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Student Reviews

U. of California-Santa Barbara (UC Santa… Reviews

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  • 08/06/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    65 out of 67 people found this review useful. 1 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    laid back but studious, fun-loving but serious... It helps if you like the beach [and the type of weather that comes with it]. A love of the outdoors doesn't hurt, either.

    Tips for prospective students

    - Take advantage of all of the extras at your disposal. The school encourages you to be active and involved in the campus community in addition to keeping up with studies. There are over 300 clubs and organizations to get into, as well as plenty of activities you can do on your own--hiking, surfing, even shopping. - Don't be intimidated by the 'party school' reputation. While there are parties, you don't have to party to have a good time. There are plenty of other things to do if you're not into that. - Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone to pursue a potential interest. You may surprise yourself at what independence can do for you.

    Bang for the buck

    - Being able to see the beautiful beach everyday is definitely a plus. - The school offers so many extras at no immediate cost to you--tutoring, clubs, a gym, etc.

    Am enjoying being here

    - The classes are great, and you can tell that the professors enjoy teaching the material. - The campus has THE best location with something for everyone to do. No matter what you're interested in, you will meet people with common interests.

    Am learning a lot

    - The quarter system allows you to take a wide variety of classes to figure out what you're interested in by experiencing different subjects in a short period of time. - The environment, campus groups, and activities allow you to learn more about yourself and what you can do. - The school offers free tutoring [CLAS] if you're having trouble with your classes. There are even workshops on time management and writing to help you get used to finishing assignments.

  • 12/02/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    36 out of 37 people found this review useful. 2 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    This school is perfect for students who want a balance of academics and a social life. There is state street just a bus or car ride away, with tons of restaurants and shopping to entertain any college student. There's also Isla Vista, with cheap, open late restaurants and plenty of places to experience college nightlife. UCSB is for students who are friendly, fun, and self-motivated. Living in such a beautiful place also means that there are many distractions to schoolwork, but if you can stay focused and maintain that balance between work and play, your experience at UCSB will be unrivaled by any other college.

    Tips for prospective students

    I highly suggest visiting the campus before making a final decision. Honestly, I was barely considering attending UCSB, but decided to visit the school just to make sure I could cross it off my list. After spending one day on the campus and talking to current students, I was completely infatuated with the school and very confident that UCSB was the place for me. Also, I recommend that all students opt to stay in the dorms for Freshman year. It is really the best way to meet people and start acclimating to college life.

    Bang for the buck

    This is a tough issue to discuss, especially with the current budget cuts that are effecting the entire UC system - and in actuality, all of California. The school has a wide variety of programs to offer, but the deal of a public university is not quite as appealing as it used to be, and will continue to get worse. Tuition has just been set to increase, which brought major controversy to this and all UC campuses. Additionally, they are cutting one of UCSB's favorite minor programs - Exercise and Sport Sciences. This includes Nutrition and Health classes, as well as classes in a multitude of sports and exercise classes. It is hard to say what else will have to be cut during this time of economic emergency, so the bang for the buck is undetermined for the future. However, UCSB is still greatly cheaper than private universities, and is academically stronger than most California state schools. In terms of schools in California, a UC such as UCSB would still be the way to go.

    Am enjoying being here

    You cannot pick a better place to live than Santa Barbara. The beach is literally a few minutes away on foot, and what better way to study than on a towel by the ocean with the peaceful sound of waves crashing in the background? The campus is beautiful itself, with the lagoon, lots of trees and plants, and modern infrastructure. There are honestly countless activities offered that there is really no excuse to be bored or anti-social. There are clubs for sports fanatics, nonprofit groups, political activists, environmentalists, religious debaters, and just about anything else that strikes your fancy. There are also soccer games at least once a week, which are a blast to attend. Students and faculty alike get incredibly spirited at the games, and it is an experience that every Gaucho should cherish. If you choose to live in the dorms, Resident Advisors (RAs) are required to hold at least a few house activities per quarter too, so you don't even have to go looking for events most of the time. There is also student government, as well as hall council, both of which are fabulous ways to get involved and make progressive changes on campus. Additionally, everybody who goes to UCSB is seemingly inherently friendly. I have already found an incredible group of friends, and everybody I have met has had positive experiences with finding their niche. Whatever it is that you are interested in or would like to be involved in, UCSB has it. (Well, everything except football, that is. That is quite a shame.) Of course, there is the overwhelming reputation associated with UCSB as a party school. The school most certainly lives up to this reputation, but don't let that discourage you. Partying is a huge aspect of socialization, especially on weekends, but it is avoidable. There are always weekend activities put on by the school, such as an improv group, movie nights, game nights, and more. Additionally, many people in my dorm spend nights playing a variety of board games or snuggled up in the lounge with a movie and some popcorn. These kinds of activities can be just as fun as a night out in Isla Vista, and they are entirely respectable ways to entertain yourself. Although the party scene is apparent, it is not pushed onto those who want to stay away from it, so each person can decide for his or herself how much or little to take part in the partying.

    Am learning a lot

    While many of the classes are conducive to learning, the amount that each student gets out of their classes is directly correlated to how much effort that student puts in. The classes are quite interesting, but the lectures do not necessarily cover all of the curriculum. It is very important to read the textbooks before lecture, because it helps the quick-paced lectures make more sense. Also, I highly suggest GOING TO DISCUSSIONS. The discussions are provided in order to clarify and delve deeper into subjects that the teacher may not have time to elaborate on, so be sure to attend all discussions.

  • 12/03/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    22 out of 24 people found this review useful. 1 person found it offensive. 3 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Even conservatives can feel at home here. Other UC campuses are pretty loony, but UC Santa Barbara is pretty well grounded.

    Tips for prospective students

    You're going to need a really high GPA and pretty good SAT scores to get in here . . . so take AP and honors courses, and take a good SAT prep course.

    Bang for the buck

    Even with the fee increases, the UC system is a great buy in the short run, and a great investment in the long run.

    Am enjoying being here

    This place is GREAT. I play club volleyball, which keeps me pretty busy; but I could have chosen from a hundred other extra-curricular activities. I like my dorm (Santa Catalina), even though I think the food is better at the other dining halls.

    Am learning a lot

    First, I am learning that a first-class college is WAAAYYY different from a first-class high school. The quarter system compresses time dramatically, so there is hardly any slack between mid-terms and finals. And you can't really afford to miss a class, especially if you are trying to make the good grade.

  • 07/22/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    13 out of 13 people found this review useful. 4 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Anyone who is serious about school, but also wants to have fun! It's a great school to learn stuff, but also to learn about yourself.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do everything you can to get into the Honors College on campus! You get one-on-one time with your professors, which helps you out when it comes to letters of recommendation, and it helps you to understand what you are studying more than if you aren't in the exclusive Honors Sections for the lectures.

    Bang for the buck

    This is a rather expensive school, especially if you don't have any help from financial aid... But, even with that said, the overall atmosphere of the school really truly makes you appreciate the money you are spending on your education!

    Am enjoying being here

    There's no way to avoid saying it: the campus is gorgeous! I mean, you live right on the beach and you have classes there too? It seems too good to be true! It is my reality though. I love the physical setting of the school, and I also love the people. Everyone is very chill, and willing to help you out if you need it. The professors are available for questions, and the TA's are more than helpful too!

    Am learning a lot

    I have had three quarters of classes so far, and every quarter I not only learned something from the professors of the classes, but I also learned something about myself. This school promotes you to be yourself, and encourages you to figure out who you are!

  • 06/23/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    11 out of 19 people found this review useful. 1 person found it offensive. 1 person found this inaccurate. 5 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Am enjoying being here

    The environment is different than the Central Valley. What I also like about UC Santa Barbara is that it is not to far from home but still far enough that it is helping me shape my own life.

    Am learning a lot

    I just finished my first year at UC Santa Barbara. After this year I could say I have changed as a person because my experience here is helping me shape my future and find my interest subjects.

  • 01/14/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    9 out of 9 people found this review useful. 6 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Everyone! (but especially active, fun-loving students). Do not get stuck on the idea of UCSB as a party school. There will be parties at every college, and if it's not your desire to spend your weekends at parties there are thousands of activities to get involved in! Halloween can get pretty crazy, so if you do enjoy parties you'll love it here too. College is all about choosing to do what you love doing. If you make it your own, UCSB can be the best experience of your life.

    Tips for prospective students

    Weigh the pros and cons for every college you are considering. The decision-maker for me was that UCSB had no cons. This school has a great campus and friendly atmosphere, plus world-class academics. We work hard and we definitely know how to have fun!

    Bang for the buck

    The budget crisis has hit us pretty hard, causing a fee increase this year. Nevertheless, this is an amazing experience and definitely worth the time of applying for a few more scholarsips to cover the cost. Also there are plenty of jobs either on campus or in surrounding areas designed specifically for students.

    Am enjoying being here

    The campus is amazing! It has only rained two days all year; the rest have been sunny and beautiful, which makes it easy to get involved in outdoor activities. In the past quarter I have started surfing, ocean kayaking, and rock climbing. The majority of students participate in some sort of outdoor activity, which makes for a really fun atmosphere.

    Am learning a lot

    Having a class of 800 students was a new experience for me but I've enjoyed my courses and the discussion sections help to give me time to ask specific questions. This system works well for me!

  • 07/15/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    7 out of 9 people found this review useful. 7 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    UCSB is surrounded by beaches, so if you are a beach lovin' surfer, this is the perfect place for you! Nearly everyone at UCSB rides a bike, so if you enjoy your time on two wheels, you'll love SB! However, you must be very carful. Campus security officers take bike traffic and parking rules very seriously. If you are a studious, laid back, down-to-earth student ready for a great college experience, definitely consider UCSB!

    Tips for prospective students

    UCSB is a fantastic school, and I am so lucky to be a student here! Not only is it one of the highest ranking universities in the United States for its academic and research accomplishments, but it is also a beautiful campus that will make almost anyone feel at home. UCSB has the reputation for being a party school, but what I always tell people is that it all depends on the individual. It is true, every UCSB student will have a place to go on Friday and Saturday nights if they need some time off from studying, and UCSB is not the place for you if you cannot resist the temptation! The most important thing is to have your priorities in order. Study hard, and you can party harder! As far as academics go, there is no reason any UCSB student should be worried about not doing well! As long as you are determined to study the material, our Campus Learning Assistance Services (CLAS) offers free tutoring for dozens of classes that prove to be tough. UCSB also has many opportunities for student involvement and leadership. Students with a very wide range of interests will be able to find an activity that interests them on campus, whether it is participating in a rally, joining a campus organization, or running for student government. Keeping an open mind is key to being able to take advantage of all of the opportunities that come your way!

    Bang for the buck

    Like every other university, UCSB costs a pocket-full of money. However, my experiences with the Financial Aid Office have always been positive. The FAO also offers many scholarships for UCSB students, and that is something I highly recommend!

    Am enjoying being here

    I truly enjoy every moment I spend at UCSB, and I think a main factor is the fact that I am surrounded by so many unbelievable people. Everyone at UCSB is down to earth, friendly, and studious all at the same time; it's the perfect balance.

    Am learning a lot

    All of the professors that I have had the opportunity to take a class with have had much to offer me and my education. Their expertise in their field and their passion for the material make everday learning an absolute pleasure.

  • 07/06/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    6 out of 10 people found this review useful. 8 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Social, fun, curious, and people who like being outside.

    Am enjoying being here

    The campus is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. It is the only college in the US with its own beach. Many people I know who visit just once fall in love with the atmosphere and have turned down Ivy league schools and UCLA to come here. Everyone is also very social and friendly. I could not picture myself at any other college.

    Am learning a lot

    The professors are very knowledgeable and helpful. The environmental studies major here includes professors that are highly prestigious.

  • 02/13/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    5 out of 5 people found this review useful. 9 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    ucsb is an amazing school for a variety of people. whether you are a very studious person, or love to have fun, or both, this school is right for you! but be prepared for constant sunshine, i was shocked that i had to pull out my shorts in the middle of january!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    campus point is a must see. it is one of the most beautiful places on campus, and the sun sets right on the water. as for food, freebirds (located in isla vista) is a must have!

    What to do for fun

    santa barbara is an amazing city. it is small enough to not be overwhelmed with people, but its large enough to have fun. with isla vista (iv) right next to campus, state street a bus ride away, and the beach a few steps away, one can always find something fun to do!

    Food and Dining

    food is food. the dining common food is alright, best meal is brunch every saturday and sunday (don't miss out!)

    Dorm Life

    i have observed other colleges and seen what its like to be a family (where everyone in the dorms has their doors open and knows each other by name and are best friends), but ucsb is more reserved. people tend to stick to the groups they originally meet the first week of school. i'm not saying one will never make friends, its just trying to find the right ones. but, once you find the right group that works for you, life is looking good!

    Academic Rigor

    for the science majors, the academics are extremely hard. it requires a lot of additional studying, and hard work. be prepared to give 110% to work.

    Tips for prospective students

    learn to balance work with play. santa barbara is a very beautiful city and getting caught up in the outstanding weather is a lot easier than one can imagine. if you can learn to have study days where you devote all your time to study, it will make the weekends that much sweeter.

    In three sentences

    ucsb is one of the most challenging universities a freshmen in college can ever attend. whether it be the academic struggles or the peer pressures that constantly surround you, one must learn to balance work with fun. however, my decision to attend this university has been one of the greatest things i have ever done.

  • 07/09/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 4 people found this review useful. 10 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    This school is great for students that want to learn, and like to party. With an amazing beach just a 5 minute walk from campus when studying is over, there is much more to do!

    Tips for prospective students

    Beach views, great food, amazing professors, free tutoring, what more can a student ask for? This school is definitely worth the price

    Am enjoying being here

    My first year I had a beach view from my dorm room. The faculty and staff on campus are extremely helpful, and many of the people are nice.

    Am learning a lot

    I have met some of the most knowledgeable people ever at UCSB. From the Professors to the TA's and even the students the University of California Santa Barbara is an amazing atmosphere to learn. There are many services to help out with classes as well, mine by far is CLAS, a free on campus tutoring program.

  • 07/15/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 11 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Type of students who are focused and are ready to expand and have fun at the same time!

    Tips for prospective students

    Get involved!! Take advantage of all the things UCSB offers. CLAS is a get study tool, IV is great socially and being apart of clubs is a must.

    Bang for the buck

    Although it's expensive, I'm happy with it's services. I wouldn't transfer anywhere else.

    Am enjoying being here

    The social life in UCSB is GREAT!! Yes it's a party school but there's so much more that you can do there. My favorite thing to do over the weekend is go to the comedy shows held by campus. I absolutely truly love it there and I think everyone should go to my school at least once.

    Am learning a lot

    UCSB has taught me a lot about myself, the world around me and knowledge altogether just in my first year of attendance. There are so many classes to take and they have all up doors for me. From applied math to theater, UCSB is a great school for expanding one's thoughts.

  • 08/22/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 12 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Students who have the drive to succeed and learn for the sake of learning. Also, students that can handle and properly balance their social and academic lives.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be ready to work hard and meet a variety of people.

    Bang for the buck

    Fees for UCSB are very steep; however, you are provided with many programs, resources and establishments that you can access by simply presenting your student identification card.

    Am enjoying being here

    Academics are great and the social scene is very much alive. The key to find the balance between the two and your time at UCSB will be great.

    Am learning a lot

    The Professors that I have encountered have all been very insightful and truly knowledgeable in their fields. Every course I have taken has had a lot of required reading which seemed horrible; however, every reading has proved to be very helpful for the course and for the understanding of current events.

  • 11/12/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 13 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Anybody who wants to learn and have fun doing it. You will definitely get that here. But don’t think you can slack off.

    Tips for prospective students

    Yes, we do have a reputation as a party school but that doesn’t mean we don’t study or get good grades or that if you prefer not to party you shouldn’t come here. There are many options for people who do not want to spend their weekends partying like movies playing at Isla Vista theatre, comedy shows and even concerts. But during the week be prepared to study! Do NOT get behind and don’t get in the habit of skipping class! Also, you should save ratemyprofessor.com in your favorites; it will come in handy when choosing your classes. P.S. Bring rain-boots! You’ll be glad you did!

    Bang for the buck

    The UCs are pretty expensive due to the budget cuts and it has gotten harder to get into classes that you want but they still offer everything they used to for students which you should take advantage of, like going to the gym for instance; you are already paying for it in your tuition and the food they serve you in the dining commons is not always healthy (its hard sometimes to say “no” to the desserts) so why not? Also, being able to hear the waves from your dorm room at night or just hanging out on the beach between classes makes the tuition worth it.

    Am enjoying being here

    You are right on the beach, what isn’t there to love? Everybody here is relaxed and professors are very helpful. The weather is almost perfect and between classes you can go down to the beach and study, or just watch the waves. Making friends is easy, especially when living in the dorms. There is always something to do. If you don’t have a car you can take the bus downtown for free and shop.

    Am learning a lot

    You can think of the quarter system as your frenemy; by the time it takes you to get bored of your classes, a new quarter begins. UCSB offers so many interesting classes with so many great professors and you have so many chances to take them. However, once you fall behind you will have to pull a lot of all nighters to catch up. In my opinion though the quarter system is more of a friend than an enemy. There is also a program called CLAS that is FREE that helps you understand the material covered in your class and helps you do well on your papers.

  • 11/23/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 14 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Great for students that want to start another life. If you come here you won't want to leave for home every weekend because you're gonna be the one that misses out on all the things that happen during the weekend. Great for students that want to a have both a academic and social life.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you are going to come to UCSB don't fall behind in your studies because the classes only last ten weeks. If they were in semester then you would have more time to catch up but after you're first midterm for one class, midterms don't stop until one week before finals. Then you have to study harder for finals so have fun throughout the quarter but keep up with the reading. I recommend getting into the Freshman Summer Start Program (FSSP). It was a tremendous help because I knew where everything was by the first day of school and I met many of my friends there as well.

    Bang for the buck

    There are many things that are for free here that reduce students' stress that students don't take advantage since they don't know that these amenities even exist. Anyone can get a 15 minute massage for free or sleep in a relaxing egg chair in the career services. The mansion-sized library that is on campus has all types of books from research books to manga books. Also in this type of recession that is occurring at the moment, this school is perfect if you want to guarentee a job during and after college. There is no other R-1 school near Santa Barbara so that means that if you apply for a job in or near Santa Barbara you will be competing with only other UCSB students. That increases the chance of securing a job and your future.

    Am enjoying being here

    There is always things to do in this university unlike other UC's like Irvine and Riverside, etc. If come here you have the beach and downtown Santa Barbara to go to. There is also Isla Vista to go to if you like to party. This university is never dull since there is also parties and concerts with famous bands. Last week or so we had Neon Trees and Ok Go perform. Of course you had to pay to see them but it was cheaper than if you saw them somewhere else. There are always people playing sports all year long due to the intramural sports they have here. So the entertainment here is better than any other UC. If you want to have stories to tell your friends come here.

    Am learning a lot

    The classes here in UCSB are on the quarter system which can be seen as both a good thing and a bad thing. Good because students can take more classes so they get a broader education and can take more classes that they are interested without having to sacrifice classes that are required to take for your major or GEs. Also good because the classes are more fast paced than semester classes so you don't get bored which a plus. Bad part is that you are going to take more midterms and finals per year than students that go a school that go to a school that is on the semester system. When you start as a freshman most classes that interest you will be full since upperclassmen have priority so you are probably gonna have to take a few classes that you hate or find boring just to take enough units to be considered a full time student.

  • 12/15/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 15 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    UCSB has something for everyone, not just the surfers and the kids who like to party. Just remember to come here with an open mind and you'll be sure to find something that suits you.

    Tips for prospective students

    All prospective students should visit the campus before deciding whether or not they should attend UCSB. It is the make it or break it factor for many when deciding. You'll either be completely smitten or completely turned off by what you see and experience. All prospective students should also consider dorming their first year, this is where you'll truly get the college experience that is so sought after and where you will make what are bound to be some life-long friends. Dorming also forces you to be more responsible and learn how to interact with people that you wouldn't normally interact with. Another tip? Try to choose a major or at least have a major in mind so that you can take classes for those prerequisites. If you are completely unsure of what you want to do and major in, which is completely fine too, make sure you take classes in a variety of areas to see what interests you while getting multiple GE's and/or prereqs out of the way. Also, make an effort to get involved with the school and the community, take advantage of all of the things that are offered to you by the school. The best thing you can do is be pro-active. Finally, my most important tip. I cannot begin to stress how IMPORTANT time management will be in your college career. All that free time you have is not meant for sitting on facebook!!! Definitely something that I learned after my first quarter here. You'll find that balancing sleep, studying, and socializing (as well as a million other little tasks, your laundry isn't going to do itself!) is a bit more difficult then it seems. I highly suggest you work on these skills BEFORE you go to college, UCSB or not.

    Bang for the buck

    I really don't have much to say here. We all know that fees and tuition have increased across the board. Though the university system is pricey, look at it as an investment not only in your career, but in your life. You are paying for a higher education and a life experience that you could not likely get anywhere or anytime else. UCSB is ranked number 9 in the annual list of Top 50 Public Schools in the Nation, so even though fees have increased, I'd say you're still getting a bang for your buck. And remember, your experience here or anywhere is all what you make it. It is really up to you whether you get your money's worth or not.

    Am enjoying being here

    Santa Barbara is like living in paradise. It offers the ocean, the mountains, and an urban environment all rolled into one area. The weather is beautiful, and the beach is merely a short walk/bike ride away. Study breaks on the beach? It really doesn't get any better then that. The campus is also beautiful. It has a lagoon that leads right to the ocean, and beautiful trees and vegetation everywhere. You get the private university feel while on campus, and a beach-y cool vibe when off. The buildings are fairly new and modern, and everything is kept very clean. Overall, it's very easy on the eyes. Campus is also close to Isla Vista, which offers shopping, the renowned Free Birds, and the Isla Vista Theater, which has free movies on Tuesdays. Socially speaking, Santa Barbara is perfect for everyone. Everyone is super chill and open-minded and the student body is very diverse. For the sports fanatics out there, there's usually a sports game (the most famous being soccer) held every week (however, it should be noted that UCSB lacks a football team). For the studious, the Davidson Library is the perfect place to study while enjoying a view of the ocean. For those interested in learning about other people and groups, there are many culture/gender/religious/political/et cetera affiliated organizations and clubs on campus. The list goes on and on. And while UCSB has a rather infamous reputation for it's partying, it lives up to its reputation only in the first few weeks of the year and then dies down. Partying is easily avoidable if you are concerned, however, if you are responsible it can be an excellent way to socialize and meet new people and friends. Alternative activities are also offered on the weekends, such as socials, and if you are dorming, activities put on by the resident advisers and/or floors. Overall, I really have nothing bad to say about my experience with UCSB thus far. Though I was skeptical at first, I am really enjoying my stay here and look forward to experiences to come. This is truly a school fit for for everyone.

    Am learning a lot

    UCSB offers many interesting and challenging classes, there is literally something for everybody. Whether you are interested in marine biology or theater stage production, you are guaranteed to find a class that will suit your interests. One downside, however, is that it is hard for freshmen to get these classes since they have the lowest priority when the time comes to pick. However, it is usually easy to get classes within your prerequisite requirements if you know your major. Lectures range from small to packed, and the professors and teacher assistants are very helpful. Lectures should serve as a kind of review or refresher of the material, discussions and reading your text books is where most of your learning will be done. Discussions are very small and designed to allow students to get their questions answered and clarify material from the text book and the lectures. Additional resources, such as office hours and CLAS (a free tutoring service on campus) also serve to help students better learn their course material. In addition to learning from the coursework, UCSB offers a lot of other important learning opportunities with the study abroad program and 300 plus clubs and fraternities/sororities on campus. UCSB offers great academic learning experiences, as well as social ones. Overall, I would say it's a perfect balance.

  • 09/11/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 16 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Our campus is pretty safe and I've never felt in danger. Our biggest crime on campus is bike theft and I like to think that says a lot about the safety of our campus, since the main concern is whether our bicycles get stolen, as opposed to vandalism or threats. There is also a handy 24-hour escort service that you can use in case you are leaving your library late or have a late class; an official escort can walk you or ride next to you on a bike until you get to your destination safely.

    Greek Life

    There are about 10 sororities and 10 fraternities that have actual houses and there are also a handful of interest-based (pre-med, pre-law, culture-centered) sororities and fraternities. Our Greek life is large enough that if you want to participate you will find a house that fits your needs, but at the same time it is small enough that if you do not want to participate, you don't feel pressured to do so.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are over 300 student organizations on campus with a wide range of interests (from career-oriented to volunteering to culture-centered to just-for-fun!). You'll definitely find a club for you! There also is an intramural sports program with almost any sport available, where you can get together with your friends and create a team and compete against teams of friends. Our campus favorite is intertube water polo!

    Great for these types of students

    Students looking for a school that has the total package: academics, great location, friendly student population, school spirit and fun and tons of ways to get involved.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    UCSB is obsessed with our soccer team! At soccer games, one of our quirky traditions is to throw tortillas onto the field--when ref's make bad calls AND when ref's make good calls!

    Bang for the buck

    Given the recent economic times, college is definitely not cheap. However, I'm paying the same amount as students who go to other big public schools and am getting more out of it. I live on the beach, I'm involved on my campus, I can get personal attention from my professors and TAs, I'm able to get help when I need it, I get the classes I need and I don't feel like I'm being overwhelmed by ultra-competitive students (not to say our students aren't competitive; it's more like everyone likes to help each other succeed). Some students from other public schools just can't say that.

    What to do for fun

    The real question is what isn't there to do? UCSB is one of the only universities in the country with its own private beach and given the lovely California weather, you'll definitely find students on the beach on a sunny day! Students also like to go on picturesque hikes in the Santa Ynez mountains, a mountain range that frames the campus on one side. UCSB is also a short bus ride from downtown Santa Barbara which has tons of stores to shop in, movie theaters and restaurants!

    Food and Dining

    There are four different dining commons at UCSB and each has its own specialty. De La Guerra (DLG) specializes in Mexican food, Ortega always has sushi at lunch and dinner, Carillo's specialty is Mongolian barbeque and Portola always has different types of bars (chili bar, burger bar). There are also always vegetarian and vegan options at every meal. Ortega provides take-out sack breakfasts or lunches for students who don't have time to sit down to a full meal in between classes (or if you want to have lunch on the beach after class with friends!). DLG also has late-night dining from 9pm to midnight on weeknights and serves everything that is not very healthy for you like burgers and fries (but that's all you really want at 9 o'clock at night anyway!). It's fun to take a break from cramming for finals to grab a bite to eat. The dining commons post their menus for the week online, which is nice because you can check which dining commons has the best food for that evening. Also, if you have certain allergies (nuts, gluten, milk, etc) or a food lifestyle (vegan or vegetarian) there is an online program where you can see what options fit your needs at each dining commons for that meal. All dining commons have a salad bar, fruit, breads, cereals, stuff to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and pizza. The quality of the food is actually quite good! I was expecting average cafeteria-style food and was pleasantly surprised with how good the food is. As far as meal plans go, students have several options. If you live on campus you are required to have a meal plan. Students can choose from have 10 meals per week, 14 meals per week, 17 meals per week or unlimited meals per week. I would recommend 14 meals per week because it keeps you covered by the dining commons meals, but is flexible enough that you can go out to eat with friends if you want. By meals these are meals you are allowed to use in the campus dining commons. You also have the option of adding $300, $600 or $900 to your ID card to use at the other campus dining locations such as Subway, Panda Express, Wahoo's Fish Tacos, Woodstock's, Root 217, Nicoletti's Coffee, and Jamba Juice. If you do not live on campus, you can get a meal plan if you wish (5 or 10 meals per week). The only thing I don't like about the dining at UCSB is that your leftover meals don't rollover and guest meals are not included in your plan-- you have to pay those separately. Other than that, dining is superb.

    Dorm Life

    I actually quite enjoyed dorm life at UCSB. We are very spoiled in that many of our residence halls have ocean views. It may be the only time in our lives we'll have the opportunity to live on the beach! The view from my room freshman year was beautiful! About 98% of freshman live on campus their freshman year. I would highly, highly recommend living in the residence halls your first year because its great way to meet people and really get to know the campus. It's quite common that you'll end up living with people you met in the residence halls during your subsequent years at UCSB. The RA's also put on a lot of fun events during the year (we had a Superbowl party, pancake party, movies, etc). UCSB students are also very spoiled because our bathrooms get cleaned every day and our rooms get cleaned every two weeks. The cleaning staff empties your trash, vacuums and cleans your mirrors. Pretty awesome.

    Academic Rigor

    UCSB is ranked as the 10th best public university in the United States (US News and World Report)!! Classes here are challenging but definitely manageable!

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't focus solely on good grades. Our admissions counselors look at 3 main things in regards to applications--grades, test scores and extra-curricular activities. While grades may seem the most important, you're more likely to get admitted if you have a combo of all three of these values. Don't be afraid to apply undecided as far as majors go.Undecided is our most popular major for incoming freshman and you have up until the end of your second year to pick a major.

    In three sentences

    UCSB is an amazing university located in beautiful Santa Barbara, California and is surrounded. UCSB will provide any student with great academics, a healthy social life, ways to get involved and most importantly a degree that you can be proud of. I wouldn't trade my experience here for anything.

  • 12/14/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 17 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    focused students; the beach and outdoor activities are an easy distraction, but if students are motivated, and know they'll stay on task, they'll have the time of their life here.

    Bang for the buck

    The campus is beautiful, my dorm is right next to the beach. People bike or walk from place to place, and its always a nice experience. Great education+ great location!

    Am enjoying being here

    UCSB, and the neighboring community of Isla Vista are great places to be. People are constantly out doing something productive.

    Am learning a lot

    The classes are definitely challenging, and since we are on a quarter system, i get to pick from a variety of subjects. I would have never imagined I could take a class about the geography of the ocean and the physics of surfing, and get math/science GE credits for it.

  • 01/12/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 18 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    UCSB is very environmental friendly. If you are a beach bum or just enjoy the sun, this is the place for you. Students here work hard, but they also play hard. Life in Santa Barbara is about balance and enjoying everything around you

    Tips for prospective students

    I highly suggest that no matter what school you are looking at you should experience the life of a true college visit. Yes, visit the campus but maybe stay the night in a dorm, eat at the dinning commons, attend an 800 person lecture. This is what will truly show you if the campus is right for you.

    Bang for the buck

    Even though the state budget cuts is increasing tution, There are still several activities and program you can take advantage of because you are a student here. They have a program called CLAS which stands for campus learning assistance program. You meet in smaller groups and go over materials in greater detail that were presented in class. The best part is that its totally free!! This is just one of the several things available to the students here

    Am enjoying being here

    Everyone is so friendly from the students, to the staff, to the professors. The location is paradise if you look all around you. Surrounded by water on almost all sides the beach is only a few steps away and the weather is enjoyable. Sunny and in the 70s in January?!?! What could be better!

    Am learning a lot

    There is such a wide variety of classes you can take at UCSB. My first quarter I took chemistry and calculus for my major, but I was also able to enjoy taking a class on the history and appreciation of dance. Not only did I love taking a class that I wanted to learn about, but also it fulfilled a general education requirement

  • 10/13/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 19 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Surfers, students that are able to balance schoolwork and their social life, relaxed but intelligent people

    Tips for prospective students

    Take advantage of tutoring resources like CLAS.

    Bang for the buck

    UC tuition prices are going up, but there are a lot of services offered for your money such as student health, concealing and career resources, and gym membership.

    Am enjoying being here

    Santa Barbara is one of the most geographically gorgeous places in California if not the country!

    Am learning a lot

    The quarter system allows you to take more of the classes you want, and most finals are not cumulative. There are a lot of interesting classes offered such as dinosaurs and a freshman seminar on vampires

  • 06/23/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 20 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Social, hardworking, relaxed, avid beach-goers

    Tips for prospective students

    My one BIG tip (being from such a small town) is to go out of your comfort level and make friends with someone you never would have talked to high school. Eventually you will find a niche of people that will make you say Wow, these people actually exist! And they're just like me. You will make friends that are not there for convenience but for support in your transition of becoming a better you. Also, BALANCE is key at UCSB because everyone knows of the party reputation. Study hard so you can party harder.

    Bang for the buck

    Although the California education system is a little unbalanced, the aggravation of increasing tuition fees, and the inconveniences of having a short staff can really start to wear on a working college student, I am fully aware that the quality of education I receive is nothing short of the best. The teachers want to be there and educate you with information relevant to the class, and sometimes beyond that. Also, the amenities that are available (on campus food, Isla Vista, the beach, Davidson Library) are a bonus.

    Am enjoying being here

    UCSB and Isla Vista are incomparable to any university or city. The culture and the ambiance can make any kind of person feel comfortable and relaxed, and I could not imagine myself anywhere but where I am. Being an avid surfer, the convenience of having the ocean at my back door is indescribable. With that, going to class and achieving good marks is worth the trouble.

    Am learning a lot

    Starting out as a Biology major was a bit ambitious, but I thoroughly enjoyed every single class. The science classes were challenging, but the labs allowed one-on-one interaction between both the instructor and my peers. Although, I found that Biology was something that I was no longer interested in, I started taking classes outside of that major. Once I became interested in Psychology it was more than easy to change my courses and college plan. Now that I found what I really want to study, I enjoy going to class and learning material that is valuable outside of the classroom.

  • 07/08/2009

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    1 out of 5 people found this review useful. 21 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Will enjoy being here

    UCSB is absolutely beautiful!

    Will learn a lot

    I want to attend this school because I know that I will be a great asset because I am creative and a hard worker.

  • 07/23/2009

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 22 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    great for bio majors and field hockey players!

    Bang for the buck

    My only issue is the price but I know it will be worth it. It is cheaper than some places out of state.

    Will enjoy being here

    I've lived in SoCal my whole life and I love it here. And UCSB is in a great location being right by the beach. It has good field hockey fields and is located in the cute little college town of Goleta. There are many things within walking distance of the campus and some gorgeous new dorms are coming in soon.

    Will learn a lot

    I have many friends who have or are attending UCSB and love everything about it. It has many biology majors, which I am interested in and it also has a education major if I choose to pursue that.

  • 08/17/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 23 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    Go to spring insight! I didn't and when spring of my freshmen year came around and I saw the prospective students with their parents it made me feel like my parents weren't involved. Also check out Isla Vista.

    Bang for the buck

    I have always thought that the cost of college should not stop someone from going. Although the UC system prices have risen I still think it worth it, a bit on the pricey side but well worth it. Financial Aid does help as well as work-study.

    Am enjoying being here

    From a social standpoint UC Santa Barbara is amazing. There is never a dull moment, the beach and seemingly perfect weather make it a great place to meet people everywhere you go. There are so many clubs to fit anyones interests and you can even create your own if you don't like any.

    Am learning a lot

    The classes are really engaging. Technology has helped lecture classes by allowing powerpoint presentations to be posted on class websites. The TA's are also available most of the time.

  • 08/25/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 24 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Laid back students who want a great college experience while still getting a great education.

    Tips for prospective students

    Live in the dorms and take advantage of all the great things UCSB has to offer.

    Bang for the buck

    This is not an expensive college because it is a state school and you are getting a chance to go to a top of the line research facility where you can get a great education.

    Am enjoying being here

    Santa Barbara is amazing. It has such a great atmosphere that people love it. It is right on the beach (my dorm window looked over it) and has the cozy town of Isla Vista next door. The people are laid back but are still motivated to go to school. There are parties but I'm my opinion this just helps create a good well rounded college experience.

    Am learning a lot

    I love the learning experience here as UCSB. When I decided to go to school here all I would hear from other people was that it was a party school and that there would be no way that I could learn that much but they were very wrong. This school provides a top of the line education and stays on top of the times. Most of my homework was done online and my educators were very helpful.

  • 12/06/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 25 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Any and all.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make as many connections you can with people right from the first day you arrive.

    Bang for the buck

    You have so many opportunities here! You just have to be motivated enough to seek them out.

    Am enjoying being here

    The atmosphere here is perfect. It is laid back yet so many people are incredibly motivated and dedicated students that you can get involved in anything you want.

    Am learning a lot

    One thing that I love about attending school here is that I have received such a broad education as the base for my future years here. I noticed that I am taking the information I have learned and applied it not only in other classes, but in everyday life.

  • 12/28/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 26 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Focused, hard-working but still fun-loving, social, outdoorsy types

    Tips for prospective students

    Have a clear idea of who you are, who you want to be, and what you want to get out of your time at UCSB. It's all too easy to be distracted from your academic endeavors or to fall into a lifestyle that would horrify your parents. Balance your time between work and play and don't let the sunshine and sandy shores distract you too much!

    Bang for the buck

    A public school right next to a beach? What more could you ask for, right? If you asked me a year ago, I would have hailed UCSB as the best bang for your buck in the country. But the Board of Regents just passed a fee increase, so watch out for a major tuition spike...

    Am enjoying being here

    Although UCSB is a notorious party school, most would agree that it is so much more than that. Santa Barbara boasts over 300 days of sunshine a year, a beach literally steps from campus, and amazing hiking just a short drive away. I admit it took me a while to find my niche, but now I've never been happier!

    Am learning a lot

    Like all schools, the classes at UCSB are only as good as you make them. Professors are hit or miss, so make sure you check out Ratemyprofessor.com before taking a class. If you are really interested in something, you have to be the one to actively seek it out. It's a big school full of talented people so you have to really be a go-getter to stand out.

  • 12/29/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 27 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Santa Barbara is great for students who can find a balance between social life and hard work. The students on campus are very active in extracurricular activities and organizations but also find the time to study and finish school work as is required. The campus tends to nourish students of a more free-spirited personality as well as those who tend to be on the Democratic side of the political spectrum. The campus also offers many opportunities for those students who prefer to be physically active and has excellent programs dedicated to outdoor exploration or involvement in sports.

    Tips for prospective students

    I cannot stress enough how much visiting the campus helps in the decision process when choosing a university to attend. Make time to visit the campus not only in your high school years but also visit the campus after you have been accepted. It is important that you picture yourself living at the school and that you can determine whether or not the school is a perfect fit for you. I also encourage you that, should you choose to attend Santa Barbara, the dorms are the best place for first years. They provide an excellent opportunity to meet people and to learn about different activities or events on campus.

    Bang for the buck

    As is the case with many colleges nationwide, it is often difficult to discuss the financial burden placed upon students and their families while attending college. Some may be ineligible to receive financial aid but still struggle to provide the funds for their education while others may be lucky enough to attend college entirely through alternative means of payment. In any case I truly believe that no matter how one pays for college the amount of satisfaction they take from their experience ultimately depends on how they wish to spend their college years. Spending time in a school’s social atmosphere should not be more important than one’s academic success especially because a college education is not cheap these days. Should the grades prove otherwise, let it be known that the money used to pay for that education would be better spent elsewhere. Personally, I realized very quickly that, especially with recent budget cuts, my focus while in college needs to be directed primarily towards my studies. Rumors have surfaced that UCSB is notorious for being a party school but in my honest opinion if you truly wish to receive the best education for the amount of money that you pay then your social life at UCSB does not have to include anything that may obstruct your academic achievements. So far I have made excellent academic progress without much financial aid and while I still search for fiscal assistance, I encourage anyone burdened with increasing university costs to consider how these rising fees will influence their academic habits.

    Am enjoying being here

    Most people who take a campus tour of Santa Barbara can understand why students thrive in their environments at the school and why many have chosen to further their education in such a beautiful atmosphere. I am no exception to this and have discovered my place among the laid-back students I encounter on a daily basis. The campus is wonderful not only because of its spectacular location at the beach but also because the vibrant campus life and the numerous activities available to students. In my first quarter at UCSB I was able to go ocean kayaking, participate in a ropes course at Robertson Gymnasium, explore the bikes paths in Goleta, spend hours at the local beaches, travel to State Street multiple times, play on an intramural sports team and attend many free lectures and seminars on campus. In my opinion the more one immerses themselves in campus life, the more one is able to experience UCSB on a more personal level. It is this very attitude that has helped me to adjust to college life and to enjoy my stay at UCSB.

    Am learning a lot

    Upon first coming to this school I had no idea what to expect in terms of the different teaching methods employed by professors or how being taught by a teacher’s assistant would hinder or accelerate my learning process. I soon found out that the amount of time one puts in to learning a subject and studying course material is positively related to the amount of knowledge one takes away from a course. No matter how different my professors were or how much I may have disliked their teaching method, I discovered many alternate options that were devoted to my success in any subject. For example, there is a program on campus called CLAS which serves as a mentoring program to help reevaluate course material and give students personal assistance on a weekly basis. Among other tutors available it is also helpful to take advantage of the office hours of either the professor or the teacher’s assistant due to the fact that they can work with you on an individual basis to make sure you understand the course material and are meeting the requirements in terms of what should be understood in the course. I have found that in using the resources available to me through the school along with taking responsibility for my class work I have been able to learn nothing less than the ambitious goals I have set for myself.

