University of California – Santa Barbara

Isla Vista, California 5221 Cheadle Hall, Santa Barbara, CA, 93106

UCSB Acceptance Rate

Acceptance Rate 29%
Acceptance Deadline November 30

The University of California Santa Barbara is one of nine UC campuses offering undergraduate degrees in the University of California system. Located in Santa Barbara, UCSB is a public institution that  is home to more than 23,000 undergraduate students. According to U.S. News, UCSB ranks #7 in Top Public Schools and #32 in National Universities. UCSB offers 90 UC Santa Barbara majors within three distinct colleges: Letters & Science, Creative Studies, and Engineering. 

The UCSB acceptance rate is 29% according to U.S. News. On the other hand, the UC system’s website puts the UC Santa Barbara acceptance rate at 25.9%. Either way, the UCSB acceptance rate makes UCSB a highly selective school. The UCSB acceptance rate by major also differs. 

Students may feel overwhelmed by the low UCSB acceptance rate. It’s easy to fixate on college acceptance rates, especially those as low as the UCSB acceptance rate. Still, students have no control over the UCSB acceptance rate or UCSB acceptance rate by major. However, they do have full control over making their application to UCSB the best it can be. 

Students should not let the acceptance rate for UCSB or UCSB acceptance rate by major scare them. Instead, students should strive to beat the UC Santa Barbara acceptance rate by strengthening every part of their UCSB application, including their essays, grades, and test scores. 

Is UCSB hard to get into?

The UCSB acceptance rate is quite selective at just 29%. However, in comparison to other UCs like UC Berkeley and UCLA, the UCSB acceptance rate may be less daunting. For reference, Berkeley admits just over 11% of applicants—UCLA’s admit rate is under 9%. In any case, best practices for maximizing admissions odds still apply, regardless of the UC Santa Barbara acceptance rate. 

Students should submit a well-crafted application that goes above and beyond the various UCSB requirements. In other words, applicants need finely tuned essays, strong recommendation letters, and an impressive activities list. It’s important to note that while many universities offer choices of application deadlines, UC Apply has only one. Applicants must submit an outstanding UC application to beat the low UC Santa Barbara acceptance rate. 

What is the UCSB acceptance rate? 

The UCSB acceptance rate is 29%. This means more than two-thirds of applicants are not accepted to UCSB. Impressing UCSB admissions officers hinges on submitting an impactful UC application that demonstrates one’s suitability for life at UCSB. The UC Santa Barbara acceptance rate leaves little room for error, so applicants should revise and refine their applications.

There are also differences in the UCSB acceptance rate by major. While UCSB doesn’t release each individual UCSB acceptance rate by major, some UC Santa Barbara majors are capped. For instance, all majors in the College of Engineering and College of Creative Studies are selective—they have limited spots.

UC Santa Barbara acceptance rate for out-of-state

While the UCSB acceptance rate is 29%, 77% of the admitted class of fall 2022 freshman were California residents. Of the remainder, 11% were non-California residents, and 12% were international students. Since the UC system is aimed at providing an affordable, high-quality to California residents, Californians are prioritized in UCSB admissions. Thus, the UC Santa Barbara acceptance rate is more competitive for non-California students.

Colleges publish college acceptance rates to help students understand how likely they are to gain acceptance. Students will find that top schools have lower college acceptance rates, similar to the UC Santa Barbara acceptance rate. Correspondingly, a school’s acceptance rate can help indicate its quality.

It’s important to remember that the college acceptance rate is only one factor in college admissions. Although the UC Santa Barbara acceptance rate is more competitive for non-California residents, it is not impossible. Students should not let a low UCSB acceptance rate or competitive admissions deter them from applying to UCSB. Rather, the UCSB acceptance rate should inform their college list and application strategy. If UCSB is a “reach” school, students should also apply to schools with higher college acceptance rates than the UC Santa Barbara acceptance rate. 

What GPA do you need to get into UCSB?

The UCSB requirements for incoming freshmen include a 3.0 GPA minimum for in-state students and 3.4 for out-of-state students. As a top institution, UCSB expects applicants to surpass these thresholds. It’s important to remember these are the minimum UCSB requirements; the average GPA of admitted students is higher.

The fall 2022 enrolling class of freshmen at UCSB had an average high school GPA range of 4.15–4.31. The high UCSB average GPA number is weighted, so students who take challenging high school courses get a boost for excelling in more difficult classes. Students hoping to overcome the selective UCSB acceptance rate should succeed in rigorous courses throughout high school.

For the class enrolled for fall 2019, the average high school GPA for accepted UCSB students was 4.044.28. Admitted students to UCSB in that cycle had an average ACT composite score of 2631, SAT reading and writing of 630730, and SAT mathematics of 650790. Note that these detailed standardized test data are unavailable from 2020 since UCSB adopted a test-optional policy.

Students should not worry if their GPA is lower than the UCSB average GPA for incoming freshmen. If their GPA meets the minimum eligibility requirement, they are eligible to complete the UCSB application. There are many ways for students to assemble an outstanding UCSB application and beat the low UC Santa Barbara acceptance rate. Particularly, well-written Personal Insight Question responses and an impressive list of extracurriculars can set applicants apart.

