With a campus on the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, the University of California, Santa Barbara is a dream school for many students. UCSB is ranked number 28 in National Universities by US News & World Report. This public university located in Santa Barbara is considered to be a public ivy league school.
In this guide, we’ll cover UCSB requirements. We’ll also discuss the UCSB acceptance rate, as well as tips for getting accepted into UCSB. Keep reading to learn everything you need about how to get into UCSB.
All About UCSB Admissions
In 2021, over 105,000 students applied to UCSB and admissions are moderately competitive. UCSB applications open each year in August and close for submissions at the end of November. Students are evaluated holistically, but you must first meet the coursework and GPA requirements to be considered.
UCSB Acceptance Rate
The UCSB 2021 admissions rate was 29 percent for the 105,631 students who applied. Non-California residents have a slightly higher acceptance rate than California residents, and students with a grade point average (GPA) of 4.2 or higher have the highest acceptance rate of any group.
The University of California, Santa Barbara has strict minimum GPA requirements. California residents must have a 3.0 GPA or higher and non-residents must have a 3.4 GPA or higher. There may be some exceptions for extreme circumstances, and you should check the website if you have a specific question about exceptions.
UCSB Total Enrollment
Total enrollment in 2021 at UC Santa Barbara was 26,124 students, with 23,091 undergraduate students and 3,027 graduate students. Almost eighty percent of all students are California residents.
- Coursework in required subject areas. High school students are expected to complete 15 courses in specific core subject areas. This includes two years of history, four years of English, three years of mathematics, two years of science, two years of a foreign language, one year of visual or performing arts, and two semesters of elective classes.
- Meet the minimum GPA requirement. California residents need a GPA of 3.0 or higher and non-residents need a GPA of 3.4 or higher.
- Answer the personal insight questions (PIQs). You will be asked to answer four out of eight questions. You get to choose the questions you want to answer, and each answer has a maximum of 350 words. All questions are weighted equally, so no one question gives you an advantage.
- See if your program requires additional application materials. Some UC Santa Barbara programs require a portfolio or audition in addition to your UC Application. Check the University of California, Santa Barbara website to check additional requirements for your major.
- Proficiency in English. If your first language isn’t English and you didn’t attend a high school in English, then you have to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or one of the other options listed on the website.
Is It Hard to Get Into UCSB?
UC Santa Barbara is not the most difficult school to get into, but it isn’t easy either. Your chances of admission are around one in three if you meet the minimum requirements. With a bit of planning and preparation, you can submit an excellent UC application and improve your acceptance chances.
Does UCSB Require an Interview
UC Santa Barbara does not offer interviews for most programs. Some programs have specific major applications that require auditions or portfolios. Read up on your major’s admission process to learn more.
10 Tips for Getting Into UCSB
After you meet UC Santa Barbara’s admissions requirements, you still need to find a way to make your application stand out. Here are some valuable tips that might give you the competitive advantage you need in the admissions process.
1. Aim for a High GPA
The required minimum GPA is 3.0 for in-state applicants and 3.4 for out-of-state applicants. Aiming for a GPA of 4.0 or higher will improve your chance of admission. In 2021 incoming students had an average GPA of 4.37.
2. Participate in Extracurricular Activities
UC Santa Barbara values participation in extracurricular activities, and it is also a good chance for you to find out what you are most interested in. You could take an internship to explore your career goals or participate in a sports or music program.
3. Write Engaging Answers to the PIQs
The personal insight questions help the admissions team to learn who you are and what you care about. It helps them decide whether you are a good fit for UCSB. Use the official University of California guide, be thoughtful, write in your own unique voice, and proofread your work.
4. Join a Community Service Organization
Spend some time helping out others in your community by joining a local community service organization. You could tutor local kids or volunteer at a soup kitchen. You might even get the chance to work on your leadership skills by organizing an event or activity.
5. Include Information on Special Circumstances
UCSB considers each application carefully during the admission process. Be open and transparent about your circumstances. Whether you have a disability, come from a low-income background, or will be a first-generation college attendee, explaining your circumstances gives you a real chance to show who you are.
6. Become an Expert on UCSB
Is UCSB your dream school? Let it show in your PIQs by demonstrating that you know all about UCSB. Read the official website as well as blogs by current and former students, and show that you are ready for this academic experience.
7. Practice Talking About Your Achievements
The UC application is one big opportunity to talk about your academic and personal achievements. Practice talking and writing about your achievements until it feels natural. This will translate into a more engaging application.
8. Think About Your Career Plans
How will a degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara fit into your future career? Do you want to go to graduate school or law school? You don’t need to know the answers right now, but thinking about the future will help you determine your motivation for applying to UCSB.
9. Make an Application Timeline
There is a lot to do to complete your UC application, and you are likely applying to other college options too. Make a list of what you need to submit for UCSB, and set a date to complete each step. Make sure you have plenty of time to work on your PIQ answers.
10. Get a UCSB Mentor
Perhaps you know someone who has attended UCSB or another one of the public universities in the UC system. Ask them about their experiences and see if they can introduce you to other alumni or faculty to learn more about UCSB.
What Does It Take to Get Into UCSB?
UCSB is looking for driven students who are interested in academics, research, student clubs and organizations, and other extracurricular activities. You will have to meet the academic application requirements and also show your interests and passions.
How to Get Into UCSB FAQ
The student-to-faculty ratio is 18 to one. You are likely to have some large lecture classes and some smaller laboratory or discussion-based classes. Six professors at UCSB have been awarded the Nobel Prize.
The cost of tuition for 2021-2022 is $14,442 for California residents and $44,196 for non-residents.The estimated total cost of attending, including books, supplies, and room and board is $38,025 for California residents and $67,779 for non-residents.
UCSB offers student services such as academic advising, career services, and support for students from marginalized groups. Students at UCSB can also join one of 500 student organizations from athletic teams to Greek life.
UCSB graduation rates are very high for a large university. Seventy-five percent of students graduate in four years, and 89 percent of students graduate in six years.
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