University of California-Santa Barbara Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?


The academics here are really great! They classes are really challenging and require full attention. You cannot take a class and only give it 50%. Even the "easy" classes take effort. The professors are nice enough but some of the classes are so big that its really hard to get to know them. My favorite classes are my communication classes because thats my major and I'm really interested in the subject. I think that UCSB is geared more to learning for learnings sake. The school is a research university, which means that it's all about doing experiments, and while this is helpful for writing books and teaching classes it doesn't necessarily apply to real life.


The classes are big, but there are many opportunities for individual help.


The academics at UCSB are far more challenging than those than i experienced in High School but I like them. Many of my TAs and professors are completely helpful and avaible to me.


I love the communication major! It is so exciting to write a research paper citing your professor! Many professors are published in the communication world and have extensive knowledge on their specific topic. The academics are challenging, forcing students to think outside of the norm and come up with their own thoughts and ideas.


No joke, went to one lecture, and got a 98% in dance 45. No joke, studied 28 hours, attended every lecture, as well as tutoring sessions and got a 33% on a chemistry midterm. It varies!! I'd say more on the challenging side.


Academics depend on your major. i am a soc and history double major and i love it because alot of the courses overlap. UCSB students i feel do have intellectual conversations outside of class, esp when it comes to politics but they all know when to stop and just have fun. The education at UCSB is awesome, i have learned so much, and i feel the education will help me in the future.


Classes are pretty big in the lower division. TA's are usually pretty good. Professors are always available to meet with no matter the size of the class. There are always job fairs and people recruiting on campus. Students aren't really competitive and cut throat with one another. The atmosphere is really laid back and people are always trying to help each other out.


UCSB has a quite a bit of intellectual people. I used to think there weren't because around Isla Vista there aren't a lot of intellectual people, then i remember a lot of SBCC kids live in our neighborhood. But i usually run into some really intellectual UCSB students where we have social commentaries or whatever is happening in our classes. I'd say we are a group of smart, hard working individuals who enjoy having people around to relate or just communicate with. We joke about our professors, the weird ones, the funny ones, the boring ones, etc. I've had some pretty chill professors and usually they remember my name, i don't really expect for some classes, but the professors who i like the most are the ones who have really opened my mind.


I feel like the English department is a little neglected compared to the science buildings and newer buildings. It's cold in the winter! Bring on some heating! I often found the required large lecture classes were very draining, whereas the smaller classes that involve student discussion, more than lecture by the professor, have been much more interesting and inspiring.


As a biology major, all of my classes are really difficult and competitive but I also know people who are different majors that don't have to study nearly as much as I.


mentioned above.


You would be surprised how outstanding UCSB is in academics. The accounting program alone is know for producing top quality graduates who have ranked first on the CPA exam and also ranked top five in the national auditing competition by PG&E. Additionally, UCSB was the first to have an Asian American studies program or a Womens Studies Program in the US. Not only is UCSB on the cutting edge of academics but also research. You should check it out.


The students here aren't very competitive, which is really nice. So far, all the students I've encountered are extremely friendly and very helpful. Class participation really depends on the students in your class. Sometimes they participate a lot, sometimes it's dead quiet. Students here actually study a lot, much to my own surprise. You'll find the library and Student Resource Building packed during the weeks before miderms and finals. Many students will spend all day at the library. For the most part, all my professors that I've interacted with outside of class for help have been very helpful and so were the TAs. The best classes to take are Psych 2, Ess 3, and Soc 152A. Psych 2 is a very interesting class and Fridlund, the professor, is very enthusiastic. Ess 3 is about nutrition and it's really good because it can be applied to your own health. You learn about a lot of health myths. UCSB has really opened my eyes globally. Before coming here, I must admit I was very self-centered. After coming here I realized what was going on in the world and learned a lot even from the most boring and hardest classes.


Academics at UCSB depend a lot on what the students put into their studies. Since there are so many options of classes and studies I have found that most people are really involved with what they are studying becuase they are really interested in the subjects. Especially when you get to the upper division classes they become really specific and you get to really pick and choose what you want to take. Most professors I have had have been really involved with students as long as the students take initiative to seek out help. I also always hear conversations about science or literature around campus, I have found that not only do UCSB students party hard, but they are very intellectual at the same time. So far the most unique class I've taken is Geography of Surfing. It is realyl interesting to learn about the culture of such a popular sport here. I really respecty the academic requirements because it helps students become more well rounded but they are not extemely hard requirements they are just enough to get a shallow knowledge of a little but of everything. UCSB education I find is geared a lot toward career building and research which I enjoy a lot because the professors always have some research going on and they can always use help. I have personally been able to get jobs in labs which is great expereince for the line of work I am headed toward.