  • 06/18/2010

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 3 people found this review useful. 28 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Will enjoy being here

    I think I'd have an amazing time if I go here because the campus and its surroundings are beautiful! It also seems to be a very entertaining area.

  • 08/11/2010

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    1 out of 2 people found this review useful. 29 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    exciting students that are all about work

  • 12/17/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 30 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Those who are studious but also want to enjoy great breezy weather. Beach lovers.

    Tips for prospective students

    It's best to actually visit SB and any school you're interested in, so then you can get a feel of the atmosphere which really does play a role in how your college experience will go. If you're also really sure you want to pursue a degree in math, biology, literature, or physics make sure you look into the College of Creative Studies.

    Bang for the buck

    The reason for the mediocre rating is because of the raising fees that the Regents (the governing body of the UC's) have initiated. Cost has risen while the available amount of classes has continued to decrease, making it difficult to enroll in classes. However, it is not impossible and SB's reputation has continued to improve, as seen its universal rise in the rankings.

    Am enjoying being here

    During the late fall and winter, the weather won't be as you imagine of constant sunshine (it does actually rain here), but it does have pretty great weather, especially towards the spring. In addition, there are a lot of great people here who are both smart and fun, which just adds to the great atmosphere. SB may not have the same prestige or clean reputation as UCLA, but the students here are just as smart and we actually take the time to enjoy the day and breathe fresh air.

    Am learning a lot

    In terms of the classes that I have taken for my major, I have learned a lot, and they most certainly have been challenging. I am currently a biology major if that helps. I would have to say they have a pretty strong chemistry department and the biology classes are pretty rigorous too. I cannot say the same for other classes like Asian American (that I took to fulfill my GEs) where I feel as though classes like these can lack sufficient empirical data and I find their observation sometimes BS. Do not allow the reputation of SB's party scene to discourage you from applying or accepting. Although there is a party scene, all schools are party school and don't feel as though you have to be a party-er in order to fit in, there are plenty of people who don't go out much. And there are loads of people who do make their studies a priority.

  • 01/07/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 31 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    -Laid back -Explorative and curious -Studious -People who enjoy having fun -Don't be taken aback by the party image. There's more to do on campus than being involved in that scene. The image does not take over every aspect of the campus

    Tips for prospective students

    -Take advantage of the resources on campus, there are so many to help you (egg chairs and Massage chairs for relaxation) -Always ask for help if you're not sure about anything -Enjoy your experience as a college student -Remember to stay focused in school, but still have fun :)

    Bang for the buck

    -While the expenses may seem a bit high, there is financial aid available to help cover the costs -Compared to other UC's, UCSB's prices are lower than most -The surrounding areas are beautiful -You get a beachside school for a good price

    Am enjoying being here

    -Life on your own may seem scary at first, but as you enter into a new chapter in your life, you are marveled at how comfortable this place feels -There are so many things to do on campus to reflect your hobbies/interests -There are so many clubs and events that give you a place to enjoy yourself while still making friends

    Am learning a lot

    -There are so many classes to choose from to fulfill General Education Requirements (e.g. You can take a dinosaurs class to fulfill the Math requirement) -There are many options available for every student -You choose your schedule to reflect what you like and the times you want -You enjoy your classes more being surrounded by students who actually want to be here

  • 03/23/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 32 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    UCSB is great for students that: -are outgoing -love to have fun -like sunny and rainy days

    Tips for prospective students

    -Do not get a full meal plan with the school! (You're going to want to eat out) -The dorm Santa Catalina have rooms twice as big the other dorms at UCSB. (They are, however, located roughly 1 mile away from campus) -DEFINITELY have a bike. UCSB is made for students with bikes. We have our own bike lanes throughout the campus.

    Bang for the buck

    I honestly think college costs too much But every UC costs about the same, and UCSB is where you can get the most for your money. If you pay to go to UCSB, you're not just paying for the education. You're paying to live on the beach, a gym that can be accessed whenever you want, accessibility to great food, and tons of other services.

    Am enjoying being here

    The campus is actually situated on a beach. You can literally walk down the street from your dorm and be next to the beautiful ocean. The food here is not bad either. There are 4 dining commons to choose from, each having their specialties. And if you are not satisfied with the food on campus, there are a great variety of restaurants next to the school. The recreation center here is also amazing. It is a giant gym with a pool, soccer and lacrosse fields, multiple weight rooms, basketball, tennis and volleyball courts.

    Am learning a lot

    There is definitely a lot to learn at UCSB. The classes go by a quarter system and it lasts about 10 weeks long. But just because the classes are short, does not mean there you learn less. In fact, the professors at UCSB are great at lecturing. They know how to keep students interested.

  • 05/10/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 33 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Outgoing, fun, conscientious, active students who like to work hard and play hard. There is always something to do and always someone to do it with. If you like extracurriculars just as much as getting good grades then come get loco with the Gauchos!

    Tips for prospective students

    If you are definitely coming to UCSB then my number one tip would be to attend the Freshman Summer Start Program (FSSP). It's the summer before you freshman year and it's basically summer school. If you're saying to yourself Ptch, yeah right. Why would I take summer school before I'm even in college? I'll just say it again... SIGN UP! I didn't do it and it's a huge regret of mine. It will make your life so much easier. Honestly no matter where you go I'm sure they have programs like this. I come from a really small town and I think I only came in with 8.0 units (the equivalent of two classes). There are kids coming in who are already sophomores because of all the AP classes they took in high school. And summer school is something you should do every year. First of all, it's insanely fun to be in Isla Vista over the summer. And second of all spreading your units over a few extra quarters will make your life immensely easier. It is almost a must if you're going to study abroad and is also essential if you're thinking about graduating early. Summer sessions are either six or three weeks long depending on which ones you choose and you take one or two classes. Classes over summer are WAY easier than they are during the regular school year. Have to take Chemistry or Biology? Finish it in six weeks instead of ten, it'll be easier, and you'll be able to have fun during the regular school year. Speaking of studying abroad, do it. I'm leaving for Thailand in August and I can't wait. I recommend doing it your Junior year which I would have done, except that I didn't do summer school so I had to finish enough units. Out of everyone I know who's graduated already, if any of them say they have regrets it's always that they didn't study abroad. Also, there is NOTHING WRONG with going to a community college for the first two years then transferring as a junior. Seriously. No matter where you go. You save so much money and General Ed classes are the same everywhere. If I had a chance to do it over again I would do that instead.

    Bang for the buck

    Universities aren't cheap but Santa Barbara is definitely worth it. I think it's unreasonable for websites to make it sound like college is affordable when we all know that without some help it's pretty rare for people to get through it without at least some debt. Rent in Isla Vista, Goleta, and Santa Barbara is expensive and so is food. Tuition for the UC system has gone up and will continue to do so. But remember, this is happening EVERYWHERE! This is one of the only places left where the price increase is still worth it. Yes classes are harder to get into, but they're also better and yes rent is high, but the houses are on the beach! Many of my friends have successfully gotten financial aid and have avoided having to get loans. Don't get me wrong, it's totally doable. Just know that if you need financial aid, nobody will just hand it to you, you need to go out there and get it!

    Am enjoying being here

    There is NOWHERE like UCSB. I'm writing this review from my bedroom on Del Playa Drive in Isla Vista (where UCSB is actually located) and I can see and hear the ocean from my window. It's a big school but the older you get the more you realize I.V. is a family and a community. When I was a freshman I thought I'd never just bump into people on campus, but three years later I can't even walk down the block without seeing someone I know. People joke about Santa Barbara being the party UC and it's partially true but what they fail to remember is that we have the highest Nobel Laureate to student ratio and excellent psychology, pre-med, anthropology, and creative studies departments (among others!). If you want the real college experience this is the school for you!

    Am learning a lot

    UCSB, just like any other school, is feeling the pressure of the economy. Classes are more difficult to get into and have a higher student to teacher ratio. However, this is the case for every school in California at this time. You can even see it in a better light, as a third year Cultural Anthropology major, I'm forced to look for classes that I really WANT to take instead of ones that are just convenient for my schedule. General Ed classes are all the same wherever you are but now that I'm in upper division I look forward to going to class every day!

  • 05/16/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 34 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    It's expensive but so are many other colleges. It seems worth it though.

    Will enjoy being here

    I know for sure I'll enjoy. Beautiful campus, next to the beach, great weather, and really nice people.

    Will learn a lot

    I'm hoping to make the most of my stay there.

  • 05/30/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 35 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    UCSB is great for students who do not mind waking up to the beach everyday, bring surrounded by great friendly people and having fun while they learn. UCSB is a unique group of students that enjoy having a good time and living up the college experience.

    Tips for prospective students

    College is not easy, it requires determination and passion. Be sure that your are adequately prepared to learn. Although we are considered a party school we still are a learning institution that embodies learning

    Bang for the buck

    A good college education is not the cheapest thing in the world but it is worth every cent.

    Am enjoying being here

    I really enjoy our campus and our community. Our campus is beautiful and fun. There is always something to do and we live just minutes from the beach. The weather is mild and the people are amazing.

    Am learning a lot

    Everyday I go to class I believe that i absorb so much knowledge from my professors. There is never a day when I did not learn something. Especially with our diverse student body I also learn from my peers as well. Moving away from home is a sort of culture shock because we become so accustomed to living at home.

  • 06/01/2011

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 36 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    If you're an outgoing student who wants to succeed and has the initiative to study hard and play hard, this school is for you. One of my parents friends pulled me aside when I was deciding on colleges, and they told me that UCSB would be the best decision (which holds true). They also gave me some words of wisdom: Party, Sleep, and Work. Now pick only two!

    Tips for prospective students

    Get out there and enjoy what Santa Barbara has to offer - especially once you hit 21. I got a job as a wine hostess and it opened my eyes to all of the wonderful wineries nearby. Enjoy the Santa Barbara festivals like Fiesta, Solstice, Beer & Wine, Extravaganza, and WestBeach. And enjoy the beauty that SB has to offer, like running along the beach, venturing out to hiking areas or go camping at Refugio with your friends.

    Bang for the buck

    UCSB is pricy like most UCs so some students recommend attending Santa Barbara City College first. Isla Vista housing prices are extremely inflated - but you pay for the experience. I had the most fun ever living in IV (even if my room was the size of a cardboard box - and equally dilapidated!).

    Did enjoy being here

    I can't imaging having gone anywhere else. I was reluctant to attend this school to begin with, but I've 100% changed my mind and am extremely proud to call this my Alma Mater. The experience you'll gain at this beautiful campus and the Isla Vista community are one in a million.

    Did learn a lot

    I received my BA in Environmental Studies and enjoyed the courses immensely. There are some great teachers and the Environmental Studies department genuinely cares about your success!

  • 06/16/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 37 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    The school is ideal for students wanting a college experience that is more than what a lecture hall can offer. The UCSB vibe can be taken however one may perceive. Those with open minds and willing to experience a college culture unlike any other in the nation will not regret one last bit of it. UCSB may have a reputation for partying a lot, and yes we all do but we are also a highly respected research institution and many of us excel well beyond what the stigma of UCSB is. UCSB is different for everyone but never has anyone regretted their time at this school.

    Tips for prospective students

    Most students live in the neighboring town of Isla Vista and this place has a lot of things going on at all times. It can be a hectic lifestyle but with every college experience it is about balance. One major tip is know personal limitations and expectations. College is what one wants to get out of it. UCSB and the quarter system is a lot to comprehend at first but it will be worth the effort.

    Bang for the buck

    The UC system is by far the best higher education that any money can buy. However, in the last four years tuition has been increasing. It is unfortunate but the state of California has absolutely no money and the first place the government cut funding is education. It is roughly estimated that UCSB students spend an average of $27,000 a year on school and miscellaneous living expenses. In the grander scheme is things, it is still by far cheaper than private universities with the same if not better quality of an education.

    Am enjoying being here

    UCSB has tons of opprotunities to get involved both inside and outside the community. The Greek system is quite small but offers involvement within the community of Isla Vista, a small college town that neighbors campus. There are philanthropies these houses host that raise money for their respective foundations. It is healthy competition and gives students the opportunity to meet and develop lifelong friendships. In addition, there is the chance to be apart of the Associated Students government. This group deals with how to allocate student-fees or community involvement. Another major group is the Associated Students Community Affairs Board who do a lot to help give back to the students and the community. They host stress-relieving events at the end of each quarter for students to take a break from studying. They also fund student-organizations that help younger generations or give back to the elderly. Another way to be involved are in the dorms through Hall Council and the Residence Hall Association. They put on a lot of awareness activities for the residents as well as small events to bring together the small groups. Another great resource is the Student Resource Building that is home to many organizations dedicated to helping Student Affairs. The variety of ways to get involved are endless and UCSB definitely has all the resources there!

    Am learning a lot

    The departments very between majors and also the enthusiasm from professors. The Global Studies department has a very invigorating group of professors. They challenge the validity and worth many common ideologies the United States contains. Many bring not just text book information but call for action that the new generation should take. Even in the accounting faculty within the Economics department, some of those professors are extremely skilled, personable and knowledgeable about the technical textbook information as well as first-hand experience. It is reassuring to know how all the studying and learning will be able to help in life after college. There are a handful of general education classes that almost every student would recommend from greek mythology, introduction to psychology, to introduction to sociology. The professors are also always interested in helping students get hands on experience. From internships for Kobe Bryant's basketball camp at UCSB during the summer to internships for the top four accounting firms in the nation who many go on to earn full-time jobs after graduation. The engagement, the interactions, the challenge, the teachers are what create UCSB's difference for students.

  • 06/30/2011

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 38 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Fun, outgoing students who like to party on the weekends.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be cautious of which dorm you choose to live in. Here is the run down of two of the dorms I've lived in. Santa Catalina (better known as FT) is a freshman only dorm about a mile off campus. This dorm is known as the party dorm. There is a bus service that will take students to campus, but most people prefer to just bike there. On rainy days, be prepared to wait about 20-30 minutes before getting on the bus due to the amount of students in line. The dining common is the worse compared to the ones on campus, so be careful of what you eat. The good thing about Santa Catalina is that there is maid service once a week and is closer to a marketplace with Costco, Albertsons, and various other stores. Also all the rooms are larger here and you live in a suite setting where that bathroom connects to rooms together. Overall, students really get a sense of community when they live here. Students here always leave there doors open during the first month so they can meet people. Everyone pretty much knows everyone. Manizanita is the newest on campus dorm, making it harder for first year students to get. The dorm is split up into houses and each house has about 3 halls. Each hall has around 3-4 bathrooms that are universally shared. These are co-ed halls too. The rooms are also a bit smaller than the ones at Santa Catalina. The best things about this dorm is that it is the closest to the beach. You can walk there in less than 5 minutes. The dining common here is the best out of all the other ones. Overall this dorm is for the more introverted students. People are quieter and more studious here. Also make use of the bus service provided. Its free for students. Downtown Santa Barbara is about 30 minutes away, and the marketplace is about 10 minutes away. Also here are some tips for crashing classes. Make a list of multiple classes you wish to take when you know you are going to have to crash classes. Email each professor of the class AS SOON AS POSSIBLE and let them know who are you and try to get onto any waitlist they have. Also email multiple TA's for each class and get on the TA's waitlist for their sections. On the first day of lecture, try to arrive 10-15 minutes early and sit in the front row. Professors will address how they wish to go about adding students and usually they have a sign in sheet for students at the end of the lecture. It is harder for freshman to add classes because professors give priority to the seniors. Remember, have a list of multiple classes to crash, because it is unlikely that you will get the first one you want. And keep bugging the professors and TAs. If you keep showing up for lecture, attending section, and doing the homework, the professor and TA will know that you really want this class, and thus are more likely to give it to you.

    Bang for the buck

    Due to the increasing financial issues in California, budgets for the school keep getting cut and thus the tuition keeps rising. Classes often get cut and class sizes also get bigger and bigger. If you are an incoming freshman, be prepared to crash classes because classes are so full that you cannot add anything to make the average 16 units each student takes per quarter. Housing is EXTREMELY expensive at UCSB, both on and off campus. If you wish to live off campus in Isla Vista, be prepared to pay around $700 a month for one full bathroom shared between 4 people. Also the closer you are to the beach, the more expensive housing is. Also the meal plans are kind of bad. They have 3 different types, 10, 14, and 19 meals per week. If you do not finish all your meals that week, they do not roll over to the next week, you just lose them. Also if you have a friend visiting and wish to swipe them in, you have to pay $12 for a meal, you cannot give them one of your meals.

    Did enjoy being here

    UCSB is a beautiful school. People are extremely friendly and relaxed and professors are quiet nice and helpful also. Whenever it is a nice day out, you can see students laying out on the lawns sunbathing, playing volleyball, or surfing. It is very much a beach town. Isla Vista is the neighboring town where the majority of the students live after their first year. This is the party town, where the epic Halloween festivities happen every year. IV is also quiet dirty and the apartments are usually a bit small. I personally had a lot of health and roommate issues, making my stay here significantly less enjoyable. I left after my first year. You either have a love or hate relationship with this university, there is no middle ground.

    Did learn a lot

    Because the school goes by the quarter system, students get to learn more subjects. Time passes extremely fast on this 10 week system, thus leaving little room for free time once midterms start. There is always an interesting class to take, which makes it fun to learn.

  • 08/03/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 39 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    study hard. play hard. dont get caught up.

    Bang for the buck

    santa barbara in general is a bit pricy but nothing a student cant handle

    Am enjoying being here

    cant beat the weather, the people and the scenery

    Am learning a lot

    very fun place to learn if that is your goal

  • 08/29/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 40 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    Not entirely sure about that one, but the harder you work, the more you'll make.

    Will enjoy being here

    By the ocean, how much better can it get.

    Will learn a lot

    I have my mind set to major in chemical engineering and after researching about this school, they are one of the top 10 for chemical engineering.

  • 09/06/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 41 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    If you are qualified to attend UC Santa Barbara, it is helpful to be a focused, driven, ambitious student. Not putting schoolwork off until the last minute and willingness to put pride aside to often ask for help are also beneficial to a student studying at UC Santa Barbara.

    Tips for prospective students

    The professors give lectures, often in large lecture halls, to which students must pay attention. The discussion sections with TA's that are provided along with many of the classes are extremely helpful, especially given that students have more of a chance to interactively learn and communicate about the topics discussed in lecture.

    Bang for the buck

    At no immediate cost to the you, UCSB provides a gym including a swimming pool, basketball, tennis courts, and more. Also, students living in the residence halls enjoy meals in any of four dining commons at UC Santa Barbara. Possessing knowledge about what your tuition covers is extremely helpful so that you can reap the full benefits of what you are paying for. Working hard also contributes to a student receiving his/her full money's worth.

    Am enjoying being here

    Though the party atmosphere and being next to the beach can be distracting, the well-disciplined student strives. The mildly disciplined student builds character as he/she learns to refuse attendance to a party or a trip to the beach in order to focus on completing school work. After finishing all work, going to the beach is that much more rewarding. Also, because I am involved in a sorority, I have learned to discipline myself in terms of time management so that I can better enjoy having fun with my sisters as well as attend Campus Crusade for Christ group on Thursday nights.

    Am learning a lot

    The classes here at UCSB encourage one to take the initiative to further one's education on one's own at times. In addition to a professor, some classes also have TA's whom, in most cases, are more readily available for time in which students can ask questions or discuss topics referred to in class. This is also known as office hours.

  • 09/14/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 42 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Partiers, Creative people, Outgoing people, Surfers, Hipsters, Laid-back people, Friendly people

    Tips for prospective students

    Do everything you want to do. Don't let your 4 years go by and say after it all, I wish I had done this... Take the classes you want to take and explore the campus as much as possible because there are so many hidden treasures (the ocean view in the 8th floor of the library, the art students' studio/loft under the stadium, etc.)

    Bang for the buck

    Every college is expensive, so pretty much everyone can find something to complain about when it comes to the cost of their school. However, even with rising tuition costs and fees, UCSB still gives you the experience of a lifetime, with great academics, a friendly atmosphere, and the perfect location, you definitely get the bang for your buck.

    Am enjoying being here

    Santa Barbara is gorgeous, and the campus is located right on the ocean, so you couldn't ask for a better location! The vibe of the campus and students is also one of the many campus highlights. Everyone is friendly and laid-back. You can tell that people really love being here. The party scene is also a major highlight at UCSB. There will always be a party going on somewhere, but what's great is that if you don't want to party, you don't have to. There are plenty of people who party and plenty who don't, so you don't have to worry about being an outcast if you don't want to party every weekend. Basically, there is something for everyone at UCSB, and who wouldn't love being right on the ocean while they study or hearing the waves while they fall asleep?

    Am learning a lot

    UCSB has so many great classes in a wide variety of subject areas, so anyone can find something they'll love to learn. How much you will learn depends on whether or not you like the subject area and whether or not you have a great professor. I took a black studies class with Professor Banks and learned so much! Prof. Mullin in the Communication dept. is also a great teacher, and you will learn a lot from her! Take classes you actually want to so that you will be eager to learn in the course.

  • 12/28/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 43 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    Visit the school beforehand. If you have any doubts, it will certainly change your mind.

    Bang for the buck

    The dining commons have great food and when you eat as much as I do, the all-you-can-eat plan works out great.

    Am enjoying being here

    Isla Vista is great. The beach is great. The students are great.

    Am learning a lot

    The professors are great and are available when you need that extra help.

  • 12/30/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 44 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    I feel like most social science classes are a waste of money, and they have to be taken for the GE.

    Am enjoying being here

    UCSB has the best campus by far. UCSD has a spread out campus and classes aren't very accessible by bike, but at UCSB, the campus is very compacted and it takes ten minutes at the most to walk from one end to the other. It also has numorous bike paths which makes getting to class from off-campus a breeze. The weather is always perfect, never above 85 and rarely below 60. And the beach is less than a ten minute walk away from anywhere in the capus village (Isla Vista).

    Am learning a lot

    I am learning a lot in the science courses such as physics, chemistry, biology, and organic chemistry. I am not learning so much in the social sciences.

  • 05/22/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    1 out of 3 people found this review useful. 1 person found this inaccurate. 45 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Probably safe.

    Greek Life

    I have no Idea.

    Clubs and Activities

    I'm hoping to join a lot of clubs and activities.

    Great for these types of students

    EVERYONE who gets accepted I guess. I'm not sure but it's good for me.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    THE BEACH .....

    Bang for the buck

    Really Expensive over $30,000. Don't worry though there is always scholarships and once you get one you feel motivated to win more. Cappex is a great place to search for scholarships apply especially to local ones those are easier but try big ones as well.

    What to do for fun

    Join Clubs, Join a sport, Become involved, Go to the Beach, and just have fun.

    Food and Dining

    I have no idea what to expect I'm attending this following year.

    Dorm Life

    I have no idea what to expect I'm attending this following year.

    Academic Rigor

    I have no idea what to expect I'm attending this following year.

    Tips for prospective students

    Take a lot of AP Classes, Join a sport, Do community service, Join clubs, Join programs like AVID, MESA, Upward Bound, College Track, Boys and Girls Club , BUILD, or an academy at school, Get a Job , Be active in Church, Overall, do well in school.

  • 06/18/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 46 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    The tuition is expensive, but then so is that of the other UC schools. I think if you are an in state student, UCSB has the best balance of academic rigor and weekend relaxation for university of california tuition.

    What to do for fun

    If you live close to UCSB then you live right next to the beach. There's always people playing frisbee, football, or beach volleyball. The Recreation Center is open all week, with Racquetball Courts, a rockclimbing wall, a rollerhockey rink, soccer fields, and a huge gym. On the weekends the college town next to the school, Isla Vista, is full of open dance parties to take some weekday stress away. Also, there are great hiking trails all around the Goleta and Santa Barbara area.

    Food and Dining

    The dining commons are great when you first start eating there. The greatest advantage is not having to spend the time making yourself food and being able to concentrate on academics the first year. After a while the food starts getting to be too much of the same thing but you will miss it when you move out and start having to make your own food when you want to concentrate on studying for your exams.

    Dorm Life

    For many people the first year in the UCSB dorms will be the time in their life when they know the most people by name. Its great being together with all sorts of different people and getting to know people that have common interests or majors.

    Academic Rigor

    UCSB is competitive. Even with its renowned weekend partying the library is always full and the students that do go out on the weekend have to work hard to keep up their grades. There are a lot of distractions but everyone knows how hard they need to work ahead in order to hit the beach on saturday.

    Tips for prospective students

    A lot of students are overwhelmed by the freedom of living away from their parents when they get to UCSB. It's fine to enjoy the college lifestyle but its really easy at the beginning to lose focus. The most important thing is starting college off with a high GPA, because it will set that high standard.

    In three sentences

    UCSB is all about working hard and taking study breaks on the beach when you get too stressed out. Its an amazing school with great professors and a great undergraduate research program. Has a reputation for being a party school, but if you make good use of the library and set your priorities you can flourish even in the competitive academic environment.

  • 09/27/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 47 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There are Community Service Officers all over campus to escort you places if you do not feel comfortable walking alone and campus security. I always know there is someone for me to call if I do not feel safe.

    Greek Life

    Greek life is a great aspect on campus. They are a great place to find where you belong. Since I've joined a sorority, I've found a group of girls that fit my interests perfectly, and I'm more than happy I found my place. All of the organizations were welcoming of anyone open to join.

    Clubs and Activities

    At the Fun and Fitness Festival especially, countless clubs and teams are offered for students to take part in. If someone isn't into sports, there are dancing clubs, community service clubs, worship clubs - the list could go on!

    Great for these types of students

    There is a very wide range of students that attend this school. There is no particular image for a student who attends this school. I'd like to think everyone that goes here has a positive attitude that has a reasonable balance of fun and academics.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    One fun tradition on campus are the soccer games. Since Santa Barbara doesn't have a football team, soccer games are a big deal. A unique ritual we perform at the games is throwing tortillas from the bleachers onto the field to represent our school spirit as Gauchos.

    Bang for the buck

    Even though Santa Barbara is a little steep in living expenses, it's breath taking to wake up in Isla Vista where there is a tight-knit community of genuinely friendly people with a beautiful scenery as accompaniment.

    What to do for fun

    I often go to the beach, go to the gym to use their new machines and equipment, and I also take part in a lot of on campus events; such as the Asian Pacific Islander Social, the Fun and Fitness Festival, Week of Welcome Festivities, and many more.

    Food and Dining

    The food is great! Much better than what I've been told by others at different schools. There is a large variety of kinds of foods.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are smaller than I'm used to, but I am having a fantastic experience. Every resident assistant I have met act as if they are the residents' friend, rather than simply treating it as a job. Everyone is very personable while still providing a figure to look up to.

    Academic Rigor

    So far I've been taking pre-requisites and general education classes, and I have noticed that they are challenging. However, they are not impossible to overcome. The classes are challenging to the point that it motivates the student to continue and perservere to learn more with the assignments.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't be nervous or scared to dive right into campus life, because the people here are very personable and friendly. I felt right at home, despite being an incredible amount of miles away from home. But come prepared and ready to work hard for a good education.

    In three sentences

    UC Santa Barbara has fulfilling and enriching programs that have made it difficult for me to pin point what exactly I would like to focus my studies on. Endless opportunites are available on campus, such as internships, student involvement in clubs, student government, tutoring for almost any class you can think of - while providing a welcoming and open minded environment to all. I am thoroughly impressed and satisfied that I attend this school over any other option I could have been offered.

  • 11/07/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 48 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I have never felt unsafe on campus at any time, but in Isla Vista there have been a few incidents that are concerning. At night, never walk alone! There are campus services that provide an escort for you if you do not want to walk alone, which is great and very useful!

    Greek Life

    I am a member of a sorority and it is a lot of fun! I was hesitant about joining it at first because of the stereotypes associated with it that I always assumed were true, but this is not the case. I have met so many wonderful girls that I cannot imagine life without! It has been a great experience and I highly recommend it.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are a TON of different things to do on campus, there is certainly something for everyone!

    Great for these types of students

    I truly feel that there is a niche for every kind of student. There are so many different things to get involved in around campus that anybody would feel welcome.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    At the soccer games (our big sport here) everyone throws tortillas onto the field. It's weird, I know, but a really fun tradition to take part in, everyone has a great time at the games. On campus I like to sit under the trees on the lawn in front of the chemistry building. There's nothing better than sitting in the shade on a sunny day enjoying life!

    Bang for the buck

    Obviously, tuition is expensive, but I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. I love going to school here and really feel that I have the best of both worlds with regards to academics and a social life.

    What to do for fun

    There is so much to do around Santa Barbara! You can head down to the beach every day since it is so close. Also, there are many cool hikes around Santa Barbara that are always fun, such as Inspiration Point. You could go downtown to State Street for some shopping and dining as well. Around campus, there are so many different clubs and activities to get involved in. I play intramural sports and it's a really fun way to stay active and meet people playing the sports I love!

    Food and Dining

    The food in the dining halls was decent, there was always something yummy that I ate. After a while, though, I got tired of the same old thing. In Isla Vista, though, there are many different delicious places to eat that you should take advantage of!

    Dorm Life

    I had a blast! Be open-minded and get out there and meet as many people as you can. Go to the events that they set up for the students. Be friendly, leave your door open so that people can come in and hang out. Everyone is looking for friends the first few weeks, just like you so don't be afraid!

    Academic Rigor

    As a biology major, the classes are challenging and I have learned a lot thus far!

    Tips for prospective students

    Beware the quarter system, it moves fast! Do not let yourself fall behind; it'll be hard to catch up. Always be careful and smart when you go out at night, since UCSB is considered a party school. Be open to new things, and meet as many people as you can the first few weeks in the dorms! Everybody is in the same boat and looking for friends, just like you are.

    In three sentences

    UCSB is an all-around great place to go to school. There is a perfect combination of academic and social opportunities that really allow you to grow and expand as a person. I love it here!

  • 07/24/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 49 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    I have no clue yet!!

    Food and Dining

    Food was pretty good at orientation. There was a lot of variety.

    Dorm Life

    I have lived in the dorms for one night, orientation. So far, I like what I've experienced.

    Academic Rigor

    I haven't had a real class yet; starting in the fall.

    Tips for prospective students

    GPA, SAT, and extracurriculars are everything; the essay also helps.

    In three sentences

    The academics seem very rigorous. The students all seem very friendly. I'm very excited to be attending this school in the fall.

  • 07/26/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 50 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    The school has a magnificent view of the beach and is readily available.

    Food and Dining

    There are many areas to eat around the campus with great choices to choose from.

    Dorm Life

    The students are really friendly and school orientated.

    Academic Rigor

    The physics program is very rigorous but very well worth it.

    Tips for prospective students

    It helps to know what areas you will like to study, that way you can find what staff will be best for you to get advise from.

    In three sentences

    The university is known for there outstanding physics program which is why I accepted them. They have great staff with many insight in there fields of study. The school has a warm atmosphere where the alumni really look after the university students.

  • 01/12/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    51 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    -Want to go to a top university, but still have fun. It is very possible to have a great time here while maintaining a great GPA to get into med school, law school, grad school, etc.

    Tips for prospective students

    -Get involved! Join a club or find some stuff you really enjoy on campus! -Meet people who you enjoy being around! If you don't party, don't hang out with the party crowd. If you like surfing, join the surf team. There are SO many opportunities here for everyone. -Don't stay cooped up in your room for long. Take breaks and enjoy all UCSB has to offer :) -Don't fall behind on your work, though. The quarter system is rough if you get behind!

    Bang for the buck

    Fees did just increase, which really sucks. However, it is a public school so it is still cheaper than most private schools. It is impossible to get aid from the school if you're parents make over $60,000 which really stinks, so you have to look for outside help.

    Am enjoying being here

    I LOVE it here! The people here are very awesome. I lived in the honors dorm my freshmen year and met lots of people who enjoy the same things that I do, plus have the same motivation. If you want to meet people with similar interests, you can definitely do so since we have so many clubs and groups.

    Am learning a lot

    How much you learn really depends on what effort you put into your classes and extracurriculars! Being on the quarter system, you take more classes than students from other schools on the semester system. Therefore, you can take classes that you know you will enjoy, and you can also take classes you wouldn't normally take because the option is available to you. If you don't like a class, at least it is only 10 weeks instead of 18 like on the semester system! However, most classes are good. There are lots of options to get help too: professor office hours, TA office hours, CLAS, etc.

  • 02/20/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    52 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    UCSB is the perfect school for students who want a prestigious education in a friendly and relaxed social atmosphere. UCSB has students are a combination of hard-working and social friendly people.

    Tips for prospective students

    I suggest that high school seniors stay in the dorms with someone attending UCSB as a freshman. It is important to see what a weekend would be like if they were to attend UCSB, as they partook in the dining commons experience, staying in the dorms, Isla Vista nightlife, and downtown shopping and restaurants.

    Bang for the buck

    At UCSB, students are able to receive a very respectable education, with very prestigious professors and many educational opportunities (such as laboratory research experience), and also remain social in a relaxed and friendly environment. The students are very active, and hikes or beach days are common. The weather is always beautiful! UCSB has a great reputation as a part of the UC system.

    Am enjoying being here

    The campus is extremely safe and I feel very comfortable around the welcoming and friendly people. My dorm is a 5 minute walk to the beach, with an ocean view where I can hear the sounds of the waves crashing at night. The school has a very relaxed atmosphere, and your classes and social life are what you make of it. There are a large amount of students who prefer to stay in and study or watch a movie on a Friday night; other students want to go downtown to shop or go into Isla Vista. I really like that you have the opportunity to be very studious (as I am in the Honors Program) and also social (I am in a sorority). Students seem to be very involved on campus, in organizations, the greek system, and club or intermural sports teams.

    Am learning a lot

    The professors are very intelligent and world-renowned. Through the Psychology Department, I have been able to hear from professors themselves about their research and current laboratory studies that are changing the face of science. Most recently, in my Psychology Seminar, I heard from a very famous professor about his Split Brain research and toured his Brain Imaging Center. I also toured the Virtual Reality Laboratory. UCSB offers opportunities for students to get involved in the research and labs that the professors are taking part in. There is an overwhelming amount of interesting classes to choose from, from Human Sexuality to History of Love to Psychopathology.

  • 05/24/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    53 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Ambitious, hard-working, independent, organized, passionate, open-minded, and motivated!

    Tips for prospective students

    My advice is to make sure you have a solid background of extracurricular and volunteer activities from high school before applying. Attend AP classes if they offer them at your high school. Take the SAT's and ACT's early on (sophomore to senior year) so you have time to improve. I strongly recommend living in the dorms your freshman year, this is where you make a lot of solid friendships that will last you all four years..or more!

    Bang for the buck

    One serious downfall of attending a UC, or any state school, at this time in our economy is that the tuition fees have gone up every year by almost 8%. They have cut more classes and fired professors and are admitting more students, causing frustration when students cannot get into classes that are full before they get a chance to add them. Fee cuts are a sad reality that affect our education system nation-wide.

    Am enjoying being here

    The campus is beautiful. They own their own beach! There is so much to do in the community - bike, hike, shop, explore, night life, go to the beach, volunteer, visit the Santa Barbara Mission and other historic places, etc. I live 5 blocks from the beach and on sunny days I bring my homework out on the sand and enjoy listening to the waves crash. The campus offers many accommodations like free tutoring, massages, mental health needs (for when you're stressed or just want to talk), hundreds of clubs, organizations sports, gym, recreation center, etc. Throughout the year, many bands/comedians/ etc come to the campus for a low fee or even free to students, just for our entertainment! I can't imagine myself at any other university. I love it here!

    Am learning a lot

    This learning institution has really expanded my overall knowledge through their general education. I have discovered new interests that I did not realize I had until fulfilling my GE requirements. I came in as undeclared and realized, through some GE courses that the right major for me was Environmental Studies. I was really thankful that this school allowed students to be undeclared because I believe that leaves so many opportunities open for the student. I am passionate about music so I am minoring in music, may even possibly double major in it. This is a research university so all of the professors here do all of their own research/write publications, etc. The ones I have had are all extremely passionate on the topic they teach which makes learning from them more easy and enjoyable.

  • 06/08/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    54 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Social, outgoing, determined, athletic, etc.

    Tips for prospective students

    Ill see you there!

    Bang for the buck

    Imagine a vacation.

    Will enjoy being here

    This is such a beautiful campus, makes the common college experience look like paradise.

    Will learn a lot

    Oh im sure of it!

  • 06/14/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    55 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    -Sociology Majors -Outgoing people -environmentally conscious people.

    Tips for prospective students

    Go visit the school. Live on campus for at least one year. Take your parents to eat in the little college city Isla Vista.

    Bang for the buck

    My parents jumped through hoops to get loans for me to go to this school. I love it and they are super proud of me, but you should definitely have your parent's support to go here, Santa Barbara is an expensive school.

    Am enjoying being here

    I met many friends here that i know i'll be friends with for life. it is known that we are the number 10 party school, but it is not all UCSB kids, the local community college, SBCC, contributes to most of the party scene. UCSB students are serious about their work. Living on campus is the best thing to do your freshman year, the dorms is where you meet your friends for the next four years and its important because with such big classes, meeting people can become overwhelming. But a walk from the beach, UCSB is the place to be.

    Am learning a lot

    Taking at least 9 different classes a year is awesome with the quarter system.There are many professors that are experts at what they do. UCSB is a research institution so you are learning the latest of what is going on in the field and you also have the opportunity to do research yourself. With the many budget cuts in California it may be harder getting into the classes that you want, but I personally have not had any issues. Many classes are large for underclassmen, but once you get to upper division (junior and senior years) the classes get even better and you take classes that are for your major, so they should interest you.

  • 06/18/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    56 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Will enjoy being here

    The campus is lovely! It is right on the beach and the environmentis very welcoming.

    Will learn a lot

    Some of the staff are Nobel Prize winners.

  • 06/23/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    57 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    Take advantage of all the help they offer. UC Santa Barbara is a big campus with many students and is the reason why you as a student should go to the help and not expect it to get to you. They offer help when you are struggling in classes and you can be sure they help you improve your grades.

    Am learning a lot

    My first year of college was wonderful overall even thought I had to struggle a bit since college is nothing like high school. The classes offered here are so diverse that you are able to get different perspectives that help you gain knowledge that otherwise you would have not gained.

  • 06/26/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    58 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Will enjoy being here

    I visited this college about a week ago and it was fantastic. At first I didn't think I would apply because of the distance from home, but as soon as we started the campus tour and I started to get a feel for the place I knew I would be applying.

    Will learn a lot

    It seems like a very well rounded school and the tour guide stressed that UCSB is a research oriented campus. Students often conduct their own research projects. There are also several Nobel Prize winners on the staff of professors.

  • 06/29/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    59 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    This looks like it's an awesome school with a great environment!

  • 07/01/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    60 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    Earn a high GPA and earn high scores in exams whether it being SAT, ACT and or AP classes. Colleges like to see APs on your transcripts because that shows that you are capable of college work! and Most definitely, get involved in high school!

    Bang for the buck

    IT may be expensive but it is all worth it in the end.

    Am enjoying being here

    There are many things you could do in a sunny school like this. You can go to the beach which is minutes away from campus, workout at the gym, and hang out with your friends! There are also many sports clubs and many extracurricular activities. If you like variety, than this is where you belong!

    Am learning a lot

    The classes here are do-able. Some are challenging while others are really easy. I learn more from the teachers though who show their enthusiasm for a particular subject.

  • 07/06/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    61 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    UCSB is great for people who are focused students who can let loose and have fun but still keep themselves on track with their grades. Basically, if you are a well-rounded person, apply to UCSB! Go Gauchos!!!

    Tips for prospective students

    Make friends with your R.A.s and your professors as both will be extremely helpful in adjusting to college. Your R.A.s will help you out if you're homesick or you have any questions about life at UCSB. Most of your professors will be happy to meet with you in their office hours if you don't understand the material or you have questions about the syllabus, etc. Basically, make lots of connections with lots of people to better adjust.

    Bang for the buck

    Again only four stars because the beach is amazing, the weather is awesome, and some of the classes are really interesting but it is still majorly expensive. Expect prices to go up soon so apply for lots of scholarships and if you qualify, go to the financial aid office and look into work-study.

    Am enjoying being here

    I only gave this 4 stars because although I enjoy it, I get homesick a lot. I didn't really have any friends my first year and I got really depressed and wanted to go home. Just keep in mind that your hallmates, your R.A., and the Counseling Center are always available if you need someone to confide in.

    Am learning a lot

    I'm learning basically what it feels like to be in college. I mean, senioritis never really went away for me and the fact that I could choose my own schedule didn't really help. My first quarter I didn't really feel like going to some classes so I didn't go and ended up on academic probation. Don't be like me!!!! Go to class!!!

