UC Santa Barbara Acceptance Rate

Are you planning on going to college in Santa Barbara? Whether it’s UCSB or another school, there’s a lot to take into consideration. The UC Santa Barbara acceptance rate is one of these things. It could ultimately be the difference between whether you get into the college or university of your dreams. Or, alternatively, getting accepted into everything you apply for. So it’s important that you know this number to help you prepare and plan accordingly.

The University of California, Santa Barbara ( UC Santa Barbara or UCSB ) is a public research university and one of the 10 general campuses of the University of California system. The main campus is located on a 1,022-acre (413 ha) site in Goleta, California, US, 8 miles (13 km) from Santa Barbara and 100 miles (160 km) northwest of Los Angeles.

Are you looking to go to college but not sure how to get into school? Get the information you need regarding UC Santa Barbara Acceptance Rate. This article discusses UVA’s medical school acceptance rate including its number of applicants, matriculants, yield rate, fill rate, admissions requirements, test scores, selectivity of class profile for year 2013, uc santa barbara acceptance rate out of state, uc santa cruz acceptance rate & ucsb transfer acceptance rate.

UC Santa Barbara Overview

University of California Santa Barbara is a leading public research university located in the picturesque seaside location of Santa Barbara, California, United States. Initially it was established in 1891 as an independent college it joined the University of California community in 1944. University of California Santa Barbara has been placed among the top public universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, 2020.

  • UCSB grants admission in more than 200 majors, degrees and credentials including over 90 undergraduate majors and 50+ graduate courses.
  • University of California Santa Barbara has an acceptance rate of 37% for freshmen applicants while 59% for transfer applicants.
  • UCSB has a total of 26,314 students out of that 23,349 are undergraduate students enrolled in 2,450 programs offered in each quarter through three undergraduate colleges of UCSB namely, The college of Creative studies, the College of Letters and Science, and The College of Engineering.
  • UCSB supports Undergraduate research through the funding of $320,000 grants each year. Around 50% of UCSB Undergraduate students are involved in some kind of research or creative projects.
  • UCSB provides various kinds of financial assistance to its 70% of Undergraduate students. Every year more than 400 top companies visit UCSB for placement and internships.
  • The institute has five schools, covering most diverse fields to cater to a large number of students who wish to pursue higher education in the US.

Located 10 miles from downtown Santa Barbara, the campus is located in the suburb of Goleta. The school is adjacent to the student community of Isla Vista, where the beach meets the college town. 

To improve their chances of getting accepted at the University of California, Santa Barbara, applicants need to ensure that they attain minimum requirements as per the latest incoming class of 2021-22:

  • High School GPA: 4.04–4.28
  • ACT Composite Score: 27–34
  • ACT English Language Arts: 26–31
  • SAT Evidence-based Reading and Writing: 630–730
  • SAT Mathematics: 650–790
  • SAT Essay: 15–18


Application PortalOnline
UG – University of California website
PG – UC Santa Barbara Graduate Application Portal
Application FeeDomestic students – 70USD
International students – 80USD
Acceptance Rate37%
Average weighted GPA4.14
SAT score required1385
ACT score required32
Student to faculty ratio18:1
Academic CalendarSemester based
Financial AidAvailable for International Students (Early Action and Early Decision)
Intake SeasonsFall, Winter, Spring, Summer
Interview RequirementsDepends on course requirements
International AdmissionsUCSB International

UC Santa Barbara Rankings

  • Ranked 34th in the 2020 edition of Best Colleges and National Universities.
  • U.S. News & World Report has ranked UCSB school of Engineering graduate program No. 12 among public universities in its annual ranking of the nation’s “Best Engineering Schools”.
  • Ranked No. 1 Green School among public universities in 2015 by Princeton Review.
  • Ranked number 7 among all public universities in U.S. News and World Report’s 2020 “Best Colleges” guide
  • Ranked 156th in the list of best value schools across the world.

UC Santa Barbara Programs, Campus and Accommodation


  • The institute has a huge campus of 989 acres and offers various amazing campus life with over 500 student organizations and amazing facilities.
  • The campus has amazing recreation venues like Multi-Cultural Centre, Pollock Theatre, and the Art, Design & Architecture Museum.
  • From tennis to swimming, basketball to baseball to the track and back, UCSB has amazing athletics facilities.
  • Situated very close to the Pacific residence halls have ocean, lagoon, and mountain views.