What are my chances of getting into UC Santa Barbara? 

With the UCSB acceptance rate at 29% and its #6 Best College in California ranking, UCSB is a “reach” school for many. Obviously, the highly selective UCSB acceptance rate requires that students put their best foot forward in their applications. This means securing strong recommendation letters, writing keen supplemental essays, and acing the extracurricular activities section.

Ultimately, individual admissions chances are extremely difficult to predict with much accuracy. Of course, knowing the UCSB acceptance rate and average admitted student profile can help. At the same time, UCSB admissions goals and criteria change often; after all, low acceptance rates attract thousands of qualified applicants.

With this in mind, it is crucial to apply to schools with more generous acceptance rates than the acceptance rate for UCSB. Having a diverse college list will create a safety net, enabling applicants to aim high with confidence. While UCSB acceptance is difficult, it is not impossible with the right preparation and a well-crafted application. 

UC Santa Barbara Acceptance Rate Takeaways

The University of California Santa Barbara is a great option for students looking to attend college in California. As a top California university, #7 in Top Public Schools and #32 in National Universities, UCSB offers a high-quality education. However, with a reputation like this, there is also no mystery about the highly selective UCSB acceptance rate of 29%. 

Prospective UCSB applicants can use CollegeAdvisor resources to construct a successful USCB application and beat the low UC Santa Barbara acceptance rate. Students may also schedule appointments with our advisors for help crafting their successful applications.

UCSB Tuition

Average Cost* $55,678
Average Total Aid Awarded $5,180
Students Receiving Financial Aid 46%
*Average cost after financial aid for students receiving grant or scholarship aid, as reported by the college.

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UC Santa Barbara Classes

Student Faculty Ratio 17:1

UCSB Majors

The University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) is a renowned institution of higher education. Located in the picturesque coastal region of Santa Barbara, UCSB has a stunning campus, vibrant community, and commitment to excellence. UCSB is a leading public research university and one of the top colleges in California. One aspect distinguishing UCSB from its peers is the vast array of UCSB undergraduate majors available to students. In comparison to other UC majors by campus, UCSB leads the way in terms of diverse offerings. Therefore, understanding how to get in and what to major in are two crucial steps to admission.

How many majors are offered at UC Santa Barbara?

UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) takes great pride in its extensive array of academic opportunities. The extensive selection of UC Santa Barbara majors available reflects this breadth of offerings. With over 90 UCSB undergraduate majors to choose from, UCSB has a diverse range of college majors to explore. 

Whether you’re drawn to the sciences, engineering, humanities, or the arts, UCSB majors cater to various interests and career aspirations. This robust offering of UC Santa Barbara majors reflects the school’s commitment to providing students with a comprehensive and well-rounded education. By offering an extensive array of UCSB majors, the university creates an environment that fosters intellectual curiosity among its students.

What is UC Santa Barbara best known for?

UC Santa Barbara is renowned for its rich history and commitment to academic excellence. Boasting a student-to-faculty ratio of 6:1, UCSB ensures that each student receives personalized attention and support throughout their educational journey. UCSB’s academic offerings extend across three undergraduate schools, several graduate schools, a medical center, and research centers. Through these spaces, students can explore an extensive list of UCSB majors to pursue their intellectual pursuits. 

With a wide range of UCSB majors available, it’s no surprise students from around the globe apply for admission. UCSB Admissions processes thousands of applications each year, attracting some of the brightest minds in the world. The UC Santa Barbara acceptance rate is 28%, making the college highly selective. Consequently, the UC application is rigorous and requires personal essays and evidence of academic success.  

Complete UCSB Majors List

The university provides a plethora of UCSB majors. UCSB majors allow students to pursue various degrees and graduate prepared for all types of careers. The flexibility of the UCSB majors system allows students to tailor their educational journey and delve deeper into their chosen disciplines.

UCSB is comprised of several schools and colleges, offering both graduate and undergraduate studies. This extensive academic structure provides a multitude of UC Santa Barbara majors to suit students’ diverse passions. Furthermore, the interdisciplinary nature of UC Santa Barbara majors allows students the flexibility to explore unique academic pathways. You can find a complete list of college majors offered at UCSB online through the UCSB majors list.

Some of the top UCSB majors include: 

With such a wide range of college majors, prospective students may ask themselves what to major in and how to choose a major. According to the UCSB requirements, students have until the spring semester of their sophomore year to declare their college majors. This gives them ample time to explore their interests and make informed decisions.

Students in each of UCSB’s three colleges have access to academic advisors. These faculty members help students make choices and work through decisions related to their chosen area of study. If you already know what majors and minors you want to pursue, your advisor can still help. They’ll make sure you complete all required courses and stay on track to graduate in a timely manner.

What major is UC Santa Barbara known for?

One major that stands out is UC Santa Barbara’s renowned engineering program. UC Santa Barbara is well-known for its exceptional programs across various fields. However, engineering receives particular renown among UC Santa Barbara majors.

