University of California—Santa Barbara

Colleges University of California—Santa Barbara

UC Santa Barbara

UC Santa Barbara

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location students adm. int’l. fresh grad GPA ACT SAT TOEFL
Santa Barbara, CA 23,091 29% 11% 93% 84% 4.0 30 1355 80

University of California—Santa Barbara is a public institution that was founded in 1909. Located on a 989-acre campus 100 miles up the coast from Los Angeles, UCSB sits atop cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Students can get involved in any of the more than 400 clubs and organizations on campus. The campus is home to 10 national institutes and centers. Among them are the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics and the Materials Research Laboratory, both funded by the National Science Foundation.


UCSB encompasses five schools and colleges, the largest being the College of Letters and Science for undergraduate students. Undergrads can also apply to the College of Creative Studies, which emphasizes focused studies in one of eight disciplines including art, biology, computer science, and more. UCSB’s student-faculty ratio is 17:1, and the school has 50% of its classes with fewer than 20 students. Popular majors include Economics, Research & Experimental Psychology, and Sociology.

Special Highlights

LEAP. LEAP provides first-year freshmen and transfer students intensive leadership training and access to leadership opportunities. Students will get the chance to work with a student mentor to further guide them in an area of interest. This program not only provides leadership training, it also gives students tools to better understand themselves as a growing leader, student, and unique individual. This is a great way to learn about yourself, your community, and leadership.

AIM Photonics. The AIM Photonics Future Leaders Program for Undergraduates is a summer research program designed to provide the technical and professional training required for careers in the photonics industry. Science and engineering undergraduates will work alongside grad students and postdoc researchers to gain first-hand experience in scientific investigation. Research areas include Telecom/Datacom, RF Analog Applications, PIC Sensors, and PIC Array Technologies.

School Mission & Unique Qualities

UC Santa Barbara earned “No. 1 Green School” among public universities by Princeton Review. Bren School’s Bren Hall is among the “greenest” buildings in the nation; the campus has the largest portfolio of LEED-certified buildings in the UC system. UCSB is one of only 62 research institutions in North America elected to membership in the Association of American Universities. UCSB’s Physics Dept. is considered the birthplace of practical scanning microscopes, especially atomic force microscopes, widely used throughout the world.

Student Reviews…

“UCSB represents everything that is good in the world. Students are kind, smart, and curious. Professors are accessible and want you to succeed. The academics are rigorous but prepare students for professions at top companies. Campus life is lively, and the scenery is marvelous.”