  • 07/12/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    62 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Adventurous, active, academically focused, loves the beach, and is willing to commute by bike to campus.

    Tips for prospective students

    Bring a bike! It is much easier to get from class to class and the bike lanes make it so easy to get around campus. Also, the UCSB uMail system is great; sends you links about what is going on around campus through monthly letters and a lot of the professors/ta's information on class material gets sent here.

    Bang for the buck

    The UC system is currently undergoing difficult times, but with the help of financial aid and other forms of funding you can definitely afford this prestigious university.

    Am enjoying being here

    Beautiful ambiance and great weather to live in, hence, it is right next to the ocean.

    Am learning a lot

    Lectures are extremely large (the largest 800 students) but with the weekly sections with TA's and office hours, a student is able to interact with their professor and TA on a more personal level.

  • 07/17/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    63 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    -Atheltic -Studious -Balanced (people who know how to put academics first during the week and who know how to take the time to relax on the weekend) -Determined

    Tips for prospective students

    -Be well-rounded and have solid essays -Visit the campus to know what it's like -Work hard at your grades and SATs because admittance is selective and it gets harder to get in every year. -You do not have to declare a major to be accepted, marking Undeclared will not hurt you! Besides, you will probably change majors anyway. -Be open-minded.

    Bang for the buck

    -UCSB has an excellent reputation (we're the 9th best public school in the nation, number 39 out of all schools and we're one of the 61 members of the Association of American Universities) and naturally as a public school tuition is cheaper than a private school, however tuition and student fees has steadily been increasing. -Out-of-state tuition is higher than in-state by at least $20,000. -Great research facilities and opportunities are offered. -One of the most prestigious public schools in the nation -In my opinion, the price of tuition and student fees is okay for the excellent education, research and future job opportunities.

    Am enjoying being here

    -UCSB has the most beautiful campus in the world! We literally reside on the beach and the weather is perfect 90% of the time. -The people are all extremely friendly and welcoming. Diversity is a key at UCSB. Though people may think that the typical student is white, blonde and thin, being at UCSB I can tell you that the students are as diverse in race and ethnicity as they are in culture and interest. -UCSB has a party reputation but there are SO many other things one can do besides party; such as see movies, hang out in Isla Vista, go to the beach for bonfires and go to on-campus special events. -The Career Center has masage and egg chairs! I highly suggest using them to de-stress. -The Rec Center is phenomenal and we have state of the art exercise equipment. -TONS of clubs to join and getting involved in student goverment and RHA (Residence Hall Association) is exceptionally easy.

    Am learning a lot

    -I love the academics at the University. The professors are all accomodating and happy to get to know students who make an effort. I sit in the front row the majority of the time which gives the professors a chance to get used to my face, that way when I ask for help they recognize me. -The work, though challenging, is do-able and there are many resources to help students out like CLAS, which is free tutoring. -For the most part, TAs seem to know what they are doing and want to see you improve and ask for help. -The classes are engaging and the quarter system makes classes even more exciting. Though at times you feel stressed, the quarters move pretty smoothly. -90% of the time, when I ask for help from a professor I get a good enough response to finish the reading/ paper well.

  • 07/23/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    64 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Will enjoy being here

    The party school issue is a big problem.

  • 08/03/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    65 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Laid-back, beach-lovers, well-organized, good time-management skills, friendly & super sociable (EVERYONE AT UCSB IS FRIENDLY... LITERALLY EVERYONE), eclectic, accepting of ALL backgrounds, passionate, intelligent, driven, and independent.

    Tips for prospective students

    Come check out the school during the fall, spring, or winter quarters, when there's more people. Campus can seem kind of dead and boring if you come during summer, or on a break, and that can make you want to go here less. Also, come without your parents if you can. Put simply, they can make the decision a lot harder.

    Bang for the buck

    UC fees as a whole are ridiculous, but that's more politics than anything. I know that a school and experience as great as this isn't going to be free, but $32,000 a year that will probably be double that by the time I graduate is ridiculous. It sucks; BUT, honestly, with loans, I'm making it work, because I can honestly say it's worth it.

    Am enjoying being here

    Now, I know that UCSB has quite the reputation for being a party school. Believe me, I get questions from out-of-town guests all the time; but honestly, a night on campus at a diversity event in the MCC with free food is just as fun as a party in Isla Vista. A 30-minute conversation about feminism with a quirky professor over coffee is just as fun as a night out in the clubs and bars on State Street. I absolutely love Santa Barbara.

    Am learning a lot

    Classes move FAST. You have to know for a fact that you are committed 100% to your education when you get here, because the second that classes begin, you're in a whirlwind of information. The amazing part is, that not a second of it has been boring for me. By knowing what classes I want, and picking them out along with a few back-ups early, I've been super lucky with getting all the classes I hoped for!

  • 11/19/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    66 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Will enjoy being here

    The atmosphere is absolutely beautiful, the best of the UC's in my opinion. Literally RIGHT by the beach, the campus is a 2 min. walk away from sandy shores and surfing

    Will learn a lot

    Does have a party school reputation, but this is only because all the students are so closely packed together in Isla Vista

  • 11/20/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    67 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    -Bicyclers -Academic -Outgoing -Athletic

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure to buy/bring a bike if you get accepted. The campus is huge and the way most students get around the campus is by bike.

    Will learn a lot

    When I went to UCSB I was shocked at how amazing it was. With over 300 clubs to choose form You can never be bored. There are some sort of activity every weekend. I believe any type would fit well with this school; whether your more academic or outgoing or even both! There library, as well as the campus, is huge; it is one of the most gorgeous campuses I've seen so far (and I visited quite a few); the weather is always perfect; they just got a new gym a couple yers ago AND it has a ROCK WALL; and they have everything you'd ever need at their store! But I do have to warn you, when you visit, Bikers have the right of way on this campus do be careful not to get ran-over, but if you love bicycling, this is the school for you!

  • 12/04/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    68 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Active, outgoing, people who want the best education available, while also maintaining a balanced lifestyle. In SB, I've personally found that I'm much more motivated to stay in good health and take care of my mind as well as my body. This place is perfect for someone who wants a positive, motivating, and lively environment. Here at UCSB, we have a fantastic basketball and soccer program, a very highly ranked School of Engineering, and the Bren school of Environmental Science (go earth!). On a side note, if you're a music person, this is the place to be! Isla Vista has a bunch of awesome live bands and a plethora of aspiring Djs. Notable Isla Vistans include Jack Johnson, Steve Aoki, and Deadmau5, among many others.

    Tips for prospective students

    I highly recommend visiting UCSB before enrolling...many friends of mine came to visit during freshman year, and I can't tell you how many were blown away by the environment, people, and atmosphere. There is something for everyone here, from beach bum to activist to hiker, there's always opportunity to go out and GET ACTIVELY INVOLVED. This is definitely the place to explore and discover what you love to do in life! **DON'T LET THE PARTY-SCHOOL REPUTATION DETER YOU!!!! I can't stress enough that the lifestyle you choose to live is 100% up to you. This is a fantastic school with extremely demanding academic expectations, and many people from all different walks of life. COME VISIT!

    Bang for the buck

    It's expensive, but what college isn't these days? A degree from a top research university like UCSB will be almost invaluable in the future. There are many opportunities for scholarships and grant money available; you just have to put yourself out there, ask questions, and get to know the faculty. Internships and jobs are plentiful in downtown Santa Barbara and on-campus, and employers in the area understand very well the demands of college.

    Am enjoying being here

    UCSB seems to draw very active, outgoing, and sociable individuals, making it a very friendly place to live. Beachfront living in a college town couldn't get any better. Visiting friends are taken aback by how genuinely accommodating UCSB students are; at other schools, it's rare to find anyone nearly as welcoming as Gauchos. The people, combined with the beautiful environment and challenging (yet enjoyable) classes makes life in Santa Barbara extremely enjoyable.

    Am learning a lot

    The variety and scope of available classes, along with the knowledgeable faculty and tutors, make UCSB stand out as one of the top 10 public universities nationwide (http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities/top-public). The quarter system allows for the perfect amount of time for classes (10 weeks), and there is ample opportunity for free assistance in every subject (CLAS- campus learning assistance services). You are never alone; someone is always there to answer your questions, as long as you ask!

  • 12/09/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    69 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    UCSB is great for laid-back people who are also serious about school.

    Tips for prospective students

    - Visit the school at least twice. I thought this school was ugly the first time I visited. On my second visit, I thought it was very beautiful and I still think it's beautiful.

    Bang for the buck

    The cost of living here is high. Although I think that the amount it costs to live here and go to school here is worth it most of the time, sometimes, I think some things could be improved in order for students to get the most out of their buck. For example, dorm rooms are small and the food from the dining commons gets old very quick.

    Am enjoying being here

    I cannot imagine a better place for me than UCSB. The vibe and the atmosphere is amazing. It is very relaxing, and although there are numerous options for letting loose, people also know that their academics come first.

    Am learning a lot

    I have learned so much more in college than I have in high school. The academic system at UCSB forces you to learn more and in turn, I feel much more enlightened that I did in high school. The professors are extremely knowledgeable and helpful.

  • 12/22/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    70 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Anyone really, it's so diverse! That's what I love most about UCSB! Not only are there ethnicities of every kind, but everyone's personalities are so different, I love it! Most people are friendly, and everyone tries to help each other out despite the competitiveness of recent graduating high school classes. The beach environment is amazing as well, and the school itself is pretty eco-friendly!

    Tips for prospective students

    Although UCSB has a reputation for partying but you aren't interested, don't let this affect your decision to come here! If you choose to party, that's your decision, but if you don't, that's absolutely okay! There are plenty of activities and places to go to that provide different atmospheres. Be well rounded, and keep your grades up! I've noticed that a lot of my peers are well rounded, so I'm thinking that's what UCSB puts a lot of consideration into.

    Bang for the buck

    UC tution is increasing indeed, but the grants and scholarships that are provided do help a lot. It's totally worth it for your education. It's also pretty easy to get a job or do some work study. There are plenty of opportunities. UCSB will definitely make sure to help you with your needs to ensure that you are able to attend the school.

    Am enjoying being here

    I LOVE IT HERE! UCSB has always been my favorite UC, and it absolutely did not disappoint me whatsoever. Everything is fantastic. The classes, professors, fellow students, the BEACH, downtown Santa Barbara, restaurants, etc. The list goes on and on. UCSB is like the best decision I've ever made.

    Am learning a lot

    Even though the quarter system passes by really fast, I am learning SO much. I just finished up my first quarter here and it was amazing.

  • 12/27/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    71 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Social, driven, balanced students. If you are not that now, you will be when you graduate.

    Tips for prospective students

    Learn how to study!! In college nobody is there holding your hand telling you what to do and when. If you miss an assignment, more than likely it will go unnoticed (until you get your final grades back). We have a great tutoring program called C.L.A.S. for lower division S.T.E.M. classes. Last piece of advice, go to office hours.

    Bang for the buck

    The price is definitely increasing. It certainly worth the money but with tuition increasing, if you don't think you major will make money, it could be out of your long term range.

    Am enjoying being here

    Work hard, play hard. Nothing beats a stressful week like mingling with the co-eds which is as easy as walking less than a block on a typical weekend. People are friendly (except during finals) and welcome strangers in there homes all the time. The beach is a beautiful sight to witness during all your day-to-day activities.

    Am learning a lot

    As an upper division biochemistry major, I've learned a lot about the hard sciences. Professors tend to be very helpful during office hours and most are receptive to questions in lecture. Even in the non-science classes I have had passionate teachers that like to help. The biggest thing I learned here is that, the student must seek the help . It doesn't happen any other way.

  • 01/01/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    72 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    The school itself offers something for everyone EXCEPT many are not aware that we do not have a sole Business program and other specific majors, but otherwise do a little research to make sure it meets your specific requirements beforehand. Keep the city's environment in mind also as it can contribute to your quality of life at school as much as school itself can. UCSB has a beachy, more laid back feel to it, as well as it's notorious party reputation, so as long as you are not looking for a busy metropolitan setting or small town, country scene you should love UCSB! Good luck with your decision!

    Tips for prospective students

    Put your work first and early so you can maintain a good grasp on your studies and still have time to experience all the activities that school and Santa Barbara have to offer. Opportunity is literally everywhere, you just need to go after it. You will be surrounded by people who are like-minded in their goal to focus, work hard, and succeed which was the biggest refresher and very encouraging after coming from the high school setting. Work hard then play hard and you will do great!

    Bang for the buck

    Although tuition has been on the up the past few years, I do feel that I am getting a better deal than available at many other comparable universities. UCSB, being a public school, has a moderate-high priced tuition. As I'm here longer, the caliber of the professors is more and more apparent. You will become aware of the impressive amount of experience and dedication to their work that the professors have acquired as it reflects in their knowledge of their subject in the classroom setting.

    Am enjoying being here

    The neighboring town of Isla Vista (IV) is as much a part of the school experience as the UCSB campus itself. IV is the student-dominated town neighboring the campus. Situated on the cliffs above the beach, IV is a beautiful, laid-back town that I have personally found I fit into perfectly along with fellow students from all kinds of previous hometowns. Santa Barbara as a whole has been an ideal new home for me and I enjoy all parts of it weather shopping in our downtown area, hiking in the gorgeous nearby mountains, or running on the beaches, it has something for everyone! Be prepared to feel lucky every day waking up in SB... and the feeling never fades.

    Am learning a lot

    You will be taking GE classes throughout your time at UCSB and these classes will open your mind and perspective on topics you may have always been interested in but may not have had classes available to you on the topic in the past, or they can introduce you to a subject that you never even dreamed of considering. It's fun and usually very interesting to step out of the box with different subjects made available to you through taking GE classes. As for classes directly applying to your major, you will be challenged and always improving in and out of the classroom as you learn and are encouraged by your professors and fellow students to immerse yourself in the given field.

  • 01/15/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    73 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I feel completely safe on campus, I can ride my bike anywhere without fearing anything will happen to me.

    Greek Life

    I personally am not in a sorority but if that is the thing for you there are plenty to choose from.

    Clubs and Activities

    A lot of activities as I have said before, and the club fair is the second week of school and students can get involved in any of the clubs.

    Great for these types of students

    Outgoing yet knows what the real reason for being in college is, to study.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    People often say that the freshman get picked on during welcome week but its not true. Gaucho Loco's are a group of students who go to sports games and cheer like a LOCO. Biking is pretty much mandatory.

    Bang for the buck

    The cost is around the average for the other UC's. I paid little compared to many other students who received no financial aid at all.

    What to do for fun

    There are a lot of events hosted by the different residence halls, there are inter-mural sports, gym, parties, downtown. Santa Barbara is where the fun is literally. If you ever get bored you can find something to do, plus the beach is a short walk away.

    Food and Dining

    There are four different dining commons; Carillo, De La Guerra, Ortega, and Portola. They all have their own types of food. It is very delicious. Watch out for the freshman fifteen though!

    Dorm Life

    There are many things to do , in your dorm you meet a lot of new people that can either influence you badly or good.

    Academic Rigor

    Get ready to do a lot of reading and a lot of online assignments. Read the book because a lot of professors take questions from the assigned problems that aren't collected.

    Tips for prospective students

    Take Advanced Placement classes to receive credits, so when you attend college you'll already be ahead of the game. Don't live in Manzanita Village your first year even if the dorms are nicer and bigger, there aren't that many freshman and you'll feel a bit alone. Take advantage of the academic resources; math lab, CLAS, SRB, etc.

    In three sentences

    UCSB is a great campus, if you have credits going into college it's great because you get to sign up for classes earlier your second quarter. The atmosphere is fun but not too distracting if you don't want to get involved. There are many activities hosted by the residence halls and a lot of academic resources.

  • 01/22/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    74 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    ucsb has the party school reputation, but there are other things to do in sb. there's outdoor activites (hiking, swimming, surfing, biking) and also shopping and exploring the city.

    Food and Dining

    the dining halls on campus are all pretty good. each has a variety of entrees from different countries. out of the 4 dining halls, 2 are good al the time, while the other 2 has good days and bad days.

    In three sentences

    ucsb is a very laid back university near the ocean. the atmosphere is relaxed, while still maintaining the main purpose of a higher learning research university.

  • 01/23/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    75 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    ucsb is fairly safe, but the one common thing is bike theft. it is also not recommended to walk alone at night on certain streets, but there really isn't much crime.

    Greek Life

    greek life is not too predominant, however, their presence is notable around campus and in isla vista, the college town. not everyone joins a fraternity or sorority, but it can be a rewarding experience.

    Clubs and Activities

    there are tons of clubs and organizations on campus to choose from, from intramural sports, to major, gender, political, and ethnicity-related clubs.

    Great for these types of students

    great for students who enjoy the beach, surfing, and such. also, great for those who like the night life. perfect for anyone who likes meeting new people in general.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    an unusual tradition at ucsb can be seen at the soccer games (as we do not have a football team and this is our main sport). people will throw tortillas into the field during the games, whether we're winning, losing or tying --people simply find this the best way to share their enthusiasm.

    What to do for fun

    ucsb is situated right by the beach, so one of the commonly things to do for fun are beach activities such as surfing, beach volleyball, swimming, or simply tanning. this university is also notorious for its infamous party life, as there is always something to do on thursday, friday, and saturday nights. downtown santa barbara can also be fun, there are lots of stores and restaurants there, as well as the public beach. zodo's bowling alley is a place many of us students like to go to as well, especially on wednesday nights, which is college night. price is reduced on that day.

    Food and Dining

    the dining halls are a buffet. the food is usually good, although sometimes there will be days when you are just tired of the same stuff. also, some dining commons close earlier than others, so you might want to prepare yourself by having snacks in your dorm if you happen to miss dinner and such. of course, there are also other great places to eat on campus, such as subway, panda express, or domino's pizza, to name a few.

    Dorm Life

    dorm life can be a very rewarding experience. this is where you have a chance to meet most of your friends, as there are not many opportunities to socialize in the classroom. most students also meet people by joining sports, clubs, organizations, and fraternities or sororities, however, so don't be discouraged if you did not quite get along with your roommates or hall-mates, as there are still ways for you to socialize. you will also find it very convenient to live right on campus, as class will be just a 5-10 minute bike ride away.

    Academic Rigor

    ucsb has high expectations of its students, and so the courses can be very demanding. especially, as mentioned earlier, when there are only 10 weeks of compressed information to learn before the quarter is over. they must also keep in mind their major requirements so that they do not waste time with classes that don't fulfill anything on their list.

    Tips for prospective students

    ucsb runs on the quarter system, which is much more fast-paced than the semester system. with this being said, students must stay focused at all times as it is easy to fall behind. 10 weeks can go by very quickly. also, the college life can come with many distractions. prospective students need to find a balance between their academics, social life, clubs and organizations they may take a part in, and a job too, if they decide to work.

    In three sentences

    the university of california, santa barbara is a very prestigious university. it has a very beautiful campus, in which students get around with the help of a bike. although its students are predominantly caucasian, there are still a wide diversity of nationalities and ethnicities.

  • 01/30/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    76 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    police station is close to campus and campus makes a great effort to keep things in order and safe.

    Greek Life

    we have many to chose from.

    Clubs and Activities

    there's a million different things to choose from.

    Great for these types of students

    great for students who love the outdoors and are super friendly.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    del la playa, wood stocks, and caje= best places :)

    Bang for the buck

    it's expensive that's no joke, however you pay for what you get. there are cheap housing but its far off campus. most expensive is having an ocean view house.

    What to do for fun

    beach! :) hiking, surfing, and walking around isla vista.

    Food and Dining

    we have four dining hall to choose from and they are all good. you can check the menu to pick which dining hall you want to go.

    Dorm Life

    ra's are always here to help you with anything you need and super friendly!. people who live in the dorms are also super friendly and food isn't too bad.

    Academic Rigor

    professors will push the best work out of you.

    Tips for prospective students

    be prepared for the amount of work you have to do, be sure to stay on top of your stuff.

    In three sentences

    beach beach beach. great academic programs. super friendly people.

  • 02/02/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    77 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    never felt in danger, even at 2am.

    Greek Life

    i'm in a sorority and it has been the absolutely the best experience of my life.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    throwing tortillas at the soccer games!

    Bang for the buck

    definitely worth the cost of going here.

    What to do for fun

    beach, shopping, parties, anything you can think of in a beach town.

    Tips for prospective students

    make sure you are a well balanced student! competition is rough here, especially in the science programs.

    In three sentences

    absolutely amazing school! right on the beach, perfect weather. they know how to study hard, but also know how to have a great time.

  • 02/04/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    78 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    the csos on campus are the safety managers on campus. they make sure you have an escort to walk you home at night if needed, and are always available for anything you need. being students themselves, the csos are good peers to have in security positions.

    Greek Life

    we have a fairly active greek life at ucsb, but their party scene not as exclusive as at other campuses. i am not in a sorority myself, but i have many friends who are. i go to some of their events and they go to non-greek events with me as well. there are often frats or sororities volunteering at the local iv elementary school or cleaning up trash in one of the parks.

    Clubs and Activities

    there are a plethora of clubs and activities on campus. there is always something happening. from greek life to environmental clubs to academic clubs to snow team, there is a group for almost anyone.

    Great for these types of students

    ucsb is great for almost all types of students. this area is not very metropolitan, so if big cities are your thing, this may not be the place for you. but, in terms of diverse environments and nature activities, this place is teeming with things to do.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    there are always art projects across campus. students put up huge installation pieces of various subjects and materials around the library and other buildings. it's always interesting to see what they will do next.

    Bang for the buck

    living in isla vista (or anywhere in santa barbara for that matter) is expensive. although rent is pricier out here, there is something to be said for location. what you lose in floor and bathroom space, you gain in ocean views, thirty second walks to the beach and a daily sensational sunset. being a short bike ride from all your classes doesn't hurt either.

    What to do for fun

    isla vista itself is the main fun place at ucsb. a concentrated neighborhood full of college students makes for a good time. besides partying, there are beautiful beaches blocks away from campus--surfing, kayaking, paddle-boarding are all easily accessible fun activities. after a 10 minute car ride, you can hike all sorts of trails in the santa ynez mountains; going in the afternoon is always great because no matter where you go you are guaranteed a beautiful sunset view of the ocean, the channel islands, and the ucsb campus.

    Food and Dining

    all of the produce from ucsb's dining commons are locally grown, organic fruits and vegetables from farms within 10 miles from campus. cafeteria food is cafeteria food, but they offer a wide selection of food, including vegan and vegetarian options. all the dining staff are always really friendly too.

    Dorm Life

    because learning to live on your own is difficult, dorms are a great segue into it. not only do you get used to living out of your parents house, but living with tons of students your own age facilitates creating close friendships with people. the people you hang out with in the dorms become some of your closest friends in your college career, and some for the rest of your life.

    Academic Rigor

    school is tough if you don't put forth effort. keeping on top of your studies, attending professor's office hours and putting in substantial hours at the library during tests will yield grades to be proud of.

    Tips for prospective students

    do not get too distracted by the parties or the beaches. something that is important to remember is that the students here work hard to play hard.

    In three sentences

    for a large school, ucsb's faculty and staff are very accessible; there is a lot of effort to create a diverse, multi-faceted learning environment. the campus and the city of santa barbara are beautiful. the area is very conducive to conducting research, or networking with scholars and professionals in your area of study.

  • 02/24/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    79 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    try not to ever walk around alone on campus, but other than that it's pretty safe

    Great for these types of students

    extremely hard working and can work under stressful conditions (like loud people across the hall)

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    throwing tortillas on the field at soccer games

    What to do for fun

    walk on the beach, go check out the party scene, go to the hub, watch a movie, go to costco, go shopping on state street

    Food and Dining

    dlg is terrible, ortega's much better

    Dorm Life

    loud people in santa cruz hall, but i hear that it's much better in manzanita village.

    Academic Rigor

    difficult work, but mostly interesting material and teaching

    Tips for prospective students

    study hard and take long walks on the beach.

    In three sentences

    the school is extremely friendly and laid-back. the teachers are amazing and the course material is interesting. one warning though, is that if you don't like to party, then you might get annoyed by your hall mates.

  • 02/27/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    80 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    very safe.

    Greek Life

    not into it.

    Clubs and Activities

    there's a pretty good amount/variety of clubs.

    Great for these types of students

    the school's great for science majors.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    campus point is great for surfers. there's also a monarch butterfly restoration site in a mini forest near the beach. they come every winter. pretty amazing.

    Bang for the buck

    there's a small college town right down the street call isla vista. pretty chill and cool. a lot of uc and community college students rule that area. can be pretty trashy though.

    What to do for fun

    movies. eat out. go to the beach. the usual.

    Food and Dining

    it's gross. same things.

    Dorm Life

    the dorms are pretty nice. quite pricey even if you live in a triple. all freshmen dorms are grouped together. its like a nice little community.

    Academic Rigor

    it really depends on what major you go into. some are extremely difficult. some departments like to make there pre-reqs super hard to discourage people from a track. others are easy and others are about average.

    Tips for prospective students

    this school does party so make sure not to get to caught up in it. remember priorities.

    In three sentences

    the fees are extremely high, especially the cost of living--on campus and off campus. the dining hall is horrible. has a great engineering and science program.

  • 02/28/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    81 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    this campus is very safe.

    Greek Life

    greek life at ucsb is very popular.

    Clubs and Activities

    there are too many clubs to name on this campus.

    Great for these types of students

    this university is great for outgoing, intelligent, social, and independent students.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    every quarter during finals week many ucsb students get together and do an undie run through the school.

    Bang for the buck

    although, ucsb is great the cost of living in santa barbara is very high therefore grocery shopping will be brutal. also, tuition and books can get pricey.

    What to do for fun

    there is a lot to do at ucsb for fun. aside from the many organizations there is a beach right off of campus, isla vista is about 5 minutes away, and if you're not into any of that you can take a bus to downtown santa barbara to do some shopping.

    Food and Dining

    the dining commons are amazing! everything is buffet style, so enjoy it while it lasts because you will miss this once you move out of the dorms.

    Dorm Life

    the dorms are a blast. future students should get to know their floor mates and attend all floor events.

    Academic Rigor

    the university of california, santa barbara is well known for its research and the professors do their best to challenge students. this is also a very competitive environment; everyone is striving to do their best here.

    Tips for prospective students

    some tips i would give prospective students are to pay close attention to what dorms they choose to live in, make sure to use the interlibrary loan, and enjoy the many organizations that ucsb has to offer.

    In three sentences

    i love ucsb, it's the best university i could have chosen for myself. the ucsb campus is beautiful and the school has a lot to offer its students. another reason to love ucsb is isla vista, which is the town that ucsb students move into after exiting the dorms, it is a great environment to spend your college years in.

  • 02/29/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    82 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    campus is safe, isla vista you have to be careful though

    Greek Life

    small, fraternities are really douch-y in general

    Clubs and Activities

    excursion club

    Great for these types of students

    like to party, smart, like warm weather and the beach

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    throwing tortillas at soccer games, burning couches after wins, freebirds at 2am

    What to do for fun

    iv!! beach/surfing, state street

    Tips for prospective students

    stay on top of work, quarters go quickly

    In three sentences

    beautiful, fun, challenging

  • 02/29/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    83 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    we have our own police station in the community, so there is always someone to reach. the university also has cso's which are campus security officers that assist anybody that needs help. for example, if you are afraid to walk home at night for whatever reason, just call the cso number and someone will gladly escort you home to make sure you get there safe.

    Clubs and Activities

    the bar and club scenes are downtown.

    Bang for the buck

    when going grocery shopping definitely try places like costco, where you definitely get a lot of food at a cheaper price. the only grocery places by the university besides besides small convenience stores are kmart and albertsons and they can be a bit pricy.

    What to do for fun

    well the most obvious is the beach. there is also a bowling place called zodos, as well as the downtown scene where all the shops, bars, and the pier is at. you can also take a whale watching trip as well as go the santa barbara zoo.

    Food and Dining

    the dining common food is good the first couple weeks, but then you get tired of it, well at least i did. as far as the food in isla vista (the college community right next to the university) there are some great places. the most famous one is freebirds, which is known for their nachos and burritos, etc. good stuff!

    Dorm Life

    you get to meet a lot of great people when you dorm your first year. so enjoy the experience!

    Academic Rigor

    i am an economics and accounting major, so i cannot take my workload lightly. it is a very competitive major here at the university and it can be a bit stressful, but there are so many opportunities to meet with the professors and t.a.'s so they are really helpful! as far as the other general classes, i find them not so hard.

    Tips for prospective students

    i would not get carried away with the whole social scene. many students gpa end up suffering because of it and end up getting kicked out. but if you stay on top of your work, you should be fine.

    In three sentences

    its a very relaxing atmosphere here at the university. students party hard but study just as hard as well. its a great school.

  • 03/06/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    84 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    beach! sup, surfing, kayaking, hiking, camping. sports teams--varsity, club, & intramural. and of course, the infamous isla vista shenanigans ;o)

    Tips for prospective students

    do not procrastinate. do not let others dictate your choice in academic pursuits--you will greatly regret it later...follow your heart, because it is your life you're shaping! :o)

    In three sentences

    although i have encountered my own set of difficulties and hardships while enrolled here at ucsb, i could not imagine experiencing my undergraduate coursework at any other university! the ucsb community is a unique breed--work hard and play hard is the mantra we observe!!! :o)

  • 03/06/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    85 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    notice you need a high gpa and extra curricular activities.

    In three sentences

    the campus is gorgeous, you basically surround by water so there's fresh air.

  • 03/13/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    86 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    students who love the beach and nice sunny weather. students who enjoy partying but want to get a solid education as well. good for very social people.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    we use to have floatopia where all the students would go to the beach next to isla vista and party away. however, police have kept a close watch on this event in recent times and tried their best to prevent it.

    Bang for the buck

    compared to other expensive schools, ucsb offers a lot for a good price. all students get free bus rides to anywhere in the santa barbara area. all students get free access to all sports games. the campus is up-kept well and beautiful new structures are constantly being built or renovated. the classes are a great learning experience that will prove helpful throughout life.

    What to do for fun

    most students enjoy partying on the weekends and roaming the streets of isla vista. there are plenty of outdoors activities such as hiking and biking, and the recreation center offers basketball courts and swimming pools to exercise in.

    Food and Dining

    the dining commons offer a large selection of buffet style food that you will love for the first few months. enjoy the all-you-can-eat aspect because after your freshman year, you'll have to buy your own food. isla vista also offers several restaurants to eat out at. there is a good variety of foods but truly no fast food and everything is a bit pricey.

    Dorm Life

    the dorms are a great way to connect with new people. the rooms are somewhat cramped but everyone finds a way to make it work just fine. the bathrooms are cleaned daily and rooms are cleaned every other week, though you can rent out vacuums from the building.

    Academic Rigor

    some classes are not very challenging while others seem impossible to get an a in.

    Tips for prospective students

    understand that you will be challenged and will have to dedicate time to your studies. do not get caught up too much in the freedom that college life offers, but make it a priority to be social and meet new people.

    In three sentences

    we have a beautiful campus overlooking the beautiful pacific ocean and channel islands. we all live in the dorms or in a small town called isla vista so it is a complete college atmosphere. there are tons of things to do including hiking, surfing, mountain biking, walking on the beach, and of course partying on the weekends in isla vista.

  • 03/15/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    87 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    i've always felt safe on campus and in the surrounding area. one thing i can say about safety is that wherever you are on campus or off campus, you can always call for an campus security officer to walk you home if you're alone or with friends and don't feel safe.

    Greek Life

    i don't know much about greek life. i know that it exists and i'm sure it thrives, but i know it is much less popular at ucsb than at some other schools in california.

    Clubs and Activities

    there are clubs for every type of interest or identity, and many of them put on fun events to spread awareness about different things. if there's not a club that's exactly what you're looking for, you can start it!

    Great for these types of students

    students who want to mix with and learn from all different types of people and academic subjects. i imagine you will leave ucsb very interested in things that you previously weren't aware existed.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    floatopia (which has turned into 'deltopia') - an annual day of partying which used to take place on the beach, but for environmental (and i think safety) reasons, they've started to close the beach every year on this day. for that reason, floatopia turned into 'deltopia' - the same type of partying, but on del playa street in isla vista

    Bang for the buck

    uc education is extremely expensive, as most of us know, but i can't imagine a better place to go to school. the only thing i would say is that it sucks that we have to fight for room in classes even though we pay so much, but i don't know of any solution to that other than paying twice as much money to attend private school.

    Food and Dining

    i loved most of the dining commons and always appreciated the food. there's a lot of variety of good food and there's always something for vegans or vegetarians.

    Dorm Life

    lots of good events and ways to get to know people. some new dorms, some old dorms, but all-in-all dorm stuff is good.

    Academic Rigor

    classes at ucsb on the quarter system can be difficult if you don't keep up i suppose. pick the right major and interesting classes, and keeping up will be fun.

    Tips for prospective students

    crash classes - it works! get advice from someone who's gone through it before when making your schedule. there are loopholes and strategies to get into certain classes or to fulfill certain requirements with classes you wouldn't expect. for example - dinosaurs fulfills a math requirement

    In three sentences

    ucsb is an environment that nurtures big thinking and personal growth for every type of person. educational as well as personal resources are made easily available. despite stereotypes spread by non-ucsb students, ucsb has the world to offer beyond the party scene in neighboring isla vista.

  • 03/23/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    88 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Stuff gets stolen or broken pretty often. Be sure to lock your doors and windows and keep your bikes chained property. Never trust your laptop to a stranger. Break-ins will happen a few times a quarter, but be safe and it won't happen to you.

    Greek Life

    Not everybody is in a frat, but the ones that are are in a very tight community. There's a lot of talk about which frat is best, but most people are friendly. Don't need to be Greek to party though. Plenty of open parties in Isla Vista. Disclaimer: I'm greek.

    Clubs and Activities

    TONS of club sports, IM's are packed every quarter. Everybody is in some kind of club or sport. I play club soccer, so we travel around. Tournaments in SD and Irvine, games in Cal Poly, Long Beach, and LA.

    Great for these types of students

    Excellent for mechanical engineers, accountants, partiers, surfers, drinkers, socialites,

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    First years tend to walk IV in groups, so they get waterballooned. Exactly what it sounds like.

    Bang for the buck

    About the same price as the other UC's but its WAY more worth it. Others schools definitely do not offer the same full experience like UCSB. Out of state tuition is kind of expensive though, so I wouldn't recommend it too much, but hey, you only live once.

    What to do for fun

    UCSB = party school. You won't feel it living here but when you see other schools, WOW. DP ragers every Thursday - Sunday. Downtown if you're over 21, Chumash if you want to gamble, 7 Falls for hiking, Lizards Mouth gun range, etc. SB also has a TON of festivals (around one a month) for some pretty good local fun.

    Food and Dining

    Personally, I loved the food. All you can eat buffet style for every meal up to 3 meals a day. Theres 4 dining halls with a lot of variety. Food plans rotate every 2-3 weeks, so in a given month, you'll probably eat the same main course twice, which isn't too bad.

    Dorm Life

    A lot of older students will heckle first years for living in the dorms, but everybody misses it. Besides the on-campus dorms being a little small, everything else is fantastic. Can't beat the ocean views.

    Academic Rigor

    The work load is definitely different from high school. The classes are more demanding and the quarter system goes by really fast. Because you'll only have classes 2-3 times a week, papers due around midterm time actually only give you 10 lectures of material to work with.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be sure to remember the deadlines! Different schools have different application deadlines, but there's also FAFSA, SIR, Orientation, pass-times to choose classes, etc.

    In three sentences

    It's a great school to attend, but it will challenge you academically and personally. This is a school full of hard classes and hard choices and it's up to the student to decide how they want their college experience to be. Either way, UCSB is a fun four years.

  • 03/24/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    89 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    While safety on campus is usually not an issue, there have been multiple thefts and dangerous incidents off-campus. There hasn't been much in terms of shootings or anything extremely violent in nature, but theft is somewhat common in Isla Vista (the neighboring community), especially of bicycles since they are the most common form of transportation. My roommate had his bicycle stolen, and the only thing left was his front tire; then again he didn't lock his bicycle correctly. Theft should not deter you from applying and accepting an admission to UCSB; if you lock your bicycle appropriately and lock your windows and doors (as you should regardless of whatever school you go to), there should not be any problems.

    Greek Life

    I do not and have not ever participated in any Greek activities. However, some of my closest friends have been in the Greek system and there is always something to do. Greek Life at UCSB is very extensive, and there are many Sororities and Fraternities to choose from. On the other hand, do not feel as though you need to join the Greek System to make friends or to have a good time. UCSB and the surrounding environment is extremely friendly, and people are very welcoming.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are a lot of clubs and activities to choose from, from the History Club to Model Arab League to Model United Nations to Dive Club to Adventure Club to DJ Club. If there isn't a club already in existence, you can make one with relative ease.

    Great for these types of students

    UCSB is great for outgoing students who are actively engaged in finding things that they are interested in, open to meeting new people, and excited to discover new things about themselves and others.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    One tradition is that during our soccer games (UCSB has an excellent soccer team), students throw tortillas onto the enemy side of the field whenever our team scores a goal.

    Bang for the buck

    If you live in California, it's an excellent deal since you get the in-state tuition. However, if you live out of state you have to pay out-of-state tuition which can become extremely expensive.

    What to do for fun

    There are various extracurricular activities and clubs on campus that you can join, ranging from interests in the environment to the History Club to the DJ club to Model United Nations. The beach is long and wide as well, and it's rarely too cold to make an outing to the shore. Biking and participating in intramural-sports are really popular, but UCSB does not have a football time.

    Food and Dining

    The dorm food is nothing to write home about. Although the options are fairly large, the lack of consistent variety makes the choices boring after the first month or two. There are a lot of places on campus to get food such as Subway or Panda Express, although you are not able to use dining points for them and have to pay money. The food in Isla Vista is excellent.

    Dorm Life

    I had a ton of fun when I was living in the dorms. For the people who live in on-campus dorms, everything is very close by and there are always lots of activities put on by the RAs. The off-campus dorms are very different, but they can also be a lot more fun (although one will have a very hard time falling asleep early on a Friday or Saturday night).

    Academic Rigor

    The classes can range from boringly easy to extremely hard. While a few classes can be taken to complete General Education requirements or to fluff your GPA, most of the classes are not a joke. The science classes can be very difficult, and even the humanities classes will catch you off-guard with their level of difficulty.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do not assume that just because it's UCSB that everything is about partying and that nobody cares about school. In fact, it is quite the opposite and the classes can be very competitive.

    In three sentences

    A school that is strong in both academics and social activities. UCSB has a beautiful campus filled with great students and excellent professors. You'll never be bored and you'll get a great education.

  • 03/26/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    90 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Constant police presence makes me feel extremely safe when I am out in Isla Vista or even walking around school.

    Greek Life

    I have built a second family for myself by becoming a part of the Greek system. I always have at least a few girls from the house in each of my classes, making it easier for me to study for exams. There is always someone there to talk to if you're having a bad day or go out and have fun with.

    Clubs and Activities

    There is such a vast variety of clubs and activities and there is even the option of creating your own.

    Great for these types of students

    Social (or those willing to become social!) Laid back Eager to learn new things.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Throwing tortillas at soccer games!

    Bang for the buck

    UCSB is located in such a relaxing environment where you almost forget you are at school sometimes. It has to be the number one characteristic that keeps me sane during the tough times of undergraduate studies. I love being able to walk and bike wherever and not having to worry about the crazy gas prices. All of my professors have been so amazing and knowledgeable. I am so grateful to be going to such a fabulous university.

    What to do for fun

    There are a lot of different clubs and organizations to be a part of. If you don't find what you like, make your own! If you are over 21, Bill's Bus takes you to downtown Santa Barbara and is a lot of fun on the weekends.

    Food and Dining

    There are a great variety or fantastic foods all over Isla Vista. Freebirds, Woodstock's, and Silvergreens are definitely the top 3.

    Dorm Life

    I never lived in the dorms, but I have heard plenty of great things about Manzanita. Where else can you find a beach front dorm!?

    Academic Rigor

    Study study study! Make sure you are never behind or on point. ALWAYS be ahead of the professor's schedule because the work load will become too much if you do not keep up. Midterms and finals come up at the blink of an eye.

    Tips for prospective students

    Enter UCSB with an open mind- I came from a society that was very to oneself and not really social. Everybody here is so nice and laid back. Go Greek!!! UCSB might be known for partying, but it is what you make of it. You are not obligated to do anything you do not want to and being involved in the greek system is a great support system. You build great friendships and even better study buddies and motivation. Get to know your professors- go to office hours and become their new best friend.

