Santa Barbara, CA
Tuition (in-state)
$36,549 ($13,671)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 3065 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Freshman

Scholarships: There are scholarships given, especially for freshman, but i feel like UCSB should give out more scholarships.

3 College Freshman

Greek Life: Not everyone is involved in the Greek life, whether it be the panhalenic or multicultural fraternities and sororities. We all come to college and want to find ourselves and some individuals find that the Greek life is the way to go.

5 College Freshman

Campus Housing: The freshman dorms are great!We get to socialize with everyone and everyone is welcoming. I get to participate in events put on by the staff at my residence hall.

5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Isla Vista has it all. Freebirds is a must, albeit expensive, with huge servings of nachos, burritos, quesadillas, etc. It's open 24/7, and there's always a line. There's pizza from Dominos and Pizza My Heart, as well as burgers from Deja Vu and The Habit, sandwiches from Subway and South Coast Deli, more traditional meals from Silvergreens, Bagel Cafe, etc. There are TONS of places to eat, as well as a site from which you can order them from, sbmenus.com. Most deliver late (3 AM approximately), and have deals on a regular basis.

3 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: With regards to looks, girls are A+ here. The majority of girls here could easily be models for a living, and work hard to look good. A lot of girls here love to party too, and the best looking girls are usually in sororities, but not always. Everyone at UCSB dresses for the weather, so if there's sun out, expect some skin. Social life usually revolves around kickbacks at people's apartments, and parties throughout Isla Vista. Relationships are way I gave this section a B+ - people are usually just looking to hook up here, so if that's your thing, consider this an A+. Finding someone who is interested in a relationship is difficult here, but I've observed it can be done.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: There are four total dining halls on campus: De la Guerra (DLG), Ortega, Carrillo, and Portola. DLG, Ortega, and Portola are the primary dining commons for freshmen, with DLG and Ortega serving the majority of freshmen on campus, and Portola serving those who are at the off campus dorms. Carrillo mainly serves upperclassmen living on campus. Carrillo is the best by far, with the best options, a great layout, and a section with booths to sit in. It also has an outdoor area that is very pleasant when it's sunny. Avoid Portola if you can, the food there is less than optimal, with few options and in my opinion, poorly cooked food. DLG and Ortega are right in the middle, and are hit and miss - some nights are great, others are alright. The menu variety at Carrillo is definitely the best. If you have a Plus plan you can use that to buy food at the vendors on campus, but the dominant meal plan system at UCSB is with swiping in with a predetermined amount of meals each week. The three basic plans are 17, 14, and 10 meal plans. You can eat as much as you want, and stay as long as you want (until closing of course), so there isn't any pressure to get less expensive food. Meal plans are available for those off campus. Overall, the food is good, but dependent on where you eat it. Carrillo is definitely the best, so go there if you can! It's not that far to walk across the lagoon for some good eats.

3 Recent Alumnus

Majors: The school offers a lot of programs and majors for the students along with many ways for students to enjoy them selves and to find personal growth. I am in the microbiology major and I find the classes that I have taken to be incredible and I have learned so much in just a few short years. I give UCSB a B+ though because it has a lot of partying and thus students acting inappropriately and can sometimes be overwhelming for a student who is not in that scene.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: The freshman dorms are a bit far away from the main part of campus but everything a student needs to have fun, exercise, eat and get work done is right here and very convenient.

3 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: The police officers will really get you while riding your bike and even ticket you!

4 College Sophomore

Academics: The pastimes to be able to register for courses is just the beginning. Sometimes people don't get the classes they want so they end up crashing the course, and most of the time they end up with the classes they wanted. The professors are very understanding and they will do their best to accommodate people. The study load can be a bit hectic but in the end it all comes down to time management.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: The dorming experience is definitely something that every freshman looks forward to in college. Here in UCSB the Resident Assistants definitely make an effort to make your college experience a pleasurable one. Although living with someone completely new to you can be a pleasurable experience or a bad one. Despite how you get along with your room mate, it is always important that you address any likes or dislikes with them. It makes everyones life easier.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: I am a Sociology and Chicano/Chicana Studies major at my school. The professors are definitely very passionate about their subjects of expertise making the courses very engaging and enriching. some professors write their own books making the interpretation of the material easier to understand. They offer research internships that can be very benefiting, with that said, the professors are definitely very approachable.

