The University of California-Santa Barbara, or UCSB, is one of the best public universities in the nation. It has a world-class faculty, quality academic programs, and great students, but part of its academic excellence comes from its selective admissions process. The University of California-Santa Barbara acceptance rate is quite low, so students have to excel to get in.
UCSB’s low admission rate means that only the most determined and innovation-minded students get accepted. The University of California-Santa Barbara admissions process is competitive and requires preparation. This article gives you all the information you need to improve your chances at admission.
Is University of California-Santa Barbara Easy to Get Into?
No, the University of California-Santa Barbara is not an easy university to get into. UCSB is a very selective school and maintaining a low acceptance rate is one of the ways the school keeps its excellent standing in terms of graduation rate and postgraduate student outcomes (professional and academic).
What Is University of California-Santa Barbara’s Acceptance Rate?
The overall acceptance rate for the University of California-Santa Barbara is 37 percent, according to the US Department of Education’s College Scorecard. The acceptance rate for undergraduates is 29 percent according to the National Center for Educational Statistics.
What Is University of California-Santa Barbara’s Transfer Acceptance Rate?
The UCSB acceptance rate for transfers is close to 50 percent. UCSB is a transfer-friendly school, and one-third of its incoming students are transfers. It also has agreements with various California community colleges, which is a factor in its high transfer acceptance rate.
What Is University of California-Santa Barbara’s Early Decision Acceptance Rate?
The University of California-Santa Barbara does not offer students Early Decision or Early Action applications. Applications open on August 1 every year, and students can only submit their applications during November. UCSB does not accept early applications.
University of California-Santa Barbara Admissions: An Overview
- Number of Applicants at University of California-Santa Barbara per year: 105,641
- University of California-Santa Barbara Acceptance Rate: 29%
The University of California-Santa Barbara’s online application period starts on August 1 and ends on November 30. Transfer students from California community colleges can start submitting their applications on September 1. Students hear back if they’ve been admitted or not between March 15 and May 1.
Students applying to the University of California-Santa Barbara must meet subject area requirements and have a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 (3.4 for out-of-state residents). A student’s personal accomplishments, such as their extracurricular activities and achievements, are also factored into the decision process.
Who Gets Into University of California-Santa Barbara?
People of all racial demographics have the opportunity to harness their intellectual potential at the University of California-Santa Barbara. UCSB is more diverse than an average university, and international students who are only studying for a short period in the US are also welcome. This diversity helps open students to a broader range of perspectives and cultures.
University of California-Santa Barbara Enrollment by Ethnicity
- White – 32%
- Hispanic or Latino – 23%
- Asian – 18%
- Two or More Races – 8%
- Black or African American – 2%
- Native American or Alaska Native – 0.2%
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders – 0.1%
University of California-Santa Barbara Acceptance Rate by Major
The University of California-Santa Barbara acceptance rate differs based on the major you want to pursue. It has a wide range of academic programs for prospective students, with the most popular being social science, biological science, and mathematics.
Acceptance Rate by Major at University of California-Santa Barbara
- Social Sciences: 37
- Biological Sciences: 32%
- Mathematics and Statistics: 36%
University of California-Santa Barbara Application Deadline: When Is University of California-Santa Barbara’s Application Due?
The deadline to apply to the University of California-Santa Barbara is November 30. Students can start submitting their applications on November 1. Transfers from California community colleges can also submit their Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) application between the first and last day of September.
University of California-Santa Barbara Application Deadlines
- Early Decision Deadline: N/A
- Early Action Deadline: N/A
- Application Fee: $70 (US residents); $80 (international students)
- Common App: No
What Are the Major Reasons to Go to University of California-Santa Barbara?
The University of California-Santa Barbara is one of the most highly ranked public universities in the world. There are many reasons to go to UCSB and complete an undergraduate or graduate degree like a PhD program. Below we provide three of the biggest reasons to go to the University of California-Santa Barbara and discuss them in detail.
Nationally Ranked Public University
The University of California-Santa Barbara is ranked among the top 10 public universities in the nation by US News & World Report. The University of California-Santa Barbara’s acceptance rate proves how meticulous the school is with its student selection, and students themselves can also testify to the school’s quality of education.
