University of california  santa barbara  california   united states
US News Ranking 24
Qsranking 168
Timesranking 29

Brief background:

Established in 1905, the University of California, Santa Barbara is a public research University and is considered to be one of the most prestigious Universities in the United States. The University has 30 school research centers and institutes and thus it is able to focus on research in varied fields.  The U.S. News and World Report, in its 2019 ranking, ranked the University fifth among U.S. public universities, 30th among "National Universities", and 37th among Best Global Universities.

It has an engineering school, the UC-Santa Barbara College of Engineering, which is relatively small but it offers graduate students to choose between chemical engineering; electrical and computer engineering; computer science; materials; and mechanical engineering. The Engineering school also offers Unique multidisciplinary academic programs like the Technology Management Program and the Media Arts and Technology Program.


The campus of UCSB is spread over 1000 acres and has every facility that a student might need. The library has millions of volumes of books and the campus boasts of state-of-the-art recreation centers. The campus also has excellent facilities for sports.

Residing Options:

UCSB offers on-campus accommodation to its students and almost 30% of its students choose on-campus accommodation. The rest opt for off-campus accommodation. The most popular off-campus accommodation location is in Isla Vista (IV) – even though the rent is high. Students end up paying approximately $10,000 a year for an apartment. Goleta is another popular location for off-campus accommodation.

Faculty and pedagogy:

The professors of UCSB are highly qualified and stalwarts in their respective fields. UCSB’s 1,000-member faculty has five Nobel Prizes amongst them.

Since UCSB is a research institute, a lot of importance is given to research and students are introduced to new ways of thinking, learning, and conducting research as well.

Financial aid:

UCSB offers a few scholarships to its students but the competition is quite tough. Students can, however, apply for Research Assistantships.

Jobs and placements:

According to, the UCSB alumni find work in an assortment of industries including education, software development, and aerospace and defense. Software as a service (SAAS) development is the sector most highly popular among alumni. Starting salaries of $68K are the median among UCSB grads. MS graduates make annually on average $85,438. The average salary of the university is $76K. Girls earn between $43,448 - $89,434 and boys make in the range of $49,459 - $116,112.
Some of the more popular employers recruiting UCSB graduates with the min and max salaries are Northrop Grumman Corporation-$69,651 - $110,000;Yardi Systems, Inc.- $48,560 - $82,541; Procore Technologies- $51,388 - $97,875; Oracle - $56,673 - $139,000; Raytheon Co.- $53,582 - $139,787.


Famous alumni from UCSB include Michael Douglas, Chairman of Oracle Corporation Jeffrey O.Henley and   Creator of the world's first quantum machine Aaron O'Connell.


As mentioned earlier, UCSB is considered amongst the IVY universities in the country. It is certainly a top choice for students with a very good profile. Getting in is quite difficult and if you have got admission, reject it only, if you have managed to get into a better university.


Santa Barbara is a coastal city and the county seat of Santa Barbara County in the U.S. state of California. Located on a south-facing section of coastline, the longest such section on the West Coast of the United States, the city lies between Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Santa Barbara's climate is often described as Mediterranean, and the city is normally promoted as the “American Riviera.”
Located 160 km up the coast from Los Angeles, the University of California—Santa Barbara sits atop cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Students can get engaged in any of more than 400 clubs and organizations on campus, including a Greek community that comprises about 10 percent of undergraduate students. UCSB provides housing to students in eight residence halls and several university apartments complexes.
Talking of reaching the university by air, Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA) is a short 12 km drive from downtown and offers 40 daily departures and multiple non-stop daily flights to and from major hubs including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Phoenix, Dallas, Las Vegas, Sacramento, and Minneapolis.
If you’re driving to Santa Barbara, you will enjoy a scenic trip along Highway 101 or the Pacific Coast Highway. Santa Barbara is 364 km from San Diego, and 145 Km from Los Angeles. Santa Barbara is served by two Amtrak train routes, the Pacific Surfliner and Coast Starlight. Connecting Thruway bus service is offered from the train station to the UCSB Campus.


The Department of Chemical Engineering is ranked no. 10 among top US chemical Engineering programs by the reputed ranking site The department offers a four-year Bachelor of Science B.S in Chemical engineering. It also has a unique “Honors” program. To qualify for it, one needs to have high scores in school and a high SAT score. Approximately 10% of the top applicants qualify for this program. The Department of Chemical Engineering offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Chemical Engineering with an emphasis on preparing students for future careers in research. The department’s training of graduate students is focused on doctoral studies. As a result, it does not have nor does it admit students directly to a master’s program. However, under exceptional circumstances, a master’s degree is awarded to students who are not able to continue through to their doctoral program. 
Graduates passing out after a B.S are employed in industries such as chemical manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and semiconductor processing. Many go on to research after completing their masters and doctorate programs.

Areas of Expertise: Polymers and complex fluids; Biomaterials and Bioengineering; Electronic and Optical Materials; Fluid mechanics & transport phenomena; Molecular thermodynamics and simulation; Process Systems Engineering; Surfaces and interfacial phenomena; Catalysis, Reaction Engineering, & Energy
List of Labs: Mitsubishi Chemical Center for Advanced Materials; Center for Polymers and Organic Solids

Computer Science

The Department of Computer Science in the College of Engineering offers a four-year Bachelor of Science degree that is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. This program introduces students to core concepts and cutting-edge topics in computer science. Students get hands-on experience and in-depth understanding of computer theory, systems, and applications which prepare them for successful careers in computer science and allow them to participate in the next generation of technological advances. The graduate courses of the department are M.S and Ph.D. programs in Computer science. To qualify for admission in the M.S program, a student needs a bachelor’s degree in science, engineering or math. 
There are three plans for the Master of Science program: thesis, comprehensive examination, or project.
Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree typically are completed in four to five years, depending on whether or not a student enters the program with an M.S. in computer science.
Students pursuing a doctoral degree in Computer Science may petition to add the following Optional Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Emphases: Bioengineering, Cognitive Science, Computational Science and Engineering (CSE is available to both Master's and Doctoral Students), Information Technology and Society, Neuroengineering.