Not competitive. lower division classes are packed and not much professor interaction unless in honors course - but upper division classes are smaller and there is definately interaction during lectures. Plus discussion / lab allows for extra attention if you need it. Also there is an excellent tutoring program for the maths and sciences called CLAS and this is invaluable. I have loved all of my environmental studies classes and when i go to the department for help with my schedule I always get it. leaving UCSB is like a wake up call because you realize that you are among an elite group of young adults at UCSB - we TOTALLY have itelectual conversations outside of class!!!!! All of my friends are passionate about their studies and even if the dont like a class they are in they definately still have an opinion on the topic.


THEY ARE GREAT. Some classes are huge others are smaller.. You need to find out what you like and there will be something to fit your preference.


As a freshmen, most of my classes have been in large-400 person lecture halls with little student-professor interaction. The discussion sections are helpful because they are in smaller classes with TA's. I think that as students get into upper-division classes, class sizes get smaller and student-professor interaction increases.


The curriculum I have gone through over the last 4 years have been tough. Many homework assignments and many tough tests. I have loved all of my design classes. These classes are very competitve especially since there is a design competition in everyone. UCSB's ME department has definitely put me in a position to get a very good job coming out of college.


With my experience so far as a major in the sciences, I find that students are rather competitive (in a healthy way!). I don't encounter many intellectual conversations outside of class among the undergrads, though I am aware that the people within the math and sciences tend to study a good amount. There's a lot of people I know who are in less rigorous majors who do not have to study as much. I've gone to office hours for professors, though I have never attended regularly. I feel the education at UCSB is definitely geared toward learning for its sake. If you want an excellent education, you can most definitely achieve that at UCSB. But if you think "C's get degrees," and that's all you want/need, then you can achieve that here too.


Most classes (especially introductory courses) are extremely big, held in huge lecture halls, and very impersonal. Most professors and TAs welcome questions and attendance at office hours, but it can be intimidating which makes it unlikely to make the effort. I am a communication and psychology major. A disadvantage of UCSB [in my eyes] is that it is all geared toward research, which I have met very few people who that interests. Therefore, many of the classes focus around theories and preparing one to do research, when in reality, very few are actually planning on using that in their future careers.


professors are a bit unapproachable/favorite class was poli sci 7-international relations because professor belkin is amazing and the class was very very good/our school is competitive within the classroom but only outside in terms of passing and getting in in competition with city college attendees/german department and trying to figure out my double major- very amazing department, small and very personable/i do spend time with my prof outside of class for german- we have lots of class extracurriculars including movies and coffee meetings/the academic requirements to get in are a lot more challenging than the academics at the actual school is my opinion/ucsb is geared towards finding what you want to do and sticking to it- there are resources for everyone so it depends what you decide to do and how you will get there and take advantage of what it has to offer or not


i've really liked most my classes. some teachers shouldn't teach, and don't even seem to really like people. others really enjoy what they are doing. the psychology classes are pretty fun, but my favorite class so far was sex and relationships. everyone became friends, and it was nice to go to a class where everyone knew your name.


classes are great. most teachers are fair and informative


Emphasis in on research here. Undergraduate education is not a priority. Research money is what it's all about.


Class is like any class I've ever had. Professor lectures, students comment and question here and there, and most it's taking in what they have to say on the subject matter. You definitely get a different perspective on your professors when you go to their office hours. They can be really helpful or really not. I know some students go out to lunch with some of their professors, that can definitely benefit them in the future.


i never got too close with my professors. i HATED astronomy. its not stars and meteors, its straight physics. so it sucked to be me. i really liked the history of black popular music by dr. earl stewart. he's the man, take anything he offers. a great teacher and an even better person. depending on the class, participation takes place, but sometimes people like to think they're really cool and know a lot of answers but that's when i get annoyed, usually from hearing their voices and dumb comments too much. i'm here to learn, not to make out with them. global studies is a great major. i like that big picture mentality, so taking a step back and learning a lot about a myriad of different topics and categories really kept my interested. i learned about international business ethics, global environment trends, regional sociology, global culture and religions and international trade. woo.


i love almost all classes i take at ucsb. of course there are always classes you dont like but overall i am more than satisfied with what i have taken from my education. I am sad i am graduating because there are so many more classes i wish i had at least another year to take. class participation is very common. as a soc major we discuss many controversial and debatable topics and ideas. so students who are interested have something to say. the sociology department has lot of diversity in it, in the classes offered as well as professors and lecturers who teach. we have some very prominant figures who are known in sociology literature and i am proud to learn from them.


