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

Facilities: UCSB is a gorgeous school. We have our own beach! Most students (20,000+) live in a mile radius of one another, so there's always something going on. The weather is perfect 98% of the time. There's something different for everyone to do. We have excellent, well-known professors in most majors, and are ranked great academically. There's a great balance of play and work, with plenty of opportunities for internships and assistance in obtaining jobs post-graduation.

5 College Senior

Facilities: We have an amazing recreation center, with everything anyone could want. There are all sorts of support centers, and safe spaces on campus. There are tons or resource centers. There are stations for free printing. There's awesome places to study/lounge in the sun. The beach is walking distance from anywhere in IV or on campus. Aesthetically, there's nothing more a student could ask for. The food is decent, though I prefer to cook at home. I've heard great things about the dining commons though!

5 College Junior

Facilities: Everyone is super kind, atmosphere is relaxing and the weather is amazing. Many opportunities to join many clubs.

5 College Junior

Facilities: Lots of activities go on at our school.

4 Recent Alumnus

Facilities: There are a lot of activities to get involve in.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 41st
    Greenest Campuses
  • 64th
    Best Student Centers
  • 79th
    Best Athletic Facilities
  • 336th
    Best Performance Venues
  • 520th
    Best Library

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

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

If you take a walk around campus, you’ll realize that the campus is a blend of old-school buildings and modern architecture. Prior to being a university, the land where UCSB is currently located was once a marine base, and some of the buildings are remnants of military barracks. However, since then, the campus has grown to include cutting-edge facilities such as the UCSB Recreation Center (Rec Cen) and Student Resource Building (SRB). The Rec Cen, which is free to all students, includes two swimming pools, a Jacuzzi, two gyms, two weight rooms, two squash courts, racquetball courts, cardio equipment and a climbing wall, and a hockey rink. The Rec Cen runs primarily on solar power and is one of the only recreation centers to be LEED Platinum rated. However, students should learn what times the Rec Cen is empty or otherwise risk sharing the gym with hoards of sorority girls and frat guys hogging up the machines.

