Location
Santa Barbara, CA
Undergrads
18,318
Tuition (in-state)
$36,549 ($13,671)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 3069 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: The food can be pretty good sometimes, but after about a month, the dining commons just get repetitive. They tend to have really bipolar food; some days the food is pretty good, other times there isn't really anything good to eat (but that might be just me). The dining commons are really convenient to have around though and there are always plenty of healthy options there.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: The residence halls are pretty good here. The rooms are decently sized, although when you first get there, if you get lucky enough to get a double, the rooms are arranged in possibly the least efficient way possible and you have to rearrange the room yourself. Communal bathrooms never provided an issue; the showers were never full and there was never really a need to wait for anything. Everyone kind of had their own schedule so no crowding issues. The housekeeping staff is great, the RA's are great, and I would really suggest living in the Res Halls for the first year, they really give you the full college experience!

5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Nothing can really beat living right by the ocean and the liveliness of Isla Vista. It's simply incredible.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: There are some pretty great professors here! But, I have had my share of bad ones, mostly from the Math department (as I'm sure other people have). The math professors that I've had have been either incredibly monotonous, gone too fast, or read off of their PowerPoints. I had one quarter when I pretty much didn't attend lecture and still got an A since he posted all of the lectures online. I guess this could be seen as a good thing, but we aren't paying to be able to do this; I'd rather be able to learn from the professor. In chemistry, at least for the 1 series so far, the professors have all been great! Except one who was a bit arrogant and was very defensive when addressing students on mistakes he may have made on his presentations. The writing department here is awesome! Overall, the professors here are pretty solid and are very open to getting to know students more when you approach them, you just need to be proactive!

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Literally next to the campus is the city of Isla Vista (IV) which is basically run by college students from the University. In this there are several apartments to rent and the costs vary according to where you want to live. It will be more expensive if you want to live in the famous street of Del Playa (the party street) and will be cheaper the further away you are from the school.

3 College Senior

Campus Housing: The on-campus freshmen dorms at UCSB are a good choice for newcomers to spend at least their first year in. I recommend staying in Santa Rosa, Anacapa, or Santa Cruz because they are so close to one another, the dining commons, classes, the University Center, the lagoon, and the beach! Staying in one of these three as a freshman makes adjusting to college life so much easier, especially when it comes to meeting new people and making new friends!

4 College Senior

Majors: I am currently attending UCSB as a previous pre-biology major switched to sociology, and I have to say I am very satisfied with my decision. I greatly enjoy the variety of sociology courses offered at my university such as Sociology of Girls and Environmental Sociology. Additionally, the commitment and involvement of the department faculty in student well-being and education is unparalleled. Despite the high volume of students attending this university, the teaching assistants and professors provide great personalized aide to their students.

3 College Senior

Scholarships: I have received the financial aid that I needed; however, it was a confusing and drawn out process that required continual personal alterations. I am unsure of how accurately I had completed my forms and feel like I would have benefited from receiving in-person guidance from my school.

5 Recent Alumnus

Athletics: UCSB students regularly rally around our sports teams. We may not have a football team, but we place the same level of pride as other football schools do in our soccer team. The entire school shows up to support, and there are many clubs who organize chants and cheers during the games. We have a very strong tradition of throwing tortillas on the field after goals are scored. Basketball, while not as popular, takes a close second. IM and club programs are very strong as well, and most people participate in at least a few during their time at the school. Our workout facilities are state of the art, and students are very involved with staying in shape. Many students take part in surfing, hiking, rock-climbing, and the outdoor and adventures programs. Overall it is a very fit campus, and students are very active in participating in and watching athletics.

4 Recent Alumnus

Computers: Computer access at UCSB has been made very easy, wether you own your own computer or not. There is high-speed wifi from all points on campus, so you can even work while lying on the grass somewhere. In addition, there are many computer labs in the library and at random spots around campus. There are also a few print labs, and you are given over 200 free pages to print each quarter. These are especially effective and come in handy when printing materials for classes, or if your printer breaks down when you have a paper due.