Academics are solid. The math professors don't speak English, but CLAS makes up for that. Students study a moderate amount, but it isn't a competitive thing. Lectures are big but if you speak up the professor will learn your name.


In order to get a professor to know you by name, especially in a large class, you have to go out of your way to go to office hours. Other wise you are nothing but a number. Students study a lot. Many people know the party reputation of UCSB, but not that our school is actually challenging and requires study skills. Class participation is only common in small classes. Big lecture halls rarely have interaction and most people get annoyed if class goes over the time period anyway. I do have intellectual discussions outside of class. It comes with going to school with intelligent people. I have not personally taken this class, but we do have a sailing class, which I heard it amazing. The psychology department is extremely helpful with any questions or concerns. The classes are interesting and challenging, while the professors are overall very good. Plus, because we are a UC, many research opportunities come up where students can work with professors on psychology experiments, which looks great for Graduate school.


No professor has ever learned my name. Europeans, don't take anything in the Chicano Studies department if want to be able to look yourself in the mirror. Everyone in the sciences is competitive but we help each other out too. I always had the feeling that we were "in this together." That really helps, especially as a Freshman and Sophomore. Back then you are still studying too much and learning too little. It isn't until Junior year that you hit your stride, and start to have an enjoyable life on the side. I regretted my decision sometimes, but then I would be talking to a friend and we would start discussion the pros and cons of L-glutamate supplementation (no pros in my opinion) and suddenly I was proud of all the work I'd done.


I knew all the professors in my department by their first names. They always took the time to speak to me. Most of the young professors are cool enough to make time for you outside of class. Archaeology was one of the coolest majors I saw during my tenure at UCSB. The department is small, but well known the the field. However, dont expect a job straight out of college. Very little in the way of hands-on field work unless you travel.


Whether or not professors know your name really depends on the class. I've had classes that have 300+ people, so they obviously won't know your name. But I've also had classes with only 20 people and I really get to know my teacher, and he/she gets to know me. For every class, you also have a discussion section each week that tends to have a small amount of people, so you at least get to know your T.A. How much students study definitely varies, again, depending on your class load. Last quarter, I didn't leave the quiet study room. This quarter, I don't think I've been there once, and I have way too much free time on my hands. I've had some of the most intellectual conversations I've ever been a part of here at UCSB. I've been in a lot of controversial debates with my roommate and friends. We still talk about stupid stuff, but it's nice knowing that people can hold an intelligent conversation, too.


On a 4.0 scale ( 4 being Harvard and 1 being a Community College. Id give a UCSB a 3.4


Most introductory classes are huge, and the professor definitely won't know who you are unless you talk to him/her directly. (They love it when you do, though.) I had one introductory course in IV Theater - which holds over 500 students - where the professor took attendance for every lecture (it was a nightmare), but all the other introductory courses usually leave lecture as optional, and then put questions from lecture on their tests. In this case, it's good to get a friend in the class. The nature of the majors at UCSB varies. Engineering, I hear, is the hardest. It has its own college, even. The next hardest would probably be Biology or Chemistry, especially in the lower division courses where the competition is high. I'm a sophomore Communication major, and so far it's been very feasible. The introductory courses can be a little boring, but I have friends in upper division Communication, and they said that those courses are smaller and significantly better. I'm looking forward to it!


Some of my professors know my name. However, all the professors are willing to get to know the students, but you have to take the initiative and go and talk to them in office hours. Some classes are different with others when it comes to class participation; the smaller classes like writing require more participation then the big GE classes. I have not really spent much time with my professors outside of class. However, I did take one seminar and for our final the professor had pizza at his house that was pretty cool! Education at UCSB is geared a lot towards research is some departments.


A lot of my professors do know my name. My favorite classes have been my Russian classes (the professors and my classmates are great and I've learned a ton) and also my sociolinguistics classes, because I thought they were absolutely fascinating. My least favorite class has been semantics, mostly because of the professor I'm sorry to say. Students study A LOT. That's how college goes. Class participation is common, but most of the participation is done by a few students. I hear lots of interesting intellectual conversations going on outside of class. (The dining commons especially seems to inspire all sorts of bizarre but interesting ones) Students want to do well, but theyre supportive of eachother too. There's way more cameraderie than competition. That's one of my favorite things about UCSB. My major/department is wonderful. I love linguistics. I highly recommend taking a class in it to anyone who comes here. I think the education at UCSB is geared towards learning for its own sake, but it should definitely be a huge asset in getting a job as well.