    In three sentences

    UCSB is located on the beach, making it very relaxing during midterms and finals. Whether you want to grab a bite to eat, go to the beach, or watch a movie, everything is within a ten minute walk or bike ride from one another. The professors are incredibly dedicated and work hard to make sure you succeed in their courses.

  • 03/29/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    91 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    If you'd like to graduate, stay out of IV. Seriously.

    In three sentences

    Pretty good. Lots of drinking if you like that. Good academically too though.

  • 03/30/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    92 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There have been some incidents of theft in my residence hall (LOCK YOUR DOORS PEOPLE!) but that is specific to who is living in your hall each year. I feel very safe on campus, even late at night!

    Greek Life

    If you want to it's there. If you don't want to it definitely doesn't plague the campus.

    Great for these types of students

    The quarter system is GREAT for people who get burned out half-way through the semester. My grades are so much better than high school because I never get burned out!

    Bang for the buck

    I have good financial aid so I get a lot for my buck. But if you're paying full price or out of state tuition I don't know how much you're getting. It really depends how you are set up financially.

    What to do for fun

    I honestly don't even know where to start. Everything is appealing. You will definitely be able to find SOMETHING. Do not worry about finding your niche!

    Food and Dining

    It's edible and even at times really good. I'm a picky eater so those occasions are rare. It sucks because you can only go to each meal once, the hours are awkward (dinner ends at 8!!!), and you can't leave with any food except desert. You also cannot swipe in your friends if you have extra meals or have someone visiting for the weekend, instead they have to pay $12 which is billed to your school account! Not worth it! Take your friends out to Isla Vista!

    Dorm Life

    I've loved my dorm life! I live in Santa Cruz Hall which is right next to the beach and has a lot of great beach/lagoon views. I would avoid Santa Catalina (or FT) just because everyone ends up regretting the distance. But if you really like to party you may like Santa Catalina (FT), but you may want to avoid it if you know it will be distracting. You can have a fun dorm experience without that, I promise!

    Academic Rigor

    I know people who find it hard and find it easy. It all really depends on how much time you dedicate to your studies. If you dedicate a lot it will be more than doable. And you can still have fun and party on the weekends, just don't party the weekend before a huge midterm or final!

    Tips for prospective students

    Try hard and they'll have a spot for you here. I worked my butt of in high school, and even though this was far from my first choice, it ended up being perfect for me. CLAS (a program that will help you with essay writing, academic skills, language tutoring, and tutorial sessions for math and science classes) is absolutely amazing! Really do use, it is an amazing resource!

    In three sentences

    UC Santa Barbara is absolutely beautiful and has something for everyone. If you're a beach person you are seconds from it; if you're a mountains person you are only a quick ride away from great trails; and if you're not an outdoors person there are tons of clubs. Plus, we have amazing professors because they want to live somewhere beautiful!

  • 04/03/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    93 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    One of the craziest tradition on campus is throwing tortillas after out soccer team scores, yes soccer is the main sport at USB. Go Gauchos!

    What to do for fun

    For fun, I like to go out with friends to the movies, parties, and shopping. However, I know that my main priority at the moment is school. I will always put school before anything right after my family.

    Food and Dining

    Where I live, food is unlimited which is great because in all the dining halls you are inly limited to a certain amount of meals per week. Obviously food is not as great as home's food, but it is not that bad either.

    Dorm Life

    Well, I do not live at the dorms, but I live in apartments that are similar to them. They are not from the school, but are closer than some of the dorms.

    Academic Rigor

    UCSB is a good school. Classes can be difficult, but they offer a lot of help, both inside and outside the class. Most Professors know what they are doing and they enjoy their jobs, which makes classes more interesting and helpful.

    Tips for prospective students

    Anyone is capable of achieving their goals as long as they set their minds to it. Yes, at the beginning college work can be overwhelming, specially a UC, but it will pay off in the future. As long as you do all your assignments and recognize your priorities, you will be just fine.

    In three sentences

    University of California-Santa Barbara is one of the best UC's out there. It has a beautiful campus, located a few steps from the beach. Everyone is really friendly and so far classes have been great.

  • 04/11/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    94 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Beach, Party, or Study. Everything is possible here.

    Food and Dining

    Being a vegetarian I usually can't appreciate food outdoors, but UCSB has really good variety of foods.

    Dorm Life

    Best atmosphere whether you like to party or not.

    Academic Rigor

    This school has a very nice Biology program.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do it. Submit the SIR. I dare you.

    In three sentences

    I love how this school is always under looked. It's kind of stupid that not many people realize how great of a school this is. P.s. EVERY college is a party school. It's just the fact that this school has all the parties concentrated in one area (Isla Vista), while other schools have the parties scattered around so they seem to be called smart and educations colleges.

  • 04/12/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    95 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    -Visit the campus. You won't be disappointed. -Don't be intimidated by the reputation -Research!

    In three sentences

    The first thing I noticed when I walked onto campus was how beautiful it was. Of course, UCSB also has a great reputation for supplying a superb education, as well as a great party. I really hope I end up going here.

  • 04/14/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    96 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    UCSB is a great institution for ANYONE. And, I say anyone because it has the best of all worlds, the beach and city downtown. The culture however is not like the city, so if you want skyscrapers and taxis, this is not your scene. It is a great place to study for the academically-stimulating for the bookworms and smarties that will one day be doctors. It is a very laid-back culture for those who are smart, but still enjoy a slower scenery with much culture to relax and enjoy life. It is suitable for everyone even those from the conservative Chinese background, as my friend Vivian from Hong Kong told me how it was a culture shock because the women dressed different and they were more open to strangers, but she adjusted quite nicely, and will forever be a Santa Barbara girl. However, UCSB is highly regarded as one of the best research institutions, so I'd say its better for those students who are in the hard sciences rather than soft sciences, such as politics.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    I didn't have the guts, but if you do, the annual pantie run, YES, I said pantie run is held twice a year before the intense dead weeks. Everyone rallies outside the library in, well, panties, then runs through the library and then down the street of Pardall, Isla Vista. Classic! great places to study, well, obviously, if I haven't hyped it up enough, take advantage of the beach. I used to study there in between classes, just throw everything in my bike basket and go!

    Bang for the buck

    Chicos on Tuesdays offers $1 tacos! Freebirds was also rated one of the top University diners, and it is great for a late night meal, bring your appetite and friends! Be sure to keep a look out for flyers handed out on campu, many times they include coupons for haircuts, food, and other good bookstore deals that will save you money and will even give you more information on local places to try out. If you want some delicious cheap Mexican food, you must try Super Cucas located conveniently across from campus in Isla Vista. Also, don't forget to check out the theatre across from school students get discounted prices. Also, if your ever in need of a DD, Bill's Bus will take you downtown and back for just $10 roundtrip at night! if your bike ever needs some fixing, there are several bike shops in Isla Vista that are always willing to help beginning bikers (such as myself). Do invest in a bike basket!

    What to do for fun

    Now, this is one of UCSB's best assets. If you read Playboy magazine, as I'm sure you don't! You will know we always score as one of the top party schools. However, if partying is not your scene, not to worry! Like I mentioned, UCSB is on a beach! You can always learn how to sure, go for a bike cruise, a run along the sun, a tan in between classes, volunteer to help out the nearby elementary schools, attempt a discounted movie in the theatre across from campus, or take the transit downtown to do some shopping, watch a film in the theatre, check out the historical courthouse (which is quite beautiful), go dancing, take a hike or check out a museum. The University always has fun activities on campus promoted by organizations; some will be nature hikes with other students or even playing a movie on the big screen by the lagoon on campus (did I mention free snacks?).

    Food and Dining

    On campus, there could definitely be more food choices to choose from. There is a Woodstock pizza stand, Panda Express, Subway, Dominoes, and several other restaurants as well as several carts or places to buy snacks. The food is of good quality, could sometimes be pricey, more options would be nice. Also, it is all located on one side of school. so if you are by the Engineering Department, you have to ride or walk across campus to get a good meal. Across the street there are more options, but once again you must ride, drive or walk over there.

    Dorm Life

    Unfortunately, I did not experience the dorm life, but many of my friends did, and there were not any complaints. Of course theres the occasional noise disturbance and messy roomates, but there are hall assistants that cna help you settle any disputes. The dorm life is safe, although I have heard of several robberies, so keep your valuables safe and doors locked. Nevertheless, all my friends said that their roomates became their bestfriends. I lived in a housing apartment off campus; more freedom, a kitchen, living room, and only a 7minute bike ride away from campus, and only a 4 minute bike ride from the beach and college street (where all the food and parties are). I loved it! I shared a two-bedroom apartment with three girls (four including myself) and we became great friends. I'd recommend setting the rules down when you first move in to the apartment to prevent any future conflicts.

    Academic Rigor

    I am currently studying abroad at Hong Kong University through an exchange program from UCSB. This experience has allowed me to open my perspective on the different methods of instruction across Universities worldwide, and here is my analyses: UCSB dominates in critical thinking and prompting students to be analytical about different author's material required for reading. UCSB society and student culture lacks political knowledge about International Relations and US politics, as I've noticed many Berkeley students, many of whom are not even politics majors, can hold an extensive conversations with me about the European Debt Crisis or Obama-care. Hong Kong University tutorials are more inclusive debates that require one to participate in every tutorial, unlike UCSB where it is much more easier to go weeks without saying anything if one did not want to (or one failed to do the readings). I'd reccomend UCSB takes a hint from HKU, and it is to provide stimulated meetings and debates where students pair up into groups (or solo), provide the position of a think-tank, ministry, ambassador, or politician and debate on events and issues discussed in that weeks readings versus going to class, having a review of lecture, discussing current events and minimal for the students to discuss the material. I was always given adequate material to read, but what I loved most is it consisted of varying viewpoints, so one was left with the chance to develop their own position and critiques. However, you may get an instructor who requires you to buy a textbook they wrote. I'm not sure about you, but I'd always check for other information, just to prevent yourself from falling into a bias understanding of a subject. Midterms, finals and a research paper are usually the norm at UCSB (also expect pop quizzes); my suggestion for the professor's at UCSB would be to include more oral presentations in tutorial to prepare students for the real world. By the wya, UCSB is a quarter system, so the courses move fast, keep up!

    Tips for prospective students

    Buy a bike! You must indulge in the beach-front culture, and riding a bike is the easiest mode of transportation, and enjoying the great southern California weather (not to mention a great daily workout!). Be careful when your riding through the round-about in Pardal! It is notorious for being accident central. Participate in tutorials as much as possible, the teacher's assistants want to learn just as much as you do. Ask questions in lecture, the professor's love a challenge. take advantage of the many organizations, they offer great community service projects that are a win-win situation for everyone, and it is a great way to meet amazing people with the same interests as you. The organizations want you to join, just as much as you want to join-trust me! I was in Hermanas Unidas, one of the largest organizations on campus with the most spirit! I'd recomend any young woman to join because it not only provides a support group everyone needs, you will meet life-long friends, endure on life long experiences, and help others in the community-such as with our yearly MENTOR Program where we select students from a low-income high school to be toured around our campus for a day! Once and hermana, always an hermana! Study, Study, Study, I know UCSB is a beautiful place and the weather makes you want to lay by the beach all day, but we are here to learn; take advantage of the opportunity, we are the elite students, not many have an opportunity to study at one of the most beautiful and well-recognized institutions in the world. The library staff is always willing to help you if you ever need help with any research assignments, and it is an 8 story library, so take advantage. UCSB also offers help through CLAS located in the Student Union building which will help you organize an essay, teach your editing techniques and aid you if you have any questions. Writing at teh university-level may be intimiadting, but CLAS will be your bestfriend. The professor's and teacher's assistants offer office hours which will also be of interest to you, especially if you choose to go to grad school. Take advanatge of this! The better you know the material, and the better the professor knows you, not only will make the course easier, but will make the process of asking for letters of reccomendation much easier!

    In three sentences

    Given the variety of criteria one can use to rate a school, overall, I'd rate my UCSB experience a 9 and the school itself a 9; so in sum, it recives an A in both areas. It is a prestigious school that provides a challenge in life and academics, especially if this is one's first experience living away from home (as it was mine). The diverse culture, exquisite weather, and academically-stimulating environment, activities, and courses are what makes one wish graduation would not come as soon as it does.

  • 04/20/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    97 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    CSO(student securities) patrol around campus at night. They will walk you home as long as you have control over yourself. Sheriff Department and Fire department on campus. Safety is not a problem.

    Greek Life

    Fraternities and Sororities are weak in SB; however, many students ARE involved.

    Clubs and Activities

    Fraternities and Sororities are available, religious fellowships also available. Student Associates are heavily involved.

    Great for these types of students

    Who loves to study AND to play. Santa Barbara may be boring for people who are from huge cities.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    nothing special is around in UCSB. It's just like any other campus in the country. SB is a small city with population of 100k combined Santa Barbara and Goleta(Where UCSB is at). If you are from cities such as SF and LA, it will be boring after time

    What to do for fun

    Party, student associate, clubs, religious fellowships, shopping in downtown, really well built piers in downtown. Santa Barbara beauty!

    Food and Dining

    You might get tired of food they provide at dinning commons. There are other restaurants right next to campus in a small college town called Isla Vista. Isla Vista is also where many students other than freshmen live.

    Dorm Life

    You will share bathroom with floormates. If you have germphobia, you might not like it. But it's the best place to meet new people and make friends.

    Academic Rigor

    Some students are really on top of their academics. Don't underestimate UCSB students because of the party reputation. These students are smarter than you think and DO play hard but study hard as well.

    Tips for prospective students

    Study hard and play hard. Don't let party get in your way. Watch out for academic probation. Remember reason why you are at college: studying or partying?

    In three sentences

    Enthusiastic students at beautiful-scenery school. Beach in 3 minutes, surrounded by wonderful professors who are willing to help. Party wont be problematic as long as student focuses on academic sides

  • 04/25/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    98 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Minus the occasional theft that inevitably happens in a town that's about one-and-a-half square miles long UCSB is pretty darn safe. Make sure you always lock your bike, use some common sense and things will most likely go smoothly. Oh yeah, Campus Police and IV Foot Patrol are there to help you, respect them

    Greek Life

    Not exactly my cup of tea, but in a word yes. As with any top party school there is bound to be solid greek life and UCSB is no exception. Check it out...

    Clubs and Activities

    Endless. I can't even begin to describe the variety of student life and extracurriculars on campus. And if you cant find a club that fits your eye, go ahead and create your own.

    Great for these types of students

    Active. We are lucky to be blessed by sunshine a vast majority of the time (class attendance usually drops by half when its raining...). If you enjoy being outside, having a bike as your main transportation, and being around active and fun people, well, sailor you've come to the right place...

    Bang for the buck

    Yes, although every year we continue to gripe about rising tuition look around for a second. Look at the prices for Stanford, Pepperdine or University of San Diego and compare. Then look at the quality of academics, professors, and lifestyle UCSB has and all of a sudden you will stop complaining...

    What to do for fun

    Surfing, Hiking, Camping, Golfing, Fishing, Biking, Lounging, sunning, Drinking games (Most of us do know that UCSB is a top party school)...you get the idea. See, with our pretty much ideal location the only limitations to your free time is what your mind cant think of.

    Food and Dining

    Varied, and very good. As one might expect dorm fare can range from mediocre to great but it usually is on the good side. In Isla Vista if you can think of something to eat, you can find it and its just a bike ride away.

    Dorm Life

    Never a dull moment. With a great diversity in students all of whom are stoked to be in Santa Barbara meeting cool new people new close friends is pretty standard. Distractions abound as well as plenty of work, enjoy your freshman year as it only happens once.

    Academic Rigor

    In a word difficult. UCSB isn't constantly ranked among the nations best universities for being light academically. With an award winning and dedicated faculty the professors (for the most part) bring enthusiasm and energy to their subject. Be committed and you will undoubtedly encounter some lectures that leave you wanting to hear more.

    Tips for prospective students

    Work hard and stay focused. Apologies for the age old cliche but with UCSB's rigorous academics, fantastic weather, and extracurricular activities it can be very hard to stay on top of things. Advice, set a daily routine for yourself and stick to it. Plus it always feels better having fun when you know you have been productive first.

    In three sentences

    The University of California, Santa Barbara combines the amenities of a top 50 ranked in the world research institute, ocean-side Mediterranean climate and a true college town only a bike ride from class. The factors of being one of the top public universities along with the Southern California lifestyle make the student body focused yet relaxed. Top notch academics, nearly endless recreation options and noteworthy night life seems to make UCSB an ideal university.

  • 05/07/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    99 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Undie Run - youtube it. It happens at the end of each quarter.

    What to do for fun

    You can join groups like the excursion club who go hiking and other fun outdoor activities. You can go shopping in downtown SB. You can go to the beach, visit a park in Isle Vista, or just hang out with the tons of friends you will make here at UCSB.

    Food and Dining

    There is a huge variety of food options in the dining commons and in the area around the school. There are also tons of options if you are vegetarian or vegan. Sometimes the food is terrific but you learn what to avoid, its mainly good quality.

    Dorm Life

    I love my dorm, my floor is really close, practically a family. Dorm life isn't so bad, except sharing a bathroom but being in the dorm really helps you make friends and gain a sense of identity through your school.

    Academic Rigor

    I think that the staff here are very helpful yet demanding, they know your skill level and push you to learn. The classes are all very unique and you can tell the professors are really passionate about their subject.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't go to a college because of what you hear about it, visit the college and if you can picture yourself there, then that's where you should go. I changed my mind when I stepped on UCSB's campus, I always thought I wanted to go to UCSD.

    In three sentences

    This university is very inviting and welcoming. There are many activities and group you can join so you feel really connected as a Gaucho. Furthermore, it is right next to the beach, how can you not like that?

  • 05/16/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    100 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I feel very safe when walking around on campus, even at night. If you aren't feeling safe walking someone you can call a Campus Security Officer (CSO) for assistance and they will walk with you to wherever you need to go. It is a very trust worthy system here.

    Greek Life

    Greek Life is very strong on campus. Personally I am in a sorority on campus and I love it. I would absolutely recommend rushing to any incoming freshman because greek life is so diverse here there is a house for anyone. Fraternities and Sororities host philanthropies to raise money and awareness for their given cause and it is great.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are many involved clubs on campus. They host events such as Job Fairs, and awareness rallies. Any given day you can walk through campus and see many organizations advertising their benefits.

    Great for these types of students

    UCSB is an amazing school because it appeals to everyone! There is a surfer culture and yet not too far away there are mountains for skiing. Santa Barbara is so unique in all that it has to offer. Santa Barbara is also the mixing pot of northern and southern California lifestyles, so there is a place for everyone.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The Wednesday of Finals week is the tradition of the Undie Run. Students strip down to nothing but their undies and run through campus and Isla Vista. The clothing left behind is then donated to the local Goodwill. There is also a tradition of watching freshman struggle to figure out how to bike on the bike paths. There are many bike accidents in the first few weeks, although none are ever too bad.

    Bang for the buck

    UCSB offers so much and is definitely worth its UC price tag. You get to live in this amazing beautiful place and still get a great education.

    What to do for fun

    There is so much to do in Santa Barbara for fun. First and foremost is Isla Vista, the college town that is walking distance from campus. Isla Vista is a one square mile town filled with UCSB students who are ready to let off some steam, and things can get pretty hectic. A short ten minute drive from campus is State Street, an amazing source of shopping and delicious food. There is also the Santa Barbara Bowl, an awesome concert venue that attracts some amazing artists. LA is about a 2 hour drive away, where there is more shopping, baseball games, clubbing, and Disneyland.

    Food and Dining

    While it is nice to have someone else prepare your food, sometimes the options can be very repetitive. However, it is easy to switch things up by going to different dining commons that offer different types of food.

    Dorm Life

    I would definitely recommend living on the dorms on campus because it makes getting to classes so much easier, however any of the dorms here are fine. We have some amazing views here of the ocean, the lagoon, mountains, and Isla Vista. There are four different dining commons, three on campus and one off campus. They all offer a wide variety of food and atmospheres.

    Academic Rigor

    Make sure you are prepared to study for your classes. College tests and classes are so much different than high school and you definitely need to take your first quarter or two to adjust. Try to keep up on readings and homework because it is very easy to fall behind and very hard to catch up. Also, the library is your best friend. Learn to love being there because during Finals week and Dead week (the week before finals week) you will be living there.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do not walk across the bike paths thinking the bikes will stop for you because they won't! Also, we like to make everything into acronyms (De La Guerra Dinning Commons is DLG for example) but it makes you look like a freshman when you ask what they mean. When you go out at night, which I'm sure you will, be sure to not wear any clothing that says UCSB or you will get a water balloon thrown at you.

    In three sentences

    Santa Barbara has some of the most amazing weather I have ever experienced which is part of why I love this school so much. I also love the easy going, laid back vibe that the entire school posses. And the extracurriculars here are absolutely amazing!

  • 05/17/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    101 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus is really safe there is constant campus security roaming around from day to night. No real danger to students.

    Clubs and Activities

    Clubs and activités are great there are clubs from accounting to excursion clubs. Everyone can join any club or activity.

    Great for these types of students

    This school is great for every kind of student it does not matter. Everyone enjoys UCSB.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Campus Point is a great place to enjoy a sunset. It is right next to the dorms. Another location is take the bike trails and bike down to downtown to go shopping.

    Bang for the buck

    For how much money a student pays for tuition, its worth it at UCSB. she is the next time you are going to live next to the beach, plus you're getting an education simultaneously.

    What to do for fun

    You can do anything for fun at UCSB. You can try new activities, like learning how to surfing, get involved in GREEK Life, join an intramural sport with friends, go out and explore the local scene.

    Food and Dining

    Dinning commons is where all students with housing eat. It is better than cafeteria food, and the best part of dinning commons is that you can wake up every day or be hungry and there is food for you already cooked. If you get tired of dinning commons go check out the local restaurants out in Isla Vista for new experience and food.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is great. Everyone is welcoming and friendly, the residential assistant are always planning events that residents will enjoy. Faculty who works there is really friendly and will fix any complaints or concerns you have. Besides that dorm life is where you get to meet new people, and best friends for the next few years. All students college experience begins in the dorm.

    Academic Rigor

    The academics at UCSB is challenging, the material not only prepares you for your intended major but develops you as a critical thinker. The most rigorous part of the academics is that you are no longer only challenging yourself but competing with everyone in your major. In certain classes, economics for example, only certain amount of students get an A or B, the rest C or lower.

    Tips for prospective students

    Future students might want to stay focus on their academics since it is very easy to get distracted, especially for first years. There are times when you should relax, but be careful it can take time from education. The reason you are going to college is you can get an education. If future students feel like they are struggling UCSB offers free tutoring to all students.

    In three sentences

    UCSB is a great school, it's next to the beach. You can study in stress free environment, specifically the beach or out in the yard of the dorms. The curriculum is challenging and develops you into a critical thinker.

  • 05/17/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    102 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    UCSB takes the extra initiative to educate everyone about drug and alcohol safety. Santa Barbara overall is a generally safe community.

    Greek Life

    Nothing I know much about, but I know that people that have been involved with Greek Life enjoy it because it helps them boost their resume with professional hookups.

    Clubs and Activities

    Such a wide variety. You'll find what you like!

    Great for these types of students

    Adventurous, daring, social, outgoing, open-minded.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    8th floor Davidson's library

    Bang for the buck

    Overall, the campus is beautiful, has great weather, has a healthy environment since everyone is always biking and taking part in fun physical activity.

    What to do for fun

    Hiking, beach, partying, join multiple clubs such as the adventure club (rock climbing, kayaking, etc.), join a dance class (breakdancing, hip hop, ballet), shop downtown, biking.

    Food and Dining

    Not always the best, but you can find great alternatives anywhere.

    Dorm Life

    Parties can get a little hectic and loud if that's not your scene. But it's a good way to meet new people and get involved with residence hall events.

    Academic Rigor

    UC quality reading, teaching, and schoolwork.

    Tips for prospective students

    UCSB is not just a party school. It's also a school by the beach! No, but really, UCSB has the same amount of academic rigor as any other good school. The campus just has a rich social scene!

    In three sentences

    UCSB is a rewarding social experience. The atmosphere is friendly, outgoing, and open-minded. The amount of resources on this campus to jumpstart your resume and career is plentiful.

  • 05/28/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    103 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    They have CSOs available 24/7 to escort you home if you're feeling unsafe.

    Great for these types of students

    Great for hard-core party people!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The view from the top (8th) floor of the library is amazing, especially at sunrise or sunset.

    Bang for the buck

    Although the cost of attending a UC seems to be ever-increasing, I would definitely still deem it worth it, at least compared to a far more expensive private school. UCs are considered Public Ivies, meaning their academic reputations are just as good as a Harvard or Stanford or Yale.

    What to do for fun

    Other than party endlessly in IV--which is very much doable--you can head to downtown Santa Barbara, where there are tons of shops and restaurants along State Street. Going to the beach is always an option, too.

    Food and Dining

    The best dining halls are DLG and Carrillo. They serve the best food with the best variety. Portola and Ortega are okay, but are best served in limited quantities.

    Dorm Life

    I lived in Santa Catalina (otherwise known as FT) and had a great time. Although it's the farthest away from campus you can get, its isolation can help you bond with the people on your floor and in your dorm in general. If you're lucky enough to be on a top floor, too, you'll get awesome views of either the mountains or the ocean.

    Academic Rigor

    Honestly, the hardest part about UCSB may be the initial transition from semester system in high school to UCSB's quarter system, which is only 10 weeks long and passes by in a flash. You really have to know how to manage your time and not get behind.

    Tips for prospective students

    As I said before, if you are a shy person or someone who isn't particularly interested in drinking or doing drugs or having random sex with random people, this might not be the easiest school for you to fit into--at least not right away; but just be patient and proactive in searching out your group.

    In three sentences

    This university definitely has a thriving party culture, but there are niches for non-party people, too--you just have to look a little harder. Academically, this university--one of the so-called Public Ivies--will provide you with a great liberal arts education, as well as a great, more in-depth understanding of your chosen major. And, location-wise, you really can't find a better campus: it sits on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the weather hovers around 60-80 degrees year-round, and Santa Barbara is a mid-size town with the perfect mix of community and anonymity.

  • 06/11/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    104 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    UCSB is very safe on campus. There are police officers and CSOs always available if needed. The college town, Isla Vista, however has crime and some violent activity which prospective students should be made aware of.

    Greek Life

    Greek life is not a necessity to have an adequate social life. Greek life does give students the opportunity to form communities and build relationships with people, but with a college town such as Isla Vista social events are open to those in Greek Life and those non participating.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are a wide array of clubs at UCSB which are very active. For example, those who have interests in human rights, the environment, an/or LGBTQ equality are well represented in clubs on campus.

    Great for these types of students

    Great for students who enjoy a nice environment with a good mix between academic and social activities would enjoy UCSB. The Environmental Studies Department, Engineering department, and Global Studies department are booming currently.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    During finals week there is an undie run where students let off steam from the stress of finals and donate there clothes to charity at the same time. At UCSB soccer games fans throw tortillas on the field when the gauchos (mascot) score a goal.

    What to do for fun

    The beach is literally in your backyard which offers many fun activities. There are a multitude of hiking spots to see the beautiful views of Santa Barbara and get exercise. Isla Vista, the colorful college town offers a varieties of events and activities ranging form movies at the Magic Lantern Theater, Improv Shows, Open Mic nights and Parties from Isla Vista residents.

    Food and Dining

    The food services at UCSB are extremely environmentally friendly. Mondays are often vegetarian at one of the dining commons, fruits and vegetable are obtains from local farmers and one of the dinning commons coasts late night hours where students can enjoy some late night cravings such as cereal, burgers, french fries, and salad.

    Dorm Life

    Dorms offer a good community for freshman. Most dorms are located on campus with the exception of Santa Catalina which is off campus in IV. All the dorms are equipped with lovely views, kind resident assistants and dining services near by.

    Academic Rigor

    Academically, UCSB has a wide variety of classes ranging in levels of rigor. The more units offered for the class, the more time needed to succeed. There are some classes that are rather simple and based on enrichment (seminars or pass/no pass classes) while most other courses require dedication and alot studying.

    Tips for prospective students

    A tip would be to take classes that truly interest you and do not only focus of fulfilling requirements. UCSB has a variety of worthwhile classes that you might miss out on if you are too focuses on completing requirements. In addition, do not get too distracted by all the social events and parties that are available, it can be hard to find that balance between work and play.

    In three sentences

    UCSB boasts a beautiful college campus right beside the beach. Professors are accredited and approachable with a multitude of intelligence to inspires students with. This university offers the opportunity to discovery who you are and enjoy doing it.

  • 06/12/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    105 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    beach, gym, friends.

    Food and Dining

    Dining commons could be improved, but overall pretty good.

    Dorm Life

    Excellent.

    Academic Rigor

    Challenging, but the resources for you to succeed are definitely out there.

    Tips for prospective students

    Meet as many people as possible.

    In three sentences

    Prepares you for a well rounded life after college. Great for your personal development. Great place to meet new people.

  • 06/15/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    106 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Go to the beach!

    Tips for prospective students

    Go visit!

    In three sentences

    The campus is awesome!

  • 06/17/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    107 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Very active Greek student body.

    Great for these types of students

    Studious, International Students. Disabled Students, Multiethnic students.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    LIbrary

    What to do for fun

    Beach, bbq, shopping downtown.

    Tips for prospective students

    Get involved in all activities and take advantage of the beautiful friendly atmosphere.

    In three sentences

    This campus has a lot of resources for students from all backgrounds. In addition it has variety of different clubs and constantly does activities and opportunities for students to be active. Also a lot of different majors in various fields which allows students plenty of careers to choose from.

  • 06/19/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    108 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    One could spend a day at Downtown Santa Barbara where one could shop, eat or watch movies. In addition, parties are available starting Thursday until the end of the weekend. One could hike and participate in many outdoor clubs.

    Food and Dining

    You will definitely gain your freshman 15 with the all you can eat buffet style dining. Food is multicultural and meets the tastes of various people with restricted diet.

    Dorm Life

    Many residence assistance are great at planning programs that gathers all the residences together for socializing. It is difficult to not get along with at least one person in your hall. Dorm life is definitely a great way to network and connect with people with the same goals in life.

    Academic Rigor

    UCSB is quite a competitive school. Some majors installed curves that could potentially weed out many hard working students. Don't expect to earn an A without great effort.

    Tips for prospective students

    You can never do too much at UCSB. Make the best out of our college years here in a balanced manner. Study hard and party hard!

    In three sentences

    UCSB is a college full of activities with a diverse group of students. It is a great college for students who look for countless activities on their schedules or those who prefer their college years to be mellow. The professors are great and care for the students' education and well-being.

  • 06/20/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    109 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    There are so many clubs and all of them are very active and creative when it comes to activities!

    Great for these types of students

    Any!

    Bang for the buck

    Pretty cheap compared to other colleges!

    What to do for fun

    You can go to the beach, movies, play sports, there's a gym on campus, and eat great food!

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't procrastinate and talk to your instructors and TA's often!

    In three sentences

    It has a great environmental studies program. The views and campus are beautiful. The students are friendly and their passions can be expressed by the various clubs on campus.

  • 06/20/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    110 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    CSO's are UCSB's campus police. They patrol UCSB 24/7 to ensure the safety of students. Not only are they there, but we also have our own police station in our college town community. It gets even better because we have our own fire department station as well, located behind campus.

    Clubs and Activities

    UCSB has so much to offer! By The Arbor, there are always people out on tables and stands from different clubs and organizations. They have information out for people about themselves and constantly give away free items.

    Great for these types of students

    If you work hard and play hard, UCSB is for you! The academics might be difficult, but life is so rewarding when you are a Gaucho. If you are outgoing, you are going to love all the friendly people in the Isla Vista community. If you are studious and are considering being an engineer, UCSB might want to be your pick. Its College of Engineering is ranked up high amongst MIT. If you are just a student looking for a vacation, there is no doubt that you will love UCSB and being able to live on the beach.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    UCSB has their traditional undie run every Wednesday during finals week. However, they do not do much running. They usually just run around during the library. Campus Point is one of the best known places at UCSB by the students. It's at the peak of the cliffs by the beach, just behind all the residential buildings. It's perfect for watching people surfer down below or enjoying the sight of the stars at night while listening to the waves crash.

    What to do for fun

    One of the perks of going to school at UCSB is having Isla Vista. Isla Vista is the the college town community for Gauchos. Friends constantly get together at each other's houses or gather around to play some games at the various parks around IV. The best thing Isla Vista has to offer is the beach; it surrounds the entire community. You can visit for some surfing, tanning, simply to enjoy the view, or whatever else meets the eye.

    Tips for prospective students

    Prospective students must know that UCSB is a large campus and therefore, the majority of students use a bike to get around campus. The bike routes are great, but you might get lost if you do not know the campus and routes all too well. You also need to take traffic and speedy bikers into consideration if you do not want to be late or get injured.

    In three sentences

    This university is amazing; the campus is beautiful and the instructors are great. Instructors are really well informed and enthusiastic about the material they teach. The campus is always clean since it is constantly taken care of by active students. The courses might be hard, but they are not anything a lot of studying cannot defeat!

  • 06/20/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    111 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Definitely check out the Greek life, its an experience worth while. You become friends with so many students who are first, second, third, and even fourth years.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Every time we had a soccer game, when our team would score we throw tortillas on the field and sing our song.

    What to do for fun

    UCSB is located right along the beach, so you can go for a walk, run, read or go swimming. There is also clubs for rock climbing, kayaking, etc. that will help de-stress you from academics.

    Food and Dining

    The food, at first, was extremely delicious. I would eat alot but eventually i got bored of it. The food is very good.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life was so much fun. Although i did not get the chance to make many friends with my floor mates, i met many friends on the building. My roommate was extremely helpful for my transition to college. We got along very well.

    Academic Rigor

    College, for me personally, has been very challenging. I was used to getting good grades in high school. College has not been the same. Some of the classes are extremely challenging for me, and i know what my mistakes have been.

    Tips for prospective students

    This university is a campus full of many activities that will allow you to meet new people and make life long friendships. Definitely get to know the campus and the different clubs/organizations available. Get to know counselors so that you can speak to them whenever you are having a problem regarding academics or even personal. Make sure to stay on top of your studies while also having some fun.

    In three sentences

    This university is a diverse campus that has many different opportunities for students to get involved. It is a welcoming campus and you eventually find friends that you can identify with and meet new people. This campus is one of the most eco-friendly campuses in the state of California.

  • 06/25/2012

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    112 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    They have CSOs which are students as well as adults who are volunteers. They look out for people and you can call them at anytime to walk you home if you feel unsafe. There are also police close by that are friendly and there for your safety.

    Greek Life

    Very exciting. Lots of people join sororities and fraternities. They have lots of events, almost every night. They are pretty expensive, but if you are that type of person than they would be worth it for you. You do not have to be in a frat or sorority to go to parties though. There are so many open parties.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are hundreds of clubs that you can join. They have community service clubs, dance clubs, academic clubs, basically any club you can think of. It is easy to join and not very expensive. Some clubs are free, others cost around $30 or so to join for all four years.

    Great for these types of students

    Students who are focused on their studies but also enjoy a fun social life.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    At soccer games tortillas are thrown on the field. Also have the Undie Run in which people donate their clothes.

    Bang for the buck

    Very expensive, but if you have the money it is worth it. The location you cannot beat anywhere else. It is right on a beach. Also, it is in the top ten for public universities so you will be getting a good education as well as a great time.

    What to do for fun

    Parties in Isla Vista. State Street has lots of shops. The Beach!

    Food and Dining

    Decent food sometimes, but very inconvenient. Not allowed to swipe your card more than once, very restricted hours, and cannot go to vendors on your meal plan.

    Dorm Life

    The Residence Halls are great for meeting people. They always have activities going on and everyone is very friendly. There is a dorm for everyone. There are learning living communities, like women in science and technology.

    Academic Rigor

    Great teachers. Great classes. Classes make you work, but they are definitely doable.

    Tips for prospective students

    Balance school work with everything else. The campus is very tempting.

    In three sentences

    A great college for working hard and playing hard. Has a wonderful academic reputation as well as a one-of-a-kind social atmosphere. Beautiful location.

  • 06/25/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    113 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Everyone is friendly and do no harm to other. Aside from that, if you're in the college town during the weekend nights you might encounter dangerous situations if you're not careful; although that rarely happens.

    Greek Life

    Not the best but it's alright. Not the best since the house are small compared to others nationwide. Aside from that, greek life is the same as any other university but isn't really require to have a social life here.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are clubs for literally anything you're interest in such as christian club, snowboard and ski club, and Finance Board just to name a few.

    Great for these types of students

    Students that want to achieve a great education but also want to have a great social life while in college to have the full college experience.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    At soccer games we usually throw tortillas when our team scores a goal. One of the drinking games played here is called Gauchoball.

    Bang for the buck

    UCSB is awesome and if you don't think so, the amount of city college students and out of towners that come to the college town of Isla Vista speaks for itself. No, contracting an STD here isn't higher than other universities; it's about the same as any other place which is backed up by statistical data from professors that teach Human Sexuality at the university. It will most likely be the best 4 years of your life if you attend, people never want to leave.

    What to do for fun

    The beach is literally a short walk away so why not go tan, surf, or walk alongside the ocean for fun. UCSB also offers many programs and shows to choose from like: comedy shows, movie showings in the IV theater, concerts like Extravaganza, concerts in the University center, and many more things during the week that happen on campus. Other things include, but not limited to: - Rock climbing at the Rec Center - Shops in the downtown area of Santa Barbara - Clubs in downtown SB - Fishing at the pier; whatever floats your boat, literally - Hiking at the Santa Ynez mountains and finally the fan favorite: house parties on the weekend

    Food and Dining

    The dining commons at UCSB have a variety of food for all types of diets. Although the food might not be that of a 4 or 5 star restaurant, it still gets the job done. Aside from the dining commons, there are many restaurants to choose from in the college town next to UCSB. Whatever you can think of, it is there.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are great for incoming freshmen. The rooms have enough space to comfortably fit 2 people. There are game rooms in each dorm to have fun playing ping pong, pool, and even watch television. Some dorms even have a view of the beach! That's if you're lucky. Classes and dining commons are close by as well as the beach.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes at UCSB are either harder or at the same level of difficulty as classes taken in high school, depending on your school. GE classes are usually easy to excel in if you put the time and effort into them. Classes for majors are a different story since some have a cap on the percentage of students that are able to get an A, B, and so on.

    Tips for prospective students

    Prospective students should work on being a well rounded student to be accepted, grades aren't everything. In addition, they should make sure they know the lifestyle and distance from home is right for them.

    In three sentences

    UCSB has the most beautiful campus compared to all the other UC campuses in California. The quality of the professors teaching at the university is above par, with some having written their own books in the subject they teach. Aside from the academics, UCSB has a great social aspect to it which is a plus for students that desire the full college experience.

  • 06/27/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    114 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I have never felt scared or unsafe on this campus. If a lecture finishes late and you need someone to walk you home, there's a number you can call and an officer (usually another UCSB student) meets you and walks you wherever you need to go.

    Greek Life

    Greek life is amazing. I am currently in a sorority and absolutely love my sisters. We are involved in community service, have a great social life, and have great GPA's. A perfect combination for any student.

    Clubs and Activities

    Clubs always put on great events like Salsa Night or Learn how to Meditate. All events help take your mind off of stressful homework assignments.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The infamous undie- run. At the end of each quarter, students gather at the library and strip to their underwear to run through Isla Vista. The clothes worn are donated to charity.

    Bang for the buck

    Food can be a little pricey near Isla Vista. Find a friend who has a car and go to Costco, it's about 5 minutes from Isla Vista/UCSB.

    What to do for fun

    I love to go horseback riding, community service with my sorority sisters, and of course, going to the beach.

    Food and Dining

    Food in the dorms was great! Just read the menu and go to the dinning common that serves what you'd prefer for that meal.

    Dorm Life

    Amazing dorm life. There are always events to help its residents come together and meet each other. My housemates from freshmen year are currently my best friends, College would not be the same without them.

    Academic Rigor

    Although UCSB has a reputation of a party school don't let that fool you. The academics can be difficult if you fall behind. This school is on the quarter system, meaning ten weeks of school work.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be open to trying new things. Go to club meetings, greek meetings, school events.

    In three sentences

    A perfect combination of social life and school. The location of this university inspires you to be a great student. Once you become a Gaucho, you will never want to leave UCSB.

  • 06/28/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    115 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    The food is okay and basically it's a good price for what you are paying for.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are awesome! You get to meet many people who live on your floor and end up being your best friends. The environment is great for making friends.

    Academic Rigor

    It's awesome. You learn a lot and the professors are very helpful.

