At UC Santa Barbara, we span disciplines and transcend labels. Our ambitions aim far, and our impact reaches wide. Spin through these select highlights and see just what makes UCSB such a compelling place to live, work, and learn.
Forbes Magazine, which showcased 500 of the finest U.S. institutions of higher education in its 2023 America’s Top Colleges list, ranked UC Santa Barbara as the No. 5 public university in the country.
UCSB’s renowned faculty includes six winners of Nobel Prizes for landmark research in chemistry, physics and economics. An alumna of our College of Creative Studies won the 2009 Nobel in Physiology or Medicine.
UCSB was ranked No. 10 on Princeton Review's 2022 Top 50 Green Schools list, which recognizes "superb sustainability practices, a strong foundation in sustainability education, and a healthy quality of life for students on campus."
National Institutes and Centers
The campus is home to 10 national institutes and centers. Among them are the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics and the Materials Research Laboratory, both funded by the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Army-funded Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies.
An Elite Research University
UC Santa Barbara is one of only 69 research-intensive institutions in the U.S. and Canada elected to membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities, cementing its status as a higher-education leader.
U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report, in its 2023–2024 Best Colleges listing, ranked UC Santa Barbara the No. 12 public university in the country.
Committed to Diversity and Providing Opportunities for All Students
UCSB is a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), an elite designation by the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities for colleges or universities in which Hispanic enrollment comprises at least 25% of the total. Our campus was the first HSI among members of the prestigious Association of American Universities.
American Academy of Arts and Sciences Members
The UCSB faculty includes 45 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s top honorary societies, among whose ranks are winners of Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes, Oscars, Emmys and more.
The Birthplace of Practical Scanning Microscope
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.
Preserving American History and Culture
UC Santa Barbara 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 the naturalist and literary artist.
The UCSB Library has opened up the world of historic sound recordings with its immensely popular, and searchable, UCSB Cylinder Audio Archive.
Improving Lives and the Environment Through Ecology
UCSB is home to the first-of-its-kind National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), which is accelerating scientific discoveries that will enhance our understanding of the world and benefit people and nature.
National Academy of Engineering Members
Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. The honor has been so accorded to 29 UCSB faculty members.
Researchers Advancing Energy Efficiency
The interdisciplinary Institute for Energy Efficiency brings together more than 50 top campus researchers with related expertise to develop cutting-edge energy-saving technologies.
At the Forefront of Scholarship in the Humanities and Fine Arts
From the Center for Digital Games Research to the English Broadside Ballad Archive, UC Santa Barbara boasts 24 dedicated research centers and academic initiatives in the humanities and fine arts, four celebrated performance programs in theater and dance and 25 accomplished musical groups, ensembles and choirs.
Innovating Treatment for Autism
The Koegel Autism Center at UCSB’s 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. It was here that Pivotal Response Treatment® was developed by the center’s founding faculty, Drs. Robert and Lynn Koegel.
Majors, Degrees & Credentials
From hard sciences to studio art and all points in between, your educational opportunities abound at UCSB. We offer more than 200 majors, degrees and credentials, a number that includes 90+ undergraduate majors and more than 50 graduate programs.
Our faculty members are routinely elected as members of the globe’s most prestigious academic organizations. Case in point: More than 80 current or former UCSB faculty are elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for their advancement of science or its applications.
Companies Started With UCSB Technologies
The largest employer in the county, UC Santa Barbara is a primary engine of economic activity on the South Coast. Some 60 local companies, and 90+ in total, have been established based on technology developed or discovered at UCSB. On average, four to six new companies based on our research are formed every year. Companies on four continents are currently using UCSB-developed technologies.
Century Technological Leader
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 creating revolutionary new materials, devices and systems that will enhance virtually every aspect of our lives.
Driving Breakthroughs in Solid State Lighting
Led by Nobel Prize winner Shuji Nakamura, UC Santa Barbara researchers achieved 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.
For the 2022-2023 academic year, UC Santa Barbara had an average of 25,034 students on campus during the Fall, Winter, and Spring Quarters.
More than 60 UCSB scholars have snared Guggenheim Fellowships, an elusive honor intended for individuals who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.