University of California - Santa Barbara

Rank 35
Location Santa Barbara
Established 1891
Famous For Chemistry, Physics, Economics


The University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) is a public research university in the city of Santa Barbara, California. As part of the University of California system, UCSB offers an exceptional educational experience for international students. Its stunning ocean-front campus, situated on a converted WWII-era Marine Corps air station, provides a unique and inspiring learning environment.

Prospective international students can choose from three undergraduate colleges (Letters and Science, Engineering, Creative Studies) and two graduate schools (Education and Environmental Science & Management), with over 200 degrees and programs available. UCSB is classified as an "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity" institution, boasting 10 national research centers, including the prestigious Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics.

The university's commitment to research is exemplified by its $235 million expenditure on research and development in 2018. UCSB's faculty comprises esteemed scholars, including Nobel Prize laureates, members of prestigious academies, and recipients of various awards, highlighting the institution's dedication to academic excellence.

Services for International Students

The University of California, Santa Barbara prioritizes the success and well-being of its international students by offering a range of dedicated support services. The "International Students & Scholars" office assists with visa, immigration, and cultural adjustment matters, ensuring a smooth transition. The "UCSB Global Peer Program" pairs international students with domestic peers for mentorship and cross-cultural exchange.

UCSB also provides academic resources through the "Campus Learning Assistance Services (CLAS)" for tutoring and skill development. The "Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS)" offers mental health support, fostering emotional well-being. Engaging student societies like the "International Student Association (ISA)" promotes cultural understanding and connection. "Global Gauchos" also organizes events and trips for international students to explore the local area.


  • 163rd in QS World University Rankings 2024
  • 207th in U.S. News Best Value Schools Ranking 2024
  • 35th in U.S. News National Universities Ranking 2024
  • 69th in THE World University Rankings 2024
  • 76th in THE US College Rankings 2022
  • 81-90th THE World Reputation Rankings 2023


University of California, Santa Barbara student accommodation options to ensure a comfortable and convenient living experience. The "Santa Catalina Residence Hall" provides traditional on-campus living with various amenities and is particularly popular among freshmen. The "San Joaquin Apartments" offer apartment-style living with fully furnished units and communal spaces for upperclassmen.

For a more independent living experience, the "Westgate Apartments" provide modern facilities and a vibrant community atmosphere. The university also offers the "Sierra Madre Villages" for transfer students, featuring apartment-style housing focusing on fostering connections. The "Family Student Housing" is also available for students with families, promoting a supportive environment.

About Location

The University of California, Santa Barbara, boasts a captivating location on the stunning coastline of Santa Barbara, California. The campus offers breathtaking ocean views and easy access to local beaches, creating an inspiring environment for learning and relaxation. The surrounding area provides many activities, including hiking trails in the nearby Santa Ynez Mountains, water sports along the coastline, and cultural events in downtown Santa Barbara, known for its charming Spanish architecture, art galleries, and vibrant culinary scene.

Santa Barbara Municipal Airport is conveniently situated about 10 miles away from campus, offering accessible travel options for students.

About Location

  • Gwyneth Paltrow: Acclaimed actress and businesswoman, recognized for her roles in movies such as "Shakespeare in Love" and her lifestyle brand, Goop.
  • Catherine Coleman: Former NASA astronaut and chemist who participated in multiple space shuttle missions.
  • Jason Lezak: Olympic gold medalist swimmer, known for his crucial anchor leg in the historic 4x100m freestyle relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
  • Marcia Nasatir: Pioneering film producer and executive, becoming the first female vice president of a major movie studio.
  • Eric Schmidt: Former CEO of Google, contributing significantly to the company's growth and innovation during his tenure.

"SI-USA helped me successfully apply to study business in USA and I cannot thank them enough for their support. They assisted me with each step, ensuring I was aware of all my options in terms of program and university selection, making the process totally stress free."

Olivia Business and Management