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UC Santa Barbara Acceptance Rate by Major 2023

The University of California, Santa Barbara or UC Santa Barbara as it’s popularly called is part of the UC School System and in this article, we will be discussing UCSB’s acceptance rate by major and more on transfer admission.

The Golden State is home to some of the world’s best private and public universities. The University of California School System educates thousands of undergraduate and graduate students on campus and online.

One of its campuses, UC Santa Barbara has a large student body and more students are applying to the university in each admission year.

Let’s talk about UC Santa Barbara for a moment before we discuss the admission process and requirements for applicants.

About the University of California Santa Barbara

Located in the city of Santa Barbara, California, UCSB is part of the University of California System which consists of ten universities. The public land-grant research university was established in 1891 but joined the UC system in 1944.

Currently, the University of California, Santa Barbara is home to over 23,000 undergraduate and 2,900 graduate students.

UC Santa Barbara consists of three undergraduate colleges, and two graduate schools, and has ten national research centers. The third-oldest undergraduate campus in the UC system offers more than 200 academic programs in different fields of study.

The University of California, Santa Barbara is one of the biggest spenders on research. It spent a whopping $235 million on research and development in fiscal year of 2018.

Also Read: 10 Best Pre Med Schools in California

Colleges and Graduate Schools at UC Santa Barbara

UC Santa Barbara offers a wide range of academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels through the College of Letters and Sciences, Engineering, Creative Studies, Education, and Environmental Sciences & Management.

The University of California, Santa Barbara Overall Acceptance Rate

UC schools often receive thousands of applications during admission.

In the last four years, UC Santa Barbara has received an average of 92,000 applications. During the 2020 admission year, UCSB received a total of 90,963 applications and admitted 33,385 students.

A year later, 105,647 applicants applied to UCSB and 30,823 students were admitted. UC Santa Barbara’s acceptance rate in that particular admission year was 29.2%.

In the last admission year, the University of California, Santa Barbara received a record 111,006 applications. Out of the 111,006 applicants that applied to the university, only 31,160 were admitted.

UC Santa Barbara currently has an acceptance rate of 25.9% which makes it quite competitive for most applicants to gain entry into the university.

The average high school GPA of students that were admitted into UC Santa Barbara is 4.29. The admission rate at UC Santa Barbara is highly selective, so getting into a competitive major at the university required a higher GPA.

UC Santa Barbara Acceptance Rate for Transfer Students

Students from community colleges across California apply to UC Santa Barbara to complete their bachelor’s degree. The number of transfer students applying to UC Santa Barbara each year is in the thousands.

In the fall of 2022, the University of California, Santa Barbara received up to 17,640 applications from transfer students. Out of that number, UC Santa Barbra accepted 10,288 students to complete their degrees at the university.

By accepting 10,288 transfer students out of 17,640 students that applied, UC Santa Barbara’s acceptance rate for transfer students is 58%. Although UCSB’s transfer acceptance rate is higher than the university’s overall admission rate, transfer admission remains competitive at the university.

Over the years, the acceptance rate at UC Santa Barbra for transfer students has always been within the range of 48% to 58%.

UC Santa Barbara Admission Requirement for Transfer Students

If you are a transfer student seeking to complete your degree at UC Santa Barbra, here are the materials you must submit to complete your application;

  • Complete the University of California Application
  • Submit official college transcripts from colleges attended
  • Final high school transcripts
  • Supplementary materials required for some majors

Additional requirements that all transfer students to UC Santa Barbra must satisfy include;

  • Having a minimum of 60 UC-transferable semesters (90 UC-transferable quarter units)
  • Complete the 7-course pattern requirement
  • An average GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Lower division major preparation courses
  • Apply through a Transfer Admission Guarantee

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UC Santa Barbara Acceptance Rate by Major for Transfer Students

Below are some of the most popular majors offered at UC Santa Barbra and their acceptance rate for transfer students.

Majors Acceptance rate
Economics 58%
Communication Studies 56%
Sociology 54%
Psychology 52%
Biology 35%
Computer Science 10%

Tips to Make You a Strong Candidate for Admission at UC Santa Barbra

Here are a few tips to increase your chances of getting into the University of California, Santa Barbra.

  • Ensure that your GPA is at its best by the fall term you submit your application to UC Santa Barbra. UC Santa Barbara will calculate your GPA at the end of the fall term you apply.
  • Ensure you complete preparation courses on time. UCSB strongly recommends not waiting until the spring term before transferring to complete your major preparation.
  • Make sure you complete UC-E and UC-M requirements early. UC Santa Barbara strongly recommends not waiting until the spring term before transferring to take these courses.
  • Students who TAG to UCSB will have to submit their UC application to the university under the same major.
  • Students who apply to a major in UCSB’s College of Engineering or the College of Creative Studies, choose an alternative major in the College of Letters and Science.

Also Read: UC Santa Cruz Acceptance Rate, Admissions, SAT/ACT, GPA, Tuition, Ranking

What Are the Easiest Majors to Get Into UC Santa Barbara?

We have discussed the admit rate by majors for transfer students seeking admission into UC Santa Barbara. The most selective major at UCSB to get into is computer science while the easiest major is economics.

Although economics is one of the majors at UC Santa Barbara with a higher admit rate, the seven easiest majors at UCSB have an admit rate above 58%.

Majors Acceptance rate Mid-GPA range
Statistical Science 78% 3.43 to 3.81
Actuarial Science 71% 3.4 to 3.89
Geography 71% 3.32 to 3.76
Comparative Studies 64% 3.26 to 3.64
Mathematics 61% 3.39 to 3.76
Arts History 60% 3.2 to 3.50
English 60% 3.34 to 3.81

Tuition and Fees at the University of California, Santa Barbara

The estimated cost of attendance at UCSB for Californian residents is $38,349 while non-residents will pay $69,375.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are frequently asked questions about UC Santa Barbara acceptance rate by major.

What is the easiest major to get into at UC Santa Barbara?

The easiest majors to get into at UC Santa Barbara include statistical science (78%), actuarial science (71%), geography (71%), comparative studies (64%), and art history (60%).

Does UC Santa Barbara accept based on major?

The University of California Santa Barbara does not look at demonstrated interest or the academic degree an applicant is interested in studying when accessing applications.

What is the hardest major with the least admit rate at UC Santa Barbara?

The most difficult major to get into at UC Santa Barbara is computer science with an acceptance rate of 10%.

What majors is UC Santa Barbara known for?

According to U.S. News.com, some of the most popular majors at UC Santa Barbara include social sciences, mathematics and statistics, communication, biological and biomedical sciences, psychology, visual and performing arts, journalism, and natural resources and conservation.


UC Santa Barbara is an excellent research institution where ambitions are nurtured into professions. UCSB accepts transfer students from accredited two-year and four-year colleges.

Admission into this public research university is based on applicants satisfying the requirements and providing the materials required for admission.

Computer science is the most selective major at UC Santa Barbara with an acceptance rate of 10% while majors like statistical sciences, comparative studies, art history, and English are less competitive.




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