University of California-Santa Barbara Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?


Professors do not know my name. I feel like TAs may, or they may not it depends on the class. Some students study consistently throughout the year, but those who are here for more than just education study when it comes down to the wire. although since we are all such brilliant students we can pull out As and Bs when we cram. Students are very competetive. We always want to do better than our friends in the class. Some of the GEs are reallllllly boring. especially since its not a subject tht im interested in. I wish there was another way around that. I have had two VERY good teachers in my bus.econ classes. Professor Anderson and Professor Harmon. I feel that they are interested in our understanding of the class and the material, they want us to succeed and have a good time doing it.


Classes are boring but i go to all of mine and get good grades. I like my major and am currently getting really involved with my minor, speech and hearing, which is overwhelming right now, but interesting. The professors are cool, most don't know me by name but if i wanted them to (went to office hours, made myself known, etc) than i'm sure they would.


I wish students at UCSB took their studies more seriously, however, I know that many individuals on this campus double major and take graduate classes.


Unlike several universities, most classes at UCSB are very large. However, visiting your TA's or professor's office hours is highly recomended for getting acquainted on a more personal level and for receiving assistance on the material. As for teaching style, each class differs. Some teachers promote class involvement and leave time for Q & A. In contrast, some teachers spend the entire class lecturing. UCSB's academic requirements are a positive way to built incentive to study and go to class. In addition, the GPA requirements for getting into the major of your choice promotes a competitive environment that I like to be a part of. Not only do I challenge myself to work hard despite the many distractions, I learn more and do better in my classes. As you probably know, UCSB is a research university and offers many hands-on classes for the sciences. For this department, education is more geared towards learning for its own sake. On the other hand, my major is Bussiness-Economics and there are a number of opportunities available for networking within the firms and going through the interview process on campus.


I love all my classes so far. I really enjoy my Spanish classes because the are smaller and more intimate than large lecture halls. Some of my professors know my name and all my TA's know me by my first name. I think i am learning things that i will be able to apply to my life in the future and it think it is amazing.


In the lower division classes you are in classes sized anywhere from 200 students to 700. This does not make for a very intimate environment, but we do have discussion sections that meet once a week to clarify the lectures or readings. If you're lucky, you'll get a good TA, but every once in a while you will get a TA that is totally unqualified to teach the course (whether it be inherent stupidity, a language barrier, etc.). If this is the case, take advantage of your professor's office hours. And make sure to go to your professor/TA's office hours. They are not as scary as they seem and TA's will grade you easier if they know you and professor's will be more likely to change your grade in case of a dispute if they know who you are. Upper division classes are great! The class sizes are much smaller (anywhere from 35-150) and there are no discussion sections so professors really try to engage you in class participation (at least in my majors, Political Science and History). Sometimes it may be difficult to get a class you want, but if you email a professor before the quarter starts they will usually put you at the top of the wait list and you'll get in. UCSB offers a wide variety of classes. Everything from History of Surfing to Geology of Antarctica and Sports Psychology is offered. There is something for everyone here. If you come in with units then you will definitely graduate in 4 years as long as you take at least 12 units and 16 units once a year. It is not difficult.


My favorite class is the only one in which my professor knows my name. I don't like the class because of that, in fact sometimes it makes it a little more stressful to know that when i talk he knows exactly who i am and can relate it to papers and assignments i have done. It is my favorite class because it is one in which i have no stress of midterms or finals, but only have to read novels and write about my personal responses to them. in class i get to hear what others had to say and also discuss my point of view. My least favorite class was one in which the professor was impersonable and unchanging in his opinions. It is very hard as an english major when i am supposed to look at things from multiple points of view and attempt to get out different meanings to have someone tell me that there is truly only one possible meaning, and everything else is wrong. I had a class last quarter which i will never forget because the teacher was such a genius she made absolutely no sense when she spoke. I thought i was going to fail it because i couldn't even follow a single sentence of her lecture, but in the end i learned that i just needed to broaden my view points and learn that in english you have to be a little crazy because sometimes that's how you get the best interpretations of something. I love the english major, once i got past the prerequisites and into the upper division class it got so much better. I like having smaller classes, even though there's no ta, i feel as if i have more freedom with what i do and the class is so much more personable. i myself have no idea what i am going to do after college, so from my perspective, education here is simply about learning about what's out there and gaining knowledge which will help you, but for other's who know what they want to do, they are easily able to find classes geared toward aiding them in that direction.


