University of California–Santa Barbara Reviews and Ranking Awards

Santa Barbara, California

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Located along the coast of California, UC-SB is more than a surfer's paradise. In fact, the university confers bachelor's degrees across a wide range of STEM, humanities, and arts disciplines. Some of the most talented painters and sculptors call UCSB their alma mater and their engineering alumni are helping build a better world. The College of Creative Studies stands out as a unique offering in the UC system. Creative studies students work independently in their chosen field, whether that be biology, chemistry, writing, or one of the fine arts.

Overview of University of California–Santa Barbara

When not exploring personal and professional development in the classroom, UC-SB students like to have a good time. Many bring their surfboards to campus and enjoy the waves. Others may prefer a less salty existence and can compete in E-Sports such as FIFA20, NBA2K20, or Rocket League. Others take exploratory and enriching REC classes or participate on an intramural sports team. Gaucho REC classes include areas such as arts & crafts, martial arts, mind & body, guitar, and American Sign Language. For those who desire more structure and competition without the stress of varsity sports, UCSB offers Club Sports that compete in climbing, fencing, sailing, surfing, and tennis.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting Suburb: Midsize
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 22:1
Graduation Rate 83%
Year Founded 1891

Student Enrollment

Total Students25,976


Undergraduate Student

Male 10,612
Female 12,458

Graduate Student

Male 1,337
Female 1,569

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Top Rankings For University of California–Santa Barbara

University of California–Santa Barbara Reviews

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Male 41,895
Female 51,551


Male 11,731
Female 15,981

Acceptance Rate30%

Male 28%
Female 31%

Enrollment 5,046

Male 908
Female 858
Application Fee $70
High School GPA Required
High School Rank NA
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations NA
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline November 30
Common Application Accepted No

Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Since the University of California at Santa Barbara is a public institution, in-state students find a very affordable education. Even those from other states that participate in the Western Undergraduate Exchange can take advantage of the lower cost of tuition for such a top-notch education. For those paying the in-state price, full-time tuition, fees, books, and supplies run around $16,000. When all living expenses are tallied, in-state students face a gross cost of $37,000. Students who pay the out of state tuition, and are not part of the exchange, have a gross cost of $67,000.

However, once all the financial aid packages kick in, the net price of UCSB falls dramatically. The average net cost for full-time undergraduate students is $17,000. At the lower end of that price are the lower-income students who have a net price of $11,000 and the highest income students pay closer to $31,000 for their education.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $16,767
Average Total Aid $20,253
Students Receiving Financial Aid 63%
Room & Board $15,520

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $14,391
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $44,145
  • Books and Supplies - $1,184
  • Room & Board - $15,520
  • Other - $5,670


The UC system in California is chock full of academic powerhouses and UC Santa Barbara is no exception. UC-SB posts stellar educational statistics and their graduates are frequently found at the heads of business, government, and even the arts. Their impressive numbers start with an eye-popping retention rate that is reinforced with superb graduation numbers. They also boast a terrific average class size, despite their status as a major university.

UCSB's academic prowess is first demonstrated in its retention rate. Of their full-time, first-year students, 92% return for a second year. This enthusiasm demonstrates that students are highly satisfied with their classes, campus life, and the overall curriculum. UC-SB students are confident that their school will take them where they want to go. In fact, most of them go to the graduation stage. UC-SB reports that 83% of their students cross the stage within 6 years.

Some may attribute this sort of loyalty to the excellent surfing adjacent to campus, but it's more likely that it's due to an innovative curriculum reinforced by a favorable student-to-faculty ratio. The average class size at the institution is 18 students. While that figure can be beat by small liberal arts colleges, when one factors out the large entry level courses, it's certain that students will find much smaller class sizes once they delve into their major degree program.

Student Population Total

Student Population 25,976

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Social Sciences Majors 1,530 Total Graduates / 26%
Econometrics and Quantitative Economics 554 Graduates
Sociology 553 Graduates
Political Science and Government, General 241 Graduates
Anthropology 115 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 661 Total Graduates / 11%
Experimental Psychology 488 Graduates
Physiological Psychology/Psychobiology 173 Graduates
All Biological & Biomedical Majors 603 Total Graduates / 10%
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 346 Graduates
Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology, Other 46 Graduates
Cell/Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences, Other 42 Graduates
Aquatic Biology/Limnology 33 Graduates
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programss 395 Total Graduates / 7%
Communication, General 395 Graduates
Mathematics and Statistics 354 Total Graduates / 6%
Statistics, General 149 Graduates
Mathematics, General 105 Graduates
Applied Mathematics, Other 100 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 40%

Outcome & Salary

College students and their families are frequently curious to learn what sort of return is possible for their educational investment. While it’s impossible to project earnings with any real certainty, there are figures available from surveying UC-SB alumni. The highest-earning degree field from UC-SB tends to be computer science. These technology whizzes report base median salaries of $77,000. At the lower end of UC-SB's top 10 earning degrees are the mathematics majors who report base starting salaries of $40,000. In the middle of the pack are the mechanical engineers, who earn $56,000 per year.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $60,700
College Grads Average Salary $77,549
College Grads Mid Career Salary $128,600
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $775,490
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $2,061,490
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $67,068
10 Year Projected ROI $708,422
20 Year Projected ROI $1,994,422
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840