Housing facilities/Residence

  • The institute provides residence facilities to students both on and off the campus, the on-campus residence facilities are capable to provide room for about 38% of the total students.
  • University provides residence facilities for students in Residence halls, apartments and student family homes.
  • 1291 apartments for graduate and undergraduate students and residence halls that can incorporate around 5500 students.
  • There are a number of off-campus housing entities available to UC Santa Barbara students, located throughout Isla Vista, and are available only to the UCSB affiliated populations.
  • It provides more than 800 student jobs and leadership positions, most of which go to residents.
  • Rates for housing facilities: Various options are available that can be selected as per the financial situation of students. Rooms are viable starting USD 667 per month.
  • Various amenities are available in UCSB residence like:
    • High speed wireless internet.
    • Furnished stay apartments.
    • 24 hours housekeeping.
    • Live-in staff for student help and guidance.

UC Santa Barbara Courses

  • The university offers an array of courses for international students including more than 90 undergraduate and 50 graduate programs through 5 schools and colleges
  • The most popular majors are – Social Sciences; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies; Psychology; and Communication, Journalism.
  • The institute provides a specaual California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB) which aims at creating a professional biotechnology workforce in the country.
  • The university also provides over 30 online courses that can be accessed online across its 23 campuses by all its candidates enrolled at any campus.
  • It also offers several pre-doctoral and professional master’s courses in the field of science.

UC Santa Barbara Acceptance Rate 2021

UC Santa Barbara accepts 32% of applicants. What does it take to get in?

Historically UCSB’s acceptance rate has lingered above 30% but recently dipped below. As more applicants from around the country and the globe set their sights on “the world’s best-kept secret,” the school has become increasingly selective. The average enrolled GPA has gone from 4.02 in 2015 to 4.18 in 2019.

Relative to other UCs, it is not as selective as UCLA (12%) or Berkeley (17%). However, it is similar to the admission rates of UC Irvine (27%), San Diego (32%), and Davis (39%). All UCs have seen a jump in applicants over the past few years, a credit to the system’s growing reputation and academic excellence.

Sometimes acceptance rates may vary depending on the major you select. For example, applying to an impacted major like economics can make admissions slightly more difficult because so many students are competing for a limited number of spots. For a less popular major, like philosophy, you may face less competition from other applicants going into the same field. Nonetheless, your entire application needs to reflect your interest in the major you’ve selected (if not undecided) and allow admissions officials to envision your future contribution to student life at UCSB.

uC santa barbara gPA

The average GPA at UCSB is 4.12. This makes UCSB Extremely Competitive for GPAs. With a GPA of 4.12, UCSB requires you to be at the top of your class. You’ll need nearly straight A’s in all your classes to compete with other applicants.

Applying to UC Santa Barbara: A Quick Review

Getting into UC Santa Barbara is no easy feat, but that doesn’t mean the effort isn’t worth it. The first step is familiarizing yourself with the university’s application process, as well as the important deadlines. Like most prestigious institutions, UCSB considers both academic factors and extracurriculars when making admissions decisions. The goal is to assess how a student will add to the college community, both intellectually and personally.

You can apply to UC Santa Barbara by filling out an application available online on the University of California website. One of the benefits of applying to UCSB is that you can use the same application for all 10 of the colleges in the University of California system. So, if you’re also interested in UCLA or UC Santa Cruz, you can opt to send your application and test scores to them as well.

Starting August 1, students can fill out the online application. The due date for submissions is November 30. The application fee for domestic students is $70 per school, while international students will have to pay $80. To apply to UCSB, you must be a first-time freshman or junior transfer student. In some cases, the College of Creative Studies will accept senior transfers.

When applying to UC Santa Barbara, be sure to submit the following materials:

  • UC Application
  • ACT or SAT with Essay
  • Transcripts
  • AP/IB/A-Level scores
  • Personal insight questions
  • Fee

Students can expect to hear back from the admissions committee between March 1 and March 31.

Test Scores and GPA

UCSB requires students to have completed a rigorous high school curriculum. If you’re thinking of applying to this institution, be sure your transcript includes the following:

  • 2 years of history or social sciences
  • 4 years of college-preparatory English
  • 3 years of mathematics (4 years preferred)
  • 2 years of laboratory sciences (3 years preferred)
  • 2 years of a foreign language (3 preferred)
  • 1 years of visual/performing arts
  • 1 year college-preparatory electives

Most of the incoming freshmen at UCSB earned high marks at their secondary schools. Below are the GPA and test scores for the middle 25% to 75% of accepted students:

High school GPA 4.0 to 4.26

ACT composite score 28 to 34

SAT Evidence Based Reading & Writing 630 to 720

SAT Mathematics 640 to 780

UC Santa Barbara’s Requirements & Admission Tips

Students can apply to all nine UCs with one application, called the UC Application. There is a $70 fee to apply to each campus, but students with demonstrated financial need can obtain fee waivers for up to four schools.

