Santa Barbara, CA
Tuition (in-state)
$36,549 ($13,671)
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Freshman

Academics: At first classes are big and hard to get, but as you get further, classes are more concentrated

4 College Freshman

Academics: If you work hard and stay focused, UCSB can offer great academics and programs

College Freshman

Academics: I have not begun at UC Santa Barbara yet. However, I have heard the academics are difficult but rewarding.

College Freshman

Academics: There is every kind of class and major available at this school.

4 College Freshman

Academics: All of it is extremely difficult and time consuming but it is worth it.

1 person found this useful Report

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 5th
    Best Use of Teaching Assistants
  • 105th
    Smartest Professors
  • 291st
    Professors Most Interested in Classes
  • 334th
    Best Course Variety
  • 418th
    Most Manageable Workloads

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

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

The academic programs at UCSB have been on a constant rise over the past few years, and it doesn’t seem like it will stop any time soon with world-renowned professors, award-winning research, and necessary student services. There’s a class for just about anyone on this campus—the problem is finding what interests you. The academic and peer advisers are great tools for the students who have no idea what they want to pursue in college; they make sure to help you choose classes and plan your schedule and fulfill requirements so that you’re not behind with graduation. Teachers and teaching assistants are perhaps the most useful resources to an undergraduate, so be sure to attend office hours and ask questions if you want to get the most out of your class. Class, or "lecture" as we like to call it, tends to have between 100 and 200 students, and a teaching assistant runs the weekly section and grades. As students advance into their major, the classes become smaller and more intimate.

Although the initial stigma associated with UCSB is that of a “party school,” the academics surely outweigh that image. UCSB is becoming more competitive, and the admissions process more selective. When it comes to academics at UCSB, the issue that it boils down to is that the student ultimately has control over his or her academic life. By their second year, most students have learned how to balance their social and academic lives. At this University, you will encounter students who never go to class and students who attend every lecture and then some. It’s really up to you to determine how you’re going to spend your time and how much effort you put into college.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
Total FT Faculty
Faculty with Terminal Degree
Average Faculty Salary
Full-Time Retention Rate
Part-Time Retention Rate
Transfer-Out Rate
Graduation Rate
Programs/Majors Offered
Academic/Career Counseling?
Remedial Services?
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 45%
  • 20 to 49 students: 35%
  • 50 or more students: 20%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: Yes
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
  • College of Creative Studies
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Letters & Science
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
  • Post-bachelor's certificate
  • Post-master's certificate
Most Popular Majors
  • Business/Managerial Economics: 4%
  • Political Science and Government, General: 3%
  • Psychology: 3%
  • Sociology: 5%
Graduation Requirements
  • Arts/fine arts
  • English (including composition)
  • Foreign languages
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy
  • Sciences (biological or physical)
  • Social science
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Other Academic Offerings
  • Accelerated program
  • Cross-registration
  • Double major
  • Dual enrollment
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Exchange student program (domestic)
  • Honors program
  • Independent study
  • Internships
  • Student-designed major
Best Places to Study
  • Arts Library
  • The beach
  • Caje (cafĂ© located on Embarcadero Del Norte)
  • Library (eighth-floor reading room)
  • Residence hall lounges
  • The SRB (Student Resource Building)
  • University Center (UCEN)

Student Polls

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 22 responses

  • 22% Jack Johnson - musician
  • 16% Steve Aoki -DJ
  • 16% Gwyneth Paltrow - Actor
  • 11% Michael Douglas - actor
  • 10% Brian Shaw - NBA player
  • 6% Giondomenico Picco - UN assistant secretary general
  • 6% Jim Rome - host of ESPN show "Jim Rome is Burning"
  • 6% Carol Greider- Nobel Prize Recipient
  • 2% Faisal Fahad - prince of Saudi Arabia
  • 2% Bob Ballard - discovered the Titanic
  • 2% Benjamin Bratt - actor
  • 2% Jason Lezak
  • 0% Joe Redfield - MLB player

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 130 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 131 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.



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