Santa Barbara City College (SBCC)

721 Cliff Drive, Santa Barbara, CA

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Campus image of Santa Barbara City College

Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) is a two-year community college in the southern, coastal region of California. It offers affordable two-year associate degrees, professional certificates, community education, and transfer study programs for students hoping to transfer to four-year institutions to complete a bachelor's degree. SBCC also offers distance education with many online courses available.

More than 80 degree programs and 50 career technical programs are available at Santa Barbara City College. SBCC has transfer agreement partnerships with seven University of California campuses, California State University Channel Islands, and at least one private or independent college.

In September of 2011, SBCC was named one of the top 10 community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute's College Excellence Program. SBCC was the only community college in the State of California to be named to the list. Criteria that qualified SBCC for consideration were its excellent job-relevant programs and its high transfer rates.

SBCC has also been listed in the "Top 100 Associate Degree Producers" in the U.S., according to Community College Week newspaper.


Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) was founded in 1909, and is one of the oldest community colleges in California. SBCC was closed shortly after World War I, as its work was taken over by the Santa Barbara State Normal School that later became Santa Barbara State College. Still later, Santa Barbara State College became the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Reorganized in 1946, SBCC was re-established as Santa Barbara Junior College. It became Santa Barbara City College in 1959. That same year, it moved to its present and permanent campus location on the Santa Barbara Mesa, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The college continues to reside on a single, consolidated campus at Santa Barbara Mesa.


The academic calendar for Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) follows the semester format, with fall, spring and summer semesters. The summer semester is called a "session."

Colleges and Schools

The academic units for Santa Barbara City College are divided into departments, rather than into colleges and schools.

Student Life

There are many ways at SBCC that students can get involved on campus. SBCC students can choose to join one of the many student clubs and organizations, or join an intramural sports team. There are performances available at the Garvin Theatre, or political rallies on campus. The college hosts many creative writing contests and other activities or events that engage students in college life at SBCC.


The school colors for Santa Barbara City College are red and white, with gray as an accent color. The school mascot is a vaquero (a cowboy in Spanish), and the athletic teams are nicknamed the SBCC "Vaqueros."


The Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) "Vaqueros" athletic teams have won many state titles and compete in 17 intercollegiate sports, including:

Men's Sports:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball 

Women's Sports:

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball

Satellite Campuses

Santa Barbara City College has one campus at Santa Barbara Mesa, the former location of University of California, Santa Barbara.

Community Life

SBCC is located in scenic Santa Barbara, once of the most beautiful seaside communities on the California coastline. There are many opportunities for outdoor activities year round, fine dining and entertainment, shopping at the Paseo Nuevo mall, attending a concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl, or visiting a local museum or art gallery. There are boat trips to the nearby Channel Islands, and plenty of chances to surf at the beach. Students at SBCC can volunteer with one of the more than 1,500 non-profit organizations in Santa Barbara.

Estimated Costs & Financial Aid

The average "out of pocket" cost of attendance, after any grants and scholarships are considered, is around $10,900. In order to calculate a more accurate and detailed cost of attendance check out their cost calculator here. The figures listed below are for informational purposes only and do not represent current or future tuition, fees, and expenses.

Tuition & Fees Information

  • Annual tuition estimates are:
    • State Residents: $1,400-$1,700
    • Out-of-State: $8,000-$9,600
  • Part-time students are charged:
    • State Residents: $46-$55 per credit unit
    • Nonresidents: $270-$320 per credit unit

Financial Aid Details

The table below breaks down the types of financial aid, the percent of students receiving aid, and average amount of aid per student per year.

 Percent of StudentsAverage Amount
Any Financial Aid35%-
Receiving Grants & Scholarships32%$4,262
Receiving Student Loans10%$5,097

Admissions, Academics, & Student Services

Student Services

To help students and recent graduates, Santa Barbara City College may offer services to students like:

  • Distance learning
  • Night and weekend classes available
  • Remedial courses
  • Career path counseling
  • Work study style employment
  • Assisting students to find work

Graduation & Transfer Rates

Community colleges often times offer both career training courses and curriculum to help students transfer out to a 4-year college or university, that is why we include how SBCC compares for both graduation and transfer rates against other community colleges in Santa Barbara County and community colleges in California in total.

 SBCCSanta Barbara CountyCalifornia
Graduation Rate35.6%31.2%24.3%
Transfer-out Rate18.1%12.9%13.8%

Specialized Programs & Accreditations

  • Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN) Program (more info)
  • Radiology Technician Program
    • Accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (since 1968)

Programs Offered

The program list below is organized by areas of study. The programs that have a link will direct you to the program's profile page where you can learn more about education requirements and career pathways.

Get more information about the programs offered by Santa Barbara City College by clicking the request information to the right.

(C) Certificate or Award | (A) Associate's | (B) Bachelor's | (M) Master's Degree | (D) Doctorate (PhD,...)

Agriculture Operations

Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Business and Marketing Studies

Communication Technology

Communications and Journalism

Computer and Information Sciences

Construction Trades


Engineering Technology

English Language and Literature

Ethnic Cultural and Gender Studies

Family and Consumer Sciences

Foreign Languages and Literature

Health and Clinical Professions


Interdisciplinary Studies

Liberal Arts and Sciences

Mathematics and Statistics

Mechanic and Repair Technology

Natural Resources and Conservation

Personal and Culinary Services

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Physical Sciences


Recreation and Fitness Studies

Security and Protective Services

Social Sciences

Transportation and Materials Moving

Visual and Performing Arts

Other Community Colleges Nearby

The list of nearby schools has been selected by researching which schools offer similar programs to Santa Barbara City College.

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Contact Information

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Financial Aid Office

School Reviews

Overall Rating: 3 / 5 Stars

Based on 2 Reviews for Santa Barbara City College

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