University of California – Santa Barbara (UCSB)

5221 Cheadle Hall, Santa Barbara, CA

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University of California - Santa Barbara (UCSB) is a public research university located roughly 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The palm-lined, 1,000 plus acre campus is situated along the Pacific Ocean, with views of the ocean and Santa Ynez Mountains.

A part of the prestigious University of California system since 1944, UCSB has been named one of America's best colleges, and has frequently ranked as one of its "hottest colleges" over the past 10 years. UCSB offers more than 200 degree majors at the undergraduate and graduate levels, with top programs in humanities and the arts, engineering and the sciences. It is known for its pioneering research and renowned faculty. The UCSB faculty includes multiple winners of Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships, and several Nobel Prize winners.

Two off-campus UCSB programs include the Education Abroad Program, and the UCSB Washington Center program, which offers students the opportunity to spend a quarter on the East Coast working in various internships in the offices of elected officials, the media and others. Continuing education is offered through UCSB Extension.


The University of California - Santa Barbara was originally founded as a small and independent teacher's college. It became one of the universities of the prestigious University of California system in 1944.


The academic calendar of UCSB follows the quarter format, with fall, winter and spring quarters

Colleges and Schools

  • College of Creative Studies
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Letters & Science
  • Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
  • Gevirtz Graduate School of Education

Student Life

UCSB has a very active Office of Student Life (OSL) that organizes many special activities on campus including After Dark, Student-Initiated Outreach Programming, Community Grants, Leadership Development programs, and more. Students at UCSB can join one of the hundreds of student clubs or organizations, representing a wide range of academic, social, cultural, religious and other interests.

Greek Life is an important component of student culture at UCSB, and approximately 10 percent of undergraduates belong to a fraternity or sorority.

On campus housing is available, and there are many off-campus housing opportunities available in neighboring Isla Vista or Santa Barbara.


The UCSB school colors are gold and blue, with white as an accent color.

The mascot is the Gaucho, and the men and women's athletic teams are the UCSB "Gauchos." The inspiration for choosing as a mascot this Argentine cowboy, known as a "Gaucho," came from the Douglas Fairbanks's 1927 film The Gaucho. The female students of UCSB led a vote to change the school mascot from the original Roadrunners.

Another UCSB tradition has to do with the fans of the school's athletic teams. Known for their rowdy energy, the Gaucho "Locos" are an independent cheering group of students that attends games clad in gold t-shirts to demonstrate their school pride and support of the UCSB athletes. Loco translates as "crazy" in Spanish. The group's motto is "Unleash the Loco."


The UCSB "Gauchos" athletic teams compete in several intercollegiate sports, including:

Men's Sports:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross County
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Swimming and Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball
  • Water Polo 

Women's Sports:

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Indoor Track
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming and Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball
  • Water Polo

Satellite Campuses

UCSB has its main campus in Santa Barbara. Some courses are held in academic halls situated in neighboring Isla Vista. UCSB Extension courses are offered at convenient locations throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Community Life

UCSB offers students a close-knit college community. Many students live on campus or within walking or cycling distance from campus, and have easy access to many athletic, social, cultural, recreational and academic events and activities. The UCSB campus is adjacent to the Santa Barbara and Isla Vista communities. Both cities offer additional housing, and a host of recreational, cultural and entertainment activities. The area is very scenic, and many parks, beaches and cycling trails offer opportunities for enjoying the outdoors.

Admission Requirements & Details

The admissions information below may give you an idea of the students University of California – Santa Barbara accepts. The details may include admissions application requirements and recommendations, as well as any AP college credits that may be transferred.

College Credits Accepted

  • Dual Credits
  • AP Course Credits

Student Enrollment

Total enrollment at University of California – Santa Barbara is around 23,000 students, with undergraduate students making up about 88% of the total student population and graduate students making up the rest.


Estimated Costs & Financial Aid

The average "out of pocket" cost of attendance, after any grants and scholarships are considered, is around $16,200. In order to calculate a more accurate and detailed cost of attendance check out their cost calculator here. There is also a $70 application fee for those applying to a program. 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 range estimates:
    • State Residents: $11,000-$13,000
    • Out-of-State: $36,000-$43,110
  • The estimated cost for on campus housing and meals is around $18,000

Financial Aid Details

The table listed below helps break down the types of financial aid students receive and the percent receiving aid, as well as the average amount of aid per student per year.

 Percent of StudentsAverage Amount
Any Financial Aid71%-
Receiving Grants & Scholarships67%$19,104
Receiving Student Loans43%$5,691

Academics & Student Services

Student Services

To help students and recent graduates, University of California – Santa Barbara may offer student services like those listed below:

  • Online course work available
  • Academic counseling for students
  • Work study style employment
  • Employment search assistance
  • Child care

Graduation Rates

University of California – Santa Barbara has a very high graduation rate when compared to nearby similar schools.

Number of Year to GraduatePercent of Entering Class
Students Graduating in 4 Years68%
Graduating in 5 Years11%
Graduating in 6 Years2%

Specialized Programs & Accreditations

  • Clinical Psychology (Ph.D.) Program
  • Counseling Psychology (Ph.D.) Program
  • Dance Program (more info)
  • Psychology (Ph.D.) Program (more info)
  • Psychology (Psy.D.) Program (more info)
  • School Psychology (Ph.D.) Program

Intercollegiate Athletics

UCSB is a Member of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), with many of the sports being in the NCAA Division I-AAA classification. The most popular sports played are listed below:

  • Baseball (Big West Conference)
  • Basketball (Big West Conference)
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field, Indoor
  • Track and Field, Outdoor
  • Track and Field, X-Country
  • Volleyball
  • Water Polo

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 University of California – Santa Barbara 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,...)

Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Business and Marketing Studies

Communications and Journalism

Computer and Information Sciences



English Language and Literature

Ethnic Cultural and Gender Studies

Foreign Languages and Literature


Interdisciplinary Studies

Legal Professions and Studies

Liberal Arts and Sciences

Mathematics and Statistics

Natural Resources and Conservation

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Physical Sciences


Social Sciences

Visual and Performing Arts

Other 4-Year Public Colleges

The list of schools below have been selected by researching which schools offer similar programs to University of California – Santa Barbara.

See a list of all the colleges and universities by clicking on one of the links below:

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Contact Information

General Contact

Admissions Office

Financial Aid Office

Virtual Tour of Campus

Virtual Tour of University of California – Santa Barbara

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