the honors program is amazing. i love being able to have time with my professor and just a few other students to meet and discuss the course. it is really helpful when you have a lecture of 400 kids and it seems easy to get lost. i feel like the classes here are definitely challenging and even though it may seem like we are more academically relaxed everyone here is actually a good student and the professors seem to be genuinely interested in teaching. i would definitely recommend the french department as well, my classes have all been incredibly small just ten or fifteen kids and you really get to know your classmates and your professor.


I have really gotten a well-rounded and valuable education here at UCSB. I have taken a broad spectrum of classes that are applicable to my actual life, from the history of surfing to nutrition to sexual politics in America. I love my classes, both my Gen Ed ones and my sociology major ones. My education at UCSB has truly made me a more intelligent person, someone who will be competent and capable in whatever career I choose, as opposed to just being 'booksmart.'


Classes-ROCK. CLAS has saved my life, our Comm department is one of the best in the state and almost everyone you ask is a Bio Major. And yes, I've had many a three-some with Mr. Davidson.


I feel that as a freshmen the classes are not that personal. They are very large and sometimes i feel that I could just not show up for class ever, do the reading, and still end up getting a good grade.


unless the class is humongous, every professor ive had has tried to learn my name. in my experience and with the comm major, students only study before midterms or finals. day to day reading and studying is not common. however, my friends who are bio majors go to the library to read on a daily basis.


i am only a freshman so i have only been taking big GE classes. so none of my professors have known my name (except my writing teacher, who was amazing), but the TAs make a big effort to get to know the students. because ucsb is a uc it is more geared towards getting students prepared for further education, however there are still practical classes and majors that you wil be able to get a good job with straight out of graduation.


i was always scared to go to office hours to talk to my professors probably until my junior year. even though they always say, "just come say hi!", i felt like i needed to have a problem or question before i talked to them. now that i have the courage to go to office hours, i feel so much better about going to lecture because i have a personal connection with my professor. if they know you, they want you to do well. as a comm. major, i feel very comfortable in ellison hall because i have formed relationships with many of my comm. professors now. it is definitely one of the best things you can do! i love the comm. department here! all of the professors are very established researchers and are very intelligent. they are always willing to help and guide you in a positive direction whether it is looking for internships, deciding which classes to take, or trying to find a job. the career center is also extremely helpful.


Classes are great! There is a huge diversity in major choices and some very interesting GE courses available. The teachers are for the most part the cool laid back type because that is the type that Santa Barbara attracts. Professors are for the most part easy to approach about help or with questions. The departments are very well laid out and the TA's are generally very knowledgeable and helpful. Most lectures are optional because teachers put the slides online but a few now and then take attendance. Going to class is usually a good thing though and they vary in length from 50 minutes to a few hours. There are options for all types of studiers.


Some great and some bad. Too many foreign professors.


Depending on your major, there are some incredible opportunities for learning and growth. The engineering department has a worldclass faculty, conducting cutting edge research and delivering an education comparable to IV league institutions.


Our academics are amazing, and I've really enjoyed the wide variety and selection of classes offered on campus.


Class sizes really depend on the class you are taking. The GE classes can be pretty big, ranging from 400-900 students. But you can have one-on-one time with TAs or professors if you go to their office hours so it's really easy for your professor to know you by name. Also, sections rarely have more than 30 students. And once you get into upper division classes, the number of students in each class decreases dramatically so it's a more focuses environment. I have plenty former professor who still recognize me and talk to me by name when I happen to see them around campus.


Academics at UCSB is very competitive. My most favorite class has probably been psychology 102. I really enjoyed the teacher and the class was on social psychology, which really interests me. In most of my classes, class participation hasn't been common because the classes are rather large (about 300 people). However, most of the classes I have taken are lower division classes and now that I am taking more upper division classes, they are smaller and more seminar oriented. In my major students are highly competitive because it is the closest thing we have to pre-med so several students are on the med school track. For the most part, I would say the learning at UCSB is geared towards higher degrees of learning, such as graduate school or medical school. Therefore, in the end it is geared towards getting a job.


