I visited the University of CA, Santa Barbara on a sunny Friday morning in January and came away with a very favorable impression. The warm sunshine may have helped but I learned a lot more on my tour that dispelled the myth of UCSB as a “party” school. Here’s what I discovered makes UCSB distinctive from other University of California campuses:
--With a population of 23,000 undergraduates and only 3,000 grad students, undergrads have manyopportunities for research.
--College of Letters and Science has no impacted majors so students applying to this school can select any major they wish.
--College of Engineering is quite small and very selective—1,500 Average GPA for admission is 4.30 and SAT scores are: 652 R /749 Mstudents total and a 10:1 student faculty ratio.
Engineering offers a 3/5 year BS/MS program, which allows students to graduate in 5 years with a masters degree.
All engineering students do senior projects.
For engineering, applicants should take the Math II SAT Subject test and declare engineering as their first choice major.
--The College of Creative Studies, also highly selective, allows students who are passionate about one field of study pursue research and/or creative projects. Only 500 students total.
8 majors are offered: Art, Biology, Chemistry/Biochemistry, CS, Math, Music Composition, Physics, Writing and Literature.
All students are expected to “publish” by the time they graduate.
Students will work one on one with a professor.
Applicants should take the SAT Subject Test in their chosen field and a supplemental application/essay is required.
--Of its pre-professional programs UCSB offers Technology Management (TMP), which brings in local entrepreneurs to teach students how to launch start-ups.
--Our tour guide had a Professional Writing Minor. This program offers 4 tracks: Professional Editing, Multimedia Communication, Business Communication, Writing and Civic Engagement, and Science Communication. Each track includes two capstone courses and an internship and prepares students for real world job experience.
Living Environment and Extracurriculars
--UCSB is the only UC to guarantee four years of campus housing; 82% of students live within one mile of campus.
--No football team but UCSB’s Varsity Soccer team is very popular with student fans.
--The beach is minutes away and a wonderful stress-break between or after classes. Some classes actually take place on the beach.
--Because UCSB is the only major university and college in the region, students find many internship and job opportunities usually only open to post-grads—examples include medical scribing in hospitals, working at law firms, supervising research.
--Greek Life is 12% of student body but doesn’t dominate (according to our tour guide).