The central hub of the University happens to be the University Center, or "UCen" for short. The UCen is home to a bookstore, fast food restaurants, local and organic cafés, a coffee shop, computer lab, and the Community Housing Office. The UCen is the place to go in between class periods for a quick snack or a quick nap; there are several couches that line the facility where students can read, socialize, or sleep. You can pretty much find your entire student needs met at the UCen, and like most buildings on campus, it has seen a major facelift in recent years. While there are facilities that have called the campus home for several years, most students can agree that overall the facilities are clean, safe, and efficient for student use.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
1,055 acres
Student Centers
  • Student Resource Building (SRB)
  • The University Center (UCen)
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
Davidson Library
Popular Places to Chill
  • The beach
  • Grass by The Arbor
  • Grass outside of the dorms
  • Outside by the Campus Lagoon
  • UCen
Bar on Campus
None, but The Hub, which is on the ground floor of the University Center, has a couple of eateries that serve alcohol. Also, for certain events, The Hub opens its beer garden for students 21 and over. The closest real bar is The Study Hall in Isla Vista.
Bowling on Campus
Coffeehouse on Campus
  • Coral Tree Café by the Student Affairs building
  • Nicoletti's Coffeehouse inside the UCEN
  • The Arbor
Movie Theater on Campus
  • Campbell Hall, home to the Arts & Lectures program
  • Pollock Theater
"Green" Initiatives
The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) was created to minimize the school’s impact on the environment. Students voted to pay $2.60 per quarter, contributing around $182,000 a year toward TGIF.
School Slang
  • Access Card: Your student ID card. You can put money on it and use it as a debit card on campus.
  • The Alternative: A copy shop in Isla Vista where students will have to buy many readers (see definition).
  • Arbor: The area outside Girvetz Hall that has coffee, a little convenience store, and food stands
  • AS: Associated Students, the student government on campus
  • AS Notes: Class notes (sometimes taken by the teaching assistant) for sale
  • BARC: Billing Accounts/Receivable Collections, the cashier's office that takes student tuition checks
  • CAB: Community Affairs Board, the student-run community service group
  • Campus Point: A student publication and the end of campus that juts out into a point with ocean on both sides
  • CLAS: Campus Learning Assistance Services, where students drop in to get help on papers or weekly tutoring for science and math classes
  • CSO: Community Security Officer, a student who will escort other students home, or give you a ticket for biking in a walkway
  • Devereux: The beach right below the Del Playa cliffs
  • DLG: De La Guerra, a cafeteria on campus
  • FT: Francisco Torres dormitory, located off campus at the end of Isla Vista
  • Gaucho: The UCSB mascot, an Argentinian cowboy
  • GOLD: Gaucho On-Line Data, current student secure site used to sign up for classes, check grades, request transcripts, etc.
  • HSSB: The Humanities & Social Sciences Building
  • The Hub: The bottom floor of the University Center, which has fast food and sometimes hosts concerts
  • IV: Isla Vista, the square-mile town next to UCSB
  • IVFP: Isla Vista Foot Patrol
  • KCSB: The student-run radio station located under Storke Tower
  • MCC: MultiCultural Center
  • Nexus: The student-run daily newspaper
  • Perm Number: Student ID number located on student Access Cards
  • RBR: The Reserve Book Room, a part of the library open 24 hours which checks out books/articles that professors have put on reserve
  • Reader: A booklet of all the handouts for a class that students buy at one of the copy shops at the beginning of the quarter (professors will specify which copy shop)
  • SAASB: Student Affairs and Administrative Services Building
  • Sands: An Isla Vista beach
  • SBCC: Santa Barbara City College
  • Storke Tower: Landmark bell and clock tower—you'll see it!
  • Thunderdome : Events center
  • Trop: Tropicana Gardens, an off-campus dorm with suite-style living
  • Burning couches in Isla Vista: Every spring, community and county officials fret over the burning of couches.
  • Completing "The Loop": Drinking a beer at every establishment in Isla Vista before you graduate
  • Earth Day: Students celebrate 4/20 and Earth Day in the People's Park.
  • Extravaganza: A yearly outdoor concert free to UCSB students
  • Throwing tortillas (at soccer games): Throwing tortillas became a tradition in the early '90s, but got out of hand at the basketball games, so it was banned from those events. However, students still throw tortillas at soccer games.
  • Undie Run: Pretty much exactly as it sounds. Students run around in their underwear the Wednesday of each finals week.
Urban Legends
  • Aldous Huxley, who wrote "Brave New World," hung out in Isla Vista.
  • Francisco Torres was a Holiday Inn before it was a dorm.
  • Isla Vista has more bikes than anywhere but China.
  • Someone jumped off Storke Tower and fell into the reflection pool.
  • The campus is on Chumash Indian burial grounds.
  • The ocean oil rigs off the coast are really casinos.
Favorite Things To Do
Relax at the beach, attend a soccer game, work out at the recreation center, hang out on the grass by the lagoon, or play intramural and/or club sports.
Student Organizations Web Site
Student Newspaper
The Daily Nexus
Clubs and Organizations on Campus
There are more than 300 registered student groups on campus, and if UCSB doesn't have a club you want to join, you can create your own!
Student Activities Offered
  • Campus ministries
  • Choral groups
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • International student organization
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Model UN
  • Music ensembles
  • Musical theater
  • Opera
  • Pep band
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student-run film society
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Television station
  • Yearbook
Air Force ROTC: No
Navy ROTC: No
Army ROTC: Yes

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 133 responses

Very poor
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

What are the best on-campus student jobs?    Based on 12 responses

  • 20% Rec Cen
  • 17% Bookstore
  • 13% Residence hall desk attendant
  • 13% Library
  • 13% Tour guide
  • 13% Residence Assistant
  • 7% Student Athletic Training
  • 3% Transportation and Parking Services

What are your favorite campus events or traditions?    Based on 13 responses

  • 26% Extravaganza
  • 21% Throwing tortillas (at soccer games)
  • 16% Undie Run
  • 13% Burning couches in Isla Vista
  • 13% Deltopia (formerly Floatopia)
  • 8% Completing "The Loop"
  • 3% Earth Day

Where are your favorite places to just hang out?    Based on 15 responses

  • 29% The beach
  • 24% Isla Vista
  • 18% UCen
  • 16% Outside by the Campus Lagoon
  • 8% Grass by The Arbor
  • 5% Grass outside of the dorms

What are your favorite things to do around campus?    Based on 13 responses

  • 38% Go to the beach
  • 27% Eat food in IV
  • 19% Study outside
  • 12% Flirt with girls
  • 4% Work in the wood shop (always open)

How would you describe the student center/union?    Based on 162 responses

  • 1% The student center is in need of a major renovation.
  • 20% The student center serves its purpose but is not a popular hangout.
  • 54% The student center is great but isn't central to student life.
  • 26% The student center is state-of-the-art and the hub of student life.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 147 responses

  • 2% I hate my school and have no school spirit.
  • 3% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 41% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 54% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.

What is the most interesting urban legend about campus?    Based on 12 responses

  • 33% Pirates kidnapping drunken freshmen
  • 33% If you see the white possum in IV you'll get A's
  • 33% 1 in 3 people that graduate have an STD

What are the worst on-campus student jobs?    Based on 8 responses

  • 100% Dining Services



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