High Student-To-Faculty Ratio
UCSB has a student-to-faculty ratio of 18 to 1, which means that professors can provide more hands-on support and attention per student in terms of career guidance, professional networking, and teaching in general. The school’s selectivity also plays a part in maintaining an ideal student-to-faculty ratio.
Great Campus Culture and Location
The University of California-Santa Barbara has a beautiful campus with excellent facilities and its own lagoon. The UCSB campus is also home to entertainment areas like The Hub. Whether you like to de-stress by spending time in nature or hanging out with others, UCSB has many activities accessible to students, especially those who live on campus.
Tips for Applying to University of California-Santa Barbara
The University of California-Santa Barbara has excellent programs and a committed faculty, but they also have a very low acceptance rate. To help improve your chances of getting into UCSB, we’ve highlighted three important tips for applying to the University of California-Santa Barbara.
Meet the Minimum GPA Requirements
One of the UCSB admission requirements is a 3.0 high school GPA. This GPA requirement is only the bare minimum, so if you really want to get into UCSB, make sure you excel in high school and earn a GPA that exceeds the minimum requirement. Admission is competitive, and a strong GPA is very valuable for incoming students.
Highlight Your Extracurricular Experience
The admissions office at the University of California-Santa Barbara values students’ extracurricular experience as much as their academics. An applicant’s extracurricular activities, achievements, and personal milestones make them stand out, which in turn increases their chances of being accepted by the school.
Write an Essay That Impresses
The University of California-Santa Barbara admissions application form consists of many essay-type questions, which gives you another chance to set yourself apart from the pack. UCSB also prides itself on admitting students with a wide range of diverse backgrounds and ethnicities, so your special circumstances or unique background can also come into play here.
University of California-Santa Barbara Admissions Requirements: First-Year Applicant Checklist
The University of California-Santa Barbara has various admission requirements. To get into a good college like UCSB, you have to meet GPA requirements and make sure you take the required classes in a high school approved by the university to get in. You must also submit the application form and the application fee.
- High school education
- High school GPA requirements
- Subject requirements
- UCSB application form
- Application fee
University of California-Santa Barbara SAT Requirements
Below, we show you the SAT scores required to get accepted into the University of California-Santa Barbara. A 25th percentile figure shows that 25 percent of students scored at or below that number, while a 75th percentile figure tells us that 25 percent scored above that number.
- Students Submitting SAT Scores: N/A
- SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 550 (25th percentile); 660 (75th percentile)
- SAT Math: 570 (25th percentile); 730 (75th percentile)
University of California-Santa Barbara ACT Requirements
Below are the average ACT scores of accepted students in the University of California-Santa Barbara. It should be noted that UCSB does not require students to submit either SAT or ACT scores. Submission of these test scores is completely voluntary.
- Students Submitting ACT Scores: N/A
- ACT Composite: 77 (25th percentile); 98 (75th percentile)
- ACT English: 26 (25th percentile); 33 (75th percentile)
- ACT Math: 25 (25th percentile); 32 (75th percentile)
Acing Your University of California-Santa Barbara Application: What Is the Best Way to Prepare for the University of California-Santa Barbara Application?
Be Prepared for Personal Insight Questions
One of the sections on the application consists of questions about your character and traits. You must choose four out of eight questions to answer. Make sure to have unique and outstanding answers ready for these questions. Helpfully, these questions are listed on the school’s official website to help students prepare.
Provide All the Required Information
You can find various application and admission details on the University of California-Santa Barbara’s admissions website. Students are required to give their citizenship status, Social Security Number, and annual income if they wish to apply for an application fee waiver or the Educational Opportunity Program.
Capitalize on Past Achievements, Activities, and Awards
One section on the application form allows you to tell the admissions department about your various awards and activities. Esure to state all your past achievements and milestones to make yourself stand out as much as possible among all incoming freshmen.
University of California-Santa Barbara GPA Requirements: What GPA Do I Need to Get In?
To get into the University of California-Santa Barbara, you need a good GPA of at least 3.0 or 3.4, depending on whether you’re a resident or non-resident of California. The University of California-Santa Barbara GPA requirement for California residents is a minimum of 3.0. For California non-residents, this is increased to a minimum of 3.4.
