hydrology and Water Resources Science
  • Physics, General

  • Psychology

  • Psychology, General
  • Psychology, Other

  • Social Sciences

  • Anthropology
  • Econometrics and Quantitative Economics
  • Economics, General
  • Geography
  • Geography, Other
  • Sociology

  • Visual and Performing Arts

  • Art History, Criticism and Conservation
  • Dance, General
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General
  • Film/Cinema Studies
  • Fine/Studio Arts, General
  • Music, General


Degrees

Bachelor's
Doctoral/Research
Master's
Post-Bachelor's certificate
Post-Master's certificate

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available
Yes

Career Services

Classes
Interest Inventory
Internships
Opportunities at School

Experiential
Internship

Prominent Alumni


Benjamin Bratt
Actor

Michael Douglas
Actor

Barbara Bodine
Former Ambassador

Lois Capps
Congresswoman

Robert Ballard
Oceanographer

Jim Rome
Sports Commentator

Brian Shaw
NBA Player

Academic Rating

Career overview

Students Say

According to Payscale.com, the average starting salary for a?UCSB graduate is roughly $46,300 and popular careers include software engineer, mechanical engineer, and marketing manager. The most popular majors for UCSB students are Communication, Economics, and Sociology. While one Biochemistry major laments there are “basically too many students, and not enough open positions,” other students praise the range of internship and post- graduation career opportunities, with one describing UCSB as “a springboard for the greatest young minds to launch into highly successful research and careers.” The Career Services department?at UCSB encourages students to take advantage of “GauchoLink,” a frequently updated database of job and internship opportunities that also lists upcoming career-oriented events hosted by the school or by potential employers. Students are also able to store letters?of recommendation with the Career Services department so as to streamline the process of applying for internships or jobs during their school tenure or after graduation.

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
69%
Graduate in 5 years
79%
Graduate in 6 years
81%

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available
Yes

Career Services

Classes
Interest Inventory
Internships
Opportunities at School

Experiential
Internship

ROI & Outcomes

Information from PayScale:

Median Starting Salary
$46,300

Median Mid-Career Salary
$96,200

Alumni with High Job Meaning
50%

Return on Education (ROE) rating
94

Dates

Application Deadlines
May 31

Required Forms

FAFSA

Bottom Line

Depending on where you live and what you study, the cost of attending UC Santa Barbara fluctuates. For California residents, the school estimates that total expenses come to about $28,995 annually. For out-of-state residents, the estimated annual cost comes to $51,873.

Bang For Your Buck

As a part of the prestigious University of California system, UCSB fuses good value and strong academics. It is a state school with over 18,000 students enrolled, so many classes are large. But with all the resources of a major research school at your fingertips, it’s a definite bargain. The University of California operates the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan. For in-state students with household incomes of less than the state median of $80,000, the Blue and Gold Opportunity plan will fully cover the mandatory UC fees for four years. California residents are also eligible for Cal Grants, a grant program administered by the state and open to college students that meet certain minimum GPA requirements. In addition to state and federal aid, there are a number of scholarships available to UCSB undergraduates. New freshmen and transfer students with outstanding academic and personal achievement may be awarded the prestigious Regents Scholarship. There are additional merit awards offered through each of the university’s four colleges, as well as through the alumni association.

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$19,670

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$17,989

Average Need-Based Loan
$6,518

Average amount of loan debt per graduate
$20,452

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program
55%

Financial aid provided to international students
No

Expenses per Academic Year

Tuition (In-State)
$12,192
Tuition (Out-of-State)
$35,070
Required Fees
$1,554
Average Cost for Books and Supplies
$1,444

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
No
Board for Commuters
Transportation for Commuters
$1,814

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodology
Federal and Institutional

Scholarships and Grants

Need-Based
 

Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Non-Need-Based
Institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid is available

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
Federal Perkins Loans

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)
Yes

Direct Lender
Yes

Financial Aid Rating

Overall

Students Say

To find your place at a big school, get ready to get out and do something: “The typical student is active and involved. Whether it be with sports, or in a community service or environmental club, rock climbing, politics, the list goes on. Students fit in by finding a good group of friends in the dorms and by getting involved in extracurricular activities.” Because the university is accessible to so many different types of students, “there is a great sense of community among the students, and those with all sorts of socio-economic backgrounds feel at home here.” UCSB undergrads care about more than partying, and are “intelligent, sociable, engaging” as well as “very motivated and driven to succeed academically.” People are “laid-back but hard-working,” at least partially because “the sunny weather keeps people happy.” UCSB is “extremely diverse personality wise”: “We’ve got the hippies, the sorority girls, the surfer dudes, the Jesus-lovers, the anarchists, the school-oriented folk and everything in between. Everyone finds their niche here.”

Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
20,238
Out of State
4%

International
Foreign Countries Represented
79

Demographics

53% female
47% male
4% are out of state
98% are full time
2% are part time

Overview

Students Say

No matter the activity, UCSB students love to be involved: “85 percent of our student body is in at least one extracurricular activity—and I’ve met the smartest people of my life here.” Outdoor pastimes like “rock climbing, beach volleyball,” “surfing and hiking,” “bik[ing], skateboard[ing],” figure prominently in students’ favorite ways to spend free time wholesomely. After the sun goes down, “a lot of people party at UCSB. What do you expect, we live on a beach? But don’t be fooled. I’ve met some of the smartest, most hard-working people at UCSB.” Social life at UCSB is as “varied” as you want it to be: “People think of UCSB exclusively as a party school but it’s what you make of it.” The party scene “is totally avoidable if you want,” but “UCSB is famous for its party life” for a reason. Students looking to avoid drinking and drug culture entirely might be best advised to look elsewhere, and insiders say that “substance abuse is somewhat common off campus and not as much on campus; campus alcohol and drug policies are typically enforced strictly.” At the end of the day, “everything is give and take here. You spend your week busting your butt in your internship and churning out research papers, and finish everything up in time to go indulge in some of the debauchery that is DP on a Friday night.”

Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
38%
Help finding off-campus housing
Yes

First-Year Students living on campus
95%

Campus Environment
Small Urban

Housing Options

Apartment Married
Apartment Single
Cooperative
Dorms Coed
Frat Sorority
International Student
Theme Housing
Wellness Housing

Special Needs Admissions

Program / Service Name
Disabled Students Program

Type of Program
For all students with disabilities

Director
Gary White

College Entrance Tests Required
Yes

Interview Required
No

Documentation Requred for LD
WAIS-III; Woodcock Johnson; Achievement R or III(preferred), NDRT

Documentation Requred for ADHD
Yes

Special Need Services Offered

Calculator allowed in exams
Yes

Dictionary allowed in exams
No

Computer allowed in exams
Yes

Spellchecker allowed in exams
Yes

Extended test time
Yes

Scribes
Yes

Proctors
Yes

Oral exams
No

Notetakers
Yes

Distraction-free environment
Yes

Accommodation for students with ADHD
No

Reading machine
Yes

Other assistive technology
Yes

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
425
Number of Honor Societies
12

Number of Social Sororities
18
Number of Religious Organizations
34

8% join a fraternity
13% join a sorority

Sports

Athletic Division
Division I

Men's Sports (Gauchos)
12 Sports

Baseball
Basketball
Cross Country
Diving
Golf
Gymnastics
Soccer
Swimming
Tennis
Track Field Outdoor
Volleyball
Water Polo
Women's Sports (Gauchos)
11 Sports

Basketball
Cross Country
Diving
Gymnastics
Soccer
Softball
Swimming
Tennis
Track Field Outdoor
Volleyball
Water Polo

Student Services

Day Care
Health
Womens Center
LGBT Support Groups: Queer Student Union is a campus organization created to address issues relevant to UCSB's LGBTQA Community. http://www.sa.ucsb.edu/sgd/

Minority Support Groups: Office of Student Life has a list of registered organizations. http://osl.sa.ucsb.edu/OrgList

Army ROTC Offered on-campus
Air Force ROTC Offered at cooperating institutions: UCLA

Sustainability

UC Santa Barbara established one of the nation’s first environmental studies programs in 1970, opened the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management in 1994, established the Institute for Energy Efficiency in 2008, and is an early signatory to the ACUPCC, committing the campus to carbon neutrality by 2050. The UCSB Chancellor’s Sustainability Committee assembles administrators, deans, Nobel Laureates, senior faculty, staff and students to guide campus sustainability initiatives and policy. Home to Forty-three sustainability-oriented student organizations and an incredibly environmentally conscious student body, UCSB was one of the first Universities in the country to establish a student-governed renewable energy fund sponsoring large scale green energy projects. This complements The Green Initiative Fund—awarding grant money for projects that reduce the campus' environmental impact—and The Coastal Fund, which has allocated nearly $1.5 million to hundreds of local projects dedicated to conservation of the UCSB coastline. The campus is installed a 400-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array coupled with twelve electric vehicle charging stations for public use on campus. UCSB boasts fifty-five LEED-certified buildings and the nation’s first double Platinum LEED building (Bren Hall), and campus practice for all new construction and renovation is LEED Gold certification. UCSB was recognized by the EPA as one of the nation’s best workplaces for alternative transportation, and the campus has extensive waste reduction and composting programs.

