Santa Barbara, CA
Tuition (in-state)
$36,549 ($13,671)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 3060 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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4 College Senior

Academics: Film Department – The perfect blend of professional and personal relationships. The people create an environment of learning and support. Although this is not a production school, the professors encourage every creative outlet.

1 person found this useful Report
College Senior

Drug Safety: Lots of Drinking – Santa Barbara is, admittedly, still a party school. There's a lot of drinking going on during most of the week.

4 College Senior

Facilities: The campus and surrounding areas are absolutely beautiful. The campus is right on the beach and the newer buildings look great. Some of the older parts of campus are a little worn down, especially in the non-science buildings. The student center is a great place to study or hang out.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Academics: Good, but Heavy Emphasis on International Relations – The political science department at Santa Barbara has some great professors and classes, but I've found that there are not as many classes on American government as I would prefer. The pre-major also requires quite a few courses, including two economics classes and three history classes, which can feel excessive.

4 Recent Alumnus

Health & Safety: Csos Everywhere – We have campus security everywhere on campus and off campus we have a police station. CSOs can escort you anywhere you want to go, let's say after a party, call them, they come pick you up and take you home safely. IV police cars are usually patrolling the streets. I feel pretty safe walking late at night in IV being a female and all.

4 Recent Alumnus

Local Atmosphere: IV is the community that surrounds the campus. There's lots to offer, with movie theater near campus showing the tops movies for free and for $4 some nights, variety in food, 2 bookstores, 3 copy/faxing shops. IV consist of mostly college student both from SBCC and UCSB, so it's a big party school.

5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: I love this campus. It's beautiful and well maintained. It's a big biking community and people are nice here. We are located right by the beach so that makes it even more alluring. If you love the ocean this is the place to be. The school is very helpful in getting you to where you need to be without question.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Best Places to Check Out – I know of two great places that people love to check out near our campus. Woodstock's is a great pizza place that offers great deals to college students. We also have a great place to go to get Mexican food, Freebirds. They are reasonably priced and give you a lot for your money which makes Santa Barbara the place to be!

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Academics: The school has an amazing variety of classes to choose from. When walking into each class you have no idea what to expect. Some of the classes you would beleive boring become fascinating because of the material that is made available to the students. I love that the curriculum is not as restricted as high school and that the college is willing to work with the students on how they want to tailor that program to suit themselves.

1 person found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Campus Dining: Campus Food – From what I have heard, I am aware that UCSB has great Dining options. I have applied for the quarterly system, which I believe was option B on the registration form. I will be getting roughly 2 meals a day (14 meals a week), that way if I go out to eat, and not eat in the Cafeteria 24/7, then I will be saving money, and not wasting a meal, because meals you don't eat can't transfer over when you have to reapply for your meal plan. I heard that there is a great variety of food at UCSB, and throughout the school, there are restaurants, too, like Woodstock Pizza, my all-time favorite Pizza Parlor. Also, the school has a dining hall called the "De La Guerra" aka "DLG" where it is mentioned in singer and song writer Jack Johnson's song, "Bubble Toes," that that was the place where he met his wife.

Recent Alumnus

Academics: Biology Major – Although I have not started attending University of California, Santa Barbara yet, I feel that while I am studying Biology there, I will be forced to work and communicate with numerous students within this field of science. It will be very demanding of every student's time and effort, due to the exhausting labs and other experimental work. I feel that this field will lead me to a great path in the future, where I may obtain the career of my dream, while finding ways to better the conditions of the planet.

3 College Junior

Scholarships: Could Be a Little Better – my forms were never lost, but they did take a while to review. other than that everything else went smoothly

4 College Junior

Facilities: 24 Hour Room – I love the 24 hour room, you can study nonstop before a midterm or final.

3 College Junior

Academics: I came to the university of California - Santa Barbara because the campus is amazing and professors are always willing to help. The only downfall is that the classrooms are extremely big and a lot of kids retake classes, which makes it harder to get an A. The overall quality of the school is good on the other hand.

1 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Greek life dominates the campus, and most people are heavily into partying and drinking. Our student government is dominated by them, and they often have scandals involving underage drinking. Most non-Greeks dislike the Greeks. There are a lot of Greek houses, especially on Del Playa, the big party street. They seem to exist solely as an excuse for partying.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Look Harder for Cheaper, Healthier Food – Most places offer student discounts. The prices can vary from quite cheap to rather overpriced. Most of the food is unhealthy typical college fare: pizza, nachos, hamburgers. Finding the cheaper or healthier places takes some work, but places are convenient. It can get really crowded though. I recommend Silvergreen', which is good but a little expensive, and i <3 seoul food, which is Korean BBQ that is quite cheap and you get a lot of food. They also offer a cash discount, so bring cash if you go!

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Helpful Professors but Large Workloads and Classes – I'm a biology major, which is one of the biggest programs on campus. There are lots of opportunities for research, because UCSB is a major research campus. As a biology major, the workload can be quite heavy, but professors are friendly and helpful. They try to be as available as possible. I even had one professor who gave out his phone number so you could call in case you needed help urgently. He would also be on Facebook the night before a test so you could chat and ask questions. The only problem is that classes are really big and it can be intimidating to as a question in class. However, since professors are available during their office hours, you can just do that instead. There are lots of internships and jobs available.

4 College Senior

Weather: Feels Like a Vacation – The weather is Mediterranean and it feels like Spring/Summer throughout the entire year. With the slightly occasional overcast and very little rain UCSB feels like a year-long vacation. On the sunniest of days you'll catch people sun-bathing outside of the dorms and playing volleyball. If you bike off campus you'll see people surfing and others playing drinking games on their lawns. The only downside is trying to study on a beautiful day.

4 College Senior

Facilities: The Rec-Cen is one of the few facilities in the nation to be completely run on solar power and many of the facilities have undergone renovation to become more green. The UCEN (University Center) boast a wide array of student centers and is home to the The Hub which holds lectures and concert events. The Thunderdome or Events Center is the pride of the campus which is home to our UCSB Men and Women's Basketball teams and it is also equipped with state of the art seating and a provides a great atmosphere.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Punishments Vary – The police are pretty chill and let you be unless you appear bluntly drunk and not able to take care of yourself. Parties with outside music are allowed to go until 12am, so after that the police may crack down and write citations. If you're caught cheating or plagiarizing, you're in serious trouble, but that's typical for most universities.

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Party School – The drug scene at SB consists mainly of marijuana and a lot of alcohol. Santa Barbara is a big drinking campus.

4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: IV Is the Party Scene – Nightlife is for everyone. Our saying is "How you party is how we pre-party cuz you ain't from IV." Santa Barbara is a big party campus, with house parties at almost every house. Tons of fun and all within walking distance.

3 College Sophomore

Parking: Lots of spaces, but permits on the slightly more expensive side.

4 College Sophomore

Athletics: Huge Soccer School – No football team, but it's not a problem at all. The soccer fans are incredibly spirited and the soccer games are incredibly fun.

3 Recent Alumnus

Campus Housing: The housing is a little expensive, but it is right on the beach. Everyone is very friendly so it's easy to make a lot of friends quickly.


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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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