Each school decides independently whether to accept you. In other words, getting into UC Irvine doesn’t influence whether you’ll get into UCSB, and vice versa. This also means that each campus values slightly different application factors. UCSB prefers well-rounded students with a solid academic record and proven involvement in their school, community, and/or athletic team. At the same time, it’s better to show your consistency and commitment to fewer activities rather than diluting your focus throughout ten different extracurriculars.

Regarding test scores, aim for an SAT score between 1280-1520 (630-730 in reading and writing, 650-790 in math). An excellent composite ACT score falls between 26-31.

The middle 25-75% of accepted students have a high school GPA of 4.04-4.28. That’s pretty competitive, but keep in mind that students with lower GPAs or test scores still have a good shot of getting in, as long as the rest of their application stands out.

This includes the Personal Insight Questions. Applicants must answer four of the eight prompts, which assess leadership and creative skills as well as personality, background, and achievements.

UCSB Admission Deadlines

Students are advised to submit their applications prior to the deadlines for them to be considered for admission. Students submitting the late application will be considered on the basis of space available. International applicants are advised to submit separate application for scholarships available in US prior to deadlines.https://d848e9e3aa128d16b7136c43608bfb06.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Freshmen applicantFall – November 30
Winter quarter/spring semester – July 31
Transfer applicantSeptember 30
FAFSA submissionMarch 2
SIR submissionFreshman – may 1
Transfer – June 1

The institute provides a range of courses for international students, application deadlines for various intakes, which are as mentioned below.

Types of ApplicationDeadline
Creation of UC portalAugust 1
Submission of UC application (Domestic/International applicants Fall semester)November 1–30
Last month to take SAT/ACTDecember
Submission of academic transcriptsJuly 1
Submission of official test scoresJuly 15
Deadline for graduate applicationVaries by course

UC Santa Barbara International Admissions

The University of California is home to international students from around 79 countries, and the total international student population totals up at about 14% of the total student population at UIC which is 3,261 in number. The top countries in origin at the institute include China, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, Japan, Canada, Hong Kong and Iran.

Each country has a specific set of requirements for its students, for India, the particular requirement includes at least 70% score in the 12th standard board exams. International student admissions are similar to that of domestic admissions. One of the exams to study in USA, which is highly recommended for international applicants is the duolingo test for English proficiency.

How to apply?

Application Portal: Online via the University of California website

Application fee: USD 80 non refundable

Basic Admission Requirements

  • Academic transcripts
    • All degrees, records of previous education
    • Course by course evaluation was needed
    • All materials should be in English or provided along with a translated one
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Official test scores of different standardized exams
  • Supplemental requirements
    • Resume
    • Portfolios
    • Statement of Purpose
    • Interviews
  • Financial statement/ proof of funding
  • Recommendation letters
  • Copy of the passport

International students require an ATA evaluation of the transcripts to be submitted as a part of the admission process. A mandatory, non-refundable 50 USD International Credential Evaluation Fee is assessed for all undergraduate degree-seeking applicants who have post-secondary coursework taken outside the United States. The documents are not returned back and so, only photocopies are required to be submitted.

English Language Test Scores

The international applicants are required to exhibit proficiency in English by submitting scores of the tests given below:

English TestMinimum Scores Required
Internet-based TOEFL80
Paper-based TOEFL550
7.0 (Graduate)

Students should keep in mind that TOEFL and IELTS scores shouldn’t be more than 2 years old. Some programs may require interviews in order to test the applicant’s English speaking skills.

Country-specific Requirements

The Country-wise Academic requirements are given below:

CountryAcademic requirements
IndiaAll India Senior Certificate or Higher Secondary Certificate with minimum 70% or completed 10th and 12th from recognized central or state board.
ThailandCompleted Mathayom 6 (Upper Secondary Education certificate) with minimum 75 percent.
TaiwanCompleted Senior High School Leaving Certificate with an average of minimum 80%
ChinaSenior High School Graduate Certificate and Graduation Certificate from upper middle school.
JordanCompleted Tawjihi or General Secondary Education Certificate with an average of minimum 75%

Application process

  • Select the program and term in which you want to apply.
  • Create an account
  • Submit all the documents required
  • After submitting the application, check the confirmation page as it will have some important reminders and your UC Application ID Number.