Once you start getting into upperdivision classses your professors begin to remember you. My favorite classes here at UCSB have been Politcal Science 7 which is an intro class to international relations with professor Belkin and all of the Black Studies classes I have taken especially those with Professor McAuley, Lipsitz, and Madison. I am a Political Science and Black Studies major and I enjoy being apart of both departments. The learning at UCSB is definitely more theory based becuase we are a research based institution but I do feel like I have learned many skills that I will carry with me into the work force.


Professors don't generally know names. But my music professors do. favorite class: anything other than writing has been quite fun!~ Least favorite: Writing. Not fun at all. Studying: really depends on people participation: pretty common Music major needs to take many many more classes than any other majors. I don't think it's fair at all because we don't get many credits at all for them and it just seems like the administration thinks that since most people who are in the major genuinely love music, it's ok to make them do more since they're doing what they like to do. UNFAIR. Job...I really don't know.


UCSB professors are here to help you. They WANT you to go into their office to talk to them, most of the time-they're pretty lonely. In class participation in discussions are important (it's part of your grade). Some interesting classes UCSB students should take are: Soc152A (human sexuality) and AsAm 8 (about AsAm gender roles). Even if you're not sexually active, or if you are...Soc152A is a great class to take- the midterms are pretty difficult, but nonetheless, I've gotten so much out of the class. The most important thing to do for your classes is to visit the T.As. They're the ones that determine your grades, and sometimes, they feed you answers to the test or tell you what's going to be on it. There's a lot of reading for every class, but I have not experienced any competitiveness. Our school is pretty chill.


The Humanities at UCSB are great. Profs are sooo interested in the material, and in getting you interested in it. If you put in the effort to get to know them, they will get to know you, and remember you. The 4 series in History is great, as is 17. Religious studies, global studies and comparative literature are always great classes. I feel like the more you relate to or enjoy the class material, the less you will have to study, and the less of a chore it will be. It is soo important to make sure that you are in classes that you will enjoy and not just that you feel like you should take.


honestly--no. Professors do not know my name, because I am not a student that goes to see them in office hours. I go to see my Teacher Assistances (TA) more than the teachers because the TAs do the grading! My most favorite class--Social Deviance by C. Terry, and Religious Studies 7 by K. Albanese. They were the most passionate people in their teachers, and smart. Very knowledgeable, and I think that there should be more teachers like them in the school system. They are open minded, and just exceptional teachers. Least favorite--Oceanography. I cant tell you anything about it because I dont remember haha. studying varies from student to student. between my two closest friends--one studies all the time and has a very high gpa. and the other studies sometimes but is average. but some thing that is really interesting, i have a friend that parties a lot and got a 4.0 one quarter, so it all depends on the student. Class participation is very common in upper division classes. lower division, not as much unless there is a section for the class. But as the classes get smaller, they usually call for you to participate. Yes, most students do have intelligent conversations outside of class because most of the students here are really smart. me and my friends do all the time, but i think its because we do not have the same majors so when we get together it it interesting to see what is happening outside our majors. Yes, in the science and engineering programs, it is very competitive. but some of the other majors, i am not sure. The most unique class I have taken? greek mythology. it is not that unusual. but it is the only reading class i have taken here and it has been one of my favorites as well. I am a double major with Sociology and Religious Studies. we have one of the best religious studies departments across the nation and the classes are nice. in this major, i do not spend much time with any of the professors. they are all nice and very intelligent, and the head chair, Albanese is amazing. Sociology is more of an emphasize then religious studies. i enjoy this major a lot more because it is what i want to do with my life. I want to change the world one day, and this is how i am going to do it--with sociology. And sometimes i spend time with these teachers, but mostly with the TA's again. I think the requirements are okay but I think that people need to be well rounded. So it is good, but i think Area C--math, science, and technology should be two instead of 3, because i do not like this area. but thats just me. And yes my education here is going to go towards my career. I want to work with people, and I want to change lives, and sociology is going to help me do that.


