UCSB Acceptance Rate, Admission, SAT/ACT, Tuition, Rankings

We are looking at the acceptance rate in one of the campuses in the University of California system, specifically UCSB.

The information in this article will give you an insight into the admission process at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The academic requirements for different modes of entry at the undergraduate level have also been extensively discussed here. 

So at the end of reading this article, you will know what to include in your application profile. 

UCSB is one of the selective universities on the Pacific coast of the United States. It receives thousands of applications from domestic and international applicants annually. On average, UCSB receives approximately 90,000 applications during its admission cycle, and what is admitted is below half of the overall application.

So the question is, why is UCSB a selective institution, and what are they looking for in applicants?

Generally, what the University of California, Santa Barbara, is searching for in students is not only academic excellence. Although an applicant needs to have the best grades and high test scores and what is also important is personality. 

The newly admitted students at the University of California, Santa Barbara, had an application profile that convinced admissions about their candidacy. The students exhibited the character of being passionate about non-academic activities, community involvement, and what they will contribute to the UCSB campus. 

In a moment, we will get into full details about the application process at UCSB and the holistic review of applications. 

UCSB Acceptance Rate

About the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)

The University of California, Santa Barbara is a public research institution in Santa Barbara, California. Established in 1891, UCSB is one of the universities in the University of California school system.

UCSB began teaching economics as one of its earliest degree programs in 1891 before expanding over the next four decades and joining the UC school system.

Currently, UCSB offer over 200 undergraduate, and graduate degree programs. Its total enrollment comprises 23,196 undergraduate and 2,983 graduate students enrolled in a quarter-based academic calendar.

The University of California, Santa Barbara is organized into three undergraduate colleges and two graduate schools. Through these schools and colleges, UCSB offers various degree programs in engineering, creative studies, environmental sciences and management, and arts and sciences. 

The University of California, Santa Barbara is also heavily involved in intensive academic research, owning about ten research centres across the UCSB campus.

Also Read: 10 Best Pre Med Schools in California

List of Colleges and Schools at the University of California, Santa Barbara

  • College of Creative Studies 
  • College of Engineering 
  • College of Letters and Science 
  • Bren School of Environmental Science and Management 
  • The Gevirt Graduate School of Education

UCSB Rankings 

Here are the recent rankings of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Times Higher Education Ranking

  • World University Rankings: 68th 
  • U.S Rankings: 76th 
  • Physical Sciences: 27th 
  • Computer Science: 55th

U.Snews & World Report

  • #28 in National Universities.
  • #10 in Best Colleges for Veterans 
  • #5 in Top Public Schools


National Rankings

  • #1 Best Hispanic Serving Institution in America 
  • #15 Top Public Universities in America
  • #16 Top Party School in America
  • #16 Best Big College in America 

State Rankings 

  • #2 Best Greek Life Colleges in California 
  • #4 College with the Best Student Life in California 
  • #4 Best Big College in California
  • #8 College with the Best Professors in California

USC Campus Life 

The University of California, Santa Barbara, has the perfect atmosphere for college beginners to settle into campus life. 

The environment at UCSB is exceptional from other universities. Its residence halls are designed to help students get along with academics and social life on campus.

Students Athletics are also available on campus with sports such as basketball, baseball, swimming, tennis, and soccer for your pleasure. 

The University of California, Santa Barbara, consider your health and well-being as a student. UCSB provides programs and services that contribute to your academic development and well-being as a person. Career services at UCSB are designed to get you prepared for what lies ahead after graduating. The success you crave and the career you want to build are nurtured through these services.

What Is the Acceptance Rate at UCSB?

UC Santa Barbara over the last few years has received a large number of domestic and international applications. During the last admission year, UCSB received 105,642 applications and admitted 30,855 students, keeping the acceptance rate at 29.2%.

A year before the last admission, the turnout at UCSB was 90,963 applications, and the acceptance rate admitted 37% of those applications.

From the statistics in the last admission process at UCSB, the university is becoming more selective as the years go by. Applicants who were successful during the last admission cycle had an impressive academic record that secured their entry into UC Santa Barbara.

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GPA Requirement at UC Santa Barbara

Getting a good high school GPA is essential in your pursuit of admission into a college or university. Most colleges and universities with selective acceptance rates require high GPAs as average for admission.

The latest freshmen at UC Santa Barbara had an average weighted GPA of 4.37.

The required high school GPA at UC Santa Barbara is 4.12 on average. To meet this standard, you will need to be in the top 10% of your graduating class.

