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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3 College Junior

Parking: There are many parking lots scattered across campus, which students can park in if they have a permit. The permit costs a few hundred a year. There is no need for a car on campus because you can take the bus for free. Parking off campus in IV is terrible.

5 Recent Alumnus

Local Atmosphere: UCSB is within walking distance from the beach. You can literally walk to the beach many of the dorms and from class. Downtown Santa Barbara is a 15 minute bus ride away from campus. There are many shops and restaurants in Downtown. To my knowledge, there weren't any mall around UCSB. I always traveled to LA for shopping because my favorite stores were lacking in SB. There are also many beautiful hiking trails and camping sites are SB. It's a biker friendly community which is a plus (80% of people use a bike to commute around campus).

4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: UCSB has many departments which have been rated top in the nation. The Communication, Religious Studies, and Neuroscience are among the best at UCSB.

3 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Housing: I lived at 777 Embarcadero Del Mar in Goleta which was extremely close to campus. This was an 8-unit complex occupied by UCSB students. In 2006, we paid $1600 for a two bedroom, one bath. Parking was always difficult to find in this area.

5 Recent Alumnus

Nightlife: UCSB is considered among the top party schools in the US. Halloween weekend is especially poplar. People from all over the country will visit Del Playa on Halloween weekend to party amongst the college crowd who tend to open their houses up to everyone. In addition to house parties, there is a free bus that will transport UCSB students to and from Downtown Santa Barbara on Thursday nights (College Night). No driving means that everyone over the age of 21 can party hard at the Downtown pubs.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Off campus housing is much nicer than on campus housing as far as cleanliness and asthetics.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: The location is convenient, the access to gyms libraries etc is nice. The social atmosphere is good for freshmen, the cost is high for food and housing. The housing process is very easy.

4 College Junior

Nightlife: There is ALWAYS a party in IV. This is definitely a party school

3 College Freshman

Parking: The parking permit here at UCSB starts at around three hundred dollars, but decreases in cost as the year progresses (in proportion to the amount of time that has passed). It's pretty expensive, but unless you need the car to commute to work or commute from home to school, its much easier to just bike to classes or make use of the public transportation, which is free to students.

5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: I am finishing my freshman year here, and I could not be happier. Everyday I wake up, look outside and thank my lucky stars that I get to go to school in a vacation/beach town. Even the homeless people are happy here (the few that we have). Not only that but the academics here aren't too shabby either. Coming to this school will be the best decision of your life.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Facilities: Largest library after LoC. Huge campus. Everything here including the ocean. We have our own beach.

5 College Student

Off-Campus Dining: Plethora of different off-campus dining that is averaged priced but DELICIOUS. Either on State Street, Goleta or right in Isla Vista!

4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: There is a great diversity in the type of guys and girls at the school. There are volunteer oriented students, frat boys, sorority girls, athletes and many more.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: I received great funding my freshman year but as for my sophomore year, I did not receive any grants or scholarships. I had my tuition covered freshman year so this year, not receiving these scholarships was a bit of a financial burden.

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: Santa Barbara has many sports and many students are involved but it is not the main event that all students participate in. Soccer is our main sport since we do not have a football team. Many students participate in the games but there are times where not many students go to the games. Also, we have many intramural sports, one of the big ones being soccer. Sports are a great part of our school and there are many opportunities for people to get involved in athletics, classes, gym, intramural sports, and others but our school is not centered around out athletics.

3 College Junior

Health & Safety: I have never felt unsafe on campus. If you are able scared to walk home alone at night or just anywhere in general, the community service organization officers can walk you to ensure your safety.

5 College Junior

Nightlife: You really get the whole college experience here when it comes to the nightlife. Parties are widely available whether you know the person throwing it or not, there are bars in walking distance, and a bus that will take you downtown for more bars and clubs for a small fee.

3 Recent Alumnus

Majors: I double majored in Religious Studies and in Communication. The Religious Studies program was very easy to get into while the Communication department was more challenging. There are three courses that need to be taken to determine if you will be admitted into the Communication department. These three introductory courses (intro to Comm, Research Methods, and Theories of Comm) are very technical, dry and difficult. The grading is difficult and the content is far from interesting. I've heard that these courses are intended to weed people out because the major is impacted at UCSB (it's a very popular department). If you pass these three lower-division classes with a grade higher than a B-, then you are allowed to take the upper-division Comm classes and then declare the major.

1 person found this useful Report
5 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Dining: My favorite restaurant to eat at was Freebird's. This is a very popular and famous 24-hour Mexican food joint with large burritos. It's not Americanized and tastes authentic. It's very popular througout the day but is also frequented at night after the bars and parties. It's located across the street from Campus in Isla Vista. SilverGreens is another popular restaurant by campus that is a healthier alternative to Freebird's. There are also bars (Dublin's) by the school and plenty of other ethnic restaurants.

4 Recent Alumnus

Guys & Girls: The guys and the girls at UCSB are diverse. You will find that UCSB has many people involved in the "party-scene" because of State Street in Downtown Santa Barbara and because of all the house parties that take place on Del Playa Street by the school. The school also has many frat boys and sorority girls. You will also find many indie people and beach bums. Overall, the guys and girls at UCSB are attractive.

3 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Nightlife: There is no discrimination of night life whether you are a freshman or senior.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Campus Dining: There is a wide variety and offers healthy choices.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: Great campus!!! Just wish there was more to do in the downtown area!!!

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Its a Great School and I would recommend it to anyone

1 person found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Majors: The process of getting into my first degree (history) was as simple as checking a box during my original application. I added on an additional major my junior year and found the process to be incredibly simple. I spoke to a few professors in order to get into a few of the prerequisite classes then filled out a form and got it signed by my academic adviser. Once the classes were taken I believe the process took all of three weeks (with only about 20 minutes of that being paper work). This is for the liberal arts majors, though. I had several friends try to get into the Engineering program which is incredibly difficult because of the impacted nature of it.


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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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