Once considered the “party school” of the UC system, UCSB is a highly rated, selective school, particularly known for its science and engineering programs.
Located on 1,000 acres in Goleta, the campus might be one of the nicest you’ll ever step foot on, bordered on two sides by the Pacific Ocean. With 24,000 undergrads, it’s on par with the size of most other UCs.
The beach and so cal vibe permeate this campus; most of the architectural style is mid-century modern. There is a laid back vibe and a good balance among students of balancing work and play.
Marine biology is one of the best programs at UCSB which is no surprise, given the location of the school. Other popular programs include bio sciences, psychology, economics, communication, chemical engineering, physics and chemistry. More than ½ of all classes have fewer than 20 students. As a large research university, professors are under pressure to publish and do their own research which can sometimes conflict with their accessibility and teaching.
88% of students are from CA and on campus housing is incredible. 38% of students live on campus; mostly freshman. You won’t here students complain about the social scene. Isla Vista is popular among students and there’s also a small Greek life (less than 10% of students).

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