So far, i have really enjoyed my professors. Although they seem very intimidating at first, thep professors here are very easily accessible and always willing to help. Everyone is encouraged to do well. Yes, there are curves and people strive to do their best but class is not highly competitive; in a good way. People are illing to help eachother, form study groups and not be vicous when it comes to grades. The one thing people should know is that this schools curriculum is geared towards research and continuing on to higher education. All of the professors are highly skilled researchers. Theory is often taught. If one is looking to get right in to the job field, this may not be the institution for them.


I have really enjoyed my academic experience at UCSB, especially within my majors: Global Studies and Art History. UCSB is a research institution and therefore learning of general material and research methods are more encouraged then instruction based on a career path. One of the most unique classes that I have taken at UCSB is the Human Sexuality class where a husband and wife teach the class together. Students at UCSB are not known for their studying, yet the mentality is that it always ends up getting done (maybe even with a drink in hand or while laying out by the pool).


As I stated before, our reputation doesn't do our student body justice. It's true, our professors don't generally know our names, but that is mainly our faults. If you introduce yourself and attend their office hours, not only TA's, then of course they will know who you are. It becomes much better once you enter into upper division classes and begin to speak to your professors one on one. Not only do you become closer with your teachers, but the classes in general become closer and you find friends outside of your close nits. As an English major we have a wide aray of classes to choose from, everything from detective literature to Shakespeare. So far my favorite classes have been a class completely focused on the literature by Jane Austen, and an introductory class focused on American Literature. My Jane Austen class was amazing, my professor took the students into the books as if we were the characters and we began to feel like we were living our lives through her. It opened my eyes to a totally knew way of reading and understanding the world. My English 10 intro class had a focus on American Literature and authors. It varied from African American writers from the Harlem Renaissance, to Robert Frost and Billy Collins. We discussed the war and watched and read documentaries from veterans and related many of their tales to books written during the Civil war and the depression-constantly comparing the two. I have never learned and enjoyed learning so much than in these two classes. Not to mention, the English department is very helpful with placing you into the classes you need, and helping you find classes that interest you!


UCSB has large classes for the most part, but professors and TAs make themselves extremely available during the week for consultation and help. Being a political science major, so far my favorite teacher has been Professor Belkin who teaches international relations and a class on gays in the military.


In academics, CLAS is a major help. I came from a private high school, so I was used to a small classroom environment. CLAS, "campus learning assistant services," makes that possible and allows me to strive for what I want to achieve.


I have made really good contacts with several professors who know me by name. I have been given the opportunity to both work with a professor in his lab for a year as well as be a teaching assistant for a quarter. UCSB students definitely have intellectual conversations outside of class. Students are very competitive, but also willing to help each other to a certain extent. Although we are very supportive of each other.


The large class size at ucsb can definitely be a challenge. A professor will not know your name unless you give him/her the opportunity. It is very imporant to be the one to make an effort and go above and beyond to make yourself known in a class.


Academics here are great... as an environmental major, the professors and courses offered are GREAT! There are also a lot of resources available for students on campus such as extra computer lounges, libraries, and so on. The professors usually are very understanding when it comes to personal situations and are here to help... they want to see us succeed. Many of the professors, at least in my field, are world renowned and have great international influence in their field... they are also very useful in finding a job after college.


I am so scared to fail. You choose the difficulty of your schedule, but even the easiest class require attendance & work. INT 20- "Intro to the University" was a freshman seminar & has changed my college experience forever! This class not only teaches students unique qualities of a research university, but it allows them to see the experiences & get to know other freshman at UCSB that are very different from them. You're so focused on your own problems & stresses freshman year and hearing the difficulties others encounter really put my own problems in perspective. Not only am I aware of others but I now understand the stages in my own development.


