UC Santa Barbara: Acceptance Rate and Admissions Statistics

University of California,Santa Barbara
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Located north of Los Angeles along the Pacific Ocean, University of California, Santa Barbara is a public research university with an acceptance rate of 32%. Students will generally need a strong application and good test scores to be admitted. As part of the application, students will need to write four short personal insight essays. Since UC Santa Barbara is a part of the University of California system, students can easily apply to multiple schools in that system with one application.

Considering applying to UC Santa Barbara? Here are the admissions statistics you should know, including SAT/ACT scores and GPAs of admitted students.

Why UCSB?

  • Location: Santa Barbara, California
  • Campus Features: UCSB's 1,000 acre campus has miles of beachfront property, making it one of the best colleges for beach lovers. The campus also wins high marks for it's green initiatives and number of LEED-certified buildings.
  • Student/Faculty Ratio: 18:1
  • Athletics: The UCSB Gauchos compete in the NCAA Division I Big West Conference.
  • Highlights: Undergraduates can choose from over 90 majors. The university has notable strengths in the environmental and biological sciences, and the school was awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strong programs in the liberal arts and sciences.

Acceptance Rate

During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, UC Santa Barbara had an acceptance rate of 32%. This means that for every 100 students who applied, 32 students were admitted, making UCSB's admissions process highly competitive.

Admissions Statistics (2017-18)
Number of Applicants 92,306
Percent Admitted 32%
Percent Admitted Who Enrolled (Yield) 17%

SAT Scores and Requirements

University of California, Santa Barbara requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, 80% of admitted students submitted SAT scores.

SAT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 630 720
Math 640 780
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

This admissions data tells us that most of UC Santa Barbara's admitted students fall within the top 20% nationally on the SAT. For the evidence-based reading and writing section, 50% of students admitted to UCSB scored between 630 and 720, while 25% scored below 630 and 25% scored above 720. On the math section, 50% of admitted students scored between 640 and 780, while 25% scored below 640 and 25% scored above 780. Applicants with a composite SAT score of 1500 or higher will have particularly competitive chances at UC Santa Barbara.

Requirements

UC Santa Barbara requires the SAT writing section. Note that UC Santa Barbara considers the highest SAT with essay score from a single test date. Subject tests are not required for admission to UCSB.

ACT Scores and Requirements

University of California, Santa Barbara requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, 45% of admitted students submitted ACT scores.

ACT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 25 34
Math 25 32
Composite 26 32

This admissions data tells us that most of UC Santa Barbara's admitted students fall within the top 18% nationally on the ACT. The middle 50% of students admitted to University of California, Santa Barbara received a composite ACT score between 26 and 32, while 25% scored above 32 and 25% scored below 26.

Requirements

UC Santa Barbara requires the ACT writing section. Note that UC Santa Barbara does not superscore ACT results; your highest combined score from a single test administration will be considered.

GPA

In 2018, the middle 50% of University of California, Santa Barbara's incoming class had high school GPAs between 4.0 and 4.26. 25% had a GPA above 4.26 and 25% had a GPA below 4.0. These results suggest that most successful applicants to UC Santa Barbara have primarily A grades.

Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph

UC Santa Barbara Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph
UC Santa Barbara Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph. Data courtesy of Cappex.

The admissions data in the graph is self-reported by applicants to University of California, Santa Barbara. GPAs are unweighted. Find out how you compare to accepted students, see the real-time graph, and calculate your chances of getting in with a free Cappex account.

Admissions Chances

University of California, Santa Barbara, which accepts just under one-third of applicants, has a selective admissions process. If your SAT/ACT scores and GPA fall within the school's average ranges, you have a strong chance of being accepted. Keep in mind that California residents who apply must have a GPA of 3.0 or better with no grade lower than a C in 15 college preparatory "a-g" courses. For non-residents, your GPA must be 3.4 or better. Local students from participating high schools may also qualify if they are in the top 9 percent of their class. See how to calculate your UC Admissions Index.

UCSB, like all of the University of California schools, has holistic admissions, so the admissions officers are evaluating students based on more than numerical data. Students who show special talent or have a compelling story to tell will often get a close look even if their grades and test scores are a bit below the norm. Impressive extracurricular activities and strong essays are all important parts of a successful application to UCSB. Due to the selective nature of UCSB, the university has a comprehensive freshman selection process. A number of art, music, and writing programs within the College of Creative Studies at UCSB require an audition or portfolio submission. The University of California, Santa Barbara, along with all the other UC schools, does not accept letters of recommendation, unless they are specifically requested. Admission interviews are not offered by the university.