The University of California-Santa Barbara (also called UC-Santa Barbara or UCSB) is a public research university located just outside Santa Barbara, California. Considered a “public ivy,” a term for a state-sponsored university with research and teaching standards equivalent to a prestigious private institution, the university has been part of the 10-school UC system since 1944. UC-Santa Barbara is the 6th-largest in the UC system and enrolls approximately 22,000 undergraduates and nearly 3,000 graduate and professional students in a wide variety of degree programs.
UC-Santa Barbara prides itself as “a leading research institution that also provides a comprehensive liberal arts learning experience.” The university’s vision stresses interdisciplinary work and collaboration between faculty and students to further human knowledge. Students are responsible for designing their own educational experience in cooperation with faculty, and draw inspiration from the stunning setting of the campus on the Pacific coast.
UC-Santa Barbara’s campus sits on 1,055 acres on the Pacific coast just outside the town of Santa Barbara, California, about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The campus is bordered by the ocean on three sides and boasts its own beach and lagoon. UCSB has eight residence halls available for student accommodation, along with a handful of privately-operated dorms and fraternity and sorority housing. Many students also choose to live off-campus in the nearby community of Isla Vista.
UCSB offers 87 undergraduate and 55 graduate degree programs, organized into five colleges and schools. Popular undergraduate majors at UC-Santa Barbara include the social sciences, psychology, biology, and communications. Well-reputed graduate programs include the College of Engineering, the Gervitze Graduate School of Education and the Donald Bern School of Environmental Science and Management.
Most of UC-Santa Barbara’s sports teams, nicknamed the Gauchos, play in the Division I Big West Conference, though its swimming and men’s volleyball teams are part of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. UCSB has 10 men’s and 10 women’s varsity sports, as well as dozens of club sports which compete at various levels. Varsity sports include baseball, basketball, soccer, swimming & diving, and water polo, while popular club spots include fencing, rowing, rugby, and sailing. The men’s soccer team won an NCAA National Championship in 2006.
Tuition & Financial Aid
Annual tuition at the University of California-Santa Barbara is affordable for California residents while it is expensive for out-of-state students. UCSB offers a variety of financial aid packages, including scholarships, loans, work study opportunities, and grants. Scholarships are offered based on both financial circumstances and scholarly merit. Please refer to the school’s website for the most current tuition and financial aid information.
UCSB is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Its psychology PhD programs are accredited by the American Psychological Association, and its dance program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance.
Admissions to the University of California-Santa Barbara are extremely competitive. Potential students must maintain a minimum high school GPA of 3.0 (3.4 for out-of-state applicants) and have strong SAT or ACT scores.
Applications are typically due at the end of November and require submission of an online application from the University of California’s website and a fee of $70 ($80 for international students).
For more information or to apply, contact the UCSB Admissions Office directly at:
Office of Admissions
1210 Cheadle Hall
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-2014
Phone: (805) 893-2881
Fax: (805) 893-2676.