University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) Admissions: Everything You Want to and Need to Know
Overview of University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB)
Situated north of Los Angeles along the Pacific Ocean, University of California, Santa Barbara is a public research institution with an acceptance rate of 32%. The institution has a large selection of over 90 undergraduate and graduate degree programs for students to select. Students are backed by a 22 to 1 student/faculty ratio, and professors take a personalized approach to the teaching and learning process. Outside of the classroom, students will find plenty of opportunities to engage with the campus community via the university’s many clubs and organizations.
- Total Enrollment: 25,976 (23,070 undergraduates)
- Gender Breakdown: 46 percent male/54 percent female
- 98 percent full-time
Cost of Attendance Information
- Tuition and Fees: $14,391 (in-state); $43,383 (out-of-state)
- Books: $1,184
- Room and Board: $15,520
- Other Expenses: $5,670
- Total Cost: $36,765 (in-state); $65,757 (out-of-state)
Financial Aid Information
- Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 63 percent
- Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
- Grants: 55 percent
- Loans: 37 percent
- Average Amount of Aid
- Grants: $18,427
- Loans: $5,794
Academic Programs Offered
- Most Popular Majors: Social Sciences; Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Psychology; and Mathematics and Statistics
Retention and Graduation
- First-Year Student Retention (full-time students): 92 percent
- 4-Year Graduation Rate: 68 percent
- 6-Year Graduation Rate: 82 percent
NCAA Athletic Programs
- Men’s Sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, Water Polo
- Women’s Sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Soccer, Softball, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, Water Polo
- The UCSB Gauchos play in the NCAA Division I Big West Conference.
Overview of University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) Admissions
University of California, Santa Barbara, which accepts just under one-third of applicants, has a selective admissions procedure. Students whose SAT/ACT scores and GPA are within the institution’s requirements have a good chance of being admitted. Applicants must complete an online application and send test scores from either the SAT or ACT and high school transcripts. Glowing recommendation letters can bolster your application, along with being involved with student organizations and attempting a challenging course load. Students with unique talents and accomplishments can still receive strong consideration even if their GPAs are outside of the admissions offices mean range. After applying, students will receive a message from an admissions counselor about the application process’s next steps. Interested students should check out the university’s website, which has helpful tips and contact information for the admissions offices.
Throughout the 2018-19 admissions phase, UC Santa Barbara had an acceptance rate of 32%. For every 100 students who submitted applications, 32 students gained admission, making UCSB’s admissions procedure highly competitive.
SAT Requirements and Scores
Throughout the 2018-19 admissions phase, 81% of students provided SAT scores. This admissions data reveals that most UC Santa Barbara’s students fall within the top 20% nationally on the SAT. 50% of admitted students scored between 620 and 700 on the evidence-based reading and writing part, while 25% scored under 620 and 25% scored over 700. 50% of students scored between 610 and 760 on the math part, while 25% scored under 610, and 25% scored over 760. Applicants with a cumulative SAT score of 1500 or higher will have a competitive advantage at UC Santa Barbara.
ACT Requirements and Scores
Throughout the 2018-19 admissions phase, 48% of students provided ACT scores. This admissions data reveals that most UC Santa Barbara’s students fall within the top 18% nationally on the ACT. The middle 50% of admitted students to the University of California, Santa Barbara, received a cumulative ACT score between 27 and 33, while 25% scored over 33, and 25% scored under 27.
In 2019, the median 50% of the University of California, Santa Barbara’s incoming class, had high school GPAs between 4.0 and 4.26. 25% had a GPA of over 4.26, and 25% had a GPA under 4.0. Successful applicants to UC Santa Barbara have A grades primarily.
Safety Net Schools: Easy to Gain Admission
If past admission data predicts that you would be a competitive candidate for UC Santa Barbara, it should be easy to gain admissions to the schools below. If UC Santa Barbara is currently out of your reach, then you are sure to be a competitive candidate for the schools below.
University of Connecticut, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Syracuse University, United States Military Academy, Penn State University Park, University of Cincinnati
Same Tier: Just As Hard to Gain Admission
If you’re a competitive candidate for UC Santa Barbara, you should have an equal chance of gaining admissions at these schools.
Binghamton University, Lehigh University, University of Texas at Austin, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Washington, Stony Brook University, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Reach Institutions: Gaining Admissions Will be More of a Challenge
These schools are more challenging to gain admission into than UC Santa Barbara. If you improve your GPA and SAT/ACT scores, then you’ll be a competitive candidate for these schools.
New York University, University of Michigan, Emory University, Boston College, Boston University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Villanova University
Applying to UC Santa Barbara
Application Deadline: November 30
Undergraduate Admissions Website:
Undergraduate Application Link(s):
Graduate Admissions Website:
Graduate Application Link(s):