University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)

Santa Barbara, California, United States

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University of California, Santa Barbara - Overview & 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.

Former Names Anna Blake School (1891–1909) Santa Barbara State Normal School (1909–1921) Santa Barbara State College (1921–1944) Santa Barbara College of the University of California (1944–1958)
Founder Jim Staples
Established 1891
Also Known As UCSB
University Motto Let there be light
University Type Public Research University
University City Santa Barbara-Isla Vista, California
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Campus Size 1,127 acres (456 ha)
Endowment $585.5 million (2021)
Acceptance Rate 30%
Graduation Rate 81.8%
Employment Rate 90%
Official Website Link University of California, Santa Barbara
Contact Detail +1 805-893-8000


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University of California Santa Barbara ranking is #152 as per the QS Global World Ranking 2021. Times Higher Education's World University Rankings has ranked the university at 68th in its World University Rankings 2021 and 74th in its US College Rankings 2021.


Acceptance Rate

University of California Santa Barbara acceptance rate is around 36.1% overall. Its acceptance rate for Indian students is around 14%. Getting admissions in the STEM courses here can be a bit tough for students owing to the university's reputation and the high number of students applying.

University of California Santa Barbara GRE score requirement is around 300. It is an average score that will give the student a good chance to get an admit. 



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.



University of California Santa Barbara tuition fees for Indian students is around $27,000, of course, depending upon the course the student is choosing. The annual off-campus living cost is around $9,000


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:

  • list items Northrop Grumman Corporation-$69,651 - $110,000
  • list items Yardi Systems, Inc.- $48,560 - $82,541
  • list items Procore Technologies- $51,388 - $97,875
  • list items Oracle - $56,673 - $139,000;
  • list items Raytheon Co.- $53,582 - $139,787.
  • Sprinkles

    Notable Alumni

    Some famous alumni from University of California, Santa Barbara include:

  • list items Tobin Armbrust, B.A. – film producer, president of Worldwide Productions and Acquisitions for Exclusive Media
  • list items Brandon Baker, Actor
  • list items Leah Turner, Country music singer
  • list items Patrick Vlaskovits, B.A., M.A. – New York Times bestselling author and entrepreneur
  • list items Larry Dierker, 1969 and 1971 Major League Baseball All-Star pitcher and 1998 NL Manager of the Year for Houston Astros
  • list items Eric Fonoimoana, 2000 Olympic Games gold medalist in beach volleyball
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    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.


    University of California, Santa Barbara Location

    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.

    University of California, Santa Barbara Map Location

    Address: Santa Barbara, CA 93106, United States



    Frequently Asked Questions about University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)

    How to get into University of California ?

    You must include a detailed account of your academic background on the UC application when you apply to the university. Then fulfill any other criteria specific to your country along with the demonstration of English language proficiency.

    What major is UC Santa Barbara known for ?

    Social sciences, mathematics and statistics, biological and biomedical sciences, multi/interdisciplinary studies, psychology, visual and performing arts, natural resources and conservation, communication, journalism, and related programs, physical sciences, and engineering are among the most sought-after majors at the University of California-Santa Barbara.

    Does University of California require SAT essay ?

    The SAT/ACT essay/writing scores are no longer maintained by UC. If you decide to submit your test results, only the highest total/combined score from a single sitting should be submitted; the essay/writing score should not be included.