Students pursuing UCSB majors in engineering benefit from a rigorous curriculum. Courses combine theoretical knowledge with hands-on experiences, preparing students for successful careers in the ever-evolving engineering industry. 

The engineering program focuses on interdisciplinary collaboration and a strong emphasis on research and innovation. It’s also a prime example of the academic excellence that defines UC Santa Barbara majors. Through this program, students can engage in groundbreaking research projects and gain practical skills. The combined experience makes them highly sought-after in the job market.

What is the easiest major to get into at UC Santa Barbara?

The UC Santa Barbara acceptance rate indicates the university is highly selective. However, each major within UC Santa Barbara majors has its own unique requirements and level of competitiveness. This is especially true for students looking to transfer into a particular UCSB major. 

Consequently, prior to completing a UC application, students should view the UCSB acceptance rate by major. Certain departments within the UC Santa Barbara majors have a slightly higher acceptance rate compared to others. This is because some UCSB majors may be more competitive than others due to factors such as capacity and demand. Reviewing the UCSB acceptance rate by major can help determine which majors are the easiest to gain acceptance to. 

That said, students should not decide what to major in just by looking at the least competitive majors. Instead, it’s crucial for prospective students to explore and choose a major that aligns with their passions and goals. Since UCSB is a great university, all UC Santa Barbara majors will prepare you to excel in your chosen field.

Choosing a UCSB minor

Choosing a minor at UCSB is an exciting opportunity for students to complement their UC Santa Barbara majors. When considering a minor, think about how a particular area of study could enhance your major field of study. Exploring other UCSB majors can help students identify minors that align with their passions or provide a valuable interdisciplinary perspective.

The process of choosing a minor at UCSB involves careful consideration and self-reflection. On top of that, it can be helpful to consult advisors and faculty members within UC Santa Barbara majors. It is beneficial to consider how minor courses will enhance your UCSB major coursework. This may look like building a broader knowledge base or gaining a specialized skill set. Additionally, students should consider the prerequisites and availability of courses within their chosen minor and any potential scheduling conflicts.

UCSB Majors – Final Thoughts 

When considering UC majors by campus, UCSB is a great choice considering its diverse offerings. As with all UC Santa Barbara majors, students should familiarize themselves with the specific enrollment requirements. It’s important to note the UCSB acceptance rate by major and how those requirements vary among the different UCSB majors.

So, take some time to explore the UCSB majors list prior to beginning your application! Remember, the UCSB admissions process is selective. Applicants to all UC Santa Barbara majors, even those who are undecided, must craft a compelling and competitive application.

Overall, UCSB college majors are designed to meet the diverse needs of students. UCSB offers one of the finest educational experiences in the nation across all UCSB majors. UCSB’s commitment to academic excellence and interdisciplinary learning ensures that students receive a comprehensive and well-rounded education.

Most Popular Majors
  • Sociology
  • Economics
  • Research and Experimental Psychology
  • Communications
  • International Studies
  • Biology
  • Environmental Science
  • Political Science and Government
  • Physiological Psychology
  • Mathematics

UC Santa Barbara Online

Offers Online Courses Yes

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UC Santa Barbara Enrollment

Full-Time Undergrad Enrollment 23,091
Part-Time Undergraduates 469

UCSB Alumni at CollegeAdvisor

Corbin Chu
Williams College
College advisor with 10 years of experience supporting students from all walks of life pursuing top US universities and liberal arts colleges in various subjects, especially STEM, business, and undecided majors.

Also Accepted to

Brian Seo
Hello, everyone! My name is Brian Hyun Seo, and I am a rising junior at Harvard College, concentrating in Economics with a secondary in History of Science and a Language Citation in Korean. On-campus, I spend most of my time studying and training - I am on the Men's Lightweight Rowing team. During my free time, I enjoy playing the guitar and listening to EDM. If you are looking for someone to help strengthen your college essays and/or walk through the college admissions process, I am your guy!

Also Accepted to

Zoë Edington
University of California – Berkeley
Hi there! My name is Zoe (she/her/hers). In high school, I participated in dual enrollment, which eventually helped me graduate with two AA degrees and start college with junior status. I later went to UC Berkeley and graduated in 2018 with a BA in anthropology. As a college student I was unsure about the type of career that I wanted, so I joined a lot of student clubs, enrolled in random classes, and gained a variety of skills. I loved traveling so I studied abroad for a summer in Spain and a year in Australia, doing internships in both countries. I am passionate about educational equity and passing the torch to help future generations. I have worked with for two years and I have advised clients who had a variety of academic interests. Some of the colleges that my previous clients have been accepted to include UC Berkeley, UCLA, and Duke Kunshan University.

Also Accepted to

CollegeAdvisor Reviews from Students accepted to UCSB

Rohan Kumar

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University of California - Berkeley

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Columbia University

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Matthew Yekell was extremely helpful throughout the entire process of applying to college. He went out of his way to be extremely accommodating to time differences and his help was fundamental to my admission into my top choice universities. He supported me through every step of the application process and made applying to college an enjoyable experience – couldn’t have done it without him!

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University of California - Berkeley

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