Areas of Expertise: Computational Science and Engineering; Computer Architecture; Security and Cryptography; Programming Languages and Software Engineering; Networking; Algorithms and Theory; Operating Systems and Distributed Systems; Social Computing; Visual Computing and Interaction; Machine Learning and Data Mining; Database and Information Systems

Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers a four-year program leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering. The undergraduate curriculum is designed in a way that equips students with a concrete background in physical sciences, mathematics, and traditional Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering topics.
Additionally, a combined B.S./M.S. program in Computer Engineering is offered which provides an opportunity for outstanding undergraduates to earn both degrees in five years. The M.S. degree can be earned in either the Department of Computer Science or the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, while the B.S. degree is earned in Computer Engineering.
The M.S. degree program in ECE can be achieved in as little as one year to an average of two years. Students take courses in their area or areas of interest and flexibility is provided to allow for breadth and depth, as well as interdisciplinary options.
The graduate school in the department offer programs in three fields: Computer Engineering (CE), Communications, Control & Signal Processing (CCSP) and Electronics & Photonics (EP). Students may opt for a thesis or a comprehensive exam option.

Areas of Expertise: Nanoscale issues in electronic circuits; Optoelectronics and photonics; High-speed electronic devices; Wireless & sensor networks; Signal and image processing; VLSI & computer system design
List of Labs: UCSB Nanofabrication Facility; Optoelectronics Technology Center; Center for Energy Efficient Materials; National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network; Center for Bio-Image Informatics; Center for Control Dynamical Systems and Computation

Technology Management

The College of Engineering also offers a one-year Master of Technology Management Program.
The Master of Technology Management is an intensive 9-month program designed to help engineers and scientists become leaders of technology ventures. The hands-on practical based curriculum teaches the leadership skills needed to run projects, take on management roles and become entrepreneurs.
The UCSB Master of Technology Management is a full-time residential program that teaches students the business skills required to lead in technology-driven firms. This course is open to students who have completed their bachelor’s in Engineering. In addition, graduates in engineering or science may apply for the four- or five-year doctoral program leading to a PhD in Technology management.

Areas of Expertise: Entrepreneurship; Organizational Behavior; Organizational Theory; Innovation; Strategy

Materials Science

The University of California at Santa Barbara has one of the top-ranked Materials Science and Engineering departments in the country. It is considered the flagship department among all the engineering schools in the University. The Materials Science graduate program of the university has been ranked 1st among public universities by the US News and 1st by the National Research Council. The ranks this department as no. 3 in the country. The Materials Department of the university does not offer a four-year B.S program. On the other hand, one can opt for a five-year accelerated B.S/M.S degree. The program allows outstanding students to concurrently pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical/Electrical/ Mechanical Engineering (College of Engineering majors)/Chemistry (Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry) and a Master of Science degree in Materials and to complete the graduation requirements for both of the degrees within 5  years.
The university’s Materials Science and Engineering Graduate Program is designed primarily for doctoral students. However, there are two plans for a terminal master’s degree available to graduate students, including those originally admitted to the doctoral program. Graduate students in materials pursue four areas of research specialization: electronic and photonic materials; inorganic materials; macromolecular and biomolecular materials; and structural materials.

Areas of Expertise: Electronic materials; Inorganic materials; Macromolecular/Biomolecular materials; Structural materials
List of Labs: Solid State Lighting and Energy Center; Center for Multifunctional Materials & Structures; Institute for Multiscale Materials Studies-LANL; Materials Research Laboratory; International Center for Materials Research; Center for the Chemical Design of Materials; Center for Wide Band Gap Semiconductors


The undergraduate degree program offered by UCSB’s Department of Mechanical Engineering is a four-year Bachelor of Science (BS) in Mechanical Engineering. Research areas in this program are Dynamic systems, control, and robotics; Thermal sciences and fluid mechanics; Computational Science and Engineering; Micro and nanoscale engineering; Solid mechanics, materials, and structures.
One of the unique offerings of the Engineering departments at UCSB is the one-year-long capstone program for the undergraduate class. Students work in teams under the direction of a faculty advisor to tackle an engineering design project. The program objectives are to foster design problem solving, creative thinking, project planning and teamwork through a challenging design and build project. The program also aims to provide experience in fundamental engineering reporting and communication including project plans, design reviews, and project reports.
In addition, exceptional students can also apply for a B.S/M.S accelerated program. This is an opportunity for students to finish two degrees in five years. The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers graduate programs leading to the degrees of M.S. and Ph.D. with a specialization in any of the following six areas of research: Solid Mechanics, Materials, and Structures; Bioengineering and Systems; Dynamic Systems, Control and Robotics; Biology; Computational Science and Engineering; Micro and Nanoscale Engineering; and Thermal Sciences and Fluid Mechanics. The M.S degree has two options – with a thesis or with a project.

Areas of Expertise: Dynamical systems and controls; Solid mechanics; Computational science and engineering; Micro- and Nanoscale engineering; Fluid mechanics and Thermal sciences; Materials and structures; Bioengineering and Systems Biology


Annual fees for Indians $27,000
Annual off-campus living $9,000
Source : GyanDhan's analysis & university's website as of year 2018

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