On the other hand, California applicants are required to have a minimum of 3.0 GPA, and non-residents must present a minimum GPA of 3.4.

SAT and ACT Requirements 

The University of California Santa Barbara requires an average SAT score of 1355 on the 1600 SAT scale. 

Here are the stats for SAT scores by section.

SATScore Range
Critical Reading620-710

The average ACT score at UC Santa Barbara is 29.


ACTScore Range

What Is UCSB Searching for in Students?

Every student is familiar with the importance of graduating from high school with flying colours. Possessing good grades or high test scores gives you that sense of being at advantage during the admission process into a college. 

Like any other selective college or university, UC Santa Barbara evaluates your application holistically. When your application is received at UCSB, the admission committee reviews your application comprehensively. They are looking at your academic and non-academic activities.

UC Santa Barbara is interested in your extracurricular activities, involvement in community service, initiative, and how you can academically contribute to the diverse community on campus.

When preparing your application to UC Santa Barbara, ensure to include these personal characteristics in your application profile.

First-Year Admission Requirement

Here are the requirements for first-year admission into UC Santa Barbara.

Subject Requirement

First-year applicants to UC Santa Barbara are required to complete the UC-approved courses in the AG subject area with a minimum grade of C or above. 

Requirement for Grade Point

The acceptance rate at UCSB stirs competition among students when it comes to GPA requirements.

All first-year applicants must present a minimum GPA of 3.0 for California residents and 3.4 for non-residents in all A-G courses. UC Santa Barbara will calculate your preliminary GPA with the grades you achieved in A-G subjects in the 10th and 11th grades with summer sessions inclusive as well.

If you earned an average grade of C or above in your 9th and 12th-grade courses, they can be used to meet the UC Santa Barbara A-G subject requirements, but they can’t be used to calculate your GPA.

Also Read: UC Berkeley Acceptance Rate, Admissions, Tuition, SAT, ACT, Rankings

Evaluation by UCSB College and Supplemental Application

The College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara requires a supplemental application and other undergraduate colleges do not. 

  • The College of Letters and Science does not consider the choice of major, and neither does it require a supplemental application except if you are applying to dance or music performance majors. Applicants applying to dance or music performance majors must complete an audition in late January or early February. 
  • The College of Engineering does not require a supplemental application. However, admission to engineering majors will require mastery of advanced high school mathematics. You must present high grades in all math courses taken through 11th and 12th grade (pre-calculus). Ensure to include a second choice major on your application outside engineering. In case you were not selected for engineering, UC Santa Barbara will review your second-choice major.
  • All first-year applicants to the College of Creative Studies are required to submit a supplemental application. The supplemental application is reviewed by the Creative Studies faculty. Also, ensure to select a second second-choice major on your application outside Creative Studies. You will be considered for admission for your second choice major if you are not selected for Creative Studies. 

Requirements for Transfer Admission at UCSB

if you are seeking to enrol into UCSB as a transfer student, below we have outlined some of the requirements for transfer admissions

Bear in mind that the transfer admission is open to students that have previously completed secondary school education and enrolled in 2 or four-year college but want to further their education at the University of California Sant Babara.

Junior Transfer Eligibility Requirements

The requirements for transfer admission at UC Santa Barbara are the same for every student. All transfer students must meet these requirements listed below before the end of the spring term. 

UC Santa Barbara requires a seven-course pattern, and you must earn at least a C or above in every course. 

  • Two courses in English composition (UC-E)
  • A course in mathematics (college algebra, pre-calculus, or statistics) (UC-M)
  • Four courses from 2 of these areas: Arts and Humanities (UC-H), Behavioral and Social Sciences(UC-B), and Biological and Physical Sciences (UC-S) 

UC Santa Barbara also requires the completion of 60 semesters or 90 quarter units of UC transferable college credit with a minimum GPA of 2.4 (California residents) or 2.8 (non-residents).

Most selective majors at UC Santa Barbara require a GPA of 3.4 and above. 

How UCSB Evaluates Transfer Applicants

The acceptance rate at UCSB is challenging for most applicants and transfer students are not left out in the hurdle. UC Santa Barbara evaluates its transfer applicants the same way they assess first-year applicants. Transfer applicants who were admitted into UC Santa Barbara in the last application year meet the admission eligibility requirement.

You will be considered a strong candidate for transfer admission if you meet the eligibility requirements and show your personal quality, achievement, and challenges you have encountered.

Also Read: UC Berkeley Acceptance Rate By Major

Tips for a Successful Transfer Admission

Enhance your admission chances with these few tips.