University of California-Santa Barbara Tuition: How Much Does it Cost to Attend University of California-Santa Barbara?
The cost of attending the University of California-Santa Barbara is $16,252 per year, according to the United States Department of Education’s College Scorecard. Meanwhile, the official website states the school’s annual actual tuition is $11,442, and the estimated total cost for a year as an undergraduate is $29,754.
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Of course, there are various scholarships and financial aid options that can cover your tuition fees. You can possibly lessen or even be free of your actual school costs by getting scholarships and other financial aid.
Common Majors at the University of California-Santa Barbara
The University of California-Santa Barbara offers various majors and degree programs. According to Data USA, the top three most popular majors at the University of California-Santa Barbara are Sociology, Econometrics & Quantitative Economics, and General Communication. Below, we go into more detail about each of these majors.
An undergraduate degree in sociology from UCSB certifies that a graduate is knowledgeable in topics like social inequality, interpersonal relations, and international studies. The curriculum of this social sciences program focuses on the systems and nuanced aspects of society.
Best Jobs for Sociology Graduates
- Bank Representative
- Human Resources Manager
Econometrics & Quantitative Economics
The University of California-Santa Barbara’s Department of Economics is one of the best economics programs among public universities and has distinguished undergraduate and graduate courses. Economic majors get an advanced study in topics such as economic theory and hone problem-solving and financial analysis skills.
Best Jobs for Econometrics & Quantitative Economics Graduates
- Quantitative Analyst
- Senior Market Analyst
Undergraduate students majoring in communication learn to harness effective communication skills in various cultures and environments, such as organizations, schools, and families. Courses in the communication major curriculum include Culture and Communication, Conflict Management, and Organizational Communication.
Best Jobs for Communication Graduates
- Assistant Professor
- Technology Consultant
University of California-Santa Barbara Attendance Outcomes
The University of California-Santa Barbara has alumni in various industries and fields. UCSB graduates are expert professionals in their respective areas, from social sciences to STEM fields. Their success in the working field has made them solid testaments to the school’s quality education.
Below, we talk about some of the most common jobs for UCSB graduates, as well as some of the highest-paying jobs for UCSB alumni. These are mostly based on graduates from the university’s most specialized degree programs, such as Natural Resources and Conversation, Philosophy and Religious Studies, and Math and Statistics.
Most Common Jobs for People Who Attended the University of California-Santa Barbara
|Position||Median Salary||Job Outlook|
|Elementary/Middle School Teacher||$61,350||7%|
University of California-Santa Barbara Alumni Highest-Paying Jobs
|Position||Median Salary||Job Outlook|
|Securities, Commodities, & Financial Services Sales Agent||$62,910||4%|
Should I Apply to University of California-Santa Barbara?
Yes, you should apply to the University of California-Santa Barbara if you are after a quality education that can prepare you for a great career. It is a top-tier public school that consistently ranks in the top 10 public universities in the nation. It has low tuition costs as well, which means that UCSB can give you a quality education without a hefty fee attached.
Whichever field of study you are interested in, UCSB has quality undergraduate and graduate programs for you. The University of California-Santa Barbara’s acceptance rate may be low, but this shouldn’t deter you if you’re determined. With a strong GPA and a unique application, you stand a chance of getting in.
University of California-Santa Barbara Acceptance Rate FAQ
Yes, students from underrepresented communities have a higher chance of getting into the University of California-Santa Barbara as long as they perform well in their bachelor’s or master’s degrees. UCSB wants to ensure that there is a wide range of perspectives in their school to create a diverse environment.
Academics are very important in the University of California-Santa Barbara admissions process. UCSB looks at your high school grades and academic and personal achievements, so make sure to do your best to excel in all these areas. Moreover, you can also keep up with the top new trends in college admissions to be better prepared for what may be asked of you.
Yes, a lot of people apply to the University of California-Santa Barbara each year. Because of the school’s superior reputation and low acceptance rate, the University of California-Santa Barbara admissions process can get competitive.
Yes, students from California community colleges have a guaranteed transfer to the University of California-Santa Barbara. Transfer students still have to meet specific requirements of the UCSB admission for transfers, though. Moreover, to ensure admission into UCSB, it may also be beneficial if you attend one of the best community colleges in California.
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