I'm a Global Studies and Poli Sci-International Relations emphasis double major. I love both of my majors. Every class for my major that I've taken has been amazing. I've learned so much. I've never gotten to develop a personal relationship with any of my professors unfortunately because you have to go out of your way to do so (staying after class or going to their office hours). Still, there are many professors that I think are amazing just because they're brilliant or know how to teach very, very well. Especially when you're on the quarter system, getting the material down as quickly as possible is the main goal, and I appreciate professors who can help us do that. Many professors enjoy student input during lectures, even in classes with 200-400 people in it. You're constantly asked to think critically about what you're being told, and to always question it. Since students aren't cutthroat-ly competitive around here, students don't feel uncomfortable about voicing their opinions in large classes, or small classes either. I've had many intellectual conversations outside of class, many students are very passionate about things they're learning or seeing in the world around them. I feel like I'm getting a great education at UCSB, and like I'll have a good foundation before I go to law school.


-classes at lower level are large: 300-700 students -favorite class: music 15 -least favorite: english 50 -hardest: econ 2 -easiest: dance 45


I feel that as long as you don't count math and science courses, for the most part, the teachers do try to achieve a personal relationship with you. This depends a lot on whether or not you want to have that relationship. The TA's for the most part are great too. They usually always try to learn your name and establish some sort of relationship. I still talk to some of my TA's because they are great people. UCSB wants to give you the best education possible, and the G.E.s help accomplish that. They make you a more well-rounded student whether you want to be or not.


Large classes make it harder for the professors to know you and for you to pay attention. However, most classes are interesting and everyone tries pretty hard. I try to take the time to meet most of my TA's and professors.


I wish there were more classes available. It is way too hard to get into good classes


I have made the most of every class; that is the reason I am in college. I have earned more A's than any other grade because I have put my all into each class, reading, section, etc. Like much of life, class is what you make of it. People may say that a degree from UCSB is a joke, but I disagree. This is a top-notch university, and engaging in discussion with professors and other students has helped me make the most of my academic experience. As such, I will be graduating in only three years with collegiate honors.


Of course there are certain classes that are required and pretty boring, but the majority of classes are actually interesting. Though some are huge and you don't get close with your professors, the TA's I've had are actually so helpful. They know you by name and do everything they can to help you succeed. Yes, there is a lot of work but if you stay on top of your stuff and don't get behind it's totally do-able. I recommend taking Soc 152A, human sexuality because it's the most amazing class!


Although many people think that all people care about here is dicking around, I've found that's so not true. Everyone here who lasts more than a quarter has just mastered the art of balancing. It's nice that people aren't overly competitive, everyone just does their own thing and seems pretty content with that. 95% of the classes I've taken here have been awesome. Professors are reflective of students with a chill mentality, yet they know how to push you without you even realizing.


Depending on what you major in the academics can range from easy to hard. I am a Biochemistry/ Spanish major and I must say that although my biochemistry courses were VERY chanllenging, Spanish courses were relatively easy. I have been speaking Spanish since I was five but if you are a native, or almost fluent language speaker I suggest you add on an extra major to have more challenging course work. Your effort and choice of major affects how much you can gain here at school.


I think one interesting thing about UCSB academics is that classes have a lot of variety in terms of class size and structure. Some classes like the ones in Campbell hall are huge and you may never even clearly see your professor's face. Other classes (especially english classes) are a lot smaller and it's just your professor and like 20 people and no TA's. I think that poli sci majors talk about their subject outside of class but most people seem to leave intellectual conversations for the classroom. While it is the norm for students to leave studying or writing papers until the last minute, I think this is largely a product of the quarter system. With just 10 weeks, it's difficult to start assignments early especially because a lot of the material that assignments are based on isn't given until just before the midterm/final/paper due date.


My favorite class so far has been a comparative literature course I took on Homer and Virgil's epics. The actual lecture itself was not engaging or even exciting - many days I fell asleep despite my best efforts to the contrary. However, I enjoyed reading the Odyssey, Iliad and Aeneid and really enjoyed my discussion. Professors in lecture halls generally don't know names, but if you're in their honors section there is a better chance that they will. With TA's it's different; they know your name and often the way they track your progress and attendance is reminiscent of high school.


