University of California, Santa Barbara

Palm-framed vistas of the blue Pacific and the golden Santa Ynez Mountains. The scent of eucalyptus mixed with the saltwater breeze. Breathtaking natural beauty combined with enormous intellectual vitality. This is the University of California, Santa Barbara, and there is no other campus quite like it.

Here on the edge of the Pacific, in a setting removed from urban pressures and distractions but vibrant with cultural and academic activity, many of the country’s most promising students join a community of scholars whose accomplishments are internationally recognized and whose skills as teachers are evident each day in classrooms and laboratories.

In the humanities and the arts as well as in engineering and the sciences, UC Santa Barbara introduces students to novel ways of thinking, learning, and conducting research.

Pioneering research is a critical component of the highest quality education. UCSB’s 1,112-member faculty includes six Nobel Prize winners and scores of elected members of national and international academies and societies as well as dozens of winners of Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships. The campus is one of only 62 research-intensive institutions elected to membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities.

Within this community of scholars, the life of the mind, the pursuit of knowledge, and the experience of growth, both personal and intellectual, are the hallmarks of daily life. In recent years the campus has enrolled the most academically competitive and ethnically diverse classes in its history.

Student demographics

Total Domestic Enrollment 20,327 (85% California, 5% US-Non-Calif., 10% international)

Gender:  Male 45% / Female 54%

ESL program and/or support services

English Conversation Classes: The Office of International Students and Scholars offers English conversation classes for currently enrolled students, scholars, and their family members. Classes are not for credit and attendance is not obligatory. The English conversation classes include regular monthly social activities such as tours, parties, and dinners. The social activities will provide students with a chance to meet other international students and to become acquainted with American culture.  More information about English Conversation Classes can be found here.

English Language and American Culture Workshop:  This one-month intensive workshop helps participants to gain English oral proficiency skills and become acquainted with American culture and society. Click here for more information about the English Language and American Culture Workshop.

International Student Programs (ISP):  ISP provides the opportunity for international students to enroll in UCSB academic and/or professional development courses in a wide variety of disciplines. The programs offer an excellent way to experience college life in the U.S., and the credits earned may be transferred to universities around the world or used to complement students’ professional goals. More information about ISP can be found here.

Student Housing options

Students at UC Santa Barbara have several choices of housing style and location, including residence halls (dormitories), undergraduate apartments, and family student apartments, all of which are located on or within a mile of the campus.

University housing is guaranteed to all new freshmen and transfer students. Housing, Dining and Auxiliary Enterprises operates eight residence halls located on or near the main campus. Various meal plans for “all you can eat” meals are offered in dining facilities close to each residence hall. Many students find residence hall living an excellent opportunity to become involved with the campus community and meet other students.

More information about student housing can be found here.

Application deadlines

Application opens online August 1.

Applications due November 1 – 30.

Admission notification (freshman) mid-March.

Admission notification (transfer) mid-April.

Deposit deadline (freshman) May 1.

Deposit deadline (transfer) June 1.

Financial statements due after deposit.

I-20 issued two to three weeks after deposit processed.

Admission requirements

UCSB is one of the top research universities in the world. Admission to the campus is competitive. The Office of Admissions is familiar with educational systems around the world, and will provide each applicant with a comprehensive review.

Required tests for freshman applicants:
The ACT Assessment plus Writing
The SAT Reasoning Test with Essay.

Recommended tests for freshman applicants:
College of Engineering: SAT Math 2 subject test.
College of Creative Studies: SAT subject test related to major choice.

For all applicants whose language of instruction was not English:
TOEFL – Minimum score of 80
IELTS – Minimum score of 6.5

(Exams must be taken by December prior to enrollment)

Academic requirements are described on our website.

Submit an application online in November for enrollment the following September here.

For more information about applying to UCSB, click here.

International Student visas issued

The Office of International Students and Scholars supports non-U.S. students with summer orientation, social events and assistance with required documentation such as the I-20.  Summer courses in English oral proficiency, and an American culture workshop, ensure students a comfortable transition to UCSB. For more information about the Office of International Students and Scholars, please click here.

Cost of attendance and financial assistance

2019-2020 Undergraduate California Non-Resident (subject to change)

Tuition $12,570
Campus Based Fees $1,875
Books And Supplies $1,185
Room and Board $15,111
Personal Expenses (clothing, medical/dental insurance) $1,494
Telephone/Cell Phone $411
Transportation $639
Non-Resident Tuition Fee $29,754
Health Care Allowance $3,537
Total $66,675

For more information about the Cost of Attendance, please click here.