  • Ensure you have a good GPA during your application in the fall term. UC Santa Barbara will calcite your UC GPA at the end of the fall term.
  • If you TAG to UC Santa Barbara, ensure to submit your UC application to UCSB under the very same major 
  • If you are applying to a major in the College of Creative Studies or the College of Engineering, make sure you select a second-choice major in the College of Letters & Science.
  • It’s recommendable to complete the UC-E and UC-M requirements early. You do not have to wait till the spring term to transfer to take these UC courses.
  • Ensure to complete major preparation courses early.

For more information about UC to UC transfer, kindly click here.

What Is the Acceptance Rate for Transfer Students at UCSB?

In the previous admission cycle, UCSB received 20,552 transfer applications and admitted 10,095 applicants, keeping the acceptance rate at 49.1%. When compared to its overall acceptance, UCSB has a more flexible admit rate for transfer admission.

The transfer students who are currently enrolled at UC Santa Barbara had an average GPA of 3.71. Almost half of the newly admitted transfer students had a GPA range of 3.80-4.00.

Admission Requirements for International Students

International students seeking admission into the University of California Santa Barbara must present a certificate showing that they have graduated from high school.

Here are the admission requirements for international students at UC Santa Barbara.

Meet Curriculum Requirement

You should not only be concerned about the acceptance rate at UCSB but ensure to look out for essential admission requirements.

The University of California Santa Barbara expects all international applicants to have graduated from a secondary school and obtained a certificate recognized for college admission in their home country. 

Click here to head to the UCSB page for international freshman eligibility selection. 

Know the Difference between Eligibility and Selection 

Being eligible for admission at UCSB simply means meeting the minimum requirements. Eligibility does not guarantee admission. UC Santa Barbara selects applicants who are academically qualified for admission over those who are not. 

English Proficiency Requirement

International applicants who hail from countries where English is not an official language must demonstrate proficiency in English. 

International applicants who received instructions in a different language other than English must submit these test scores;

  • TOEFL: minimum score of 80
  • IELTS: Minimum score of 6.5
  • Duolingo English Test: minimum score of 115 or above

Verify Your School Accreditation 

Secondary/high school attended must have an appropriate recognition in the schooling system it follows in your home country. If your school’s curriculum follows that of the United States, it must have U.S accreditation, and you must graduate with a diploma or an equivalent (U.S high school standard).

Also Read: 15 Best Schools For Business in California 2022

The University of California Santa Barbara Tuition and Fees

Here is the estimated cost of attendance for in-state and out-of-state undergraduates.

In-State Tuition

Campus-Based Fees$1,881
Books And Supplies$1,344
Health Care Allowance$3,033
Loan Fees$60
Room and Board$7,173
Telephone/Cell Phone$291
Source: https://www.ucsb.edu/

Out of State Tuition

Campus-Based Fees$1,881
Books And Supplies$1,344
Health Care Allowance$3,033
Loan Fees$60
Room and Board$7,173
Telephone/Cell Phone$291
Personal Expenses$1,623
Non-Resident Tuition Fee$31,026
Source: https://www.ucsb.edu/

The University of California Santa Barbara Contact Address

  • School Address:  Santa Barbara, CA 93106, United States
  • Phone: (805) 893-8000

Frequently Asked Questions about the Acceptance Rate at UCSB

Here are some of the frequently asked questions regarding the acceptance rate at UCSB.

What is the required GPA at UCSB?

On average, you will need a GPA of 4.12 to stand a chance of getting into the selective majors at UCSB. In general, a California resident will need an average GPA of 3.0 while non-residents will need a GPA of 3.4.

Is it harder to get into UCLA or UCSB?

In terms of acceptance rate, UCLA is more selective than UCSB. The most selective institution in the University of California System is UCLA.

Is it hard to get into UCSB?

In the last admission cycle, UCSB received 105,642 applications and admitted 30,885 applicants. This keeps the acceptance rate at UCSB at 29.2%. The newly admitted student at UCSB has an average weighted GPA of 4.37.

What is the acceptance rate at UCSB?

The acceptance rate at UCSB for the graduating class of 2025 is 29.2%. UC Santa Barbara admitted 30,855 applicants out of 105,642 in the 2021-2022 admission year. 


From what we have discussed so far, it is easy to understand what UC Santa Barbara values in an applicant and how each application is reviewed during admission.

All you have to do is meet the requirement for the mode entry you intend to get into UCSB and also be cautious about the application dates and deadlines.



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