  • 07/01/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    116 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The campus itself is extremely safe. It's Isla Vista that can be sketchy at times, but that's why it's just important that if you go out there, you're not alone. We have free escort services that will walk you places and alerts that are sent straight to your phone/email if anything unusual occurs.

    Greek Life

    Only about 10% of students are in greek life here, so it's small enough you don't need to be in it for a social life, but big enough that you will have fun if you join. I joined the sorority, Gamma Phi Beta and I really enjoy it. Greeks and non-greeks all have intermixed friends though, it's not cliquey or exclusive like they show in all the movies.

    Clubs and Activities

    We have over 300 clubs and activities to choose from and I would highly recommend joining at least one when you get here. I do intramural soccer, the ski/snowboard club, am a tourguide, and am in CAB, a volunteer group. No matter your interest, they have it here.

    Great for these types of students

    Hard-working students who also like to have fun. My old roommate partied too hard and got kicked out, it happens more often than you'd think. As long as you can stay on top of your schoolwork, then you'll find this is the liveliest campus that will keep you entertained.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Since we don't have a football team (sad, I know) soccer is our big sport where we all throw tortillas onto the field. The graduating seniors also decorate their caps for graduation and every year we have Extravaganza, a free concert for students where this year the headliner was SNOOP DOGG.

    Bang for the buck

    Not going to lie, the tuition is very expensive, especially if you are coming from out-of-state. That being said, we are a public school which is typically cheaper than a private school and there are numerous loans and grants available to those who qualify for financial aid.

    What to do for fun

    You can go downtown where there are a ton of stores and restaurants, go to the beach (it's a 5 minute walk), see free movies at the IV theater, attend Improv night (only $5), etc. where you get anywhere on the bus for free. Or, there is always Isla Vista where you can always find a party.

    Food and Dining

    Omnomnom. The food I have to say was surprisingly really good. There are four dining commons to choose from and you can find sample menus online if you google ucsb netnutrition. Just be wary of the freshman 15 because it's no myth...that's what our recreation center is for.

    Dorm Life

    I miss living in the dorms! I met some of my best friends there and we have a great program with RAs and free activities to help you meet people. Some things include: lazer tag, movie night, slip-n-slides, free pizza, etc. 98% of freshmen live on-campus too which makes it fun.

    Academic Rigor

    These classes are challenging but it really depends on the professor. You will learn which classes you can skip and which ones you need to be there for, 100% of the time. There are free resources to help if you need extra assistance, such as tutoring or office hours.

    Tips for prospective students

    Meet tons of people and keep in contact with them, you can never have too many connections. Also, don't worry about the party reputation. Yes, many of us love to rage but there are also hundreds of other awesome, fun things to do that are 100% risk-free.

    In three sentences

    Coming here was literally the best decision of my life! The people are great, there is so much to do in this awesome college town, and the academics are challenging. It's important to obtain a degree from a top school while having fun; this is the place where that's possible.

  • 07/06/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    117 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Check your neighbor's house or anyone you meet in class or downtown. There is always something going on.

    Food and Dining

    Not as good as UCLA dining commons, and we could go greener (by leaps and bounds), but the food is great and always ready at the right times of day. I think that's all we can ask for...

    Dorm Life

    Fast-paced. Be ready to feel pressure to drink large amounts of alcohol, but don't be scared; know your body. And remember that this is your first experience living away from home; this means that if anyone is going to push you to study, IT HAS TO BE YOU!

    Academic Rigor

    Especially in the natural, hard, and social sciences (i.e. biology, environmental studies, anthropology, chemistry, engineering, theoretical physics, global studies and international relations) the competition is fierce. We have 5+ Nobel Laureates on this campus who are all accessible and ready and willing to help the most lost student (this is not to mention the unsung heroes who are making advances at speeds faster than can be measured) and will talk with you mano y mano.

    Tips for prospective students

    Come ready to re-evaluate your time-management skills and values. You WILL need to work on these and your study skills in order to be competitive in this fun, distracting environment. We live in one of the most beautiful places on the earth, but school must come first.

    In three sentences

    The University of California at Santa Barbara is an unusual place, teeming with students who are intelligent and socially apt. As a senior here I have learned three things: 1) mostly good humans are being raised and come to this college, 2) there is a growing market for people who can crunch numbers, analyze data, and do research (but can also talk to others and communicate well), and 3) the world we live in is a dynamic and ever-changing arena with room for the smallest voice to be heard. I do not regret my time here, nor would I change it for any other experience, and THAT is the modus operandi of UCSB...

  • 07/09/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    118 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    CSO and police officers everywhere

    Greek Life

    so much fun and rewarding

    Clubs and Activities

    many leadership, community service, and social clubs

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    eat at freebirds!

    Bang for the buck

    It is such a rewarding school to attend. I am having the time of my life while still working hard and being able to live in such a beautiful place!

    What to do for fun

    Eat at many places, join clubs, meet people, get involved!

    Food and Dining

    Great food at all the various dining commons!

    Dorm Life

    So much fun and crazy but remember to stay focused!

    Academic Rigor

    It is very difficult work but completely worth it.

    Tips for prospective students

    Work hard play hard.

    In three sentences

    It is such an amazing, beautiful school. I love every aspect of it. The school is really bringing out everything great in me.

  • 07/12/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    119 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Isla Vista is a great place to find great good!

    Food and Dining

    The cafeterias are buffet style. Food options are regularly changing. A variety of tasty foods are offered.

    Dorm Life

    You can open up the windows and hear the waves on the beach!

    Academic Rigor

    I recently got my classes for Fall 2012, and I can say that I got all of the classes I wanted. It would be harder to do this at a community college.

    Tips for prospective students

    MYTH: UCSB is a party school. It is completely up to an individual to decide whether to take part in the party scene or not.

    In three sentences

    The UCSB campus is absolutely beautiful. Education is taken seriously with an emphasis on research. Located right on the beach, the atmosphere provides a complete package-work and play all rolled into one school!

  • 07/12/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    120 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The only real crime is bike theft, which isn't too bad.

    Great for these types of students

    Anyone & Everyone!

    What to do for fun

    There are tons of things to do. There are sports, clubs, job opportunities, and many school leadership positions. There's something for everyone.

    Food and Dining

    The food is surprisingly great compared to most colleges. YUM!

    Dorm Life

    I haven't moved in to the dorms yet but from what I've seen, they are great! They are a 5 minute walk from the beach and close to many of the classes.

    Academic Rigor

    I've heard so much about the top academic rankings, and after sitting in on a lecture I can honestly say the professors are great!

    Tips for prospective students

    Know what you want. Know what kind of classes you hope for, what you want to do once you are accepted, and try to get involved on campus. That's my plan once I attend, hopefully its yours too!

    In three sentences

    This school is amazing! Not only is the campus beautiful, but the people are friendly and the academics are outstanding. As soon as I visited the school I knew it was the place for me.

  • 07/13/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    121 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    BEACH

    Food and Dining

    It depends on where you eat, but usually it's pretty good/decent!

    Dorm Life

    A lot of the UCSB student population is super friendly, making the dorm life awesome!

    Academic Rigor

    The average GPA of incoming students is about 3.9 and the average SAT score is 1900. So be prepared to endure that rigor!

    Tips for prospective students

    Prepare to be socially active because this campus is friendly! Don't sweat about classes, you can always get them later.

    In three sentences

    UCSB is a party school, to say at least. But that doesn't deter from the fact that it is an academically rigorous university. Besides that, it's right next to the beach!

  • 07/14/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    122 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Compared to other large universities, this campus is fairly safe while not crime-free. Their most common crime is bike theft, due to the importance of the gas-free, cheap transportation that biking provides students with.

    Greek Life

    UCSB does have fraternities and sororities.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The students uphold a quirky tradition of throwing tortillas on the field during games because of their mascot, the gaucho. The campus is FULL of bicycles.

    What to do for fun

    The campus has a humongous range of clubs and activities to particpate in, in addition to the informal intramural sports which are cheaper and based solely on enjoyment or exercise.

    Food and Dining

    The library allows food and drink. The cafeterias have good food, depending on your taste. The campus has a variety of places to eat, so it is unlikely that a student will become bored with the options.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are of a medium size, which can have two to three people. There are some planned activities that occur within the dorms.

    Academic Rigor

    The university's average SAT score was 1923 and their average GPA was 4.07. UC Santa Barbara puts a strong emphasis on research, which may potentially allow a student to earn class credit or even money (in the form of grants, scholarships, or an assistant's pay).

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure to increase your chances of acceptance, since this school has a lot of applicants. It is a very popular option, so you want to really stand out in achievement.

    In three sentences

    The school is great for people looking for an environment full of California sunshine and fun, good sports programs, and an active campus life. The academics are very hands-on focused; they highly value research, including undergraduate and graduate research. UCSB sends the most students abroad out of all the UCs.

  • 07/18/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    123 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus police and CSOs are around and available to walk students to/from home on the UCSB campus and in Isla Vista. It's a very safe campus and area.

    What to do for fun

    There are niches enough for every kind of student.

    Food and Dining

    UCSB dining hall food is great! It's so great that many students who do not live on campus choose to buy dining plans still. There's always a great variety and the food quality is excellent, especially for college cafeterias.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is absolutely fantastic at UCSB. The dorms are new and updated, and the location on-campus is perfectly next to the beach, dining halls, and lecture halls. FT (Santa Catalina) dorms are a mile away from campus, but are transformed hotel rooms that are huge and have their own bathrooms. Every freshman should live in a campus-owned dorm, rather than living in a privately owned dorm in Isla Vista. Freshmen meet most of their friends in the first few weeks of living in the dorms and eating in the dining halls.

    Academic Rigor

    The academic rigor varies across majors. Known vigorous majors include: all engineering majors, economics, and computer science.

    Tips for prospective students

    Prospective students should know that UCSB has top-notch academics that are usually glimpsed over in light of its party reputation. Yes, UCSB has a party reputation--we live on the beach for goodness sake! Our reputation is one to be proud of, and our academic reputation equally so. UCSB has brilliant professors who are famous in their workplaces, research, and authorship. My economics professors have worked at the US Treasury and the Fed. My English professors are highly regarded authors. The focus on the undergrad is much greater here than other UCs because of our small graduate population.

    In three sentences

    UCSB is amazing in every way: academics, faculty, location, campus goings-on, and student life and vibe. I enjoy my education, the clubs I'm involved in, and my friends and I never want to leave! I can't say enough about UCSB, and nearly every student is an ecstatic and proud Gaucho.

  • 07/24/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    124 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Top notch security, with all the works, including: foot patrol, crimestoppers, 24/7 watch and escort, as well as a comprehensive, student-run crime prevention program. You can safely set foot outside of your dorm and safely put it back, so to speak.

    Clubs and Activities

    Top rated in the UC system for the most interactive and active clubs next to UC Berkeley!

    Great for these types of students

    Anyone will be welcome, but it would be ideal for these students/personalities: * Energetic, slightly hyper * Someone lacking skills in the social sphere * Tree-huggers (yay!) * Liberally inclined voters * Social activist * Hard workers * Life-lovers * Life-movers

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Well, there is Isla Vista, a great college town for parties. Go there at night during Orientation or a visit, and you'll see what I mean!!

    Bang for the buck

    As the economy sinks, prices go up. No question about it. While UCSB is not admittedly the BEST bang for the buck, it does provide great financial aid, spectacular views, and excellent tutoring, counseling, social, and personal wellness centers in the college package. Also, with the most interactive clubs in the UC system, what's not to love? No matter what, you will enjoy this experience.

    What to do for fun

    This list can go on forever: The UC's picturesque campus allows for surfing, jet skiing, para-sailing, swimming, scuba diving, etc. If you don't like water, or sports in general, the campus Lagoon, which is, indeed, part of the campus, is a great place to hike, take a stroll, jog or just study! There is also an aquarium where you can interact with sea life! As for Santa Barbara, the city, there is a reason why it's nicknamed The American Riviera. State Street provides ample shopping and other activities, and a great place to socialize. Beyond the city are the San Ynez mountains, which are a great place for a day hike to the Seven Falls. And if you just want to lounge around, multiple dorms are just steps from the ocean! And don't forget about the college town, Isla Vista. Nothing beats a beachside community of the students, by the students and for the students!

    Food and Dining

    The UC implements a buffet style dining, with four major dining commons, each with a plethora of food and flexible schedules. There is an equal amount of food for both carnivores, herbivores and omnivores, as well as excellent international food. With a selection for everyone, as well as unlimited seconds and sac meals, the dining commons is a great place to socialize and experience unique cuisine. Also, if requested, they arrange picnic-styled packaged foods, free of charge!

    Dorm Life

    One of the many advantages UC Santa Barbara has over the rest of the UC campuses is their dorms. As the UC system's only seaside campus, the university takes its environment and emphasizes it to the fullest extent. Each of the dorm communities boasts majestic views, ultra-comfortable and flexible living, tight and responsible communities, and a college night-life anyone could be proud of. Every dorm building is well-maintained, well equipped, secure, safe and cleverly situated in relation to the center of the campus.

    Academic Rigor

    As far as I've heard, the academics at UC Santa Barbara are well-paced and rigorous in respect to the high level of thinking and problem solving skills involved in class. The university not only expects their students to attend their classes, but to become actively involved with discussions and to take interest in the research their professors are conducting.

    Tips for prospective students

    For those who desire to apply to the University of California, Santa Barbara, they should strive not only to find excellence in their diverse and rigorous course load, but to stretch themselves beyond their limits outside, whether it be volunteering, clubs, social-work or work experience. The university is special as it doesn't place emphasis in any one area--instead, admissions counselors are looking for a well-rounded student with the capacity of becoming a well-educated and aware member of society. In short: get out of the classroom and APPLY yourself!

    In three sentences

    The school encompasses the high academic standards of a top-tier research university, while retaining a well-balanced, three point lifestyle for its students. UCSB Gauchos enjoy a rigorous, well paced and top notch education while retaining a fantastic personal and social life with their close-knit college community. This triangle is the key to success at the University for both students and their professors, and the lifelong goal of becoming a well-rounded and informed citizen of the world.

  • 07/25/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    125 of 241

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    I choose Santa Barbara because is a good school. the student life seems fun , so students have a good academic and social life. To me is the perfect balance.

  • 07/26/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    126 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Armed robberies and sexual assaults. Don't walk around in Isla Vista alone at night. Don't walk in dark alleys. Walk with friends in bright streets!

    Greek Life

    Fun parties

    Clubs and Activities

    You get to choose form hundreds of clubs. From student government to greek life to ethnic clubs to kinky sex clubs. It is also easy to start new clubs.

    Great for these types of students

    Outgoing students who work hard and play hard. You will love it if you surf or like going to the beach. Very laid back environment. Perfect for hippies too.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    - halloween - floatopia - 8th floor of the library

    What to do for fun

    - party in IV - shopping at downtown SB - surfing/tanning/bbq-ing at the beaches nearby - sailing at the Harbor - attend events on campus hosted by RHA, AS, and other student organizations

    Food and Dining

    Carrillo: next to San Raphael and Manzanita, decent food DLG: Jack Johnson mentioned this dining hall in one of his songs, decent food, closes late at night Ortega: hit or miss, sometimes it has the best food, other times, it's disgusting. Portola: next to Santa Catalina, farthest from campus,worst dining hall Wherever you go, make sure you check the menus online first.

    Dorm Life

    UCSB dorms: Santa Catalina: party dorm, far from campus Santa Rosa/Anacapa/Santa Cruz/San Nicolas/San Miguel: closest to university center and most lecture halls Manzanita/San Raphael: located between UCSB and Isla Vista. Loud during weekends but generally a nice place to live.

    Academic Rigor

    UCSB is not a very difficult school as long as you attend lectures and study. Students who don't do well usually just have poor time management skills.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure you know how to manage your time wisely. Check out sbfreshtips.tumblr.com for more anonymous tips and questions from UCSB students.

    In three sentences

    UCSB has a very relaxing environment because it is located right next to the beach. This school is known for its parties in Isla Vista, a residential neighborhood adjacent to the campus.

  • 07/26/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    127 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There are CSOs that you can call anytime of day to escort you back to anywhere you want. There will be two students escorting you. You should use it since you'll be paying for their service in your campus fees.

    Greek Life

    Greek life is getting a lot bigger the past couple of years it seems.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are a lot of clubs that you can choose from. From the environmental clubs to ethnic clubs.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    I thought the undie run during finals week is pretty unique.

    Bang for the buck

    I love it here at UCSB. Wouldn't have exchange it for any other campus. You will definitely live your college experience if you go here.

    What to do for fun

    We have the beach as a backyard for a reason. Go out there and have some fun.

    Food and Dining

    Food is average unless you live in FT. Portola's food is horrible.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is extremely fun if you have the right roommate and floormates.

    Academic Rigor

    It can be challenging, but if you study at least a little everyday, you will be fine.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure you get a bike if you want your life to be easier.

    In three sentences

    This place has one of the best research campus out there. We even rank higher than UCB and Stanford. Plus, the campus is extremely beautiful.

  • 07/27/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    128 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Great

    Greek Life

    Many fraternities and sororities.

    Clubs and Activities

    Many sports as well as recreational sports clubs.

    Great for these types of students

    Any student.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Stoke Tower

    Bang for the buck

    Going to one of the more prestigious uc's and the school is literally on the beach, at a very affordable cost regardless of income. They help students take care of the tuition and expenses with a variety of options from scholarships, grants, to student loans.

    What to do for fun

    Hiking, rock climbing, hit the beach, surf, skate, kayaking, etc.

    Food and Dining

    Many buffet style common halls around campus.

    Dorm Life

    Dorms look spacious.

    Academic Rigor

    The Chemical Engineering major is the most rigorous of any other on campus.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be open. Keep yourself occupied. Join clubs or sports teams.

    In three sentences

    People are very friendly. There are a variety of options other than parties. City and campus are beautiful.

  • 07/27/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    129 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    UCSB is isolated. You need to take a car (or bus) to get anywhere fun. A lot of students prefer to stay in and drink/party with friends as a result.

    Food and Dining

    Required meal plan sucks, but the food makes meal time less of a hassle. Decent food. Seemed like they had the same meals on rotation every week.

    Dorm Life

    Spent my first two years there. Great way to meet amazing people. Make sure to report any damage in your dorm room when you fill out the room review sheet first day- Or else you'll get charged for ANY LITTLE thing they find wrong with the room at the end of the year.

    Academic Rigor

    Varies course to course. Some teachers just don't care. Try to sit in on a prospective class to see if you like the professor's teaching strategy.

    Tips for prospective students

    Stay focus on educational goals and try not to get swept up in the craziness of the party scene in IV. Don't forget to take time for yourself though.

    In three sentences

    This school has a lot to offer. Will push you academically.

  • 07/29/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    130 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    Buffet style.

    Dorm Life

    Fun activities at dorms.

    Academic Rigor

    Great professors.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be open minded. Be confident and make friends with your hall mates. Join lots of organizaton.

    In three sentences

    A great place for education and socialization. This place takes their academics seriously but the atmosphere is nice and laidback. The weather is also great around this school.

  • 07/31/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    131 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    CSO takes care of its students

    Bang for the buck

    this school is expensive, just like living on the beach.

    What to do for fun

    go to the beach!

    Food and Dining

    the dining commons food is edible but not great. but there are many food choices

    Dorm Life

    very restricting, but also great to live so close to campus, FT sucks though.

    Academic Rigor

    very challenging

    Tips for prospective students

    Do not enter this school undeclared.

    In three sentences

    this university has a beautiful campus. The professors are very intelligent. Everyone is reasdy to help any willing student progress in their field of study

  • 08/06/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    132 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The campus is very safe & there is CSO's that will walk you to your dorm late at night. CSO's are out making sure there is no danger among students.

    Greek Life

    Greek life is amazing. As a freshman i joined a multicultural sorority & it has opened up a door of opportunities & has made me into a stronger, & independent individual. I recomend future students to take an interest in an Organization because it truly is beneficial.

    What to do for fun

    For fun you can go to the beach which is 2 minutes away from the dorms, go downtown & enjoy excellent stores, or simply go out for a nice meal in Isla Vista. There are a tremendous amount of activities at UCSB that help build great memories.

    Food and Dining

    The food and dinning services provided at UCSB are delicious. They offer a variety of a menu & have 3 on campus dinning commons. The best one is De la Guerra. They have a diverse cours every day.

    Dorm Life

    The dorm life is the best experience you will experience in college. You meet diverse people & build great friendships. You create study buddies that most likely have the same classes as you.

    Academic Rigor

    The classes will be as challenging as you make them. If you take great notes with specifics & make sure to attend office hours to avoid having a difficult time in a class.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure to bring a bike, a bike is your everything at UCSB. Attend your professors & T.A office hours they will help you pass the class. Make sure to attend every lecture & stay caught up with readings.

    In three sentences

    Excellent education being offered with insightful professors. Friendly community willing to share notes, books & other class material. Beautiful environment with refreshing weather.

  • 08/07/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    133 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I am the absolute night owl so sometimes it does get scary when no one else is around. But have no fear, there are CSO officers patrolling past midnight so it is all good.

    Clubs and Activities

    I joined Circle K during the middle of spring quarter and it wasn't bad at all. Everyone was friendly and made me feel like I had been part of the club since the beginning of the year. CAB is another club I would definitely join. They have volunteering events every week and there are always food at the meeting to keep you happy and cheerful. The leaders are friendly and easy to communicate with.

    Great for these types of students

    If you enjoy running, walking, biking, or jogging, I would go to the beach or the rec center. Running with the beach's breeze makes you feel like you aren't even exercising but taking a leisure walk. It is just amazing. And the rec center has so many equipment for you to use. Every time I go, I never have to wait.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    My most memorable one was the Underwear Run during Dead Week. Even though it is cold a night time, the running with friends and keeping tradition keeps you warm and cozy.

    What to do for fun

    Go explore Downtown SB, there are a lot of things to see. Take a walk/run at the beach, the sunset is just breath taking. Walk around IV with your friends during the nights on weekends, there are going to be new experiences for sure.

    Food and Dining

    I would say the food was a nice change from what I normally ate at home, but I can't say it was the best. After a while, I started missing home-cooked meals. It isn't the best place if you are vegetarian, but if you are only a vegetarian for a couple of months, the food is doable. The staffs are also nice.

    Dorm Life

    I absolutely loved the dorm life. It made me feel independent and being away from home showed me how much I can do if I was living by myself. I'm not going to lie but the people you meet in the dorm aren't going to be your friends forever. Most of the time, you remain friends with those who are in similar major(s).

    Academic Rigor

    We all know that not all the professors are going to be the best at teaching and making you understand. Some people understands what a professor is talking about while others don't. I really do insist on taking CLAS if it is available for you class, it is extremely helpful!

    Tips for prospective students

    I would recommend taking 15+ units your first quarter. I regret not doing so, wasted a lot of time during that quarter. Stay caught up with the reading, if you don't, you are going to fall behind. Don't bring too much clothes, I have seen so many piles of clothes in people's closet.

    In three sentences

    When finals are nearby, we actually do study. It is college, not high school, expect a lot of reading. When I went back home for summer, it made me feel like SB has always been my hometown; it feels weird but at the same time exciting.

  • 08/12/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    134 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Great for outgoing students.

    What to do for fun

    There's the beach in front of you, and the mountains behind you. Also there's Isla Vista right in front of the campus which has a great night life.

    Tips for prospective students

    Visit the campus before deciding.

    In three sentences

    UCSB has a great environment. The college has very nice students. The campus itself is an adventure.

  • 08/14/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    135 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    I don't plan on dining here.

    Dorm Life

    I hope that this is very exciting and welcoming.

    Academic Rigor

    It seems to provide everything needed to succeed.

    In three sentences

    It seems to me that this school has a lot to offer. I hope to gain some advice for getting financial aid though. I am a bit short on funds, out of state fees are high.

  • 08/15/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    136 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Greek Life is growing in Santa Barbara. Fraternities and Sororities are an exclusive community and provide additional opportunities to members, but what's nice about UCSB is that you don't have to be Greek to be involved. There are opportunities for everyone at UCSB.

    Clubs and Activities

    UCSB offers hundreds of club opportunities that appeal to people of all backgrounds.

    Great for these types of students

    High school graduates and transfers with a competitive GPA and outstanding test scores.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Tortillas. Tortillas. Tortillas. It's all about Gaucho Soccer.

    Bang for the buck

    The education UCSB provides develops bright individuals that are competitive candidates for the future job market. All of UCSB's programs are innovative and propel graduates towards a multitude of job opportunities. Additionally, the education is designed to be affordable for instate residents, allowing people of all economic backgrounds a chance to attain a valuable undergraduate education.

    What to do for fun

    Beach. Hiking. Kayaking. Intramural sports. Adventure Programs. Shopping downtown. Concerts. Sporting events. There is an endless list of activities UC Santa Barbara students can participate in.

    Food and Dining

    Excellent. UCSB dining halls offer a wide variety of foods to appeal to everyones personal likings.

    Dorm Life

    Incredible. You WILL meet the best people you've ever encountered in your life here. In addition to the bright minds you will be surrounded by, all residence halls have something unique to offer. It also helps to be a five minute walk away from the beach!

    Academic Rigor

    Although Santa Barbara is well known for its party school reputation, the academics at this University are outstanding. UCSB is demanding and research intensive, encouraging undergraduates to challenge themselves academically. Lectures are always interesting and professors are always available to help students. UC Santa Barbara is a world class university and provides a complementary world class education. The academics this school offers are likely to leave admits to find that UCSB is not the party school the public makes it out to be.

    Tips for prospective students

    1) UCSB is a research university; it's not vocational and instead encourages intellectual higher thinking. Don't get discouraged if they don't have the specific major program your looking for; keep an open mind about the future. You're young and this is college; your interests are likely to change over the course of your four years here. 2) Keep your GPA and test scores high. UCSB is continually growing more and more competitive to get accepted to. 3) Inquire early. Meet someone who goes to UCSB and ask them questions concerning your educational aspirations. Gauchos are always willing to help. 4) Tour before making a decision. Many students fall in love with the campus at first sight and willingly chose UCSB over other comparable universities.

    In three sentences

    Best. School. Ever.

  • 08/17/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    137 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Number one crime on campus is bike theft. Seriously. As long as you lock your bike properly, you're fine.

    Greek Life

    Many great greek organizations to look into. But it isn't a must to join one just to have fun, especially since only about 10% of the campus is involved in greek affairs.

    Clubs and Activities

    So many to choose from! And if you're looking for something else that UCSB doesn't already have, then you can create your own org or club.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    FREEBIRDS! If you're ever in Isla Vista (IV), then you definitely need to grab a bite here. They're known in IV for their quesarito, go try it!

    Bang for the buck

    The various activities you can choose from guarantee you that you'll have fun and all the activities put on by the school as well will keep you busy! Overall, it's a really great campus all around.

    What to do for fun

    Where to start? You can hit the beach, go shopping downtown, hiking on the various trails, sightseeing...etc, the list goes on and on. The great thing about UCSB's location is that the beach meets the mountain so you're provided with many ocean- friendly activities like surfing but you also have more mountain activities to choose from too!

    Food and Dining

    The food isn't really the best food in the world but its a few steps up from the cafeteria food at high school. There are four dining halls on campus and the best being Carrillo! The good thing about the dinning commons is that you have various food options so you don't have to worry about having to eat something you don;t like just because that's the only option.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life can be fun but be aware, it can get very noisy at all times of the night. You just need to learn to adjust and when it comes to studying maybe find a better place to study like the lounges provided by the dorms or the Davidson Library, which has a 24-hour study room.

    Academic Rigor

    Definitely study for those midterms and finals ahead of time, do not procrastinate! These tests are no joke and you must definitely study. Some classes may be easier than others but that doesn't mean it's still not a lot of work. As long as you stay on top of the workload and study, you'll be fine.

    Tips for prospective students

    Balance is the key! As first time freshman a lot of students either become homesick or get distracted by the party life-style. As a college student at UCSB and any other college it is important for students to understand the importance of balancing both academics and fun! UCSB is surrounded by fun things to do, the beach, the mountains, clubs and on campus orgs, get involved! It's the best way to have fun and meet new people.

    In three sentences

    UCSB is a very well-rounded school. It's ranked highly in academics as well as student life. And it's one of the most beautiful campuses within California! Definitely deserves to be considered while applying to colleges.

  • 08/21/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    138 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I think it's pretty safe to walk around at 2, 3 AM as you see many people doing so especially on the weekends. There's not much heinous crime except for bicycles being stolen day to day. I would say UCSB is a very safe campus, but still don't walk around by yourself.

    Greek Life

    When you walk into Isla Vista you will see gigantic greek houses everywhere. I think it's safe to say there's a pretty prominent greek life around SB. There's also multicultural sororities and fraternities if you look into them. But you don't have to get into greek life to enjoy a party, they're everywhere.

    Clubs and Activities

    There's many organizations on campus. Many culture/ ethnic oriented organizations, interests, sports, many to choose from. Just check the website and pay the club a friendly visit to join.

    Great for these types of students

    Great for any student. Everyone will be able to find their niche in due time.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The quarterly undie run occurs during finals week to relieve stress from finals. We have our own little music festival in the spring called Extravaganza. This year we had snoop dogg (lion?) , wolfgang, and iration come.

    Bang for the buck

    Living in SB is generally very expensive. Foods, dorm/ housing is very pricey. BUT you get to live near an ocean, so that's pretty awesome.

    What to do for fun

    There's many things to do on and off campus. There's a marine touch tank that's fun to go to, hiking trails, beaches right by campus, the gym-- which offers a rock climbing wall, a pool, and many other amenities, biking, going downtown (shopping), eating around, partying, and a near by (and cheap) movie theater.

    Food and Dining

    The dining common foods are a bit repetitive after you've been there for a while, but you'll learn to appreciate not having to cook for yourself. The soups and salads are always pretty good. You'll learn to be creative with your food as well. Also, the foods you can buy on and off campus are a bit pricey. Subway is your cheapest dining hall alternative. Also if you live in the dorms sbmenus.com will be your midnight best friend for late night meals.

    Dorm Life

    Depending on which dorm you choose your experience will be very different. But no matter which dorm you find yourself in, you'll eventually find friends on campus and off campus. The dorm food at first is not as amazing as you'd wish it to be, but you'll eventually learn to like it.

    Academic Rigor

    Even if you got As without studying in high school, it won't be the case in college. You must study, review, and attend class as much as possible. The workload that you go through in 10 weeks is not a joke. Luckily, unlike high school most classes will not assign too much homework. But, be prepared to write many papers.

    Tips for prospective students

    Learn to balance your academic workload and social life. Quickly learn how to ride a bike, and learn the ways of the road. You will have a lot of time for yourself, learn to be independent.

    In three sentences

    Although there are many interesting subjects (such as human sexuality) and professors, there aren't as many majors compared to other schools. UCSB has a very laid back atmosphere, but is also very academically rigorous. You'll definitely get a very memorable--academic and social--college experience here.

  • 08/29/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    139 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Enjoy the beach, it's the closest thing we have to real life.

    Tips for prospective students

    This is the school for you if: 1. You don't mind a focus of the education being taught through TA's. 2. You feel comfortable in a liberal school environment. 3. You enjoy running around in your underwear the night before finals.

    In three sentences

    UCSB is a relatively well sized school with an emphasis on research, as opposed to lecturing. The campus is brilliantly located on the Goleta cliff over looking the ocean, and is a place you'll want to come back and visit once you graduate. With a diverse campus, numerous student organized activities, and a prosperous Greek Life, UCSB is attractive to students interested in investing in a school community.

  • 08/30/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    140 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Beach!

    In three sentences

    Super beautiful school! Definitely hoping to attend UCSB in the fall of 2013 and become a Gaucho!

  • 09/04/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    141 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    The queer community is very welcoming and supportive :]

    Food and Dining

    There are some highs and lows : Pizza and jambalaya from Carillo gets 5 stars from me. But Portola gets 1 star for their greasy and tasteless dinners.

    Dorm Life

    I lived in FT/Santa Catalina and it was alright. Loud, but quiet enough during midterms and finals. Downside (and upside) was that it was almost 2 miles from the chemistry building. Portola food is meh (the dining common there).

    Academic Rigor

    Being a bio major, it can be pretty tough. They're definitely trying to weed people out. CLAS/ tutoring services are your best friend!

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't stop in the roundabout.

    In three sentences

    UCSB has great weather, people, professors, and a beautiful campus. They also have an impressive amount of clubs and orgs where you're bound to find one where you fit in. Also you won't gain the freshmen 15 since you'll be biking everywhere!

  • 09/05/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    142 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    1. There is a club for everything and anything. 2. The beach. 3. DP 4. The mountains (hiking) 5. Downtown State street

    Tips for prospective students

    In the first week, do not clutter in a bunch. Do not travel in packs of 30+ students. Also, STUDY!

    In three sentences

    It really is the best of both worlds. The social/night life is amazing and so is the academics. I am more than happy with my decision to attend UCSB.

  • 09/07/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    143 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Social, Active, Curious

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Beach, campus point for surfing, Sands beach for surfing.

    What to do for fun

    Bike, surf, enjoy the area

    Tips for prospective students

    Keep your focus!

    In three sentences

    Beautiful, Interesting, Scholarly

  • 09/08/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    144 of 241

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    Santa Barbara offers free tuition for in-state students.

  • 09/11/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    145 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    The beach is almost always available to the public. Downtown is a short bus ride away from campus and has a lot of shopping and food places. There are also a lot of hikes nearby.

    Food and Dining

    Carrillo dining commons is the best. DLG and Ortega are good, I've never been to Portolla. All the dining commons are unique and have their own variety of foods. Menus can be found online.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life can be really fun especially if your room has an ocean view. It may not be so much fun if you dorm in Santa Catalina because it is far from campus.

    Academic Rigor

    Some majors, such as biology, require students to take up to five difficult classes and labs per quarter just for the prerequisites.

    Tips for prospective students

    College is a huge difference from high school so be prepared to study a lot more than you did in high school. Also, go to class! Do not be afraid to contact your TA or professor via email or office hours because it is extremely helpful.

    In three sentences

    The campus is absolutely beautiful. The University offers a wide variety of majors and minors. It is also possible to create your own emphasis in some majors.

  • 09/12/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    146 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    With a round-the-clock fire department and police department on campus, safety is one thing that students traveling to and from campus do not worry about. Besides the security provided by professionals, the Community Service Organization (CSO) trains students who become CSO officers to assist their fellow students on campus. Whether it is walking a student to their car in the parking lot after dark, or assisting a student who has been badly injured on their bike, CSO officers are always their to help.

    Greek Life

    Greek Life is not very large on campus, but the different sororities and fraternities take pride in what they do to better themselves and their organizations. This includes community service work, supporting their fellow brothers and sisters, and more. Living the Greek Life is not needed to have a great time at our school, but if a prospective student wants to join an organization to help make friends and create long-lasting relationships, then the Greek Life is the way to live.

    Clubs and Activities

    Due to the size and diversity of our University, there always seems to be something fun and exciting going on around campus. Besides the traditional home games of each competitive sport on campus, activities range from movie nights on the lagoon to concerts in the Hub. As for clubs, there are hundreds to choose from that include everything from sports to charity work.

    Great for these types of students

    If you are a student who loves to learn but enjoys a relaxing place to study and absorb the beauty of the great outdoors, then University of California, Santa Barbara is for you. Ranked as one the most beautiful campuses in the country, it is an institution that sits right on the beach where students are able to take part in the magnificence of the Santa Barbara beaches daily. Due to our quick access to the ocean and sunny skies year-round, our school is very big in water activities such as surfing, canoeing, and scuba diving, adding a unique and unforgettable touch to the college experience.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Located in the center of campus, the lagoon is the trademark of our school. Man-made and home to many different species of wildlife in the area, it brings our campus to life with a rare and exclusive beauty.

    What to do for fun

    The University of California, Santa Barbara has a lot to offer when it comes to fun. From Greek Life to activities, concerts, and home games, our school really becomes the place to let loose and have fun with friends and fellow students. If a student feels like getting away from the school environment, downtown Santa Barbara is the perfect place to be with an outdoor mall to go shopping, great tasting food from authentic cafes and the perfect weather for a day on the pier or to tour the city. If these options are not of interest, then Friday and Saturday nights in Isla Vista (a small town off campus) always welcomes those students who wish to relax and mingle with friends.

    Food and Dining

    The food in the dining commons is definitely not the home cooked meals we love from home, but they surely get the job done. Always with a large variety to choose from and being made fresh every meal, the traditional buffet style of the commons serves as a pretty tasty replacement . If a break is needed from the dining common food, then there are always great and inexpensive food restaurants right off campus in Isla Vista. Unique to the area, they serve as a great place to eat on a Friday night to get out and unwind. The most popular places include Free Birds, known for their large portions of Mexican food, and Silvergreens for their healthy and fresh ingredients.

    Dorm Life

    Living in the dorms is the best part of the whole UCSB experience. It is the place where you will meet some of your best friends at the school by opening up and becoming more comfortable with meeting new people. This is also achieved with the help of a Resident Assistant (RA) who is basically the leader of the hall you are assigned to. Also a friend, the RA makes it possible to enjoy the dorms by creating activities and events for your hall to enjoy together.

    Academic Rigor

    The academics at our school is tough, but nothing any student can't overcome. For the most part, it is a lot of fast paced work that can pile up quickly due to there only being 10 weeks per quarter. In the sciences, the work is very challenging and competitive due to the large number of students going for the major, while social sciences require a lot of reading. However, with very helpful professors and teachers' aids, assistance is always available when needed.

    Tips for prospective students

    For a successful career at our school I recommend to; plan out every day the night before highlighting what is the most important to get done because the beach can be very distracting when it comes to getting work done, try not to procrastinate when writing papers or projects until the night before, never say that you are too tired to do anything fun a friend might suggest because there is always something going on around campus, make sure you have at least 2 pairs of flip flops because that will be the only kind of shoes you will want to wear, open your eyes, ears, mind and heart to anything that may be different or unfamiliar because it may be something that can change your life for the better, cherish every moment like it is your last because the time in college flies by, and most importantly, be yourself.

    In three sentences

    Filled with welcoming, insightful and intelligent people, our school is naturally a great place to learn and receive a degree in whatever major spikes your interest. With a great view of the ocean right off campus and the awesome weather, it is the perfect place to spend outdoors studying, surfing, or having fun with friends. Most importantly, it is an amazing place to make relationships that can last a lifetime and find the person that you want to be with every opportunity our school can offer.

  • 09/15/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    147 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    At soccer games everyone throws tortillas! Soccer games are huge at UCSB!

    Bang for the buck

    Santa Barbara in general is a very expensive city to live in.

    What to do for fun

    The beach is literally 2 minutes away from campus, also if you are 21+ downtown Santa Barbara has an amazing night life.

    Food and Dining

    Dorm food is okay, but food in Isla Vista (the surrounding university neighborhood is awesome!

    Dorm Life

    I lived in Santa Catalina (FT) the newest dorms, also known for being the towers, and they were amazing! They have a pool, gym, and there in a cafeteria under! Everything in one building. The downside is that it is a mile away from campus.

    Academic Rigor

    Honestly depends on your major.

    Tips for prospective students

    Bring a bike! Bikes are must haves!

    In three sentences

    Great university. Professors are always more than willing to help, overall great environment.

  • 09/18/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    148 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    There are many things to do for fun whether it's hanging out with friends or going surfing at the beach.

    Tips for prospective students

    This school is great in so many ways, whether its over academics, athletics, or the campus. This is a dream school you'd want to attend.

    In three sentences

    It's has a gorgeous campus. The student body is very welcoming. The faculty and staff are very welcoming and informative as well.

  • 09/24/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    149 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    When I visited we went to the beach and went on a bike ride to pass the time.

    Food and Dining

    I did not eat while on campus.

    Dorm Life

    From what I heard during my tour dorm life is very social, especially since some dorm sections have students with specific interests, such as the environmental dorm and the outdoor activity dorm.

    Academic Rigor

    I am not a student of the University so I am not aware of the academic rigor.

    Tips for prospective students

    Visit the campus and take a guided tour. It tells you a lot about the school and the student body.

    In three sentences

    Santa Barbra has an amazing close knit campus that is very inviting to people who visit the University. Although there isn't a football team students there aren't missing out on anything. Instead they fill their time with soccer matches and some whacky intramural sports, such as tube water polo.

  • 10/04/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    150 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    Decent.

    Dorm Life

    Some dorms are older, but I do appreciate that the majority are close to classes. Some dorms have gorgeous views, while others are out-dated and too far.

    Academic Rigor

    It is a UC, but not as challenging as others.

    In three sentences

    Gorgeous campus with a nice amount of research opportunities for a large university. Also, small campus size relative to other UC's makes it easy to navigate.