We have a really good academic program, have a great Environmental Studies program and great bio programs. A lot of the classes are good they are big, but if you go to section you get the more personal help you need. You don't normally know your professors really, its your ta that you now.


My favorite classes, of course, have to be my math classes and my art history classes. I am a mathematics major and I am also minoring in the History of Art and Architecture. I love my classes, the way in which each professor interacts with the students and the way in which every lecture they are always prepared and honestly excited about teaching the curriculum. Yes, believe it or not, during these last past two years I have only missed 2 classes; I attend class EVERY DAY, and I am very proud to say that I enjoy waking up and going to class. The students are very competitive, especially in my major classes. I mainly spend time with my TA'S outside of class, they aid me over the material we went over in lecture, and such. I feel that UCSB's academic requirements are very high, and reasonable at the same time. I feel that they are on a level which is demanding, yet at the same time achievable. The education I will acquire at UCSB will set my path towards my future; either going to graduate school, FIDM (fashion institute of design and merchandising), or diving right into my career.


A lot harder than expected. but if you work hard you play hard, and its SO TRUE here. Its not often that professors know anyone but the honors kids, but the ta's can be a great resourse and if you get to know them it REALLY pays off. unfortunately I didn't figure this out till my second year... oh and you get a great education here but only the bus/econ major with accounting emphasis really prepares you to go straight into a job. all the others kinda push you to grad school or don't really give you a good idea about what to do afterwards.


I don't ever talk to professors outside of class


Most of the classes are really big so the professors usually don't know anyone in their lectures. People study at such different levels, some hardly seem to study while others seem to be constantly studying.


classes range from enormous (900) to tiny (10) but it depends on the major. class partipation is rare, especially in sections. intellectual conversation takes place, but you have to look hard to find it. the french department is fantastic. academic requirements are relatively easy to fulfill. depending on the department, ucsb can prepare you for getting a job (econ, bio, etc.), learning (english, music), or neither.


I am an English major and I am planning to minor in classics. My TAs know me well because I email them often and go to every section, however I do not try to contact my professors much, I haven't found a pressing need to. I would like to contact my professors so they know my name, but I just haven't yet. Students are pretty competitive, especially in classes that are required for pre-reqs for majors. My roommate talks about how competitive everyone is in her physics, math, and chem class because they all need those classes for med school. The most unique class I have taken so far (this is very hard to decide because I've loved them all, weird, I know, but true) has been human sexuality because it is such an unusual class that is not commonly taught, but very relevant to the college age group, and quite informative. I feel UCSB's academic requirements are to the UC standards, but not as competitive as other schools, like UC Berkeley for example, or UC San Diego. I feel the education at UCSB is geared more towards learning and expanding the mind rather than job training, but if one is looking to orient themselves toward a specific career, that is totally possible.


Amazing, enlightening classes and everyone works to help eachother out. My study sessions at the RBR will be just as memorable as my time spent at the Study Hall (bar).


Classes are big...most of my classes are lectures where the professors do not know my name. Academics here are harder than you may expect them to be...BEWARE.


The academics are very good and extremely challenging at UCSB. I know the names of all my professors and they make a sincere effort, for the most part, to accommodate and help the students. My favorite class so far at UCSB was Human Sexuality(Soc 152A) and my least favorite class was Chemistry 1A. Class participation usually depends on the teacher. I have taken classes both that have frequent discussion and others that have little at all. I have noticed that studying time of the students varies mostly depending on their majors and their extracurricular activities. Most of the conversations outside of the class are not very intellectual. I have noticed that they usually involve the past weekends activities or the plans for the upcoming weekends. There is also discussion on tests students have just taken and how classes are going. Students are very competitive here and there are a lot of extremely smart people. The most unique class I have taken is Human Sexuality. It was extremely interesting, the professors were a married couple and they received a standing ovation at the end of the quarter. I do not spend time with my professors outside of class and rarely ever attend office hours. UCSB is extremely hard and the academic requirements are hard, but if you put in the effort and focus they can be accomplished. There is also a lot of help available if someone is struggling. UCSB is a research university so I think that it is geared toward learning for its own sake.