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 4.04–4.28. Admitted students to UCSB in that cycle had an average ACT composite score of 26–31, SAT reading and writing of 630–730, and SAT mathematics of 650–790. 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.