  • 10/10/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    151 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus safety patrols regularly. They also send you e-mails and updates to your phone if anything happens on campus or in Isla Vista to keep people safe and aware.

    Greek Life

    Not involved.

    Clubs and Activities

    So many clubs on campus! We are very environmentally friendly/conscious. There are a lot of ways to get involved to make a difference in the area. Also, we have a wide variety of athletic clubs for all sports.

    Great for these types of students

    Honestly I think all types of students find their niche here. Make sure you're serious about school though.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The undie run happens every Wednesday of finals week at midnight and people strip down to their underwear in the Ucen and do a lap around the entire square mile campus. All the clothes people take off are donated!

    What to do for fun

    There is always something to do for fun! I suggest intramural or club sports which are both a great way to get involved. Join an on-campus club or organization and be sure to always look online for what's coming up!

    Food and Dining

    Our dining commons are not the best. I recommend Ortega for breakfast and dinner and Carrillo for lunch.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is great because you get to meet so many other people your age. Also, make sure to spend time in the common areas to get to know people outside of your hall.

    Academic Rigor

    The classes here are tough but they're fair. I don't feel overwhelmed but I do think I'm challenged to keep up with my work and reading.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure you spend a lot of time writing your UC supplemental essays because they are very important!

    In three sentences

    I would rate UCSB as a 10/10 because I love everything about it! We have great academic, athletic, internship, and social opportunities here. I can always find something to do on campus or in Isla Vista!

  • 10/23/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    152 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    safety is very important here, there are required courses on safety for freshmen. we receive emergency alerts straight from the police department if necessary, we are give the right and choice to know what's going on

    Greek Life

    only 13 percent, the rest of the students are also very social

    Clubs and Activities

    Thousands

    Great for these types of students

    All students! A very diverse campus with lots to offer!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    -halloween is a tradition -undie run every quarter -throwing tortillas on the soccer field

    Bang for the buck

    Tuition is increasing because of budget cuts, but public schools are still cheaper than private

    What to do for fun

    go to the beach, sports, parties

    Food and Dining

    great!

    Dorm Life

    Fun and social

    Academic Rigor

    Because this is a great academic institution, classes can become intense, but they are very much worth it.

    Tips for prospective students

    Come to UCSB with an open mind, you will learn so much, in school and life.

    In three sentences

    UCSB is a top rated academic institution in America. It is located in a beautiful region, and is the only school that owns a beach. UCSB students are highly active in sports, clubs, and of course, in school.

  • 11/04/2012

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    153 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    UCSB has CSO's who are students you can call and they will walk or bike with you home if you don't feel comfortable doing it by your self. Plus there is an emergency alert system that e-mails you and texts you if a crime is reported. (though it tends to go off quite often)

    What to do for fun

    It's a big party school, but going to the beach and relaxing is the best. On top of that there is some pretty great hiking out in the mountains.

    Food and Dining

    The dining commons are ok, I mostly enjoyed that they had a salad bar all the time. Sometimes food gets pretty repetitive and towards the end of the quarter they start using what ever they have left. Most of the restaurants in IV are good though.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are nice, the RA's depend on who you get, my freshman year we never saw ours, but the one my sophomore year was great and he was always around to help. I also want to shout out to the Janitors that we had, they were great and friendly people and were always willing to help.

    Academic Rigor

    Most students have almost a 4.0 upon arrival and the hard work doesn't stop there. the professors expect a lot from you but if you put in the work you will be rewarded.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be sure to use the library before the midterm and final rushes, it gets super crowded. Also learn how to use Jstore to get journal articles online. Plus many profs will put the class book on hold in the library for students (usually 2-3hrs per loan) if you can't afford the book, it's a good way to go.

    In three sentences

    It is a great school in a great location. There is the beach on one side and mountains on the other. Unfortunately you have to study hard or they will kick you out.

  • 11/18/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    154 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Partying, surfing!

    Food and Dining

    Good food overall around the area, but can be pricey.

    Tips for prospective students

    This school is definitely known for Isla Vista's party scene, but don't get too carried away. Read, read, read! I cannot emphasize that enough, and learn how to read scholarly, i.e. don't read the entire thing but try to find the most important points. Practice writing your essays, because a lot of classes are heavily weighed on writing.

    In three sentences

    Definitely a different environment than the other UCs that I have been to. Socially very diverse and balanced, but academics still very important to succeed in this school.

  • 11/27/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    155 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    If there's ever a time where a student feels unsafe, all they have to do is make a phone call. There are always escorts available if somone doesn't want to walk alone.

    Great for these types of students

    UCSB is great for all students. I have never seen so much diversity in one place. The diversity isn't just limited to race, it's spiritual, political, and cultural.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The tradition I found most unusual was when I attended my first soccer game and saw them throwing tortillas on the field. It happens when the crowd is excited or when they're angry. Our mascot is a gaucho so the tortillas just fit.

    Bang for the buck

    I made a vow to do whatever it takes to stay here, even if that means taking out those dreaded loans. It is a pricy school because it's a UC but it's completely worth it.

    What to do for fun

    There is so much to do if you want to have fun here. The location provides a perfect place for surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, running, reading, swimming, and the list goes on. Also, there are so many clubs on campus that I can't even name them all. We have many sports such as soccer, basketball, rowing, and lacrosse. Even if you don't like to play them they're fun to watch. UCSB is pretty big on greek life too. Don't belive what you see in the movies: there is something for everyone. If you want to be in a sorority or fraternity you don't have to be a perfect-looking human who likes to party.

    Food and Dining

    There are 4 dinning commons and each one has something that stands out. Some are good for breakfast and others for dinner. No matter what, there's always a good meal available.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are amazing. I have made so many great friends and had such a great experience because I chose to live here. I don't feel like the students who chose to stay somewhere else love the school as much as I do.

    Academic Rigor

    The acedemics are definitely more challenging than high school. They say that for every hour spent in class a student should spend 3 hours studying. If you don't take the time to do so, you'll see a difference. The quarter system means that the classes have to move at a very fast pace. I know I'm making it sound bad, but as long as you stay on top of your work and don't fall behind you'll do fine.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't underestimate acedemics. I know UCSB is known for being a party school and all fun but there's also a point where you have to be serious. It is still a UC and the course work is challenging. However, UCSB provides so many tools to help you succeed. Take advantage of the surroundings. If you want a quiet place to read a book, go sit on the beach or go study at the library. Sitting under a nice tree in the grass is something I've seen many people do also. UCSB has so much to offer it's students. Be sure to take advantage of as much as you can.

    In three sentences

    I haven't heard one person say they dislike UCSB. It's such an amazing place to live, not only because of where it's located but also because of the environment. Attending this school is the best experience I've had so far.

  • 11/27/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    156 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There will always be some type of law enforcement around, so you never really feel insecure or unsafe, even if you're walking alone after midnight, you can always call a CSO cop to escort you wherever you need to go.

    Greek Life

    Sororities and fraternities get crazy, they are real party animals.

    Clubs and Activities

    The sports teams here are great, there are so many clubs, its hard to come up with one that doesn't already exist.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    One thing i have noticed which i thought was really odd, was that at soccer games, students take tortillas. I found out that it's tradition to do so because it shows support to the team and some people even throw them at the opponent team players.

    Bang for the buck

    Living on campus is so convenient, definitely worth paying the extra money.

    What to do for fun

    I go out for walks around UCSB, go eat, go downtown, to the theater or go to the beach.

    Food and Dining

    The food is good, the only problem, it gets old quick. There's always similar types of food served everyday and sometimes the food will lack flavor.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are pretty quaint. Every once in awhile there are hall activities like dances or socials. Overall its nice ans safe.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes can be hard, they consume a bunch of time of energy.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you work and study at the same time like me, never procrastinate, you will find that if you do, work will get in the way of academics. Also, if you feel like the classes are a bit too though, there's always some kind of program going on in school to help you so feel free to attend anything like it, its all free.

    In three sentences

    Santa Barbara is beautiful and offers many classes, which I personally like. The classes aren't easy to pass but they aren't impossible. With time, effort, and maybe just some help from others, students can enjoy both their classes and places Santa Barbara has to offer.

  • 11/30/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    157 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Anything and Everything. Too much to list.

    Food and Dining

    Sooooo much food. I literally gained the freshman 15 plus an additional 5 pounds because of the dorm food. We have four different dining commons and they all specialize in something different in regards to taste and quality. For vegetarians, I suggest you go to DLG, they have more options. If you are not in the dorms and you don't want dorm food, there are a lot of fast food restaurants in the city nearby as well as a variety of different restaurants in downtown Santa Barbara (if you have the money).

    Dorm Life

    This is also dependent on what dorm you are in but overall everyone is friendly. If you like to have fun and party, you can do that too, just not in the dorms. If you don't want to, don't. There are a lot of orgs, groups, and activities you can do aside from partying. From my overall experience, the dorm life was pretty fun. I met a lot of people, made a lot of friends, and etc.

    Academic Rigor

    The classes, in regards to difficulty, is relative but the workload is pretty average can increase depending on your professor and what major you are in.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't get distracted too much by the beach-like party atmosphere. Make sure to stay on top of your academics cause it is very easy to fail if you are not paying attention . If you're working or doing other club-related activities, make sure you time manage well. Don't just study, study, study, join clubs, walk to the beach, chillax (but wisely). Just to restress this point: join clubs!!! There are a lot of opportunities out there on campus. These clubs, or orgs give you experience as well as chance to exhibit your leadership abilities. This will us allow you to be creative. Since we have a lot of different clubs and orgs at our school, it allows you to pick up club that is specialized in your interest. This will look good on your resume in the end and give you an overall rewarding college experience.

    In three sentences

    Santa Barbara has a beautiful, laid back atmosphere. Everyone, especially the faculty, is very friendly and approachable. There are a lot of things to do on campus esp if want to join clubs or organizations and we have additional programs like CLAS that will help if you are having problems in understanding certain concepts in class.

  • 12/02/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    158 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Laid-Back students who love the beach life but are also serious about their studies.

    Food and Dining

    Woodstock's pizza in IV is amazing, make sure to try out their cinna bread

  • 12/11/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    159 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There's a police station right on campus and even on in Isla Vista!

    Greek Life

    I don't know too much about the Greek life, but we have many different sororities and fraternities. There are of course the social ones, but also academic ones as well. There are sororities and fraternities for pre-medicine majors, law majors, and even English majors as well!

    Clubs and Activities

    There are so many clubs on and off campus! I can't even begin to name them all! But I know of a few: The Excursion Club which centers around getting the students outdoors and in nature, The Young Lawyers of America (you can figure that one out), Resident Hall Association which helps the dorms become a community and active on campus, and so many more.

    Great for these types of students

    All students will love UCSB! There's something for everyone here. For those who are outgoing and like to be involved, there are so many campus communities to participate in such as the LGTB, outdoors, young teachers, lawyers, environmentalists, political, and so many more that I don't know the names of! For those who are more the study-type, Davidson Library has what seems like a million books and 8 floors!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Every finals week, there's a small run called the Undie Run. To relieve stress and have a good time, almost as many as 1,000 students run a mile around campus in their underwear. It's so much fun!

    Bang for the buck

    UCSB gives great financial aid, so it's actually not as expensive as the other UC's. UCSB is definitely worth the money!

    What to do for fun

    At UCSB there are many things to do. The most obvious choice is to visit Isla Vista, but my favorite is to grab my surfboard and hit the waves that are just a 5 minute walk from my dorm room! If you can't surf, not problem! The Los Padres forest is a 30 minute drive North where there are many trails to hike, run, or mountain bike. Downtown Santa Barbara is a short bus ride away and there's many cool shops to look at or street performances and parades on certain weekends.

    Food and Dining

    Dorm food is never fun, but all the dining commons on campus use organic and locally grown fruits, vegetables, and meats so everything tastes fresh! Though if you get tired of eating on-campus, the small town of Isla Vista is a short 5 minute walk away that has many delicious and inexpensive places to eat!

    Dorm Life

    The dorm life is awesome! As a freshman there are many activities planned for residents to help them grow closer as hallmates. My house became as close as my family by the end of only just one quarter!

    Academic Rigor

    UCSB strives for nothing but the best out of their students, but most teachers are very understanding and will provide as much help as needed if you ask for it!

    Tips for prospective students

    UCSB is a very artsy college, though they value the mathematics and sciences just as much. In your applications, don't be afraid to be extra creative and witty. They'll love it! I even talked about my toes in my letter of intent!

    In three sentences

    UCSB is my dream college. It has everything I could possibly want: a wonderful program with great instructors, a beautiful campus next to both the ocean and the mountains, and a friendly and outgoing community that helps me get involved and enjoy my college career to the fullest! Going to UCSB was the best choice I have made my whole 20 years of life!

  • 12/15/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    160 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Greek life is the best thing that could ever happen to me! You meet so many amazing individuals while being a part of something that is bigger than yourself. You, also, get to help charities and do community service.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are so many adventures awaiting those that participate in all of the clubs.

    Great for these types of students

    This school is great for students who are adventurous want to get out of their comfort zone and try something new and unique!

    What to do for fun

    There are numerous clubs that you can participate in, the beach is close by, you can join a sorority/fraternity, etc.

    Tips for prospective students

    Good grades are wonderful, however being well-rounded is what is key. Get involved in different activities like ASB, sports, clubs, etc. to show that you are not just any smart person, but you are a well-rounded one.

    In three sentences

    UCSB is the most diverse and enriching school I could ever imagine. The students are all extremely intelligent and well-rounded individuals that want to get involved in every way. UCSB offers a wide range of interesting courses with faculty that genuinely cares about its students.

  • 12/18/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    161 of 241

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    It has a beautiful campus.

  • 12/23/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    162 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    During the week of finals there is an Undie run you can take part of!

    What to do for fun

    Take an adventure trip to IV, surf at the beach, or take a nature walk to campus point.

    Tips for prospective students

    Come prepared to work hard and know your priorities.

    In three sentences

    Growing up in LA, UCSB is a perfect school if you want to stay close to home, but experience a new environment. The professors are kind and are great on answering your questions. There are also many opportunities available for you to take part in.

  • 12/26/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    163 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    The campus is amazing and the school offers so many opportunities to get involved, but UCSB is one of the most expensive UCs. Search for financial aid and may the odds be in your favor. The cost will be worth it if you get in.

    What to do for fun

    There is so much to do at UCSB in your free time. We have beautiful bike and running trails, the campus lies on the water and the weather is almost always beach appropriate, there are many restaurants in Isla Vista and the night life is always good.

    Food and Dining

    Find an appropriate food plan and enjoy. The dining halls are great. Whether you go for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a late night snack, the dining halls are a great place to catch up with friends and enjoy a good meal.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is what you make of it. You will find people you just click with and you will find people you don't. If you are positive and respectful to the other students in your hall then you will receive respect in return.

    Academic Rigor

    If you are passionate about your major or you are just trying out many different courses, just remember how lucky you are for getting the chance at a top education in the first place. Sure you'll have to do work for your classes, but the knowledge you obtain will be worth it.

    Tips for prospective students

    For any incoming or perspective students looking to become a Gaucho just know that the more work and time you put in to getting the best experience from UCSB, the more success you will have.

    In three sentences

    UC Santa Barbara has an amazingly positive atmosphere. The student body is active in constantly seeking to test their boundaries in the knowledge of their subjects and in the knowledge of their world. The campus is gorgeous and the opportunities for all kinds of success are presented to students every day.

  • 12/28/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    0 out of 1 people found this review useful. 164 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    CSO and police officers always in campus, really a safe

    Greek Life

    Amazing

    Clubs and Activities

    Diverse!

    Great for these types of students

    Everyone !

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    undie run! during finals week, hectic

    Bang for the buck

    good

    What to do for fun

    Outdoor life, Soccer, organization involvement, campus, night life, etc

    Food and Dining

    The food is convenient since you will find it difficult to cook while living in the dorms, but once out in IV recommend to cook. The food at DLG is the best.

    Dorm Life

    LOVED IT!!

    Academic Rigor

    It a very intense curriculum for Engineers, specially your third year. There are many ways to survive and pull through. College of Letter and Science has many other great majors varying in academic intensity.

    Tips for prospective students

    Take advantage of CLAS which are alternative classes to help you in fields of math and science, if you happen to be having trouble. Also, take the opportunity to get involved in one of the 300 organizations in campus to get to know other fellow students. Finally, enjoy the campus it's a beautiful place to be at.

    In three sentences

    The University of California, Santa Barbara has one of the most beautiful campuses from the UC's. It has a great Engineering program and the staff is very nice to the students. UCSB has student night life, that can be very safe if you are a responsible student.

  • 01/05/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    165 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There are Campus Security Officers who are available 24/7 to escort you anywhere on campus and in Isla Vista. The IV foot patrol does a great job of taking care of things that go wrong, and there is an alert system that keeps you updated at all times about anything that's happening in Isla Vista that could be dangerous.

    Greek Life

    Greek life at UCSB can be a bit crazy but I know many people who are involved in it and love it. There are both Panhellenic and academic fraternities and sororities. The greek life at UCSB offers experiences that can't be had any other way than by participating.

    Clubs and Activities

    There is an active organization for just about anything you could be looking for. Whether your interests lie in sports or outdoor activities, social justice, anime, singing, dancing, anything- you will be able to find a club for it. The A Capella groups are very talented, as well as our dancing groups. We have an amazing soccer team as well. If by chance you can't find anything you're interested in, starting your own club and networking is easily done.

    Great for these types of students

    Students who love the beach, students who are dedicated and passionate about what they do, students who want to do research, students who want a university that cares about them, students who are interested in expanding their horizons and talking to professors about how to do so, and students who are looking to enjoy their undergraduate careers.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Isla Vista itself can be considered an unusual location- it is the small town that connects directly to UCSB where the majority of upperclassmen live. Because it's mostly college students, many unusual and unique events and occurrences happen there. Every dead week there's a 'naked run' where students strip down to their underclothes and go for a mass run. Any clothes lost are donated.

    Bang for the buck

    You will definitely get your money's worth here at UCSB. There is a program called the College of Creative Studies (that I am in) which is like a graduate school for undergraduates- it is a research-oriented program for the budding researcher that allows them to make an impact on the subject they choose as an undergraduate and prepares them for a Ph.D level graduate program. This program is unique to UCSB. Not only that, but it has one of the best Physics and Engineering programs in the country. Along with the CLAS program and how accessible the professors and any help staff in general can be, your tuition will get you very, very far.

    What to do for fun

    There are always shows going on in Isla Vista and on campus- comedy, music, etc. The SB Bowl in Santa Barbara is a great venue for concerts, and State Street/downtown Santa Barbara is a fun place to go shopping or have dinner. And given that UCSB is surrounded on 3 sides by the beach and has great weather year-round, many students choose to go relax and have fun in the sun. Plus, there is a labyrinth, a reserve, a butterfly grove, waterfalls, great hiking locations, and many more beautiful natural landscapes just minutes from campus that all students have access to- so if you like nature you will always have something fun to do.

    Food and Dining

    Surprisingly, the food at most of the dining commons are delicious! I've never been to Portola but a lot of the people I know say that it's not very good. DLG, Ortega, and Carillo are, though, so you won't have to worry. Healthy meals and vegetarian/vegan options are available at every meal so that's one less worry too.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms can be a bit crowded because there is a high chance you will be placed in a triple, but you will come to love your roommates and be thankful for them when you are feeling homesick. The RA selection process has produced nothing but fantastic RAs who are always there for you and put on amazing programs throughout the year. I love living in the dorms!

    Academic Rigor

    The lower-division classes are very good at easing you into college work but also at being challenging. The effort you put in will be easily reflected in your grades. Upper division classes are small and all the ones I've taken so far are very interesting.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't be afraid of UCSB's reputation as a party school. The partying is there for those who want it, but people who party hard study harder, and there are tons of fun things to do for people who aren't interested in partying. Make sure you take full advantage of all the help the school has to offer! I've yet to meet a professor who did not appreciate that I was proactive in seeking help. Also, the school is very LGBT and Person of Color friendly- racism, sexism, and homophobia are not tolerated.

    In three sentences

    UCSB was originally my last-choice school but now that I'm here there is no where else I would rather be. This college is full of opportunities that cannot be found anywhere else. We deserve our rank as one of the best public universities in America.

  • 01/07/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    166 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus is pretty safe at night. Nothing to worry about during the day. Do not walk in IV at night alone! Especially if you're a girl. Stay in groups of two or more at night.

    Greek Life

    It's not a major part of the culture here, but we still do have some great frats and sororities.

    Clubs and Activities

    Tons of clubs!!! Too many to count. There's something for everybody!

    Great for these types of students

    For pretty much anyone! UCSB has a lot to offer whether you're the studious type, the partier, or someone in between.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    At soccer games, tortillas are thrown on the field. During dead week, we hold an Undie Run to donate clothes and have fun running across campus to de-stress during finals.

    Bang for the buck

    Housing is overpriced

    What to do for fun

    Surf or tan at campus point, shop on State Street downtown, go swimming or hiking, go for a bike ride, hang out with friends, watch movies in IV Theater, or go to Freebirds

    Tips for prospective students

    Do not procrastinate! It may seem like a good idea in the moment, but you will hate yourself for it later.

    In three sentences

    It is a beautiful campus! It has a great Pre-Bio program as well as many others. UCSB has a variety of things to do and is surrounded by nature; from the mountains to the ocean!

  • 01/07/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    167 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The campus itself is very safe. I haven't seen or heard of any acts of violence on campus, in the dorms, or university apartments. However Isla Vista (right next to campus) sees its fair share of crimes. But don't fret, you can always sign up for text alerts to inform you of anything going on, in and around campus.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are clubs and activities for every single one of your demands, and if we don't have one then just petition to start your own club! Don't forget about all the residence hall activities, and sporting events that occur often during your time here.

    Great for these types of students

    Santa Barbara has something for everyone, you don't have to be a party person as they say to feel like you fit in. You just need to find the right club, or organization, or a group of friends and you'll have a memorable time.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Soccer is our biggest sport here so make sure to catch one of the men's soccer games. I suggest be there for our rivalry game against Cal Poly SLO.

    Bang for the buck

    Let's face it tuition is becoming ridiculously expensive, but with financial aid, and scholarships you'll definitely get the college experience without going into debt for the rest of your life. All while getting a degree that actually has value out in the real world.

    What to do for fun

    Go for a run on our beach trails, or take a drive up to the nearby Santa Ynez Mountains. The beach is right next door so grab a towel and go for a tan, or grab your surf board and catch some waves. If you're not much into sports take a walk through the art museum or just take a nap on the many lounge chairs that lay around campus.

    Food and Dining

    You have four dining commons to choose from each with their own style. It's up to you to decide which dining common has the best breakfast, lunch, and dinner as each does things differently. And don't be demoralized if one day the food sucks, usually they make up bad food days by having really good meals the next.

    Dorm Life

    The dorm life is very inviting. Your residential assistants are kind, and caring, and there are many activities that occur at the dorms, which range from movie nights withy your hall mates to an all out sports competition between all residence halls.

    Academic Rigor

    It is the 10th top public university, so you will of course have to hit the backs for a few hours a day if you want to do well.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't get too relaxed though, you're still attending a very competitive college. (Especially if you're a science, or economics major.)

    In three sentences

    Paradise is what many call it here. Sunny days with a cool beach breeze will mark your time here, along with the ability to say you go to one of the top schools in the nation. It's the perfect combination of a relaxed, friendly, and inviting beach resort, and the academic rigor and prestige that comes with a UC seal.

  • 01/09/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    168 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus itself is safe. Isla Vista, the neighboring town is not a good place to walk through alone at night, at all. Avoid Isla Vista, especially the further you go from campus.

    Greek Life

    Not exposed.

    Clubs and Activities

    Not very exposed. Lots of variation, though some seemed to be very exclusive. Acappella groups are great here.

    Great for these types of students

    Science students!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The labyrinth is a circle - maze made out of rocks located near the Manzanita village beach, on the bluffs above the ocean. Coming here in the middle of the night when it is cold and quiet is a wonderful way to meditate, especially when the frogs are chirping around you. Find it, walk all the way through, you will be relaxed.

    Bang for the buck

    Again, depends on your major / focus. In general, sciences are very good, language courses are very good. Engineers are getting their money's worth.

    What to do for fun

    Read, walk on the beach.

    Food and Dining

    Best dining commons: DLG and Carillo. There are many meal choices in these places, most of which are pretty good and vary on the different days of the week. However, eating anything for too long makes you tired of it. Having fewer meals and lots of granola bars/fruit to eat on your own is nice. You can bring mini-fridges into the dorms.

    Dorm Life

    I live in Manzanita village in a room with two other girls. The dorms here are very new and quite roomy, for a dorm. It is still one small room. Not much privacy. Bathrooms are nice, showers and okay and have good water pressure. Manzanita is quiet, wouldn't want to live anywhere else on campus.

    Academic Rigor

    Differs with subjects. Hard sciences can be extremely rigorous classes that take lots of focus and work. Other focuses, such as humanities, arts, and film studies will likely take less devotion, but still can be hard depending on the teachers. This college is focused on engineering, meaning that those classes will be most intense.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be aware that this college is indeed a party school. You will be exposed to people who drink too much, its hard to find those who don't at all. The dorms are fine, but I found it very hard to assimilate into the culture. Bring lots of books to read, it will probably take a long time before you have a close set of friends that you feel comfortable with.

    In three sentences

    Fantastic college for hard sciences such as physics, math, engineering, computer science, etc. Hard to assimilate to on a social level if you don't drink, its very party/drinking oriented. Beautiful campus location, large area.

  • 01/12/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    169 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    My girlfriend attends this school. She doesn't drink, so she has few friends and often feels left out. This is for sure a party school. If you are not a party animal or extremely social just be aware.

  • 01/23/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    170 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus itself is pretty safe, but Isla Vista has always been a little sketchy, with burglaries and stabbings growing more frequent over the years.

    Greek Life

    Greek Life is not big here--only 10 percent--but it seems like pretty much most Greeks here are happy. You can get a social life either way.

    Clubs and Activities

    Associated Students, Residence Halls Association and the Office of Student Life all provide opportunities to get involved on campus. Lots of club and intramural sports as well.

    Great for these types of students

    Everyone will find their place! Even the nerdy, non-partying types.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Campus Point is a pretty place where you can see the pier/ocean. Near CP is a labyrinth on rocks that you can solve. Very cute.

    Bang for the buck

    Very expensive to go to school here, especially if you are living off-campus. However, the academics are totally worth it!

    What to do for fun

    Go to the beach, spend time with friends, party.

    Food and Dining

    On-campus dining is OK. Dining commons are not too bad but they get old. We have a Panda Express, local burger place, local taco place, Jamba Juice, coffee, Subway, a crepe place, and probably a few more places. There are also carts around campus to get snacks. In the community of Isla Vista there isn't much variation but it is all pretty delicious food, albeit overpriced.

    Dorm Life

    UCSB residence halls are unique in that they mostly house first-years. Residential Life does a great job in terms of RA selection--they go through rigorous training for diversity, leadership, inclusivity, etc. The res halls are not the newest, but they are kept fairly clean for their age. Some halls have larger rooms than others, but either way they all have their own merits. Upperclassman housing is new, spacious, and close to the neighboring community of Isla Vista.

    Academic Rigor

    The academics here at UCSB aren't anything to sneeze at. All of the programs here are highly ranked, no matter where you're looking. However, our greatest strengths lie in the College of Engineering, our Economics majors, our Political Science major and our Film and Media Studies program.

    Tips for prospective students

    Keep your grades up your senior year of high school. Take as many AP classes and tests as you can throughout high school to keep you out of pre-reqs and beginning-level classes.

    In three sentences

    UCSB is a school that many people don't consider as their first choice, myself included. However, this doesn't mean it isn't an excellent school. With a top-tier education, robust social life and beautiful surroundings, this is a school that is far more than meets the eye.

  • 01/24/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    171 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Go to the beach, eat at any cute cafe/restaurant in Isla Vista, go to Downtown SB to shop, eat, explore.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be prepared for a more challenging educational experience, be open minded and friendly in order to make friends right off the bat, and definitely buy a planner!

    In three sentences

    UCSB is an amazing and prestigious research university. The students here are friendly and helpful. You are practically living in paradise by being so close to the beach!

  • 02/05/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    172 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I feel that UC Santa Barbara is a really safe place and I don't feel like I need to watch my back around campus or dorms.

    Clubs and Activities

    UC Santa Barbara has one of the biggest Intramural sports of all colleges and it's easy to get involved in a sport or outdoor or relaxing activities.

    Bang for the buck

    Going to this school is just a little expensive to go to but affordable if you get financial aid from the school and the UC system.

    What to do for fun

    I like to go out and play football with my roommates and I also like to go out and hang out on the beach during the day.

    Food and Dining

    The dining common food here is quite amazing and not bad whatsoever.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is amazing at this school. You really get close with people on your floor and people in your building as well.

    Academic Rigor

    Academics here is really rigorous since it goes by a quarter system. Everything is fast pace here and midterms are never too far away.

    Tips for prospective students

    UC Santa Barbara has one of the most beautiful campuses ever. The atmosphere is so chill since it has very good weather and it's sunny most of the time and it is right next to the beach.

    In three sentences

    The University of California, Santa Barbara is one of the most beautiful schools I have ever visited. It is right next to the beach and close to Downtown, Santa Barbara so you're not too far from the city. It is a college that is not too far from home and just far enough from home to have that college feeling.

  • 02/06/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    173 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    My bike was stolen so beware!

    Greek Life

    Not into Greek life.

    Clubs and Activities

    I'm into intramural soccer. great exercise and a great game.

    Great for these types of students

    CASUAL, FRIENDLY, CREATIVE AND SMART!!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    We throw tortillas on the soccer field during games and unusual location would be Storke tower and campus point.

    Bang for the buck

    Well dining commons are free S0...

    What to do for fun

    Isla vista, surf the dorms, go to the ocean...everything is great!

    Food and Dining

    Dining commons are great. all kinds of food at your fingertips. it's a great time to hang out with friends and relax.

    Dorm Life

    Crazy! You make so many friends from all over the world. No parents though so you have to clean and do laundry!

    Academic Rigor

    In high school I was at the top of my class but here at UCSB, I'm average and have to work a lot harder to maintain that!

    Tips for prospective students

    Study. Study some more. Study until you can't stay awake! every day!

    In three sentences

    The campus is amazing. The classes are harder than you expect. Living on campus is exhilarating!

  • 02/11/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    174 of 241

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    Located in a beautiful city. Friendly environment. Party school, but very studious as well!

  • 02/18/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    175 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Ride bikes anywhere, go to the beach, the lagoon, there are mountains and many nature surroundings, there is so much to do.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do not overestimate the quarter system and make sure you buy a U-Lock for your bike.

    In three sentences

    Beautiful campus. Very Eco friendly. Has many things to do.

  • 02/21/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    176 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    During the weekends there are always cops strolling the campus at night to make sure everyone is safe. We also have an on campus organization that will walk you home at anytime to anywhere to make sure you stay safe!

    Greek Life

    It isn't necessarily huge at UCSB because life in Isla Vista doesn't need the Frat's and Sororities to be fun! Everyone can go out and have a good time!

    Clubs and Activities

    All the clubs are amazing on campus! Everyone is so involved and there is a club for every cause, and if not, you can start one!

    Great for these types of students

    People who are looking for a good education and in a perfect location. The science majors, if you're looking for internships this is the school for you!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    We throw tortillas on the field during our soccer games if a goal if scored!

    Bang for the buck

    I think the education given, along with the internships and research opportunities every bit of money I am paying for is going towards and amazing education. All the professors are open to personal office hour time, we offer extra tutoring for free and the TA are wonderful!

    What to do for fun

    I like to go surfing, skating, tanning on the beach, or go shopping on State street. You never run out of things to do here and there are so many clubs and so many opportunities to get involved and have fun! Everywhere you look a club is hosting a new thing, or a band is playing in our plaza, or free food samples in the UCen! We are never bored!

    Food and Dining

    Our commons are SO healthy and delicious! I never leave unsatisfied because in each common there is so many options and we have a lot of commons to chose from. Then the on and off campus food is even better!

    Dorm Life

    Friendly people, Ra's, Directors, the only down side is a lot of us were tripled this year because of the high acceptance rate!

    Academic Rigor

    It depends on your major, but all classes here are rigorous just alike the other UCs. We pride ourselves the broad spectrum of classes available, and science majors have an extra advantage!

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't apply here just because of our party reputation, it is blown out of proportional. Apply because the education you receive is rigorous and will help you achieve your life goals. School isn't always about having fun, but UCSB manages to incorporate both fun and learning.

    In three sentences

    This school has so many internship and research opportunities for all students to take part. The community and environment we are surrounded in daily is so uplifting! To add to our academic achievements we also have AMAZING weather!

  • 03/14/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    177 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There are CSOs who will walk with you if you're scared you can just call them. We get safety email alerts too.

    Greek Life

    There are a ton of Greek orgs from Panhellenic ones to the professional ones. It's awesome.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    We throw tortillas at soccer games. Soccer is huge here.

    What to do for fun

    Downtown! You can take the bus for free to go shopping or if you're 21+ you can go to the bars and clubs.

    Food and Dining

    On campus dining is alright. There are plenty of restaurants nearby in IV but there isn't much ethnic variety in terms of cuisine and the food is pricier than other places.

    Dorm Life

    Living in the dorms is great! Freshmen make their friends this way and there are always events going on with free food and free testing material. Another plus is the dining commons are so close by.

    Academic Rigor

    There are certainly easy A classes as there are at most universities but the majority of classes are intellectually stimulating and just plain difficult because of the department curves set in place. For example, they only allow 6% of the class to get A's so you have to do better than everyone else to succeed. Not all classes have the dept. curve though.

    Tips for prospective students

    Learn to ride a bike. Keep on top of your studies, 10 weeks (that's how long a quarter is) flies by really quickly and before you know it you haven't done any reading and it's midterms already.

    In three sentences

    UCSB has a great atmosphere full of fun and down to earth people. The academics are challenging and provides a lot of opportunities for its students. Coming here was the best decision by far!

  • 03/20/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    178 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    Prepare yourself. UCSB is one of the top party schools in the nation, but don't be drawn into the parties every night. Make sure to keep yourself focused and motivated.

    In three sentences

    UCSB has an amazingly beautiful campus. The people of Santa Barbara are so kind and the lifestyle seems to be the perfect mix between work and relaxation. I can't wait to decide whether this is going to be my home for the next four years, but I am highly considering it.

  • 03/25/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    179 of 241

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    The campus was very nice. everyone was very welcoming and answered all my questions. The dorms were really clean and seemed big enough.

  • 03/27/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    180 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    At any point during my attendance at UCSB, I have not felt unsafe. Students can call at any time of the night a campus security officer (CSO) they are students who work with the Isla Vista police department.. They will escort you to your dorm if you feel unsafe.

    Greek Life

    Like in many colleges, there are panhellenic and multicultural sororities and fraternities. Anyone interested in joining one, there should be one that suits you.

    Clubs and Activities

    There is so many clubs to join and things to do, that it is hard to do everything. There is always something to do each week, from academic workshops to cultural events.

    Great for these types of students

    There is something for everyone. This school might be predominantly white, but it is one of the most diverse colleges.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Each quarter the school holds the Undie Run, where students gather in Storke Plaza and undress at midnight. The clothes left are donated to a good cause. Another big event is Floatopia. It takes place on Del Playa Drive in Isla Vista.

    Bang for the buck

    The ultimate college experience. Not only academically, but it also has a great social scene.

    What to do for fun

    It helps to study at a university that is located right next to the beach. It is a great place to go to relax. There is also downtown, where you can go shopping or just spend the day taking a relaxing walk.

    Food and Dining

    The food is great and there are various options, especially for vegans and vegetarians. I especially enjoy that they use sustainable food.

    Dorm Life

    It is always hard to adjust to a new place, but it is easy to make friends within your hall. The people you meet during welcome week tend to become the people you hang out with the rest of school year.

    Academic Rigor

    Like all UCâ??s, UCSB is very rigorous when it comes to academics. UCSB is a top research institution with some of the staff being noble laureates.

    Tips for prospective students

    Research the schools that you are applying for. Take into account what majors the schools offer and what they specialize in. Also know what type of environment you are comfortable in, an urban area or more rural.

    In three sentences

    While this school is known for being a party school, its reputation should not overshadow the fact that this university is a top research institution. Along with being a good academic school, it is also located alongside the beach, making it a great place to study.

  • 04/02/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    181 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Safety on campus is a big priority where there are rarely reports of theft and assault. In the town of Isla Vista, however, there are many reports of assault and theft.

    Greek Life

    Greek Life is prevalent at UCSB but it is not the only form of a social life.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are many clubs to choose from such as ballroom dancing to Environmental Affairs Board. There are also a lot of concerts on campus that keep students entertained.

    Great for these types of students

    Students with the work hard, play hard mentality. Students who are looking to do research or have an internship with a professor.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    At soccer games students throw tortillas onto the field and at some points the soccer field is filled with them. The lagoon on campus is beautiful but can sometimes be stinky. There are many beach access locations on campus.

    Bang for the buck

    The education here is reputable with many opportunities for internships and research. There is also passionate professors who make classes interesting and worth taking.

    What to do for fun

    Santa Barbara has options to go surfing, hiking in the mountains, and shopping on the State Street. There is also a small town right next to campus that is know for it's party scene. The perfect weather provides endless opportunities for fun!

    Food and Dining

    At first the buffets at the dining commons are good but by the end of the quarter the options don't seem as appetizing. The dining commons provide healthy food and small portions. Meals do not role over and you can now swipe in multiple times a meal.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are decent size and there is even a possibility to have an ocean view. The RA's aren't very strict and they put on fun events every quarter where you can meet new people in your hall.

    Academic Rigor

    If you put time and effort in then you will do fine. It is also important to use the various resources on campus to assist you when you need help. Class sizes can be large so if you have a question go speak to your professor or ta.

    Tips for prospective students

    Come prepared to work hard because you won't get an easy A in all of your classes. If you need help make sure to use CLAS, ask your professor or TA, or talk to other students. Get involved with campus organizations and clubs because they will truly make your experience at UCSB special and worthwhile.

    In three sentences

    UCSB is a great school on the beach that has a comfortable balance between academics and a social life. While at the university, I have taken classes that were challenging but also interesting with professors who are passionate about what they are teaching. I also have met many great and diverse people through organizations on campus.

  • 04/16/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    182 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Go to the beach, get a tan, read a book in the library, go take a dance class at the rec center, ride your bike with the other thousands of students who do the same... the possibilities seems endless!

    Food and Dining

    The school seems to have a lot of different dining halls with a lot of different options for food that change each day, so students have lots of variety in their meals.

    Dorm Life

    Dorms near the beach with recreational room inside, so there is plenty to do. Rooms are small without being cramped.

    Academic Rigor

    Teachers challenge students and the students must work if they plan on succeeding in the school.

    Tips for prospective students

    Go check out the campus and attend information sessions. For me, they turned Santa Barbara from being just another college for being my top school.

    In three sentences

    Incredible campus full of teachers that truly seem to care about your happiness and success. Students are third happiest of all colleges and with the location and activities around school it's easy to see why. The campus feels like home without being a cabin in the woods

  • 04/25/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    183 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Beach kids!

    In three sentences

    BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL. When I went to visit UCSB, I fell in love with the campus. The environment is great: right on the beach, and EVERYONE rides bikes.

  • 05/07/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    184 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Clubs, parties, hanging out with friends, events on campus and in the dorms. There's lots to do.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't be scared to try new things; join clubs; explore the campus; don't underestimate the workload. College is infinitely more challenging than high school, despite the party school reputation!

    In three sentences

    UCSB is a fulfulling, challenging academic realm full of opportunities for intellectual growth. The scholarly environment is only rivaled by the beautiful scenery, with the campus situated just blocks from the ocean. The students, professors, and community all work together to create a fantastic community in the Isla Vista milieu.

  • 05/14/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    185 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    -Chumash Casino -Isla Vista -Zodos bowling -BEACH!!

    Food and Dining

    Food and Dining at UCSB is okay. There are a variety of food stations with a variety of options.

    Dorm Life

    It is an amazing experience that all freshmen should experience. It is an awesome place to make college friends that will support you throughout your college experience.

    Academic Rigor

    It depends on your major; however be prepared to be challenged in all your classes.

    Tips for prospective students

    -Be prepared to embrace new ideas and listen to other peoples perspectives -Be focused and on top of your studies and social life

    In three sentences

    UCSB is an amazing place to experience diversity and acceptance for uniqueness. It embraces different cultures and gender identity. It is a safe learning environment to enhance your education.

  • 05/16/2013

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    186 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    On the last Wednesday of every quarter there is an undie run. During the undie run students run from the library through campus into Isla Vista (the college town) in their underwear.