Visa Process for International Students

If accepted by UCSB, all international students will need to obtain a US student visa, usually an F-1 or a J-1 visa. A visa document is required to apply for these visas (I-20/ DS-2019) respectively.

Overseas students can take help from the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) regarding visa-related or immigration-related queries. The visa document will be issued once the student has paid their enrollment deposit and successfully provided evidence of their financial ability.

International applicants will need these documents for the visa process:

  • SEVIS fee receipt
  • Form I-20
  • Admission letter
  • DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application- online
  • Financial documents to show the ability to afford expenses for a year of study at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
  • Copy of valid passport identification page (should be valid for at least 6 months after the date of entry into the US.)
  • Two passport size photographs
  • Visa application fee
  • Official financial affidavit (if required)

Applicants would need to schedule a visa interview in their home countries once the documents have been submitted.

UCSB Undergraduate Admissions

UCSB offers 90+ programs from over 45 departments for its undergraduate students including Bachelor’s in Actuarial Science, Anthropology, Applied Mathematics, Asian American Studies. Admission to most UC Santa Barbara undergraduate programs requires the following.

Application portal: Online through UCSB’s official website

Application fee: 70 USD

Academic requirements: All applicants must fulfil the following admission eligibility criteria:

  • Must have completed a minimum of 15 University of California approved “A-G” courses with grades of C or better.
  • Students must have earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all “A-G” courses
  • Performance of the candidate in extracurricular activities
  • SAT or ACT score (due to COVID-19 pandemic UCSB will not use the scores of SAT or ACT for the selection process for fall 2021)

UC Santa Barbara Graduate Admissions

More than 50 master’s and doctoral programs are offered by the University of California, Santa Barbara. General admission requirements for many UCSB graduate courses may remain the same, but some departments may have different or additional requirements.

Application Portal: UCSB accepts only online applications for graduate programs via Online Graduate Application Portal. Students must note that no simultaneous applications are accepted for one quarter.

Application Fee: The application fee for domestic and international applicants is 105 USD and 125 USD, respectively.

Eligibility Requirements: The Graduate School has not set any minimum test score standards for students. The majority of the courses require a GRE score (not older than 5 years). However, few courses have specific requirements:

DepartmentAcademic Requirement
Department of ArtRequires no GRE test score
Technology Management ProgramRequires either GRE/GMAT
Gevirtz Graduate School of EducationRequires GRE/Miller Analogies Test (MAT)

Supporting Documents: Statement of Purpose, Personal Achievements or Contributions statement, Resume/CV, Letters of recommendation, academic transcripts, and other supplementary documents required specifically by the department.

UC Santa Barbara MS in CS

Application Deadline: The last date to apply for a graduate program in Computer Science is December 15.

Academic Requirements:

Academic RequirementMinimum Score
GPA3.0 on a 4.0-point scale
GRENo standard score set for applicants; satisfactory performance in Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical sections is sufficient
English Requirement for international studentsIELTS 7.0
Internet-based TOEFL 80
Paper-based TOEFL 550

Supporting Documents: Completed online application, Statement of Purpose for CS, personal achievements/contribution statement, Resume/CV, 3 letters of recommendation, unofficial academic transcripts, GRE and TOEFL/IELTS scores.

UC Santa Barbara MS in ECE

Application Deadline: The last date to apply for MS in ECE is December 15.

Academic Requirements: There is no set standard score for GRE. Only the GRE General test is required and not the GRE subject test.

Supporting Documents: Statement of purpose, resume/curriculum vitae, personal statement, 3 letters of recommendation, and academic transcripts.

UC Barbara MS in Technology Management

Application Deadline: There are 4 sets of application rounds with varying deadlines –

  • Round I: October 15
  • Round II: January 15
  • Round III: March 1
  • Round IV: May 1

Academic Requirements: GPA of at least 3.0/ B average equivalent at UG level. Additionally, students are required to submit GRE/GMAT scores not older than 5 years and TOEFL/IELTS score, if required.

Supporting Documents: Statement of purpose, statement of personal achievement, resume/CV, 3 letters of recommendation, and admission interview.

UC Santa Barbara M.A. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

Application Deadline: The last date to submit the application and supporting documents is February 25, 2019. Please note that the applications are accepted only for the Fall season.

Academic Requirements: Only the GRE General test is required; the GRE subject test can be taken in Biochemistry, Cell & Molecular Biology, Biology and Chemistry, although not mandatory.

Additionally, international applicants are required to submit TOEFL scores.

Supporting Documents: Scanned copy of official academic transcripts, 3 letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, personal achievement/Contributions, Resume/CV.

