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UCSB Acceptance Rate and Admissions Requirements

Jan 17, 2023

The University of California Santa Barbara is a prestigious institution committed to imparting world-class education to students. Founded in 1909, the university today offers various courses to students of different nationalities. In the fall of 2020, it enrolled 23,196 students from all over the world.

The UCSB Acceptance Rate is estimated at around 36.6 percent. Most of the students who got accepted to the school had SAT scores above 1480. Students also need a composite ACT score of a minimum of 27. It is also estimated that the UCSB GPA Requirement ranges between 3.75 and 3.96. The University of California Santa Barbara is a highly selective college. Continue reading to find out how to get into UCSB.


University of California Santa Barbara Ranking

Colleges are ranked as per their performance in various accepted indicators of acceptance. University of California Santa Barbara is a public school. In the year 2022, it stands in 5th position among the nation’s top public universities.

Undergraduate courses at UCSB are offered in the following colleges:

  • College of Creative Studies
  • College of Letters & Science
  • College of Engineering

UCSB Acceptance Rate

All the students who apply for admission to the University of California Santa Barbara are skeptical about their chances of success. UCSB Acceptance Rate is very low. Therefore, students need to prepare rigorously to get an offer letter. In previous years the average UC Santa Barbara GPA Requirement was estimated at 3.96 on a scale of 4.0.


This figure indicates that according to UCSB GPA Requirements, only A- students are considered for admission. Anyone with lower grades hardly gets a chance to take admitted to the school.

Admission Requirements that Decide UCSB Acceptance Rate

While planning to take admission to the University of California Santa Barbara, the first question that comes to your mind is: how to get into UCSB and what are the admission requirements? Though many aspects are included in this university’s admission.


It would be best if you Primarily focused on the following:

  • UC Santa Barbara GPA Requirements
  • ACT and SAT score requirements.
  • Essay writing.

In this article, you will get to know the UCSB Acceptance Rate and admission requirements to increase your chances of selection. If you want to enroll in UCSB, the first thing to notice is the UCSB Acceptance Rate because it tells you the level of competition. The average acceptance rate is calculated at around 36.6%. This means that in every 100 students, 36 are granted admission by fulfilling SAT score, ACT score, and UC Santa Barbara GPA Requirements.

From the available data, it can be said that UCSB is highly competitive. But, if you fulfill all the admission requirements, consisting of SAT score, ACT score, and UCSB GPA Requirement, you will undoubtedly get an admission offer.


UCSB GPA Requirement

You must be wondering about the UC Santa Barbara GPA Requirements to secure a seat at the university. From the available data, it is estimated that the average UCSB GPA Requirement for a freshman was nearly 3.96 on a scale of 4. Therefore, it will be perfect to say that students with A- and higher grades are considered for admission.

The Following Table Demonstrates the UCSB Acceptance Rate According to the UC Santa Barbara GPA Requirements

UC Santa Barbara GPA RequirementsUCSB Acceptance RateCompetitiveness 
3.75 and above81 %Good
3.50 – 3.7514%Reach
3.25 – 3.501%Low
3.00 – 3.251%Low

SAT Score Requirements to Increase UCSB Acceptance Rate

Students’ SAT scores play a vital role in getting admission to UCSB. Let’s find out the average SAT score for the school. Typically, admission officers want applicants to be among the top 20% of SAT test-takers. In addition, the university generally wants your SAT score to be at least 1230. If you score anything below this figure, your chances of getting admission might be meager.


The University of California ranks 3 in California for considering the highest SAT score for granting admission. The average SAT score is estimated to be 1360 out of 1600.

The following table demonstrates the SAT score required for increasing the UCSB Acceptance Rate.

SAT ScoreAcceptance rateCompetitiveness
1480 and aboveAbove 42%Good
1355-148030-42%Above average
1230-135520-30%Below average
1105 and belowBelow 13%Low

UCSB ACT Score Requirements

Your ACT score is essential for the UC Santa Barbara admission requirements. Previous years’ admission data indicates that the school grants admission to only those whose ACT score is above 27. However, in some cases, the school accepts an ACT score as low as 24.  Applicants with an ACT score of 30 or above are given top priority while offering admission.


Therefore, students with 30 or higher ACT scores stand a great chance of getting into UCSB. It would help focus on scoring exceptional marks on the ACT to enhance your chance of getting into UCSB.

The Following Table will Give a Clear Idea About the ACT Score and its Competitiveness

ACT ScoreAcceptance rateCompetitiveness
34 and aboveAbove 44%Good
30-3430-44%Above average
27-3021-30%Below average
Below 24Below 15%Low

How to Get Into UCSB?

From the above data, it is clear that getting into UCSB is quite challenging. Applicants need to prepare rigorously in high school to secure a seat in college.


Following are some tips that will surely help you in preparation for UCSB:

  • Focus on achieving at least a 4.17 GPA in high school by taking the most challenging classes. The UCSB requires a minimum 3.0 GPA for California residents, and for out-of-state applicants, it is 3.4. To increase your chances of selection, you need to have an average GPA score.
  • Get involved in Extracurricular activities to stand out from your competitors. UCSB values unique talent and quality while making an admission decision. The school authorities want to know what benefits you will bring to the school. Activities like club participation, award-winning research, and creative projects with national recognition are great for impressing the admission officers.
  • If you have the documents of in-state residency, then you should use them to apply as a California resident. In-state, applicants have higher chances of getting through the admission process. Last year, only 9 percent of the out-state applicants were selected for USCB’s freshman courses.
  • Essay writing is an essential part of the admission procedure. UCSB has its application with a unique essay prompt. The school does not accept joint applications for admission.
  • While writing an essay, you need to be focused on your uniqueness. School authorities want to see your talent rather than someone else’s way of writing. Remember, you can not ditch the admission authorities by copying from elsewhere. Moreover, it hugely benefits the applicants if they are genuine.
  • If you are facing some particular challenges like disabilities, backward social background, low family income, family’s first generation to attend college, financial difficulties bring it to the light of school authorities. UCSB considers all the special requirements of applicants for making the final admission decision.

What Does UCSB Look For In the applicants?

Just like all other universities, UCSB also focuses on the score of applicants. However, you need to remember that just by satisfying the score requirements, you don’t get selected for admission. You need to complete all the approved courses in A-G subjects with the slightest grade of C.

The following subjects are Included in A-G courses:

  • A: History/Social Science
  • B: English
  • C: Mathematics
  • D: Science
  • E: Language other than English
  • F: Visual & Performing Arts
  • G: College-Preparatory Elective

Merely meeting the least GPA requirement is not enough. You need to prove that you are enthusiastic about taking on new challenges to improve your learning. UCSB is focused on knowing your achievements beyond academic performance. If you have opportunities for volunteering, club participation, and other extracurricular activities, you should participate in them. It dramatically improves your application for admission.

Academic Life at the University of California- Santa Barbara 

At UCSB, for every 17 students, one faculty member is assigned. As a result, 54.1% of college classes have less than 20 students. This improves the chances of individual attention being given to students for a better learning experience. UCSB offers degree courses for business, fine arts, humanities, science, psychology, visual arts, social science, biomedical sciences, and education. The average student satisfaction and freshman retention are calculated at 93%.

Students who are worried and doubtful about how to get into UCSB should remember that with exceptional preparation and a great extracurricular profile, they can easily get into UCSB.

ucsb acceptance rate


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