    Bang for the buck

    I definitely felt that UCSB was worth it. Not only did I learn, get a good job after, and get accepted to graduate school at Rutgers University as a result of my education at UCSB, but I had fun while doing it.

    What to do for fun

    There are so many things to do for fun at UCSB. On campus events: spoken word, outdoor movies, organization events, music event, etc. Off campus: free yoga, hiking, biking, bars, parties, movies very nearby.

    Tips for prospective students

    Come into UCSB with an open heart and open mind. Surround yourself with people whose priorities are academic but also have a head for fun. There are many distractions at UCSB, but that's the case everywhere you go. If you work hard on your studies then you will have time to play hard. Get involved with different clubs and befriend people who are different from you, you'll grow as a person, student, and friend.

    In three sentences

    Earning my bachelors degree at UCSB was the best choice I ever made. It gave me the opportunity to meet various different people with a multitude of interests.

  • 05/27/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    187 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There are policemen and CSOs (Community Service Officers) patrolling the campus all the time.

    Greek Life

    Greek life isn't big here, but it's ubiquitous.

    Great for these types of students

    All kinds! It's an incredibly diverse school. But I can guarantee you'll have a good time if you're friendly, social, and love the beach and working hard on your academics. You'

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    At the first soccer game we gauchos throw tortillas up in the air when we score our first goal!

    What to do for fun

    Go to the beach or down town Santa Barbara, party in Isla Vista, attend a school sponsored function, go for a bike ride, grab a bite to eat at some bomb food joints.

    Food and Dining

    The food is much better than I was expecting! Lots of different options for vegetarians and vegans too.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are small, but they are filled with friendly people.

    Academic Rigor

    I've taken really enjoyable, rigorous courses.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do not sit on the curb in Isla Vista... that's a cop magnet! Take advantage of your professor's/TA's office hours. Don't get too caught up in the party scene because your grades will most likely suffer, subsequently leading to your dismissal.

    In three sentences

    It is absolute paradise. What could be better than outstanding academics and the beach five minutes away (walking distance) from your dorm? I can't get enough of this place!

  • 05/27/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    188 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    We have the beach a walk away, the mountains a small drive away, and downtown Santa Barbara 20 mins away. There's always something that can be done. But for the most part, people will partake in drinking activities in their homes in Isla Vista.

    Food and Dining

    We have 4 dining commons available for dorm students. Each one has a different set-up and a different menu. DLG is the largest with the wider selection. Ortega is smaller and has good breakfast. Carrillo is known for their pizza. And Portola is a mile off campus, food is more customized there but not worth the bike ride. There are a couple of places to buy food on campus, but theyre really overpriced. Food in IV is delicious and prices can range depending on the restaurant and their specials. They have some great selections and most people will just hang out in downtown IV to eat and mingle.

    Dorm Life

    Most people don't stay in the dorms after their first year because it's so expensive and, honestly, living in Isla Vista is so much more fun. There are different types of dorms around campus, some are bigger, some are smaller. I lived in the furthest ones from campus, Santa Catalina, and while they were the largest and were set up in a suite style, it was a long bike ride to campus and the food was terrible. But make friends while in the dorms, these are people that you're going to keep encountering for the rest of your duration on campus. I am still close friends with my dorm friends (I'm a senior).

    Academic Rigor

    Depending on your major the difficulty of classes will vary. We are on the quarter system so everything is faster paced, it almost seems like you just started classes when the midterm all of a sudden is tomorrow and finals feel like they're just a week from the midterm. My first year I found myself with 2 10-page papers due within a couple hours of themselves, all nighters are very common. You will definitely be challenged and we do have amazing staff that keeps all work current and relevant.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure you are able to multitask and be able to balance a social life with academics, a lot of first time students end up having a really hard time adapting to the liberties of this school while also maintaining a good academic standing. Remember that this is a 4-year UC and it will require long hours at the library but try to make the best of what you will have here. As a senior looking back at it all, I wish I could never leave this place so enjoy it responsibly.

    In three sentences

    It has great educational programs and amazing staff. The social life is above average and always exciting. People here come to study while also enjoying their youth.

  • 06/03/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    189 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    On campus feels safe during the day, but in the student town or when night hits, safety becomes a definite issue, especially as it nears the end of the school year. There are often robberies and assaults on a weekly basis.

    Great for these types of students

    Out-going, studious, and open-minded.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There is an undie-run at least 2 or 3 times a year for various charities. A great cause and hilarious to watch hundreds (or maybe even thousands) or students running around campus and town in their underwear!

    Bang for the buck

    As an out-of-state student, the tuition is extremely expensive. If you can get in-state tuition, I would say it's completely worth it, but out-of-state gets to be almost double the amount and sometimes I feel that is too expensive.

    What to do for fun

    There really is never-ending amounts of activities on and near campus. The university provides plenty of sports and trips for students. Being located right on the beach allows for both relaxation or beach-sports at any time you want (before, between, or after class.) There is plenty of open space for bike rides or walks, a couple recreation centers and sports fields, and groups designed for water sports, yoga, pilates, etc. Even if those don't interest you, there are plenty of parks, coffee shops, and other food places to hang out at.

    Food and Dining

    While the food can be a little expensive, the variety is great!

    Academic Rigor

    It depends on the area of study, but overall i've found all subjects to be fairly intensive, study-wise.

    Tips for prospective students

    Come ready to work and to have fun! While the academics are intensive, UC Santa Barbara is a pleasant place to be.

    In three sentences

    UC Santa Barbara is an amazing research-based institution. It's innovative and well-rounded, providing many opportunities for interdisciplinary studies. I feel proud to be attended such a highly acclaimed school.

  • 06/17/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    190 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    UCPD and Community Service Officers will walk you home from anywhere on campus at any time, and most students feel very safe, especially on campus.

    Greek Life

    Greek is small but starting to flourish.

    Great for these types of students

    Outgoing, social, intelligent, and open-minded.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    At my first UCSB soccer team, we all threw tortillas on the field after scoring our first goal. Go Gauchos!

    Bang for the buck

    The great campus and reputation of academia at UCSB make it well worth it.

    What to do for fun

    You can go to downtown State Street and walk down to the Wharf, or walk around Isla Vista and enjoy some of the local culture and food.

    Food and Dining

    The dining commons are not very good and it is difficult to bring a friend to a meal. Not the selling point of the school, considering it is almost impossible to live off campus your first year.

    Dorm Life

    Dorms are very safe, fun, and offer great RAs and resources.

    Academic Rigor

    The classes are difficult and some of the professors do not make them easier, but it is well worth it once you get past your GEs and start settling into major oriented classes.

    Tips for prospective students

    The biggest tip for any prospective student, whether they are attending UCSB or any other school, is to look into what the school requires for your academic goals. Also, it is important to inform yourself on some of the rumors about the school such as the party school reputation. I have found that people who are uninterested in that aspect can find their own niche.

    In three sentences

    UCSB offers a great variety of majors and diversity, welcoming students from different backgrounds and ethnicity. The school is nestled between the ocean and the mountains, offering both academics and allure. Offering a variety of courses with a prestigious reputation, UCSB is a school for achievers.

  • 06/17/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    191 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    UCSB takes pride in keeping students safe on and off of campus. There are escorts to call if anyone is walking home alone, and there is a strong presence of cops in Isla Vista. The idea of police may freak some people out, they are really there to keep everyone safe, not to get college kids in trouble.

    Greek Life

    UCSB Greek Life is great. While it is by no means necessary to be in a house to have fun, its a great addition to our campus. Philanthropies are huge, and continue to raise large sums of money for amazing groups and charities. The presence of greek life is less than a school like USC, but still so worth it to get involved.

    Clubs and Activities

    My first year I was overwhelmed by all the amazing things I could join. There are adventure clubs, comedy groups, cultural clubs, religious groups, and it goes on and on for hours. Every group is unique and well led, and I am constantly impressed by their presence on campus.

    Great for these types of students

    Any! While most people believe its a party school, I know a lot of students who don't participate in the parties and still have a blast. There is a strong sense of individuality and self expression on campus. I honestly believe there is a place for every type of person at UCSB.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Campus point, near the Manzanita Dorms, has the most fantastic view of the sunset over the ocean. It's the perfect spot to go on an evening run.

    Bang for the buck

    Looking back, I am beyond grateful I chose to attend UCSB. The area, the vibe, and the academics are all fantastic. I don't think anyone could go wrong in choosing to attend UCSB.

    What to do for fun

    Santa Barbara is definitely not lacking in fun. Even if partying isn't your scene, there is still a ton to do. I enjoyed kayaking, learning to surf, going on hikes to beautiful waterfalls, participating in great on campus events, and the list goes on. There is an abundance to do, all within 15 minutes of the campus. As for the partying, the reputation lives on.

    Food and Dining

    While on campus dining (DLG, Ortega, Carillo), was fantastic, the off campus dining common for the Santa Catalina dorm was awful. I spent a significant amount of money on outside food because I never wanted to eat in that dining common. Fortunately, the other three dining commons were delicious, and always had a variety of options, including options for vegans and vegetarians.

    Dorm Life

    I just finished my first year at UCSB, and I have to say, I am actually devastated I won't be living in the dorms next year. The environment is wonderful. The rooms are small, but well equipped with college necessities. The various dorms have beautiful study rooms, lounges, and nearby dining commons. The dorm located off campus even has a pool in the back. I don't think any college campus can compete with the perfection of the freshman dorms.

    Academic Rigor

    UCSB has an amazing faculty, and each major is difficult in different ways. There is no easy way out, or easy A classes. I am constantly impressed by my professors ability to teach competently, as well as make lectures entertaining regardless of the size. The quarter system is difficult because of the pace, but also forces students to grasp the information early, giving the professor more of an opportunity to get deeper into the subject.

    Tips for prospective students

    While UCSB is often labeled a party school, I would not judge it because of that. The areas reputation can be true at times, but what is often overlooked is the amazing academics offered at this school. The professors are not only knowledgable in their field, but multiple, and they are more than happy to help any student. I am amazed by the things I have learned in just one year at this campus, and I can't wait to continue into my upper division courses.

    In three sentences

    The faculty is fantastic, TAs and professors alike are always willing to help. The campus and surrounding area redefine beautiful, making it a lovely place to live and attend classes. The student body is lovely, lively, and constantly impressive.

  • 06/18/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    192 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus provides community service officers that escort any student at any time to school or home.

    Clubs and Activities

    over 100 clubs to choose from and join.

    Great for these types of students

    If you love the heat, summer and very few rainy days this is the place to be. Most of the time very warm.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Campus Pointe is a semi peninsula located by the beach and is connected to the campus just a five minute walk and there you would find a breathe taking scenery.

    What to do for fun

    Go to the beach, downtown santa Barbara and hiking on the santa Barbara mountains.

    Food and Dining

    A very wide selection of meal plans or nearby town restaurants.

    Dorm Life

    Nice dorms but the occasional uncooperative roommate.

    Academic Rigor

    Intense levels of readings anywhere from novels, biographies and academic journals. Up to twelve assigned readings a week.

    Tips for prospective students

    Keep up with academic readings, quarter system is fast and there is no room to catch up if you fall behind. Communicate with professors during office hours for additional class help.

    In three sentences

    Rigorous academic discipline with a faculty ready and willing to help with research projects. Environment is very friendly and weather is great. Although its by the beach its a great campus to do research and take a break on the beach.

  • 06/25/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    193 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Of course theres the beach, but UCSB also has a great rec center (gym) and offers a lot of recreational activities. If you put the effort in, you will for sure find other people with similar interests and hobbies.

    Tips for prospective students

    This is a social University so take advantage of the friendly atmosphere and meet new people and make many new friends. You will find that you will help each other get through the new rigor of academics by struggling together and overcoming obstacles.

    In three sentences

    UCSB is an absolutely beautiful campus that not only has one of the best levels of education for a University, but also offers a wide variety of resources and opportunities for anyone's needs or interests. UCSB is located right on the beach, literally a 2 minute walk away, which makes it easy to get outside and enjoy the gorgeous beach weather. Whether its state-of-the-art research or fun under the sun, any college student will find a place where they belong and more here at UCSB.

  • 06/27/2013

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    194 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Pretty safe campus. And if ever you find yourself alone at night a TSO is available 24 hours and will walk you home.

    Greek Life

    I was a member of the honors frat, since that's not exactly Panhellenic, i can't say from experience. Some people love it for others it's a cult that takes over their life.

    Clubs and Activities

    Something for everybody. There are a lot of options.

    Great for these types of students

    If you're intelligent and love the beach, this place is pure paradise.our campus is gorgeous, most of our student population is really good looking.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    It is customary to sneak tortillas somewhere on your body and throw them during soccer games. We don't have a football game. HALLOWEEN (1 week of non stop partying) and DELTOPIA( an epic day rager) are HUGE here

    Bang for the buck

    Totally worth it and it was an amazing experience. It is however REALLY expensive for out of state students like myself, which is why I can't attend next year.

    What to do for fun

    Surfing, hiking, shopping, partying...there's something for everyone. Definitely go to the soccer games and throw tortillas!!!

    Food and Dining

    I didn't have a meal plan because I didn't live on campus

    Dorm Life

    I didn't live in the dorms, I lived in Tropicana del Norte. They sis a lot of fun trips all over California but it didn't feel too much like an integrated community and I regret not picking dorms.

    Academic Rigor

    UCSB is all about academia and prestige

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't get distracted by the beach or any of the beautiful sorroundings of the campus. As long as you don't get too distracted, if you made it to UCSB to begin with, you are equipped to prosper.

    In three sentences

    A beach town that's recognized all over the world and regarded with academic acclaim? What more can one ask for? My year at UCSB was truly amazing. The school has the best equipped labs and academic facilities, which for A Bio major like myself was a dream come true. The school is literally in the beach and the campus is gorgeous!!! There are so many events and activities to keep gauchos academically engaged as well as healthy and in enjoyment of their can one ask for. Gauchos work hard, and play hard.don't let the beach-clad out-front laid-back attitude fool you, most everyone here is ridiculously intelligent.

  • 06/30/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    195 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    The beach, several clubs, outdoor adventures and of course bike rides!

    Food and Dining

    The dining commons offer a wide variety of food and options for vegetarian or vegans.

    Academic Rigor

    The professors are some of the best in their field, you are literally learning from the best.

    In three sentences

    A beautiful campus with an amazing academic program. The minute you step foot on campus you feel as if you entered an entirely new world. A place where everyone has a smile on their face and are not afraid to reach out to someone new.

  • 07/06/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    196 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Del Playa, that is about all you need to know.

    Food and Dining

    There are four dinning commons on campus all providing a wide range of foods. It goes by the swipe system where you are allotted 10, 14, 17, or unlimited swipes per week; you swipe into the dinning common and can eat whatever you would like. Isla Vista, the neighboring college town only feet from the edge of campus, has many little restaurants that have amazing food so you will never go hungry.

    Dorm Life

    Known for it's party scene, UCSB has an amazing social environment and has relatively large dorms from what I have seen at other schools.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes are difficult but they challenge you and you will undoubtedly learn more than what could seem possible over the three quarters each year.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't let the reputation turn you away! UCSB is one of the top five research universities in the country and a top school for their science programs. You can find any type of person, class, or experience at UCSB that you will never forget.

    In three sentences

    I have really enjoyed my experience thus far at UCSB. I have learned that it is much more than the proclaimed party school and a beautiful campus. I don't think that I could have found a better match for a college.

  • 07/07/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    197 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    It's UCSB... what can't you do for fun? Mountains on one side, the ocean on the other, a fun little college town right in the middle. Seriously, the possibilities are boundless.

    Food and Dining

    Dorm food... what else is there to say?

    Dorm Life

    Students are friendly, staff is a hit-or-miss.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes are harder than you think, but you always get out what you put it. Reading and taking notes and going to class is worth it.

    Tips for prospective students

    Come in with AP credits. Chemistry is no joke. Work hard play har

    In three sentences

    The perfect balance of social scene and intellectual rigor. You never hear of a school that offers both a never-ending array of activities and fun plus difficult, thought provoking classes. The perfect balance.

  • 07/10/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    198 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    CSO. Community Service Organization. They are easily reachable by number to escort anyone home at any time. They are a group of students who provide safety and security for their fellow gauchos.

    Greek Life

    LOVE IT! (If you can't tell I'm greek) It's been an adventure that as a 3rd year I wouldn't trade anything for. It made me a stronger speaker, a stronger leader, and more sure of myself. I have a bunch of sisters who have my back no matter what.

    Clubs and Activities

    Greek life. Student government. Environmental awareness clubs. Music Clubs. Etc. (AKA too many to count)

    Great for these types of students

    Outgoing and personable people. Everyone is super friendly and we tend to strike up random conversations with strangers. It's a chill vibe.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The Undie Run: happens once a quarter during finals week. Students donate their clothing and then run the campus in their undies! Beginning of the year and end of the year concerts: sponsored by the university students do not have to pay!! We've had Drake, Snoop Dog, Kendrick Lamar, Dada Life and more

    Bang for the buck

    Worth every penny. It is a MUST to live on DP at least one year. Living in the area can get expensive starting at $700 a month without utilities.

    What to do for fun

    1) PARTY!! It's what we're known for! 2) Go to the beach. 3) Play intramurals. 4) Join the Excursions Club (for a fee you can rent all types of equipment from them: surf boards, kayaks, bikes, etc.)

    Food and Dining

    The food is A+ quality. DLG and Carillo are the best dining commons. However, like all food you eat, you can get tired of it over time. It's a risk we all must take.

    Dorm Life

    I may be biased but the best dorm is Santa Catalina, loving referred to by its occupants as FT. The dorms are the best place to meet new friends, make study groups, and find yourself in such a large and populated university.

    Academic Rigor

    It's college so the academia is going to be a lot of work. UCSB is a UC school and as such expects the best from its students. Professors push you to look outside the box and arrive at your own unique conclusions.

    Tips for prospective students

    1) It's not called the Del Playa its called DP and its a party street closest to the ocean. 2) Freebirds is a good decision all day every day. 3) Make time to go to the beach, you'd be surprised how often you forget its right next to campus.

    In three sentences

    UCSB has always had the stigma of a hard core party school. I am here to tell you that this is not true - sure we're in college and we are going to have fun but UCSB's students are here first and foremost to be just that: students. We work hard to achieve exemplary grades, but we like to have fun too.

  • 07/11/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    199 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Tan on the beach, go surfing, volleyball, UCSB is HUGE on soccer, and of course party, you do not need to be in a frat to have a good time.

    Food and Dining

    The food is nothing compared to homemade, but can sometimes be good. I recommend starting at 14 meals since it is easier to raise your meal plan than lower it. You can also mix in outside purchases to vary it up.

    Dorm Life

    I met some great friends in the dorm during my first year. I was forced into a triple due to the large amount of first years, but looking back I am glad since I was able to meet more people.

    Academic Rigor

    Do not be scared by rumors of college being crushingly difficult, if you put a little more effort into college than you did into high school to get to that college than you should be fine. The hard part at UCSB is ignoring all the fun distactions.

    Tips for prospective students

    My main tip would be to give the campus a visit before making a choice. Sometimes how you feel around a new place can make the difference in your education.

    In three sentences

    UCSB is a beautiful campus full of friendly people and a friendly environment. It lives up to its reputation by being a place to both have fun and further your education. The surrounding locations are comfortably quiet but provide enough attractions to keep you busy.

  • 07/11/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    200 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Freebirds is the place to munch after a party or high.

    What to do for fun

    Go to the beach and parties on the weekends.

    In three sentences

    UCSB has a great engineering program. It needs better lecturers for core math classes but other than that, the staff is helpful and great. It is right next to the beach so it is easy to balance school work with hobbies such as surfing.

  • 07/23/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    201 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    UCSB is a great school for athletes, rigorous students, Engineering Majors, beach lovers, and many more. I think there isn't a specific type of people that will enjoy this university. I think UCSB is just a school that is loved by people in abundance and most people that come out to see what it has to offer them.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There is a tradition of throwing tortillas onto the soccer field during a game. I don't really know why but maybe it's a way UCSB students cheer their players or show their spirit. Another weird location or tradition takes place in Isla Vista where there is always a homeless man who dresses up as a pirate. Some people see him as almost a mascot and say UCSB is like used to having him around so he has sort of become a tradition there.

    What to do for fun

    ISLA VISTA. Aside from surfing or swimming or heading out to the beach, people usually can go to Isla Vista. Isla Vista is like the down town part of UCSB. That's usually where all the parties and big events such as paloozas or wild hangouts go down. UCSB has concerts or other school activities. People join sports and then others get together to go support our teams. Soccer games are the most entertaining and all the students throw tortillas on to the field.

    Food and Dining

    Sushi! They sell sushi at UCSB which is amazing! Each residential dorming hall has a dining room in it and people from each dorm can go to a different one to eat if they would like. There is a main center in the campus with dining quarters to eat at and different restaurants or food choices. You can also visit other locations around campus or in Isla Vista.

    Dorm Life

    There are so many dorm halls to choose from and they vary throughout campus. There are the Shorties which are only about two stories high while there are the seven to eight story buildings including FT also known as Santa Catalina. Some are closer to campus while others are about a mile away. You can live close to the beach. You can have a suite, a dorm, or an apartment. You an decide if you want a single, double, or triple depending on your price range. The floors tend to all know each other and interact with one another til eventually everyone knows each other and everyone is like a big family after that. There are often dorm hall events or activities where people participate in either by floor or as a whole and serves as a good way to meet new people and interact.

    Academic Rigor

    UCSB was recognized among other universities in California and the USA and was ranked as one of the top schools in certain fields such as engineering or sciences, falling a little short to some private schools and only a few Ivy Leagues. The school offers great programs and offers rigor to the students taking the courses.

    Tips for prospective students

    UCSB has a variety of activities and sports and would be the perfect school for the college experience we all look forward to. Those who do not know what UCSB is capable of, thinks it simply a party school. On the contrary, UCSB is known as one of the top social schools, yet it is also esteemed for its achievements and academics. They have way more to offer than parties and wild crazy hangouts. Take time to see UCSB as the wonderful facility is instead! You'll be surprised at how there wil be partying, but the academics are just as wild and fun.

    In three sentences

    UCSB is one of my top college choices because of its location, education, and great rank among California. It has great people, professors, and facilities which contributes to the homey and cozy environment that lures me. It is very good in the sciences I have heard and would be a good suit for what I plan to major in and aspire careerwise.

  • 07/29/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    202 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    CSOs! They'll help you around or with anything.

    Greek Life

    Present, not dominating.

    Clubs and Activities

    If we don't have it, you can make it! But there's something for everyone!

    Great for these types of students

    If you wanna work hard and still enjoy yourself and be sane!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Campus point is a nice beach spot. IV and DP are where the parties are at. The Arbor is great place to grab a quick lunch or snack. The eighth floor of the library has an amazing view!

    Bang for the buck

    So coming here is really expensive with no aid! BUT we get a lot of really nice free services such as tutoring that everyone uses, massages, etc. It really feels like the school cares about your health and complete well being.

    What to do for fun

    Anything outdoors! There are limitless options for that. Of course party, safely.

    Food and Dining

    The food in the dining commons does get pretty old and is not the best. Portola is the worst and ortega is the best DC. Most people love DLG, but ortega is really the secret place for good grub. There's a lot of decent food in IV, but there is a lack of good asian food and no persian food.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms can be a really fun place if you know how to work out any disputes civilly. I personally had a great time. Don't expect your room mates to be your best friends! I have heard some people's stories and they had really big issues with their room mates, but they never took the time to work it out. It's a nice little community that forms on your floor! Definitely don't miss out!

    Academic Rigor

    Depending on your major the work seems harder. The engineering and biology or science majors seem to be the most difficult, but it really depends on the person!

    Tips for prospective students

    Visit! You won't be able to say no once you see the ocean. Come prepared to work! It's NOT just one big party.

    In three sentences

    UCSB is a beautiful place to learn with lower stress than most other schools. This doesn't mean it's all fun and games, but really that we play hard and work harder. I love it here!!

  • 07/31/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    203 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I feel extremely safe on campus. If someone were to ever feel threatened and don't want to walk home alone at night, you can always ask CSOs to escort you back to your room.

    Clubs and Activities

    Join a club! Take intramural classes. These are great ways to meet new people, build your resume, or find something new that you're passionate about.

    Great for these types of students

    Students who want to live the full college experience of having fun and getting a good education.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    UCSB may be on a beach, but keep in mind, there are naturally occurring oil rigs out there. Go to the beach here, and you end up going back o the dorms with black oil on your feet. At least the beach is aesthetically pleasing.

    Food and Dining

    The meal plan is based on meals per week. Each meal is all-you-can-eat and don't carry over to the next week if there are extra meals for the week. Point system would be more convenient, but at least there's an assortment of decent-tasting food in the dining commons.

    Dorm Life

    I lived in San Nic my first year and I enjoyed it. Although I wasn't in love with my hall I met a bunch of great friends on other floors. Dorms make it much easier to make friends and it's also convenient since most of the dorms are on campus, except FT which is a mile away.

    Academic Rigor

    It's a UC and you do get a UC education here which primarily focuses on research, such as writing papers and reading hundreds of pages a week. However, academic difficulty always depends on your major and what classes you're taking.

    Tips for prospective students

    Just always make sure to take advantage of ALL the opportunities available, such as the free trips around the state and nation, workshops, and of course, free food. You're paying thousands of dollars for school, might as well use up all these opportunities.

  • 07/31/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    204 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    We have campus security officers that are available and on patrol 24/7 and a free to use. The Campus security officers are the best safety resource we offer. Although, we do have a police station located right next to campus, as well as a fire department. Last but not least, we have multiple cameras located around campus and lighting at night time.

    Greek Life

    I myself was never in greek life, but dated a girl who was and my roomate was. They both seemed to love their fraternity / sorority, and they all said how friendly they were. They hold competitions between them all as well as public charity events. They are good to get involved in.

    Clubs and Activities

    We have hundreds of clubs and programs for people to join. They range anywhere from video game clubs to environmental protection. I can safely say there is just about one club for every person.

    Great for these types of students

    Students who like to feel included, academically hard working and friendly people. If you want to meet people who are willing to form life bonds, this is the place. People are incredible and it is rare you come across someone who has yet to emerge from their shell at this school. People are always open to new ideas and hate is almost non-existent.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    We have an undie run. We donate clothes and run around campus in our underwear once a quarter. Also, an unusual location would be the rock maze that is located on the running path around our lagoon.

    Bang for the buck

    We live on the beach, there is nothing better than that. We also have dog therapy week before finals, which we get to pet tons of dogs which supposedly helps students relieve stress. Our campus is absolutely perfect in every way possible. We have so many utilities such as a rock gym and sports areas for use.

    What to do for fun

    Go to the beach. Go to state street. Go to the movies. Play pool or ping pong. Go swimming. Go to the gym. Ride your bike. Learn to skateboard or surf. Attend housing association events. Get involved in clubs.

    Food and Dining

    The food becomes repetitive but I still love eating at the dining commons. There are multiple places to go so you can always choose what you want to eat for different meals. They do cater specifically to people with different food allergies as well as have specific vegetarian days at different dining commons. The desserts are well made as is most of the normal food. For all you can eat, and so many options, it is a good bang for its buck.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are beautiful and the residential assistants are incredibly helpful. Dorm life is clean, convenient and easy. I am doing it for two years as I found it to be beneficial. It saved the hassle of apartment payments, utility payments, internet costs and other such things. Also, this is the best way to make friends besides clubs because you have so many neighbors.

    Academic Rigor

    Academic rigor at this school is adequately challenging. It varies based off your major, but as long as you do your work you can succeed. There are numerous resources on campus to help struggling students. The entrance level courses for a major are difficult as compared to the courses down the line, so stick it out and you'll succeed.

    Tips for prospective students

    Take advantage of office hours. Make friends with the teaching assistants. Do not procrastinate. The more sources for a paper, the better. Study outside of your room. Never say no to new opportunities, and become friends with people in your major.

    In three sentences

    My University has an absolutely beautiful atmosphere full of academic encouragement. The students and faculty are incredibly friendly and everyone seems to support one another. I love the University of California-Santa Barbara, and could not imagine attending elsewhere.

  • 08/12/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    205 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    There is so much to do for fun here. You can be involved in various clubs and sports. You can go exploring around campus and on the beach.

    Food and Dining

    I'd say that UCSB has a variety of choices to offer in this area. The dining commons are pretty good, but they do tend to get boring after a while. However there are other food carts on campus and some restaurants in the hub.

    Dorm Life

    I enjoyed my stay in the dorms. The reason was because most of my floormates and I became close friends. I'd stay there again, if it weren't so expensive.

    Academic Rigor

    It depends on how hard you are willing to work. It also depends on what degree you are studying for. I'd say some degrees take more effort and much more time then others.

    Tips for prospective students

    This is an excellent university. However, It is fairly pricey, so i'd suggest that you go if you know you can afford it. You don't want to be in debt when you could have gone to another UC and have payed less.

    In three sentences

    This is known mostly because of the big party atmosphere that it has. However it's an excellent school academic wise. Plus, the location and campus are both incredible.

  • 08/13/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    206 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    There is so much to do for fun. I don't think you'll ever not know what to do. For instance, soccer games get so riled up, surfing at the beach, concerts in the hub, deltopia, Pardall had a fair this past year. Not to mention everything else out in Isla Vista, the little community across the street from UCSB. And tons more.

    Food and Dining

    At first you think the food is great but after a while, like during Spring quarter, the food definitely does not taste as great as it did during the first couple of weeks of Fall quarter. There is however a variety of stuff to choose from, and there are four different dining commons to choose from as well so that's not too bad.

    Dorm Life

    As an incoming freshmen, it is highly recommended to live on campus your first year. I did and I absolutely loved it. I had two roommates and it sounds terrible, but we actually got along really well so we never had any altercations of any sort. Living right on campus was so convenient too. Classes for me were literally right across on the other side of the street sometimes, and then right on the other side was the beach! It was just so lovely. I feel like the only downside to living in the dorms is commuting the restrooms because although maintenance cleaned them daily, they still become extremely dirty and sometimes disgusting.

    Academic Rigor

    It's difficult, but manageable. It is very competitive, but the school provides many resources to help you with certain classes that give you a hard time like CLAS classes for example. It's always a good idea to visit professors during their office hours; that one on one time can be so helpful. And the library provides overnight study on the first two floors, I believe, which is very convenient.

    Tips for prospective students

    Time management! I cannot stress that enough. I'm fully aware that UCSB has several events all year round that many of us would love to attend every time they arise. But as a prospective student, you must be able to ideally manage your time wisely because you do not want to be on academic probation, and eventually get kicked out. Not to mention all the money you'll be wasting, but also the memories and experiences you'll be missing out on not being here.

    In three sentences

    Attending UCSB is completely life changing. From the people you meet and create life-lasting memories, to the professors you visit during office hours in order to achieve the grades you want, to the workers who keep our campus looking beautiful as can be; the atmosphere here is unbelievably surreal. UCSB is honestly the best place to be at!

  • 08/18/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    207 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Adventurous. Outgoing.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    2 words. Isla Vista.

    What to do for fun

    Go surfing, swimming, kayaking, hiking, and PARTY!

    Tips for prospective students

    Do not procrastinate in school!!!

    In three sentences

    UCSB is like heaven on earth. If you love the ocean, and nature this school is perfect for you! The people are very friendly, and the staff is 100% focused on you.

  • 08/19/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    208 of 241

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    The campus is extremely beautiful, especially if a person enjoys the beach view. It has a big campus with a big diversity of both people and clubs. The people here when I visited were so friendly and nice.

  • 08/25/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    209 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Because the beach is so close by, it's always easy to go down there with friends to surf, tan, or just hang out. Downtown SB is also great for shopping, movies, or going out for a nice dinner. There's also a movie theater in IV right outside school, and another one in Goleta. Of course, if that's not enough, there's always IV on Thursday nights.

    Food and Dining

    My favorite on-campus dining common is Ortega, but DLG is nice too! Off campus, I really enjoyed Woodstocks and Freebirds. Since food is a little on the expensive side, I recommend only eating out occasionally, and going to the local Costco or Albertsons for groceries.

    Dorm Life

    As a freshman, dorming in FT (Santa Catalina) was a great experience and opportunity. Because it's an all freshman dorm, the residents there are especially close, and they end up staying living together in the future and staying friends for the rest of their college years.

    Academic Rigor

    The teachers are very knowledgeable and I learned a lot from them. While I'm sure that every major is difficult, I know that computer science and engineering are particularly impacted at UCSB.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't party too hard, and remember you are here primarily to graduate and earn a degree. Take advantage of school tutoring, like CLAS and the job application/resume workshops. It's good to join some clubs, and get to know other people with similar interests too!

    In three sentences

    UCSB is a great school with wonderful staff and faculty. The location is absolutely wonderful, because you can walk there in less than a minute from your dorms (San Rafael & Manzanita) or you can just bike there. IV has a pretty fun night life, and is a great place to hang out, or you can take a bus or car to the heart of SB.

  • 09/03/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    210 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus is really safe, no major incidents occur and you always get an email or text notifying you of any incidents that occur that day usually within minutes or hours of the event. Campus police and CSO's are always there to help you. CSO's can be requested at anytime to walk you home or to where you want to go, they are there to help you and make the campus safe.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    During soccer games whenever they score a goal everyone throws tortillas to celebrate. During Spring quarter Extravaganza is held at Harder Stadium where multiple artists come out and perform.

    Bang for the buck

    They say it's all about location, location, location and UCSB has the best location. When you don't feel like working out at the Recreational Center (RecCen) you can go for a run on the beach. Stop by Campus Point and admire the sunset or you can walk to the Goleta peer within minutes. The weather is great year round, you can go to the beach during winter quarter and forget it's winter. Spring quarter allows for the reading to be done at the beach while tanning.

    What to do for fun

    No matter where you are on campus you are in proximity to the beach. There is always surfing, paddle boating, and tanning taking place. Isla Vista provides great little restaurants to go eat and hang out with friends. You can always visit Freebirds for Mexican style burritos and their famous nachos, or go to Equilibrium for their delicious crepes, and if you are looking for something healthy Silvergreens is across from Blenders. If you want to get away from the college feel you can always take the free bus to State St, also known as downtown Santa Barbara, go shopping, eat gelato, watch a movie, or go to the Santa Barbara pier.

    Food and Dining

    There is nothing better than being able to wake up and go in your pj's to have breakfast. You have the ability of picking from different food choices, they are all buffet style each focusing on different foods. Portola is a mixture of everything while DLG provides the most variety, and Ortega has the best breakfast while Carrillo is the newest. DLG has the grill side offering hamburgers, fries and anything of that sort while Ortega specializes in the greens department, being one of the most environmental friendly one also offering take out lunch. Portola celebrates every holiday making you feel the spirit. Carrillo offers asian food everyday as well as pizza, deli and salad bar.

    Dorm Life

    Dorming is great especially for your first year. You get to meet many people, make plenty of friends and find out what you like. You get used to being surrounded with people who share your interests and classes. You can spend time with your floor mates, roommates, and RA's. RA's are there to help you in anything and what is great about the dorms is that you are more than likely to have a floor mate in one of your classes which is great because you can help each other out with homework and trouble that you may be having in one class. The events put on by every hall are great to be able to take a break and interact with others. Each dorm has its own areas depending on which one you stay. The ability to have food so close to you and ready for you is also a plus. If you don't feel like having food from the dinning commons you can always cook something for yourself in the kitchen or warm something up in the floor microwave. You will love it and call it home in no time!

    Academic Rigor

    Classes may be difficult to some, it all depends on you. You have to be willing to apply yourself and get accustomed to the ten week classes. The Ta's and teachers are always open to office hours and are always there if you need help with anything, not just class work. Studying is a must and there is always tutoring and CLAS that will help you further understand the material.

    Tips for prospective students

    For any UC the quarter system is new and may be difficult to get used to at first but you will rapidly catch on. The reputation that it has has to be overlooked because most people do not know how difficult this school really is. You will make friends, many friends who you will most likely remain with during your lifetime. You have to work hard to achieve success and cannot be fooled by the party life that it may have. Just like any other university the best is expected of you and nothing will change that. Gauchos pride themselves in being great students and having the ability to maintain a social life which will help you in your future.

    In three sentences

    The best UC incorporating the ease in socializing, a variety of courses with cooperative professors and TA's, as well as an exceptional location. UCSB's party reputation does not affect the 80% graduation rate and the academic increase that has been attained over the years. It is a well rounded school benefiting for educational satisfaction as well as lifelong memories.

  • 09/06/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    211 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There's 24/7 escort police that will walk you anywhere if you're to scared to go out at night.

    Great for these types of students

    Typically anyone would say party goers and although that is true, I would reccommend this school for anyone who enjoys the beach and it's weather. Not everyone parties here.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    We throw tortillas on the soccer field during games for good luck

    What to do for fun

    Go to the beach, go downtown, go to Isla Vista (and party if that fancies you), hike the Ynez mountains, surf, Deltopia, Extravaganza, HALLOWEEN.

    Food and Dining

    Many variaties and healthy options.

    Dorm Life

    Most freshmen dorms are by the beach! Many have an ocean view. There is one dorm that is a mile away but the dorm is actually based off a beach hotel resort style

    Academic Rigor

    Quarter system can throw you off balance but it's manageable.

    Tips for prospective students

    Keep up your GPA and SAT scores. Focus on extra curriculars but don't over do it. Become an officer of 1-2 of them.

    In three sentences

    An extremely beautiful campus. Open minded and diverse people. Work hard, play hard means that UCSB has some of the most happiest students in the nation.

  • 09/08/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    212 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Even in the late hours of the day, you feel safe. If you want someone to walk or bike with you back to your dorm, you can call a CSO.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are a lot of different clubs to join, some of which are focused on particular majors. There is always something to do at UCSB, go out and explore!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Every year during finals week there is an undie run that starts at the library and goes all around campus. It is lots of fun.

    What to do for fun

    Go to the beach. Go to IV parties. Go explore downtown SB.

    Food and Dining

    The food is good and there is a bunch of different options to choose from. It is a good idea to go out and eat with friends at times too, there are a lot of god places to eat around campus.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are spacious and are remodeled. Don't bring a lot of stuff if you're in a triple because your roommates might bring a lot too.

    Academic Rigor

    Although UCSB is greatly know for its party status, classes here are not so easy as you may think. You need to study, study and stay on board of your classes because the quarter goes by very fast.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make friends in each class because they can help whenever you need it. Get to know your professors. Whenever you can, explore downtown with friends and have some fun.

  • 09/11/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    213 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    While it is a public campus, they over all sorts of services to ensure your safety, including the Santa Barbara police and their own campus police. Also, take advantage of the CSO's! They're students who escort you if you're concerned about walking somewhere alone safely. I've called them, and they were sweet and helpful; they walked me right to the door of where I was supposed to be, safe and sound!

    Greek Life

    Great opportunities if you want to be involved with that!

    Clubs and Activities

    Make sure you get involved!!!

    Great for these types of students

    Anyone seeking a great education, challenges to the way you think, and a beautiful campus.

    Bang for the buck

    Out of state tuition is difficult to cover, especially if you're trying to gain in state residency, but it's worth it! You get a top knotch education at a gorgeous school right on the warm beach for a great price.

    What to do for fun

    The options for fun are endless! You can run, swim, paddle board, snorkel or surf at the beach. You can hang out with friends on State Street (it's only about 20 minutes away, and we have free access to the buses as students!) You can get involved in any of the hundreds of clubs on campus, including SCUBA, running club, excursion clubs, fencing; the options are endless!

    Food and Dining

    Being able to eat with friends everyday is a blast! You make many funny memories. Make sure you have snack food in your dorms though, because you can't take food from the dining halls.

    Dorm Life

    It's great to see and meet new friends! You'll meet some of your best friends the first year of college. Sometimes the dorms can be a little loud, but it really just depends where you're staying.

    Academic Rigor

    The courses are challenging and they require the students to stretch their minds and analyze different topics thoroughly and competently.

    Tips for prospective students

    Come early! It gets crazy in the Fall when everyone is trying to move in, find classes, and settle down. Make sure you come ahead of the crowd to get a feel for what's happening at UCSB before all the chaos hits. I recommend participating in the Freshmen Summer Start Program if you're coming in as a freshman.

    In three sentences

    UCSB is perfect; it's right on the beach, which makes a great study location, and the people are amazing! The faculty and professors are super helpful, and the administrators from each college (letters and science, CCS, etc.) are genuine in wanting to help each student achieve his or her goals. Coming here is one of the best decisions I've made as a student.

  • 09/17/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    214 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Hiking, paddleboarding, surfing, shopping, winetasting... the list is endless.

    Food and Dining

    Freebirds, the Habit, Southcoast Deli, Pho Bistro are the popular joints.