  • Once the application has been submitted successfully, applicants can check their status by logging into their applicant portal. Freshman applicants can expect decisions in mid-March whereas Transfer applicants can expect admission notification by April 22.
  • Applicants who have opted for various graduate programs will need to confirm with their respective departments for an estimated date for notification.
  • International students applying at the University of California, Santa Barbara are recommended to send across their admission documents as early as 4-5 months before the deadlines. Also, international applicants should have excellent personal statements and recommendation letters.
  • Applicants can contact the international student office anytime in the office hours or can even mail them if any query persists. Applicants seeking to study in the USA should keep on checking their application status as it is highly required. Some applicants may also be interviewed for English proficiency checks, a test that is highly recommended for international applicants is the duo lingo English proficiency test.

uC santa cruz acceptance rate

Last year uc santa cruz acceptance rate was 32.64. However, check out how the acceptance rate has changed over time.

Acceptance RateN/AN/A32.64 %

As you can see, UC Santa Barbara is a little easier to get into than last year.

Acceptance rate alone does not indicate your likelihood for getting into UCSB – it’s a very high level understanding of the true competition. Use the acceptance rate as a general guide for curating a list of 10-15 schools that fall into different ranges of competitiveness. Then, use the below data to get a deeper understanding of how your application will compare to the rest of the pool.

UC Santa Barbara Acceptance Rate: How Difficult is It to Get In?

Gaining entry to UCSB takes hard work and planning. Of the 92,305 students who applied for admission last year, the university accepted just 29,782 for an average admit rate of 32%. That puts the UCSB in the company of other selective institutions like Wellesley College in Massachusetts, the University of Richmond in Virginia, and Oberlin College in Ohio.

uC santa barbara tuition

Cost of attendance may vary according to living choices and type of programs of the aspirant enrolled at the institute. The distribution of expenses in the form of an estimated budget for international students looking to study in the US is as mentioned below.

For Undergraduate students who are not California Residents:

University Apartments: USD 62,232 University Residence Halls: USD 66,372

TuitionUSD 12,570
Campus based feesUSD 1,821
Books and suppliesUSD 1,260
Health care allowanceUSD 3,537
Loan FeesUSD 96
Roam and BoardUSD 6,633 / USD 15,039
FoodUSD 3,807 / USD 0
Telephone/ Cell PhoneUSD 276 / USD 351
TransportationUSD 933 / USD 573
Personal ExpensesUSD 1545 / USD 1,371
Non-Resident Tuition feeUSD 29,754
TotalUSD 62,232 / USD 66,372

For Graduate students

For graduate students the tuition fee is the same USD 12,570 but the total fee may vary upon choice of residence and other choices.

Scholarships/Financial Aid

The university provides financial aid like awards and scholarships for international students to study in the USA. Financial aid is also available for international or undocumented students via the Dream Act application (CADAA). Applicants are advised to submit applications before March 2.

Students receive over USD 2.2 million in scholarships per year. Over 58% of students are provided with financial aid yearly. The average annual need-based scholarships awarded is USD 20,029.

Awards available for international candidates include Beinecke, Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, Goldwater, Truman, and Udall Scholarships etc. However, these are campus specific scholarships and just be applied for through the Division of Undergraduate Education as per deadlines declared by the campus.

Financial aid is provided in forms of Work Study: Student work to earn paycheque to fund their education.

There is also an option for summer financial aid: Students must have a 2019-2020 FAFSA or CADAA on file to be eligible for summer 

Notable Alumni

The most famous alumni from UCSB include award-winning actor Michael Douglas ‘68, singer-songwriter Jack Johnson ‘97, producer Steve Aoki ‘00, and TMZ founder Harvey Levin ‘72. Gwyneth Paltrow also attended briefly before pursuing her acting career.

UCSB also produces influential trailblazers in their fields. Robert Ballard ‘65 was the underwater archaeologist who discovered the Titanic shipwreck as well as the battleship Bismarck and John F. Kennedy’s Navy torpedo boat PT-109. Katy Tur ‘05 is an author, NBC news correspondent, and host of MSNBC Live. Leroy Chiao is a retired NASA astronaut who flew on three Space Shuttle flights and lived on the International Space Station after earning his M.S. in 1985 and Ph.D. in 1987.

Many influential scholars have also come from UCSB. Carol W. Greider ‘83 shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology for co-discovering how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase. Greider is now a Distinguished Professor in the department of molecular, cell, and developmental biology at UC Santa Cruz. 

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