University of California, Santa Barbara

#132 / #46
Global Influence / U.S. Influence
#100
Most Desirable School
Public university near Goleta, California, United States and part of the University of California system

University of California, Santa Barbara Featured Rankings

About University of California, Santa Barbara

Dating all the way back to the 1891 founding of a small, vocational institution called the Anna Blake School, the University of California, Santa Barbara is now a full-blown public research university, and among the most influential schools in the world.

The Anna Blake school was initially established for the purpose of teaching trades and skills, particularly home economics and industrial arts. In 1909, it became the Santa Barbara State Normal School, focusing on teacher training. By 1921, it had grown into the Santa Barbara State College. Finally, in 1944, after much lobbying and debate, the institution became the third member of the University of California System, where it remains today.

Though at the time it was conceived as a small liberal arts school, the university quickly grew in size, particularly after acquiring its current campus in 1949 and subsequently absorbing a surge in baby boomer enrollment through the late 1950s. Today, the campus spans 708 acres and boasts its own personal beach.

UCSB is not unfamiliar with controversy. During the later years of the Vietnam War, the campus was the site of major anti-war demonstrations, which even included bombings, arson, and violent clashes with the National Guard.

Today, Santa Barbara is a member of the Association of American Universities, regarded as a “Public Ivy,” and the home of 12 major research centers, including the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, the Southern California Earthquake Center, and Microsoft Station Q.

UCSB counts seven Nobel Prize Laureates among its faculty and alumni:

  • Carol W. Greider, molecular biologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2009, for her work in telomeres
  • Frank Wilczek, theoretical physicist and winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics (along with David Gross) for their work in particle physics
  • Shuji Nakamura, electronic engineer and winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize for Physics for inventing energy-efficient blue LEDs
  • Finn E. Kydland, economist and winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2004 for his work in macroeconomics
  • Herbert Kroemer, physicist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2000 for his developments in semiconductor technology
  • Walter Kohn, theoretical physicist and chemist, and winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in developing density functional theory
  • Alan J. Heeger, chemist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2000 for his role in discovering and developing conductive polymers
  • David Gross, theoretical physicist and winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics (along with Frank Wilczek) for their work in particle physics

Additionally, UCSB counts Fields Medalists as well as members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Academy of Arts and Sciences among its faculty and alumni. Other prominent alumni include Olympic medalists, professional athletes, Academy Award-winning actors, Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, and famous musicians and performers. Notables include:

  • Gwyneth Paltrow, award-winning actor
  • Michael Douglas, award-winning actor
  • Robby Krieger, guitarist for The Doors
  • Jack Johnson, singer and songwriter
  • Jason Lezak, a four-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer
  • Barry Zito, All-Star MLB pitcher
  • Don Hertzfeldt, animator and filmmaker

According to Wikipedia, The University of California, Santa Barbara is a public land-grant research university in Santa Barbara-Isla Vista, California, with 23,196 undergraduates and 2,983 graduate students enrolled in 2021-2022. It is part of the University of California 10-university system. Tracing its roots back to 1891 as an independent teachers' college, UCSB joined the University of California system in 1944, and is the third-oldest undergraduate campus in the system, after UC Berkeley and UCLA.

University of California, Santa Barbara Admissions, Retention, and Graduation Information

Annual Applications Acceptance Graduation Rate Median SAT Score Median ACT Score
90,961 37% 84% 1355 30

How Much Does University of California, Santa Barbara Cost To Attend?

Tuition (in-state) Fees (in-state)
$11,442 $2,964

How Much Do University of California, Santa Barbara Graduates Make?

If you graduate from University of California, Santa Barbara, then you can expect to earn an average of $62,400 per year. You also have a 91% chance of being employed after 10 years.

University of California, Santa Barbara's Demographics

Demographic data is for full-time, on-campus students.

Student Body Under-Grads Graduates
27,036 23,866 3,170

Where is University of California, Santa Barbara?

University of California, Santa Barbara is located at 5221 Cheadle Hall, Santa Barbara CA 93106

How Safe is University of California, Santa Barbara?

Santa Barbara has a violent crime rate of less than .01% and a property crime rate of less than .01%.

What Is University of California, Santa Barbara Known For?

University of California, Santa Barbara is known for it's academic work in the following disciplines:

University of California, Santa Barbara's Top Areas of Influence With Degrees Offered

Who Are University of California, Santa Barbara's Most Influential Alumni?

University of California, Santa Barbara's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Physics, Anthropology, and Sociology. Here are some of University of California, Santa Barbara's most famous alumni:

Garrett Hardin
Garrett Hardin
An American ecologist .
Grady Booch
Grady Booch
An American software engineer.
Carol W. Greider
Carol W. Greider
An American molecular biologist and Nobel laureate.
Richard Serra
Richard Serra
An American sculptor.
Robert Ballard
Robert Ballard
A United States Navy officer, oceanographer and underwater archaeologist.
Edward Feser
Edward Feser
An American professor of philosophy.
Reza Aslan
Reza Aslan
An Iranian-American author, commentator.
Joseph Tainter
An American anthropologist.
Tibor Machan
Tibor Machan
A Hungarian-American philosopher.
James Paul Gee
James Paul Gee
An American linguist.
Larry Schweikart
An American historian.
Robert D. Arnott
Robert D. Arnott
An American entrepreneur/investor/editor/writer.

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