UC Santa Barbara ranks among higher-education leaders in the United States and Canada as one of only 62 research-intensive institutions elected to membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities.
- U.S. News and World Report’s 2015 "Best Colleges" guide, the most widely read college guide in the country, ranks UCSB number 10 among all public universities.
- In its 2013 ranking of the top 500 universities, Leiden University ranked UC Santa Barbara number 2 in the world in terms of impact in the field of the sciences.
- UCSB’s renowned faculty includes six winners of Nobel Prizes for landmark research in chemistry, physics, and economics. An alumna of the College of Creative Studies was named 2009 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine.
- UCSB faculty members are also included in many prestigious academic organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, with 90 current or former faculty; Guggenheim Fellows, more than 60; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 31; and the National Academy of Engineering, 25.
- Demand for admission is keen, and the academic quality and diversity of the applicant classes remain very high. Fall 2014 applications from prospective freshmen and transfer students totaled 80,893, a record high for UC Santa Barbara.
- The campus is home to 11 national institutes and centers. Among them: the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics and the Materials Research Laboratory (both funded by the National Science Foundation), and the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies (funded by the U.S. Army).
- UCSB is home to the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), founded by the National Science Foundation. NCEAS is launching a new initiative — SNAP, or Science for Nature and People — in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and the Wildlife Conservation Society.
- External support for research, the lifeblood of a premier research university, totaled $165 million in fiscal 2012-13. Federal agencies provided $135 million of the total.
- More than half of graduating seniors collaborate with faculty members on original research or creative projects.
- The Campaign for UC Santa Barbara has thus far raised more than $900 million to ensure the excellence of the campus and its programs for future generations.
- The Koegel Autism Center at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education has been recognized by the National Research Council as one of the top 10 state-of-the-art treatments centers for autism in the United States.
- The university is the editorial headquarters for The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau, a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) project that is publishing definitive scholarly editions of the complete works of naturalist and literary artist Henry David Thoreau. The Thoreau Edition has been designated an NEH “We the People” project because of the importance of Thoreau’s writings in American history and culture.
- The UCSB Libraries have opened up the world of historic sound recordings by mounting thousands of digitized cylinder recordings on an immensely popular Web site: http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu.
- The campus is home to the California NanoSystems Institute, one of the first California Institutes for Science and Innovation. A research partnership with UCLA, the institute is on its way to creating revolutionary new materials, devices, and systems that will enhance virtually every aspect of our lives.
- The interdisciplinary Institute for Energy Efficiency is bringing together more than 50 campus researchers with related expertise to develop new energy-saving technologies.
- Researchers at UC Santa Barbara led by Shuji Nakamura were responsible for a major breakthrough in laser diode development and demonstrated the world’s first nonpolar blue-violet laser diodes, which have numerous commercial and medical applications.
- The UCSB laboratory of physicist Paul Hansma is considered the birthplace of practical scanning microscopes, especially atomic force microscopes, which today are ubiquitous in laboratories all over the world.
- UC Santa Barbara is the largest employer in the county and a primary engine of economic activity on the South Coast. More than 80 local companies have been established by UCSB faculty and alumni, and, on average, six new companies based on UCSB research are formed every year. In addition, 66 companies on four continents (30 in California) are currently using technologies developed at UCSB.
- Bren Hall, which houses the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, and the Tipton Meeting House at the Sedgwick Natural Reserve are among the “greenest” buildings in the nation, earning LEED Platinum certification — the highest sustainability rating possible — from the U.S. Green Building Council. In addition, UCSB has the largest portfolio of LEED-certified buildings in the University of California system.