Tuition (in-state)
$36,624 ($13,746)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 3155 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: food is really really good!

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: get to know the people on your hall plus the RHA community does amazing events

College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: have not lived off campus

4 College Sophomore

Athletics: the rec cen has good machines and availability is great

College Sophomore

Greek Life: not currently a greek affiliate

4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: it's great that the food places stay open really late

3 College Junior

Greek Life: It's fairly easy to get into a sorority at this school.

4 College Junior

Health & Safety: There are many sexual assault support services available for students, as well as support services for victims of sexual assault. However, many of these incidents take place in social situations involving drugs and alcohol, because of which many students will have to be cautious to get involved in risky situations.

3 College Junior

Campus Housing: I live in off-campus student housing, so this does not apply to me.

4 College Junior

Scholarships: The scholarships are very competitive, and emphasize heavily on research projects that the student has collaborated in.

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Prices are reasonable for college students, and in the first quarter of new transfers' and freshmen's year, housing is guaranteed, meaning that even rooms that are furnished for two are temporarily turned into rooms for three to provide housing.

3 College Junior

Nightlife: UC Santa Barbara is known for its parties, which are probably great, but on weeknights (especially Fridays) it becomes hard to study with the noise of partying going on outside. (This is coming from someone who parties less and studies more).

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: There are a number of great vegan and vegetarian options, many of them from organic and locally grown sources, and the quality is above par for college students.

4 College Junior

Athletics: Athletics are great. As a non-athlete who finds it hard to find time for sports, they have great options for me that don't require as much time commitment; such as fencing, ballroom dancing, and outdoor sports such as hiking.

4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Santa Barbara is pretty ritzy, but I wouldn't consider it "city living." It's like living in an upscale suburb. It has a pretty great nightlife, but not too many other attractions. Downtown Santa Barbara is very clean and upscale, and I think most people visit Santa Barbara for the nice weather and environment. There are many places to shop for a great variety of items. you can find pretty much anything downtown. There are bookstores, record stores, a comic book and games shop, and an entire outdoor mall with all of the most popular shops. The nearby mountains have world-class places for bouldering and rock climbing. there are some great places to go hiking and camping nearby too. of course, the campus is right next to the beach so there is surfing, sailing, paddleboarding, kayaking, and scuba diving opportunities all over the place.

4 College Junior

Nightlife: Every weekend you can find something to do or some party to go to. There are always parties and kickbacks going on just about every day of the week. Del Playa is the street that is most well known for its party scene and for good reason. It's right on the beach and every weekend is like some sort of public event there. The downtown scene is also really great and many students go there often. There are buses that drive students downtown to the bars and also an uber taxi service so it's easy to find rides and designated drivers. I think that the prevalent party scene could either have a negative or positive impact on life depending of the student. it is easy to get caught up in everything and let grades slip, but if you stay responsible, the parties are a great way to be sociable and meet all kinds of people. the community here is very open and friendly.

4 College Junior

Health & Safety: On-campus safety isn't an issue. Nothing ever happens on-campus. All of the problem activities occur in the surrounding community of Isla Vista, which is largely inhabited by students. I never feel unsafe wandering around on campus. The campus police do everything they can to help students feel safe on and off campus. The campus security officers are on call 24/7 for people who want to be walked home. Police officers are friendly and genuinely concerned about the health and safety of the students. They aren't out there to bust people, they just don't want anyone getting hurt.

3 College Junior

Campus Housing: The school seems to be taking in more and more new freshmen each year so the on-campus freshman housing fills up very quickly. Since all freshman students are guaranteed on-campus housing, rooms meant to be doubles are being converted to triples and many rooms don't have very much space. The dorm rooms are cell-like, cramped, and kind of depressing. The RA's and RD's are very helpful in switching up room arrangements and resolving roommate conflicts. They are also very good at establishing a dorm community by hosting various social events. All of the dorms are very close to classrooms, dining halls, and everything else a student needs.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Housing is not hard to find off campus, but it is very expensive. All off-campus housing is very conveniently located next to campus and close to many stores and restaurants. The school is very helpful in helping students to find apartments and roommates off-campus. They have a website where students may post listings for space they have or need in a room. The school also provides legal help for students dealing with bad landlords. Many students have experiences with bad landlords who try to make questionable charges to their security deposits.

