About UC Santa Barbara

A learning and living environment like no other.


Palm-framed vistas of the blue Pacific and the golden Santa Ynez Mountains. The scent of eucalyptus mixed with the saltwater breeze. Breathtaking natural beauty combined with enormous intellectual vitality. This is the University of California, Santa Barbara, and there is no other campus quite like it.

Here on the edge of the Pacific, in a setting removed from urban pressures and distractions but vibrant with cultural and academic activity, many of the country’s most promising students join a community of scholars whose accomplishments are internationally recognized and whose skills as teachers are evident each day in classrooms and laboratories.

In the humanities and the arts as well as in engineering and the sciences, UC Santa Barbara introduces students to novel ways of thinking, learning, and conducting research.

Academic Quality

Pioneering research is a critical component of the highest quality education. UCSB’s faculty includes six Nobel Prize winners and scores of elected members of national and international academies and societies as well as dozens of winners of Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships. The campus is one of only 62 research-intensive institutions elected to membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities.

Within this community of scholars, the life of the mind, the pursuit of knowledge, and the experience of growth, both personal and intellectual, are the hallmarks of daily life. UCSB enrolls more than 23,000 students, almost 3,000 of them at the graduate level. Competition for admission is keen. In recent years the campus has enrolled the most academically competitive and ethnically diverse classes in its history.

More than 200 majors, degrees, and credentials are offered through UCSB’s five schools and the Graduate Division. The College of Letters and Science alone offers 80 majors. The College of Creative Studies offers talented students an alternative approach for pursuing advanced, independent work in the arts, mathematics, or the sciences. The College of Engineering offers degree programs in seven disciplines.

The university also has two professional schools: the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, and the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education.

Scholarship and Service

The preeminent scholarship, instruction, and public service that define UCSB have helped shape its identity as a place of enormous and exceptional possibility — a magnet for innovation.

Originally a small, independent teachers’ college, Santa Barbara joined the renowned University of California system in 1944 and has since grown to be an integral and important part of public postsecondary education in the state.

Recognition of UCSB’s academic quality takes many forms. One of the most prestigious is support from the National Science Foundation. The campus is now home to 11 national centers and institutes, eight of which are sponsored by the NSF, including the Materials Research Laboratory, the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, the Southern California Earthquake Center and the renowned Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics.

The California NanoSystems Institute — one of the California Institutes for Science and Innovation — focuses on dramatic breakthroughs in materials, devices and resulting technologies, made possible by controlling form and function at the nanoscale. The institute is a research partnership with UCLA. New research buildings at both campuses house the institute.

At the interdisciplinary Carsey-Wolf Center, students and scholars study everything from silent films to the latest in digital media and satellite communications, all in the context of a strong liberal arts and sciences curriculum.

Chancellor's Welcome