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 20,000 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 just outside the town of Santa Barbara, California, on the Pacific coast about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The campus is bordered on thee sides by the ocean 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 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 for the 2013-14 academic year was $12,192 for California residents and $34,213 for out-of-state students. On-campus housing ranges from $5,337 to $14,875 depending on which option the student chooses. 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.
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. The class admitted in the fall of 2013 had an average GPA of 4.13, an average SAT score of 1944, and an average ACT with writing score of 28.
Applications are due on November 30 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.