School Has Formal Sustainability Committee
Yes

Sustainability-focused degree available
Yes

School employs a sustainability officer
Yes

Public GHG inventory plan
Yes

% food budget spent on local/organic food
50%

Available Transportation Alternatives

Bike Share
No

Car Sharing Program
Yes

Carpool/Vanpool Matching Program
Yes

Cash-Out Parking
Yes

Condensed Work Week Option For Employees
Yes

Free Or Reduced Price Transit Passes And/Or Free Campus Shuttle
Yes

Incentives Or Programs To Encourage Employees To Live Close To Campus
Yes

Indoor And Secure Bike Storage, Shower Facilities, And Lockers For Bicycle Commuters
Yes

Reduced Parking Fees For Car And Van Poolers
Yes

School Adopted A Policy Prohibiting Idling
Yes

School Developed Bicycle Plan
Yes

School Offers A Telecommute Program For Employees
Yes
Data provided by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS®, as of February, 2014.

Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources: http://www.princetonreview.com/safety

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education: http://ope.ed.gov/security


Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network
Yes

Email and Web Access Available
Yes

Number of Computer Labs / Classrooms
25

Average Number of PC's per Lab
30

Network Access in Dorm Rooms
Yes

Network Access in Dorm Lounges
Yes

Fee for Network Use
No

Student Web Pages Permitted
Yes

Student Web Pages Provided
Yes

Partnerships with Technology Companies
No

Online Class Registration Available
Yes

Personal computer included in tuition for each student
No

Require Undergraduates to Own Computers
No

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors
Yes

Description
Dell (computers), Gateway (computers), Apple (computers), TwinHead (notebooks), Sony (monitors), ViewSonic (monitors), Cannon (printers), Epson (printers), Hewlett Packard (printers).

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Courses
Yes

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations
Yes

Campus Visits Contact

Contact
Anil Gnanamuthu
Campus Visit Coordinator

Address
Visitor's Center
1102 SAASB
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-2017

Phone
(805) 893-8892

Email
anil.gnanamuthu@sa.ucsb.edu

Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Storke Tower Plaza/University Center
University Art Museum
UCSB Davidson Library
Recreation Center
Career and Counseling Services Center

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Stearns Wharf/Santa Barbara Zoo
Old Spanish Days and their weekly summer
Santa Yenz/Solvang Danish Village
Los Padres National Forest hiking, boati
Santa Barbara Mission, Museum, and Botan

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Monday-Friday
9am-noon, 1pm-4pm
(805) 893-8892

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: No
Dates: Year-round
Times: Mon-Fri 12:00PM, 2:00 PM
Average Length: Varies

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews
No

Information Sessions
Not Available

Times

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Arrangements
Contact Visiting Center

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Not Available

Limitations
N/A

Transportation

Types of Transportation Available to Campus
The Santa Barbara Airport is a 5-minute drive from campus. Taxis are available at the airport. Amtrak trains and Greyhound buses serve downtown Santa Barbara. A direct express bus is available from downtown to campus. Taxis are also available for the ride from the stations to campus.

Driving Instructions to Campus
From the north, take U.S. Highway 101 south to the Storke Road/Glen Annie Road exit, which is approximately 12 miles north of Santa Barbara. Turn right on Storke Road and proceed two miles to El Colegio Road. Turn left onto El Colegio Road and proceed to the campus entrance. From the south, take U.S. Highway 101 north to the Airport/UCSB exit (route 217), which is approximately 8 miles north of Santa Barbara, then continue to the campus entrance. The daily parking fee at the campus is $8 Monday through Friday. The cost for weekend parking is $3.

Local Accommodations
The campus is west of Santa Barbara, in Goleta, with no lodgings within walking distance. Two moderately priced motels are a short drive away; both have heated pools and complementary van service to and from the airport. Closest (about 2 miles away) is a Holiday Inn (5650 Calle Real, Goleta; 805-964-6241), with a restaurant. About 4 miles from campus is the Ramada Limited (4770 Calle Real, Santa Barbara; 805-964-3511 or 800-654-1965). Rates are only slightly more expensive than at the Holiday Inn, and the price includes a continental breakfast. Nearby beaches are a plus, and it is close to downtown shopping. If you need even more relaxation, watch the ducks on the freshwater pond.
University of California--Santa Barbara campus - Image 0
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Key Stats

66,813
Applicants
20,238
Size
36%
Acceptance Rate

Rankings & Lists