UCSB admissionsUniversity of California Santa Barbara originally began as an independent teachers’ college in 1891 but joined the UCs in 1944. It is the third-oldest general-education school in the UC system. Located in a suburban setting on 1,055 acres, UC Santa Barbara has just over 23,000 undergraduate students, making it the sixth-largest UC school.

The campus conducts a very large amount of research, and the school has a number of research centers. USCB consists of five schools and colleges, but the largest is the College of Letters and Science. Graduate schools include the College of Engineering, the Gervitz Graduate School of Education, and the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. Undergraduates can choose to enroll in the College of Creative Studies. Students choose one of eight areas to study, including art, biology, chemistry and biochemistry, computer science, literature, mathematics, music composition, or physics.

UCSBThe undergraduate classes have a student to faculty ratio of about 17 to 1, with 51% of all classes having fewer than 20 students. Classes are taught mostly through lectures; larger classes are divided into sections, which can be taught as seminars or in discussion-style settings. UCSB offers more than 200 majors, degrees, and credentials. The most popular majors are social sciences; interdisciplinary studies; biological/life sciences; psychology; and mathematics and statistics. Students can live in one of eight residence halls or several university apartments. Housing is provided to about 39% of students.

UCSB admissionThere are many opportunities for extracurricular activities at UCSB, with 500 student organizations on campus. There is an active Greek scene with about 10% of men belonging to a fraternity and 7% of women to a sorority. Students can get involved in activities through the UCSB Recreation Center. (The rec center offers everything from adventure programs to ballroom dancing classes.) Many students participate in sports club teams like cycling, rugby, skiing, surfing, or snowboarding. The school’s media outlets include a newspaper, “The Daily Nexus,” “The La Cumbre Yearbook,” and the radio station, KCSB 91.9.

Although the campus is generally liberal, they do publish a conservative magazine called “The Gaucho Free Press.” The Gaucho is, in fact, the school’s mascot (getting its name from Argentinean cowboys). They compete in the NCAA Division I Big West Conference. They are well-known for their women’s basketball and men’s soccer teams. The men’s water polo, men’s and women’s swimming, and the men’s volleyball teams compete in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Students interested in a socially active campus with a large variety of academic options should look into UCSB.


Acceptance Rate

UCSB acceptance rate

Academic Qualifications

UCSB average GPA and top 10% in high school

SAT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)

UCSB SAT score range

ACT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)

UCSB ACT test score

Admissions Information

Freshmen Admissions
Number of 2020 (Class of 2024) applicants: 90,947
Enrolled: 4,935
Yield: 17.9%
Acceptance rate (overall): 36.9%

In-state applicant acceptance rate: 35.4%
Out-of-state domestic applicant acceptance rate: 53.1%
International applicant acceptance rate: 31.7%

Waitlist Admission Statistics
Number of waitlisted applicants: 5,866
Admitted off waitlist: 603
Acceptance rate: 10.3%

Transfer Admissions
Number of transfer applicants: 18,457
Number of admitted transfer applicants: 9,425
Transfer acceptance rate: 51.1%

Academic Qualifications
Average GPA: 4.18
Top 10% of High School: 100%

Middle SAT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)
SAT Composite: 1260-1460
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 620-720
SAT Math: 620-770

Middle ACT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)
ACT Composite: 25-33
ACT English: 24-35
ACT Math: 25-32

Standardized Test Requirements

UC SB does not require the SAT/ACT SAT/ACT not required

U Cal Santa Barbara does not require the writing portion Writing portion not required

UC Santa Barbara does not require the SAT subject tests SAT Subject Tests not required

Score Card

Graduation Rates

UCSB graduation rate

Loan Defaults and Rhodes Scholars

University of California Santa Barbara score card

Salary After Attending

R&D Expenditures

Campus Safety

Score Card Information

Graduation Rates
4 years: 70.1%
5 years: 85.1%
6 years: 88.4%

Loan default rate: 2.3%

Total Rhodes Scholars: 0

Salary after attending: $55,300

R&D Expenditures: $238.2 million

Campus Safety
Sex offenses: 35
Robberies: 1
Aggravated assaults: 6
Burglaries: 34
Car thefts: 2

Financial Aid

Net Cost and Total Expected Cost of Attendance

UCSB financial aid

Average In State Net Price By Income

Student Debt

UC Santa Barbara student debt

Additional Information

In-state tuition, room and board (2020-2021): $28,368

Total Estimated Cost of Attendance (2020-2021)
In-state: $32,478
Out-of-state: $62,232

Net Cost (in-state)
Average: $16,767

By income
$0 to $30,000: $10,316
$30,001 to $48,000: $11,895
$48,001 to $75,000: $15,343
$75,001 to $110,000: $22,226
$110,001 and more: $31,226

Graduates with student debt: 51%

Average student debt at graduation: $18,895

Student Body

Student Residence

Undergraduate Class Sizes

UC Santa Barbara undergraduate class sizes

Student to Faculty Ratio

Student Population

Additional Information

Student to Faculty Ratio: 17.3 to 1

Women: 55%

Undergraduate Class Sizes
Under 20: 51%
20 to 39: 26%
40 to 99: 14%
100+: 9%

Student Population
Total: 26,314
Undergraduate: 23,349

Student Residence
In State: 79%
Out of State: 7%
International: 14%

UC Santa Barbara student population


University of California-Santa Barbara

This page was last updated in August 2020.