4 College Junior

Athletics: I'm not too involved in the athletic opportunities at this school, but I know they are there and the school offers many recreational opportunities for students. The biggest complaint people have about the rec center is that there are not enough machines to accommodate the amount of people who want to work out. There is a huge spirit of fitness at this university. The intramural teams fill up very quickly every quarter. The university also offers many classes in yoga, dancing, martial arts, surfing, rock climbing, etc. as ways for students to stay active and learn new recreational activities.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Pros:

-Professors are really friendly and willing to help

-There are a lot of lab and internship opportunities for undergrads

-There is soooooo much free tutoring and extra help available


-Lectures are huge and classes are tough to weed out the slackers.

-The course load is pretty serious for the first two years

-Homework and books are pretty expensive

4 College Sophomore

Academics: UCSB parties hard, but studies harder. Classes are hard, but engaging. There is always help for students who want it, and it's easy to find. Sometimes registration can be rough for people who don't have a lot of units..... but don't worry, you'll usually get the classes you need, you just might have to settle for 8am lectures.

5 College Sophomore

Majors: As an undergraduate researcher in an EEMB lab on campus, I can say that getting involved in an internship at UCSB is a great idea. Professors and grad student advisors (usually) don't just make you the coffee jockey, they want you to learn. Still, they understand a student's busy schedule and are fairly lenient with working hours. Internships are fabulous.

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: UCSB is full of lawns where people are always playing with their adorable dogs, walkways and bike paths along the ocean, cool little hidden greenhouses, study spots by the lagoon, and so much more. Although some of the buildings are a bit outdated, the campus as a whole is beautiful.

The rec cen is great if you want to work out, and some of the freshman halls have private gyms as well.

The library is under construction which really sucks, but there's still some places to study there, as well as in the university center, student resource building, etc.

On-campus research is such a huuuuge part of UCSB (#2 research institution in the nation, behind only MIT) and we are proud of it. Get involved, it's sooooo great!!

MAKE SURE you go to a soccer game. Sneak in tortillas. Trust me.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Landlords and safety are fine, and noise/parking isn't a concern as long as you don't live on DP. IV is a beautiful place to live- you're literally on cliffs overlooking the ocean- but it's just that which makes it a bit expensive. Then again.... where else will you be able to live a block from the beach for $650 a month?


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Kohn Hall
Kohn Hall
Kohn Hall Kohn Hall Houses the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Louie Tamayo
Long Beach
Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

Ask practically any UCSB student, and he or she can give you a long list of things they love about the University, along with a few things they wish they could change. For the most part, UCSB is a college student’s haven with great academics, world-renowned professors, not to mention the great weather and laid-back atmosphere, and lastly who can forget the social scene? Some students describe Santa Barbara as paradise, but for those who quickly get over it and need a getaway, LA is a short one-hour drive south, while San Francisco is only four hours north. There are hidden treasures in Santa Barbara that you can explore and take advantage of while living there.

Do not let the weather and social scene cloud your judgment and decisions—take a deeper look at the school and ask the students. Chances are, the parties are not at the top of their list. Most students fall in love with their internships, clubs and organizations, and research work that prepare them for the real world. The most successful students are those who find a balance between academics and social life. The temptation to blow off school is present wherever you go, so the students pay extra attention to the work they produce. Overall, UCSB is the type of school that produces people that employers are seeking. You will find your fellow peers to be sociable and well-rounded in and out of the workplace. So although you may not get to experience game days like you would at a football school, there is nothing better than being able to catch a quick "surf sesh" before and after your class.

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

Applicant Status At University of California - Santa Barbara

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