4 Recent Alumnus

Transportation: Public transportation is very strong at UCSB. The buses arrive frequently, and will take you easily and quickly to the off campus dorms/apartments, downtown Santa Barbara, and anything else you might need. All you need is your bus pass, which is a tiny sticker (free to all students) that you put on your access card. The only downside is that if you are trying to get to the train station, you have to walk quite a distance from the bus stop. Everything is within easy biking distance, and it is another very popular form of transportation. The bottom line is that if you need to get somewhere, it will be easy to figure it out, and it won't take that much time to get there.

3 College Senior

Drug Safety: You definately will see students using drugs, but for the most part, its not too prevalent aside from party nights, aka weekends, aka thursday-saturday

5 College Senior

Weather: The weather in Santa Barbara is perfect year round. Located by the ocean, it remains relatively cool and breezy in the summer and does not get too cold in the winters.

5 College Senior

Academics: Registration process is very smooth. Administrative staff are very friendly and helpful. Workload has not been overbearing for me. A great deal of tutoring is offered on campus for a variety of subjects.

5 College Senior

Academics: Psychology is one of the most popular majors at UCSB. I have had nothing but good experiences in the curriculum in the past year that I've been here. Professors have been great, very knowledgeable in their subjects. TA's are very helpful. Many research assistant opportunities available on campus.

5 College Senior

Nightlife: Party scene is huge at UCSB. Thursday nights are college night in downtown Santa Barbara, so many head there for clubbing or bar-hopping. On the weekends, house parties are happening all around town.

3 College Sophomore

Transportation: Public transportation at UCSB is reasonable. Multiple run at several times and there are many stops but sometimes they get extremely crowded and you might even have to wait for the next bus.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Food from the dining common at UCSB isn't terrible, but it will get boring and tasteless after all. You certainly don't get the home-cooked vibe but it'll do and you can't really complain because who has the time to cook?

3 College Sophomore

Computers: The computers at UCSB are pretty easily accessible because we have the library, student resource building, multiple computer labs around campus, and we can even rent laptops from the library for three hours at a time. However, things can get pretty hectic during midterms and finals and it's harder to find computers to use.

4 College Junior

Greek Life: Greek life is overall a good center for fun and partying in Isla Vista.

4 College Senior

Campus Housing: There are a ton of dorms to choose from. I lived at Santa Catalina which is the farthest dorm (about a mile from campus) but is an easy 15 minute bike ride or you can take the bus like I did for free! Santa Catalina has it's own bathroom in the suite of 4 people, which is great so you don't have to share like the on campus dorms with like 15 people.

I also lived in Manzanita Village sophomore year (which freshmen can live in too.) It's like a house style and also has your own bathroom that's outside your room.

All the dorms I've heard are pretty fun and close to class (except Santa Catalina)

It really is personal preference as to what you want first, proximity or easy living (ex: own bathroom)

3 College Senior

Diversity: The majority of the school is Caucasian but most people are generally very accepting of people's sexual orientation and ethnic background. The political stance of the campus is mostly democratic and non religious.

4 College Junior

Campus Strictness: Thus far I've had a rather positive experiences with the local police force there doesn't seem to be very strict or overbearing.

4 College Senior

Health & Safety: The college town Isla Vista is kinda sketchy at night. We get emails and text alerts if something has happened such as a robbery, etc.

CSOs will walk you anywhere for free if you call them, which is a GREAT service. It's no questions asked and is 24 hours. So amazing. If you have a bike with you, they will bike with you.

Campus itself is extremely safe!

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Although the cost of housing in Isla Vista is expensive there are a wide variety of rentals within walking distance of campus and with a roommate or two it is quite affordable.

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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
Hometown
Long Beach
Major
Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology
Grad Year
2012
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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