I have never run into any problems brought by competition at UCSB. Everyone wants to do well and students know they can use each other as a resource to do well. Its great to know I have that as well as help from professors and TAs.


only professors that i WANTED to know my name knew my name. you get out of it what you put in. it isn't usc, and professors dont go out of their way to get to know you or accomodate you in any way, unless you put in the extra effort. at first, that was something that bothered me, but in the end, it taught me a great lesson of maturity and accountability. you really cant rely on professors to force you to turn in your papers or do well on exams like highschool. ucsb students definitely have intellectual conversations outside of class. but again, you get out of it what you put in...if you seek out those type of people and the environments where you will be exposed to those kinds of conversations, you will not have a hard time finding them. the education at ucsb is definitely geared for learning for its own sake and NOT for getting a job. definitely one of the my experience, the education i got was not fine-tuned at all in the way that it should be to get you mentally prepared to thinking about a career.


I've noticed a lot of professors do know my name, but my classes are relatively small and each teacher has office hours. I don't have a favorite class this quarter; I like Film 101B and Anthro 131CA far more than Italian 179X. The Italian teacher is ridiculous; he makes up words and teaches a mash-up of film theories and teaches them as though they're the gospel truth! It took reading an article by a film theorist for my film class to understand what my Italian teacher is talking about! I am taking it pass/no pass because I can't understand it. I think students actually study often, at least in my house they do. We make late night group trips to the library and have designated "quiet study hours" time. Students having


As far as I know, professors dont know my name. I hate all my classes this quarter. Students usually only study when it comes to finals or midterms. Class participation is usually common in most of my classes.Some UCSB students have intellectual conversations outside of class but I cant speak for everyone so I dont know. Most students are not very competitive as far as I know.


once you get to be an upperclassmen, the classes are smaller and teachers do know your name. students study a lot during finals week; sometimes we were required to meet with ta's and once in a while i would go to meet with my professors voluntarily. i liked talking about books with my friends who also like reading. when we had good classes together we would have long talks about the books we were reading and the professors.


Some. Political Science 115, law in the modern state. History 4 series. Not enough. YES! Barely. Sometimes. Political Science 126...national security. Its a great major, i love it. NO. They are sufficient. Getting a job.


I am a double major in Classics and Economics. The Classics Dept. is very small, underfunded, and made up of very friendly professors. I am on first name basis with all of my Classics professors, along with the students I take classes with. Classics professors have even been known to come to some of my barbeques. Classics is a great discipline, and I have used my knowledge of Greek and Latin in ways that extend beyond my major. The Economics Dept. is very large. I only started to recognize my peers in class after I began to take upper level classes. The professors can be great, or terrible. Economics is an interesting study, and good to put on a resume, but the department is no better than other departments at this school. Most students study during the week and party hard during the weekend. Students are usually smart... the types who get A's without working hard in high school. UCSB's education is very much geared to learning for learning's sake, but student's who work hard and get internship's have no trouble finding jobs. Student's who receive a broad, liberal arts major usually end up building on that foundation with graduate school, and making the big bucks in the end.


Professors do not know your name unless you make an effort to go talk to them at office hours. You might get to know your TA. Most people don't make the effort to go to office hours. My favorite classes have been through CCS. Least favorite, Gen. Chem or calculus for sure. Students study at least a bit every day, excepting a day or two on the weekends. In big lectures class participation doesn't really happen, its hit or miss in the discussion sections whether or not there is participation. Some students have intellectual conversations outside of class, my friends certainly do, but i can't speak for the entire college. I haven't seen too much competition between students. The most unique classes are though CCS. I'm a CCS Literature major so there is a much greater emphasis on small classes, individual attention, and creative writing. It is much less restrictive. I will go and see my professors within my college. I feel that for many people, the GEs are necessary to get them to take a broad range of classes, though it is a challenge to even get into an interesting course covering the ethnicity requirement. In Letters and Science, UCSB is geared towards getting a job or going onto grad school or med school or some other sort of extended education. In CCS, it is more geared towards learning for learning sake.


Professors don't usually know your name because the classes are so big, but if you go to there office ours they are always willing to get to know there students. My favorite class at Ucsb was physics because the professor makes it very conceptual and shows various demos to make his explanations clear. My least favorite class was biology because they expect you to find a way to memorize all the info yourself. hard core students study alot!! UCSB has a hard curriculum, it gives you the chance to compete with the best. Students are pretty competitive in the more demanding majors. UCSB makes it a point to start weeding studens out of the majors that too many students are in. That is very frustrating. They make the second year at school alot harder so that people change their majors. I think the requirements make for students that are more well rounded and have a good sense in each topic. I feel like it depends on your course load if your learning is geared toward getting a job or learning for learnings sake.