    Dorm Life

    I transfered so I wouldn't know.

    Academic Rigor

    Everyone there is very competitive. Depending on your major, you really need to work your butt off.

    Tips for prospective students

    Classes are tough and competitive, so do not get too distracted by Santa Barbara's beauty. Do not slack off, but find time to make friends and enjoy the experience. It will be the best of your life.

    In three sentences

    Students here know how to have a good time and be academically competitive. The beach and mountains are breathtaking. Great education.

  • 09/26/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    215 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    UCSB has so many options that allow you to get involved. From dance and theater classes to sports to clubs, there is no way you can not find somewhere that sparks your interest. For fun, besides club or sport involvement, there is always some type of fun informational/eductational event going on. A lot of having fun on campus is taking advantage of the schools resources, we are not too far from the ocean, nice hiking places, the butterfly preserve, and downtown. As long as you plan right there should be no down time when it comes to having fun.

    Food and Dining

    In my opinion, the dining commons could have more accessible dining hours. As a whole though the quality of the food and family style dining makes it easy to enjoy eating in the dining commons. Other than that, there are multiple places on campus to stop and get quick snack and or meals. Food and Dining on campus is definitely more organized than not living on campus.

    Dorm Life

    Living in the Dorms as well as On-Campus Apartments is the best way to approach Ucsb, especially for first years. Dorm life is designed to feel like home. Being in an inclusive environment with engaging Resident Assistants and neighbors who share the same goals makes it easy to comfortably participate in dorm life.

    Academic Rigor

    Ten weeks flies by fast. Every class and major has varying academic rigor. In my opinion it depends on the kind of student you are. That being said, it is not necessarily that the classes on campus are hard nor are they easy, the rigor is enough. Classes at Ucsb are designed to challenge you and the amount of work you put into the challenge is the grade you will earn.

    Tips for prospective students

    Coming from high school as an A student to college is going to be difficult. There will be times when you feel as if you weren't meant to be admitted to Ucsb, but you have to keep in mind that part of being a college student is learning the ropes. Once you've mastered the balancing act of class, homework, social life, and work you'll be back on the path of receiving straight A's in no time.

    In three sentences

    UCSB is one of the best UC's in California for students who take part in both academic and extra-curricular activities. The open environment and driven mentality on campus is comforting and welcoming. Becoming a Gaucho is a sure way to make friends, receive a well-earned education, and obtain the required skills to survive in the real world.

  • 10/14/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    216 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Although the campus itself is fairly safe, Isla Vista, the little town bordering campus in which many of the students live, is not a very safe place. During the day it is much safer; however, at nighttime it gets very unsafe, at least in my opinion.

    Greek Life

    The Greek life isn't very big here as it is already known as a party school. Nevertheless, about 10-14% of the students are a part of the Greek system. Fraternities definitely have more impact on campus then do sororities, as fraternities throw large parties that many attend.

    Clubs and Activities

    Although I am not a part of any clubs or activities, I have many friends who are involved in them. To my knowledge, I would say that there are various options for students interested in extracurriculars.

    Great for these types of students

    This school is great for social and outgoing students. It is also the perfect places for those students who like to work out, and participate in sports. In addition, this is definitely the place for surfers and all others who enjoy the beach and water activities.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Though not unusual, one of the celebrated traditions on campus is the undierun, which takes place during the finals week of every quarter. Students just strip into their panties and start running around school in a large crowd.

    Bang for the buck

    I think the tuition is very costly, but many of the prestigious universities in the United States are very expensive nowadays. Taking that fact into consideration, it would be worth the price paid to live here.

    What to do for fun

    For fun, many of the students here drink with friends, regardless of whether it is a weekday or a weekend. In addition, students are involved in many activities such as sports or clubs. A lot of students also spend time at the beach for fun.

    Food and Dining

    The food at one of the dining commons, Portola, is very bad. However, the food at the other campus dining commons are alright; not very tasty, but not bad either. Unfortunately, the food outside of the dining commons, such as in the university center or eateries around campus, aren't very good either.

    Dorm Life

    I lived in the Santa Catalina Hall, formerly known as FT. I was very happy in this dorm as I lived in a floor with 80 people and got very close to many of them. The floor set up for this dorm really enabled the residents to communicate well with each other. Also, we had suites, which means that we had our own private bathroom shared only with one other room. That was a lot nicer than the possibility of having a communal bathroom.

    Academic Rigor

    Many of the classes I have taken here so far are challenging, but not very hard if the students do the necessary coursework.

    Tips for prospective students

    Prospective students must keep their GPA's as high as they possibly can, trying to maintain at least a 4.0 weighted GPA. In addition, they should really involve in extracurricular activities such as clubs and sports. Also, they should have good relationships with their teachers as they will need letters of recommendations.

    In three sentences

    It is a beautiful school located by the beach and has amazing weather. It offers students the perfect balance between social life and academics. Other students attending here, as well as the faculty such as professors, at this school are all very nice, warm-hearted, and welcoming.

  • 10/23/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    217 of 241

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    do students have a difficult time retaining information taught with oversized classes

  • 10/24/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    218 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    For fun: If I am accepted, I hope to relax and run on the beach, visit the Recreation Center, learn to surf, and visit my relatives who reside in Santa Barbara!

    Food and Dining

    While visiting the magnificent campus, I ate at Root 217. The food was absolutely delicious and nutritious!

    Tips for prospective students

    Keep your GPA up. Don't let those grades drop! Retake the SATs. Show leadership skills. (My older brother attended).

    In three sentences

    UCSB is a really excellent and prestigious university. The students who attend often rave about UCSB and are often very content and physically active. The campus is absolutely gorgeous and it has a really wonderful vibe.

  • 11/01/2013

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    219 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Play hard, work hard

    Bang for the buck

    You live on a beach, get a great education, and have fun, for a state school price.

    What to do for fun

    There's always something going on in IV. The beach is within walking distance. Downtown is a 20 minute bus ride and has plenty of shopping, bars, parks, and restaurants. There is always some sort of event going on, and the weather is of course beautiful.

    Dorm Life

    Try to live in Santa Catalina dorms. It's a 1 mile bike ride from class, but you get a private bathroom for 4 people and live in suites.

    Academic Rigor

    I loved most of my classes and found them to be intellectually challenging.

    Tips for prospective students

    Stay well rounded in high school, but don't let your grades slip. Make sure to prepare for the SAT.

    In three sentences

    Academically, UCSB is a great school for research oriented students, especially in the sciences. The professors are world renowned and teach based on the latest research, but they are often hard to access. There is of course a significant party scene that may be overwhelming if that's not your style.

  • 11/12/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    220 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Party, join clubs and of course go to the beach that is less than five minutes away.

    Food and Dining

    It beats high school food by a lot and will make you a little home sick for mom's cooking.

    Dorm Life

    It's great, just be sociable, approachable and friendly.

    Academic Rigor

    The classes are tough but doable. They're not high school classes, that's for sure.

    Tips for prospective students

    study and remember why you're here, don't get distracted by all the other amazing stuff available to students.

    In three sentences

    It is the best most beautiful school ever. The ideal campus and learning environment for anyone.

  • 11/21/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    221 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Safety in the student town of Isla Vista is always a concern, due to the many out-of-towners that come. However, the community is continuously working for better safety.

    Clubs and Activities

    500+ clubs. The ocean is usually a 5 minute walk from where you are. Amazing hiking trails in the mountains are a 10 minute drive away.

    Great for these types of students

    Outgoing, social, and upbeat.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Throwing tortillas when the UCSB soccer team scores is our prized tradition. Also, the Undie-Run after every quarter is a must, at least once.

    Bang for the buck

    People will see a picture of UCSB and think it's a resort.

    What to do for fun

    Go out and experience everything. The night life, the ocean, the mountains, downtown Santa Barbara. You have more than enough choices to do whatever you feel like!

    Food and Dining

    Isla Vista offers unique local food shops catering to whatever college kids crave. Burgers, burritos, vietnamese noodles, korean BBQ, BBQ, sandwiches, wings, etc...

    Dorm Life

    You will meet lifelong friends in the dorms. The Resident Advisers make it a point to put on fun programs that get you meeting people, while the hall setups themselves make each hall like a family you see every day.

    Academic Rigor

    UCSB offers world-class academic programs such as the Kavi Institute of Theoretical Physics. With 5 Nobel Prize winners, UCSB has attracted the brightest minds in their fields.

    In three sentences

    The University of California- Santa Barbara is one of THE greatest colleges to attend on the West Coast. With world-class academic programs, location, and extracurricular opportunities, UCSB is the college everyone should consider at least once.

  • 11/21/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    222 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Go to the beach, the MAC, read a book by the ocean, go biking, hiking, swimming, etc!

    Food and Dining

    The food is actually surprisingly good, especially at DLG!

    Dorm Life

    People are really nice in the dorms, plus its the best way to meet your classmates! Do it!

    Academic Rigor

    It is difficult, I have to put in a lot of effort to pull As and Bs! Don't underestimate UCSB!

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't get too caught up in the party scene, but do go out there and have fun whether that means going out to a party or going to the beach on a saturday. Take advantage of the fantastic location, you'll never live anywhere this nice again!

    In three sentences

    UCSB has been amazing so far. The weather is fantastic, the teachers are good, and the people are the nicest. Good balance of academics and partying!

  • 11/21/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    223 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The cops are assholes but they do their jobs.

    Great for these types of students

    Out going, involved, environmentalists, active, fun, etc.

    Bang for the buck

    The tuition sucks, but it will be the best for years of your life. You'll go on with excellent life skills, unforgettable friends and memories, and a degree from the most well-balanced, kick-ass institution.

    What to do for fun

    There's a million clubs to join, there's always activities going on around campus, and, of course, there's the parties.

    Food and Dining

    The food is either really good or sub par, but there's always something to eat.

    Dorm Life

    The rooms are very nice, but dorms aren't always the way you want them to be (quiet, clean, etc).

    Academic Rigor

    The classes will challenge you, but they won't ruin your life.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be balanced; Us Gauchos pride ourselves on working had and playing hard.

    In three sentences

    Beautiful Campus. Beautiful People. Amazing School.

  • 12/15/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    224 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Not only is campus fairly isolated from most of the non-college community but there are also police and foot patrol men who will work to protect and even escort you home late at night (very helpful when you are to happy from the party scene).

    Greek Life

    There are quite a bit of fraternities and sororities.

    Clubs and Activities

    Intramural Sports Equal Rights Clubs Pep Band Religious Clubs Greek system Community Service Clubs Health Clubs Fitness Clubs Outdoors Clubs Music Production and Medical Music Clubs and many, many, more

    Great for these types of students

    Engineering, Science, Math, Psychology, and pretty much any other major aside from the performing arts (Music especially).

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    We have a huge lagoon.....and a lot of parties. The two have no correlation.

    Bang for the buck

    It is a fairly expensive school in comparison to many other UCs but it being a school with multiple Nobel Laureate winning professors, vast research opportunities, the beach, the mountains, and amazing social activity, the school is well worth the price!

    What to do for fun

    There is so much to do in and around UC Santa Barbara! It's right on the beach, there are mountains for hiking, there is a lagoon for rowing, there is an abundance of official and club sports, places to shop at and movie theaters are just a bus ride away. Not to mention the nearby Isla Vista community and its wealth of adventure!

    Food and Dining

    Most of the students feel the food is fantastic for the first few weeks and then get tired of it however, I feel that as long as you are creative with how you eat (combinations, mixing food,etc.) then the food will remain tasty and fresh.

    Dorm Life

    All of the dorm halls have plenty of nice people to make friends and connections with. All the dorms are also equipped with fresh water dispensers, kitchenettes, and lounges. The only downside is that a few of the dorms get cold during the winter.

    Academic Rigor

    The classes are fairly tough depending on which professors you study under. However, this rigor can be conquered when time management and dedication are put into effect.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do not procrastinate! Balance your time! When ever stress hits you hard, fight back with a trip to the beach or with the view of the lagoon.

  • 12/19/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    225 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    CSO (campus security officers) offer a 24 hour service where they will pick you up from wherever you come from just so you won't walk alone.

    Great for these types of students

    People who are relax but also dedicated. Work hard, play harder.

    What to do for fun

    UCSB is the only campus to own it's only stretch of beach, so the beach is always a blast to go to.

    Food and Dining

    Food is pretty good from the different dining commons. Always different food every night for the most part and there are also outside shops to try to spice things up a bit.

    Dorm Life

    The friends I have made thus far in my residence hall are absolutely amazing. The people you meet in college are definitely keepers, and it becomes easy to tell which people you click with and which you don't. Don't forget about your RA (resident assistant) who lives on your floor to assist you!

    Academic Rigor

    Definitely tough, as I said, the quarter system is no joke and it may take some time to become accustomed to it. However, with time and practice, one can become a professional.

    Tips for prospective students

    Definitely beware of the quarter system. Coming from a semester system based high school, taking college level classes at the quarter system level was definitely a strong awakening. The first few weeks may seem pretty simple, but as time progresses one quickly realizes how fast time passes by.

    In three sentences

    Relax, breathtaking, nerve wracking, and absolutely amazing. UCSB is definitely a beautiful campus with some of the brightest minds of our generation. However, don't get swept up off your feet, keep your head to the ground and make sure you're doing you.

  • 12/30/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    226 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Surfing beaching climbing hiking visit Oprah's house

    Food and Dining

    Lots of food around to eat lots of good seafood as well

    Dorm Life

    many people do not like the dorm life.

    Academic Rigor

    Its hard but you have to put a lot of work into it

    Tips for prospective students

    don't let the beach deter you from studying

    In three sentences

    It has a nice campus. Lots of people bike here. Its on the Beach.

  • 01/12/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    227 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Always lock your bike!

    Clubs and Activities

    Excursion Club rocks! Amazing club sports selection

    What to do for fun

    Make use of the phenomenal area you live in which is Santa Barbara, Watersports are great from Surfing to Paddleboarding to Kayaking. Del Playa is always happening if that is what your into.

    Food and Dining

    The various dining halls provide a nice mix up of foods and are all you can ask for in a Cafeteria. And when you are tired of that you can always grab some food from any of the great places in Isla Vista.

    Dorm Life

    Better then any respective CSU or UC I have seen. However it is still a dorm though, and offers all the respective glories of that.

    Academic Rigor

    Highly prestigious research goes on here, with teachers that are at the forefront of there fields. You have the same opportunity if you decide to take it.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure like to not get carried away with your new found freedom. Use the multitude of resources that the school makes available to you. And make stories worth telling for the rest of your life.

    In three sentences

    Amazing school full of opportunities and connections. With excellent resources to help you succeed in your respective fields. I have no regrets and I wouldn't have it another way.

  • 02/03/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    228 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    It's pretty safe. It's a college town though, so sometimes there's bike theft.

    Clubs and Activities

    There's a club for everyone, and if there isn't one for you, start one, it's easy.

    Great for these types of students

    If you want to have fun while earning a degree come here.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Don't use the sidewalks at night. Bring tortillas.

    Bang for the buck

    I think it is a great school. Want that college experience you always see in the movies? Come here.

    What to do for fun

    The beach is walking distance, you can walk there during class gaps. There will always be a party on the weekend somewhere, you can probably just walk through the door, or go to an ocean side outdoor dance party, there is literally always something going on. There's movies, rock climbing, bowling, etc. Downtown Santa Barbara is beautiful with all the shops and dining areas. More beaches, you can join clubs and go kayaking, surfing, etc.

    Food and Dining

    The food here isn't so great, and it's kind of expensive. I prefer to cook my own meals most of the time.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is great here, you meet lots of people, there's an off campus dorm that I lived in and it's 9 floors of all freshmen, it's the more fun dorm. And there are ones on campus for those who are looking for more quiet and the close to campus type deal.

    Academic Rigor

    Depending on your major, this school can be pretty tough. There's a great physics, econ, engineering, and communications program. I am doing biopsychology and I find it really difficult, but that's just me. If you stick at it, you'll do fine I'm sure.

    Tips for prospective students

    You should definitely consider applying here, I don't regret it one bit. Everyone I have met has been extremely friendly, well rounded, and so much more. The academics are really great, classes are challenging but very interesting. The research opportunities are endless.

    In three sentences

    UCSB is a really great school right by the beach, you really couldn't ask for more. It is considered a public ivy to some, and I don't disagree, I mean, some of our professors are nobel peace prize winners. The weather is consistently perfect, everyone is attractive and smart, and there's a great community for students.

  • 02/05/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    229 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus Security Officers or CSO's are on call 24/7 whenever you need an escort across campus. Along with this the Campus Police do a very good job keeping the campus safe and secure.

    Greek Life

    Greek life at UC Santa Barbara isn't a major part of the social atmosphere yet still offers many opportunities for those who choose to rush.

    Clubs and Activities

    UCSB is ranked as one of the most physically active colleges in the nation and this is reflected in the popularity of club sports. Through the department of recreation students can join one of the many sports that the school has to offer.

    Great for these types of students

    This school is great for anyone but would be especially appealing to active individuals who want to take advantage of the school's proximity to the beach and an assortment of excellent hiking trails. The local college town of Isla Vista is very active socially and would be particularly appealing to students interested in a very social atmosphere.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    One of the most fun UCSB traditions is tossing tortillas onto the field at one of the school's soccer games. As one of the best men's soccer teams in the nation every game is an exciting event.

    Bang for the buck

    As a California native the quality of education for the price I pay is superb yet out of state tuition is almost as costly as many private schools.

    What to do for fun

    UC Santa Barbara's location enables students to participate in a variety of outdoor activities. The school is a walk away from some of California's best surf spots as well as some of the best local hiking trails. Students often enjoy activities such as sunbathing, kayaking, fishing, surfing, paddle-boarding, and hiking to list a few.

    Food and Dining

    With the exception of a few of the dining halls most of the campus's cafeteria food is very average. On a similar note, eating at local restaurants can get expensive and some of the popular dining stops are ridiculously overpriced.

    Dorm Life

    One third of freshmen in the Santa Catalina dormitory which is nearly half of a mile off campus and can make getting to class early in the morning a pain. The rest of the dorms suffer overcrowding and students are often forced into triples which means they place three people into a room that was designed to sleep two.

    Academic Rigor

    With the exception of a few courses, most classes at UCSB are challenging and require a lot of study-time outside the classroom. Degrees from the science departments are especially hard to earn and are well respected after graduation, helping students find a good job quickly.

    Tips for prospective students

    The main tip I'd give to prospective students is to focus on perfecting your UC application. The UC system is getting exponentially harder to get into every year and a solid application essay is a must. Once you get in though I'd advise students to focus on their studies and always remember your'e here to get an education first and foremost.

    In three sentences

    A combination of stellar academics, the perfect location, and great California weather, UC Santa Barbara is one of the overall best universities in the nation. Located on the beach both the campus and the students reflect a laid-back, beach town attitude that many prospective students find very appealing. Students spend their time outside of class either enjoying the social atmosphere of the local college town or taking advantage of the many outdoor activities.

  • 02/05/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    230 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    these people are really good. what an awesome team we have. there is no way you can feel unsafe on campus.

    Greek Life

    very involved

    Clubs and Activities

    there are so many clubs. so many things to do. awesome

    Great for these types of students

    outgoing people

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    At sports games such as soccer and basketball, there is a tradition of throwing tortillas onto the field. UCSB has a tradition where they burn couches after winning games although I'm not sure they still do this; they've been cracking down on people.

    Bang for the buck

    It's not bad.

    What to do for fun

    Sometimes I like to go out and take hikes, since the mountains are only a few miles from campus. there are so many wonderful hiking trails.I also like to go to downtown Santa Barbara, it is such a beautiful place. On some occasions, when i feel like it, I like to go to the beach and hang out.

    Food and Dining

    The food here is amazing. On the UCSB campus, there is a location called UCEN where they have many different restaurants. Great atmosphere.

    Dorm Life

    I've heard many good stories of how dorm life is like. But I've never actually lived in the dorms, so I won't say much here.

    Academic Rigor

    Like most classes in college they are going to be challenging, but they are definitely not impossible. you'll have a great time. But do study hard.

    Tips for prospective students

    UCSB is a very social university, it is really easy to get plugged into different organizations. There is a real sense of equality on this campus, you don't real here about any huge social problems going on. students are real open to a lot of things. there seems to be a great deal of understand among everyone. It' a great place to be and learn many new things. the school is literally next to the beach, so it would give you the chance to learn to surf if you haven't got the chance yet.

    In three sentences

    I would rate this as one of the best and most beautiful schools in the US. The faculty is amazing. The student life is one of the most diverse and that is what makes this school such a great place to be at.

  • 02/11/2014

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    231 of 241

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    Very beautiful campus.

  • 02/13/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    232 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    This campus is PERFECT for people who know how to balance academics and social life.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Best unusual tradition: soccer games. Attend at least one during your time at UCSB. Whenever we score a goal, people throw tortillas on the soccer field. Other than that, IV is definitely what sets us apart from other colleges. Isla Vista is almost 2 square miles and is literally a college town.

    Bang for the buck

    Definitely worth your time and money. Considering you live on the beach, the price isn't terrible. However, with the current situations with tuition prices sky rocketing, it's a decent amount of money you have to pay.

    What to do for fun

    When all else fails, have a night out in IV. We're known as the #2 Party School in the U.S. for a reason. There's always a car ride out to downtown Santa Barbara and visit State Street, which has a bunch of restaurants and nice stores. We do live on the beach, so a day out on the beach is always an option. Your possibilities are endless in Santa Barbara.

    Food and Dining

    The dining commons aren't terrible and the dessert is usually really good! Just switch up which commons you decide to go to and you'll live.

    Dorm Life

    The culture here in Santa Barbara is unique. Everyone is friendly here. Even if UCSB isn't your first choice, even if Santa Barbara wasn't where you wanted to end up, you'll be glad you chose UCSB.

    Academic Rigor

    You have to realize that it's grind hard or go home. College is definitely not like high school and being at a UC you'll definitely feel the work load. However, all students must realize that they have been accepted for a reason. Keep up with the studies and the work should come through like a breeze. It is college, so study what you're interested in and the work won't seem like a lot. Rate My Professor is also a major a help.

    In three sentences

    UC Santa Barbara is the exact utopia of the best college experience. You get to live on the beach while you're doing your studies. I love UCSB and highly encourage everyone to apply.

  • 02/21/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    233 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus is a safe place, there are always students walking around and if you don't live on campus, you will probably live in isla vista, which is right next to campus. The school also offers CSO's which are escorts who you can call to escort you from anywhere on campus to anywhere in isla vista. CSO's work all day and all night up to 3am. CSO's are very helpful because you just call them, tell them your location and they will make sure you arrive to your destination safe.

    Greek Life

    Greek Life at UCSB isn't that popular, but there are a lot of sororities and fraternities available. There are some that are focused on special causes such as the business fraternity, or health related, psychology related, women related, international, racial, etc. If interested in the Greek life, there are tons of different organizations to join and many have there own houses.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are a lot of clubs on campus. It is pretty easy to find a club related to what you like. There are clubs focused race, sexuality, sport related, dancing, martial arts, literature, science, math, outdoors, community, cultural, etc. There are clubs offered for almost any interest but there is also the option of starting your own club, which I know many people have done and UCSB has a great support system and helping students start a new club or organization. There are also sport and dance and leisure classes offered, some free some that you have to pay but its not much and they are really fun classes.

    Great for these types of students

    UCSB is a great school for everyone, there are options for all types of people with all kinds of interest. But if you enjoy the outdoors, the sunshine, and the fresh smell of the ocean, UCSB is a great school for you.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    One of our unusual but fun traditions are during soccer games. Soccer is known as our biggest most popular sport on campus. Every time UCSB makes a goal we throw tortillas on to the field. Its a fun tradition that keeps the spirit alive. We also have campus point which is a beautiful scenery to go for a sunset. On campus there is also

    Bang for the buck

    UCSB is an expensive school, but its the same with every university. It is important to know how to manage money and there are also may scholarships offered. UCSB is also good at helping students find on campus jobs that are flexible with class schedule. There are also many workshops that help students manage their money and save. Most students don't have problems with money, and it is easy to find help.

    What to do for fun

    There are many things to do for fun. Of course UCSB is known for their parties, so of course weekend nights you can find yourself on the college town known as Isla Vista where you will find a lot of college students having fun at parties. But there is more to just parties, we have the beach, so why not go for a swim, hang out with some friends or simply go for a walk. There are also volleyball courts and soccer fields and many other sports, usually on weekends or nice sunny afternoons there are always students out playing sports and don't be afraid to join in. We also have the mountains about 15 minutes away from campus. There are many trails and waterfalls during the spring which makes it fun to go hiking. Downtown Santa Barbara is also about 25 minutes away and there is a bus that takes you directly there and back to campus. The famous State St. in downtown is filled with shops where you can go shopping, or for a nice dinner and at the end of State St. you have the Pier. There are also excursion clubs that are free to go see new fun and exciting places. There are tons of stuff to do at UCSB and its surroundings.

    Food and Dining

    The dining at UCSB is really good. There are 4 Dining Commons in total, 3 that are on campus and 1 off campus. The dining commons are great, each one offers different variety of food. De La Guerra dining common, is known for having the greatest variety of food, also located in the center of all the first year dorms, they are also known for having the best Hispanic food. Ortega is also located really close to the first year dorms and they are known for having sushi, they also have special dinners such as waffle nights, taco nights, or ice cream bar night. The themes dinners are rally fun. Carillo is located on the other side of campus where the 2nd and 3rd year dorms are located, some first years live there too, it is known for having good desserts, bagels, and there sandwich bar during lunch hours. In order to eat here, you buy meal plans of your choice and I recommend the 14 meal plan since it gives you the option to eat twice a day.

    Dorm Life

    I loved living in the dorms. It was one of the best experiences I have had in my life. Coming in to the dorms can seem scary especially when not knowing any one, not even your own roommate. But dorm life is fun! The main tip for dorming and not having problems is talking to your roommate(s) the first day you meet, let them know what bothers you, your sleeping habits, what you like and dislike and make sure to pay attention to what they say as well. This will help to respect each others space and not have roommate problems throughout the year. Dorm life is really fun, you meet a lot of people and that is usually where your college friends will come from. There are activities every week, so you will never be bored, there are always people around, studying having fun, so you can always make new friends or study groups. I think the best dorms to live in are the freshmen dorms which are on campus and are the ones that truly give the best first year experience.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes at UCSB are difficult, in order to get good grades you have to put in time and dedication in making sure you are not only getting the reading and work done, but that you are also understanding the material. Most classes are taught in big lecture halls, due to the high number of students that are interested in those courses but there are small sections where you can ask questions and have discussions to get a deeper understanding. Most classes contain a lot of reading, but it is something that you get accustomed to. There are GPA requirements to get into majors, but if you enjoy the subject and the major you are in, learning and studying should not be tedious regardless of the difficulty of the class.

    Tips for prospective students

    When coming to UCSB, come with an open mind set. It is good to have a major declared because it gives you a start and direction to what classes to begin taking. But be careful to not stick with a major just because that is what you thought you wanted to be major in while in high school. It is fine to change majors. During college you take many general requirement classes that span from different fields which many times helps students truly find their passion. It is also important to come with an open mind set when regarding peers. UCSB is a diverse university and it is fun to learn about new cultures and new customes. Even though most of the students come from California, everyone is different and there are new things to learn form everyone.

    In three sentences

    UCSB is a great school that offers many majors, a great location close just a couple of steps away from the beach, and a safe community. UCSB offers many courses each quarter and in the 3 years I have not had any trouble getting the classes I need. The professors are available in office hours and also by appointment and the majority of professors that I have encountered are extremely helpful and there is also free tutoring classes and individual tutors to help out in pretty almost any class.

  • 02/22/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    234 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I've never felt safer.

    Greek Life

    Everyone is in a sorority, fraternity, organization, although you don't have to be to make friends!

    Clubs and Activities

    Soccer, baseball, swimming, fencing, hiking, you name it we got it! Go Gaucho's - except if you are looking for a football team!

    Great for these types of students

    Social, students looking for research in the sciences!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    You must go to stork tower! The view is incredible!!!!

    Bang for the buck

    It's an amazing university, if I could do it again I would!

    What to do for fun

    Party, and party, an pah- pah- pah party, study hard, getting interactive with my classmates in fun debates, co-ed intramural sports, inter-ethnic facilities for everyone, and best of all every type of organization you can think off ranging from LGBTQ, to sisterhoods, and more.

    Food and Dining

    Fantastic, you have endless amounts of multicultural and ethnic foods that range from Chinese, to Mexican, to Indian, to Korean, Japanese, and Italian! Isla Vista is a small community of it's own that cares about the guilty pleasures of life!

    Dorm Life

    Amazing ocean view, and incredible people.

    Academic Rigor

    Of course UCSB is one of the most rigorous, intellectually challenging, top- notch research university's in California!

    Tips for prospective students

    Bring your sunscreen, come prepared to learn, and to have an adventure of your lifetime. UCSB is amazing! I'll always be a gaucho!

    In three sentences

    Coming to UCSB is the best choice I've made my entire life! It's beautiful, Eco-friendly, with an endless amount of opportunities, and every professor is admirable. The Gaucho life is the way to go, you will never regret attending such an intellectually challenging university.

  • 02/26/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    235 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Safe campus, never afraid to walk alone.

    Greek Life

    Different sororities and fraternities if you're interested.

    Clubs and Activities

    endless clubs and activities that pertain to pretty much any field.

    Great for these types of students

    Students who like to focus on school yet go out and have fun and let loose!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Halloween here is surreal!

    Bang for the buck

    It's expensive, but for a better future it's more of an investment.

    What to do for fun

    You have endless opportunities here. Living next to the beach always gives you something to do.

    Food and Dining

    Food is amazing. you have so many options every day from three different dining commons. Choices are pretty healthy, and delicious too!

    Dorm Life

    The people you meet may become your new best friends. It can get hectic, but the community and friendships built are life changing.

    Academic Rigor

    The courses are challenging but as long as you dedicate your time and effort you'll do just fine.

    Tips for prospective students

    Just because you were able to wing it in high school doesn't mean you can do that in college! manage your time well and be sure to study!!!

    In three sentences

    This school is amazing. It provides a good balance between academics and a social life. There's no place I'd rather be than UCSB!

  • 03/03/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    236 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    Over 500 active and awesome clubs!

    Great for these types of students

    Party-goers

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    We throw tortillas when our soccer team loses. You read that correctly. Tortillas.

    Bang for the buck

    More expensive than a CSU but worth it.

    What to do for fun

    Hit the beach and surf, or check out Downtown! I'd stay away from DP (del Playa) for a while, as things there can get crazy.

    Food and Dining

    Unfortunately, there isn't much in the way of food, unless you want to eat pizza and sandwiches every day.

    Dorm Life

    I live in the student apartments and they are amazing. Clean, quiet, and spacious, without even being too expensive.

    Academic Rigor

    There is an intense amount of expectation from professors who are world-class scholars, but don't let that intimidate you because there are so many services on campus to help you out (I happen to work for a few!). Just expect to have to work.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't go insane your first year, as a lot of people overdo it and get seriously hurt. Have fun but be responsible.

    In three sentences

    The lifestyle is intense and something to adapt to, as UCSB has a reputation as a party school. However, don't let that fool you because UCSB is a serious research institution. There's the beach, the nightlight, and the academics, and it's up to you to balance the three.

  • 03/04/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    237 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The campus itself is safe but crimes committed in IV seem to overshadow this since it is literally steps away from campus. The safety concern would be in IV not on campus unless you have a bike that isn't lock correctly.

    Great for these types of students

    Great for students who want to work hard and play hard. Gauchos work hard during the week, go to class, study, and take tests just as any other college student would, but the difference between us and others is our reputation for being a party school. Yes, the weekends are usually filled with parties to attend but we know the times that are suitable to do either.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Tortilla throwing at the soccer games is a huge tradition

    Bang for the buck

    To live in the dorms costs more that the total tuition for an instate resident. It's ridiculous. I think they believe that they can charge more because of location but they are sucking me dry. The tuition is reasonable and on that end I feel that I am getting my money's worth considering the good professors and tons of resources here for me to use (try to use as many as you can because whether or not you do you still get billed for it).

    What to do for fun

    Party in IV but if you're not a big party-goer, there are always alternative events put on by the RAs in each dorm that you can go to which are pretty fun with free food. Explore Santa Barbara since UCSB really isn't in Santa Barbara but in a town called Goleta. There are tons to do downtown like shopping, museums, music venues, and the movies. And there is always the beach!

    Food and Dining

    The first couple weeks that I was here the food was great, but as the quarter progressed it seemed as if they ran out of ideas. The dishes are never cleaned completely so be careful when just picking one up and using it without inspection. Although they have the same stuff week after week, it still tastes appetizing but eventually regardless of what is being served you will become sick of the food. On the bright side, the desserts are always on point.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are relatively small (I have a triple) and if you don't get along with your roommates or have problems with personal space, it may be a problem for you. The people in my dorm are pretty chill so I don''t spend a lot of time in my actual room so I do feel the smallness.

    Academic Rigor

    So far, it hasn't been too challenging. I am a pre-biology student in the typical classes (general chemistry, calculus, lab). There are several resources available to you that failing isn't an option. Last quarter, I went to tutoring twice a week through CLAS (Campus Learning Assistance Services) and ended up with an A in my Calculus class and a B in Chem 1A.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do your research, ask current students, and visit before committing to any college. In the long run you will be satisfied with your choice.

  • 03/16/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    238 of 241

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Isla Vista is right next to campus so all the big parties are just a few blocks away from the dorms. If you are not into the party scene, there are various clubs that allow you to meet people very quickly and greek life on campus is 1/4 of the student population and I encourage you to join something while you are here.

    Food and Dining

    Isla Vista is right next to campus so if you get sick of campus foods, consider yourself lucky because there are over 50 restaurants right next to UCSB. The food on campus is very good for campus food, but you will get sick of it quickly. As opposed to the food off campus, it can get very expensive if you eat out too much.

    Dorm Life

    I lived in Santa Cruz when I was a first year and it was AMAZING. The dorms are built so that we use less energy- the windows are tinted, paper towels are limited, water fountains are clean, etc. If I could live in my dorm room again, I would; considering I had a beach view, I don't think I would ever be able to get that back again.

    Academic Rigor

    Make sure you take school very seriously when you are a freshman because it can become difficult in courses if you slack off the first half of the quarter. Many students among you are very smart without needing to study so if you are not like them, I recommend you study very rigorously.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make new friends once you enter college because after the first year, it becomes very difficult to join a new group of friends as everyone has become situated. If you are unable to handle the party scene and school, please do not try to juggle more than you can handle and set your priorities straight. Also, study very hard to get into the school, but also study very hard to not get kicked out.

    In three sentences

    UCSB is right next to the beach which is a ten minute walk away from almost every building. Although the school is very selective in the admissions process, I would recommend you study very hard in high school to get admitted to UCSB because this school is like a dream come true. All the buildings and meals on campus are very sustainable and UCSB offers many clubs to stay active on campus.

  • 03/25/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    239 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The undie run during finals week!

    What to do for fun

    THE BEACH (obviously). There's also the really cute downtown Santa Barbara which is your typically tourist-y beach town. Also about half an hour north is a small Danish town called Solvang and an ostrich farm!

    Food and Dining

    Not the best, but when you're a sleep-deprived and broke college student, you can't really complain!

    Academic Rigor

    The quarter system kicks your butt but it'll definitely enhance your study habits and work ethics!

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't get distracted by the beach, do make time to study! Take time to look into the different organizations and clubs on campus. Utilize the academic resources that are available, such as going into your professor's office hours and visiting your academic advisor.

    In three sentences

    When I first applied to UCSB, I didn't think too much of it, meaning it wasn't my number 1 school. In the end, I decided on a whim to attend this school without visiting the campus ever. But I fell in love at first sight with the beauty of the school, the kindness of my fellow peers, and the many different organizations that are established on campus.

  • 04/03/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    240 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Even though there are means to stay safe such as contacting the CSO (community service organization) escorting service more lighting around dark roads around campus are necessary.

    Clubs and Activities

    A great number of career oriented clubs and organizations available for all students.

    Great for these types of students

    Students who are interested in majors such as Biology or overall research majors.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    A tradition for UCSB is to walk down Del Playa Dr. during Halloween and witness ridiculous costumes.

    What to do for fun

    If you are an outdoors person hiking or going for a run in Santa Barbara is amazing. Having the ocean right by UCSB is also a plus for going for a job or simply sitting on the sand to read a book.

    Food and Dining

    The school has chefs dedicated to creating nutritious, organic, and overall delicious dishes.

    Dorm Life

    You have the chance to meet so many new people with a completely different ethnic, social, and academic background.

    Tips for prospective students

    1. Explore various courses before choosing a major. 2. Join clubs and organizations and make connections. 3. Enjoy your college experience!

    In three sentences

    The students at the university are friendly and always willing to lend a hand, We Gaucho-back! The campus is extremely beautiful as it sits next to the ocean. The food is amazing!

  • 04/23/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    241 of 241

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Though campus safety was never the issue, it has become a very heavy topic this year. Cases such as robbery, rape, and stabbings have occurred near the campus in the Isla Vista Community. I am trusting out security however because of the increased manpower. I have witness more foot patrols walking around the community looking for any potential danger so the residents do not have to worry.

    Greek Life

    Greek Life is definitely a big aspect at UCSB as many students join Greek life and enjoy the many advantages that Greek Life has to offer. It not only brings you the brotherhood/sisterhood aspect but forces you to be more involved socially, academically, and physically. Greek Life not only throws many parties but also makes sure that everyone is on top of their grades through many dedicated fellow Greek members. I myself am involved with Greek Life and I can easily say that Greek Life is something worth checking out.

    Clubs and Activities

    UCSB offers many clubs and activities but a popular one that I am involved in is Excursion Club. This club is very sophisticated in how they do things. We can not only leisurely grab a free board and wetsuit to go out and surfing, but the club offers many trips weekly to go kayaking, rock climbing, surfing, and other aquatic/physical activities that anyone can enjoy.

    Great for these types of students

    Students who are only disciplined enough to go to classes and stay on top of homework but also are inclined to make the most out of their college experience should attend UCSB.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    One unique location that people like to check out is the beautiful Campus Point location where people go to watch the sunrise/sunset and relax as they enjoy the sounds of waves and other animal life.

    Bang for the buck

    Not a lot of people realize this but UCSB is a very tight-knit community for a campus so large as ours. People know about each other, people know of events going on, and everyone has a friendly personality. You can go around and say hi or start a conversation with anyone here and they will never respond harshly and if anything, be more welcoming to you. It's not all the great things we have that makes UCSB so great, it's the people you go to school with.

    What to do for fun

    Because UCSB is located on a beach, the beach is obviously one of the biggest attractions it offers. UCSB not only has many viewpoints to watch the oceans and the sunset, but also has it's very own marine aquarium that students can check out for free! Furthermore, UCSB's campus is next to the Isla Vista community in which many restaurants and shops are located for the students' leisure.

    Food and Dining

    Food at UCSB isn't the greatest, they're just tolerable. It's very similar to Hometown Buffet in the sense that you just get the food you feel looks best to you for the day. Otherwise, that's all you get to eat. If however you choose to eat out on/near campus, there are so many little restaurants to check out with many cheap and delicious foods.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life is phenomenal. Especially for those who are coming to UCSB and are very nervous, don't be. You end up becoming very close to your floormates due to constant interactions on a day-to-day basis. I ended up finding some of my closest friends in my very room. UCSB does a good job in pairing compatible people into rooms and ultimately creating lifelong friends. There's always things to do as many RA's strive to gather many students on random nights to participate in activities accompanied with free foods, free entertainment, and a free stress-relief from all the studying!

    Academic Rigor

    This school isn't a joke as it's rising higher each year academically. We were ranked #2 nationally for research so understand UCSB isn't just the party school. We may play hard, but we work harder.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you're looking to come to UCSB, you should definitely have a bike. The majority of transportation is done through biking, and in the long run it's a healthier choice than taking the city bus and waiting for them to pick you up. Also, know that the school you're going to has a lot of competition. Expect to be stressed and frustrated amongst your peers as they are competing to get higher grades. Lastly, stay safe and be friendly. There has been many recent violence that have occurred within the community and the only way to avoid more potential crimes is to stay in groups to be safe. BE friendly, and you will never run out of people to go out with to be safe.

    In three sentences

    At UCSB you'll find a blend of relaxed culture, wild party scenes, and a body of students who study to outdo others. This university is the definition of a work-hard-play-hard environment as it embodies students who probably study harder than anyone you know, and can definitely get more wild during the nights than you can ever dream of. The culture of UCSB is simply to stay relaxed, have more than enough fun, and excel in academics.