5 College Freshman

Athletics: The sports at UC Santa Barbara are excellent. Although we don't have a football team, the fan support for our soccer team is out of this world. The school spirit at the soccer games and basketball games has become one of my absolute favorite things about this school. It's a whole new kind of experience. Intramural sports are also really popular, as people at this school tend to be very active!

5 College Freshman

Academics: I came to UC Santa Barbara because being a UC school, they have a great academic reputation. In my time spent here so far, they have definitely lived up to their reputation. All of my professors are extremely friendly, knowledgeable, and their passion for the subject always amazes me. It's their passion that keeps me interested during lectures and motivates me to pay attention and do my best. The use of sections, especially in underclassmen classes, is extremely helpful. The TAs help us get a deeper understanding of the material and facilitate helpful discussion.

2 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: UC Santa Barbara is not very strict about alcohol laws. Since the party scene is so big here, it seems as if the authorities are much more concerned with keeping everyone safe, rather than preventing people from engaging in underage drinking. If you get caught drinking in the dorms, you get a write-up and have to attend an alcohol program. However, most freshmen don't drink in the dorms - they drink in Isla Vista. There are still laws there, but people don't usually get into trouble unless they are very obviously drunk. Cops are always present on big weekends, but they are more concerned with the noise ordinance and keeping party smalls - they don't bust everyone.

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: The town of Isla Vista offers an endless amount of apartments and houses for students to rent. My future housemates and I have had no problems finding a place so far, and all of prices are very reasonable. In fact, the price to live almost anywhere in Isla Vista is significantly lower than residence halls. Almost all of these apartments and houses pay for the utilities, making it much easier for us college students. Although next year will be my first experience dealing with an apartment or house, I have heard from almost all upperclassmen that finding a place to live is extremely live, even in the middle of a quarter!

4 College Freshman

Academics: I'm planning to major in Psychology and so far I have heard nothing but amazing things about the Psychology program at UC Santa Barbara. I'm the most interested in the personality aspect of Psychology, and although I'm still a first year, I love my professor so far. All of the psychology professors here are very experienced and accomplished in the field. I am very confident that obtaining a psychology degree here will allow me to have a great network and get a great job after graduating.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: Psychology.
Many distinguished professors who are all passionate about the field.
What I love is, as a class requirement or paid participant, that you can participate in studies [on attention, behavior, attraction, perception, virtual reality, etc.].
Popular major but psych lectures are generally large so you do not need to crash often.
Usually no section or assignments. Many big psych classes are only midterm and final.

3 College Sophomore

Weather: If you're from SoCal be prepared to buy some sweats. It's around the 50-60s F. Right now, winter 2013, in the high 30's.

5 College Freshman

Nightlife: Literally one of the most fun nightlifes of all universities. There are always lots of parties and music in IV and it's all within walking distance.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: Isla Vista is aplace that no other school could replicate. So much fun stuff and good food is packed onto 1 square mile, that happens to be ON the beach, no cars needed everyone bikes and it's great.

5 College Freshman

Facilities: On and around campus, UCSb is beyond beautiful, it's on an amazing beach and it's nearly always sunny. Also nowhere is more fun than IV. Oh by the way it's one of the top public schools in the country academically.

3 College Freshman

Nightlife: Most of the Nightlife is only for the students who are 21. I mean one could still have fun at a party but it would be cool to have a place where anyone could hang out not just those who are 21.

4 College Freshman

Transportation: The public transportation is really good around here. Buses are always passing by to take students to the school.

4 College Sophomore

Transportation: Campus isn't that big so everything is pretty accessible. Walking from one end of the campus to the other end would probably take around 15-20 minutes. Most people here bike in the many paths on and around campus since they're everywhere, and conveniently located. If you need to take the bus you get a free bus sticker that lets you ride the buses for free. They're usually timely, the only problem would be that they don't pass as often as you'd like.

1 person found this useful Report

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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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