Attaining eligibility means meeting the minimum requirements to be admitted to UC Santa Barbara. However, meeting minimum eligibility does not assure admission. When UCSB cannot admit all eligible applicants, we use standards called "selection criteria" to select students who are more competitive than the minimum requirements. 

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Eligibility Requirements

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1. Subject Requirement

Students must successfully complete UC-approved courses in the A-G subject areas with a 'C' grade or better.* If you attend a California high school, check that the classes you take are on your school’s UC Certified Course List by referencing the A-G Course List resource website.

*UC has temporarily suspended the letter grade requirement for A-G courses completed in winter, spring and summer 2020 for all students. A-G courses completed in winter, spring, and summer 2020 with Pass (P) or Credit (CR) grades will satisfy appropriate A-G requirements.

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2. Grade Point Requirement

Students must earn a minimum GPA of 3.0 (3.4 for non-California residents) in all A-G courses. Only the grades you earn in A-G subjects in the tenth and eleventh grades – including summer sessions – are used to calculate your preliminary GPA.* Courses you took in the ninth and twelfth grades can be used to meet A-G subject requirements if you earned a grade of C or better, but they will not be used to calculate your GPA.

*UC has temporarily suspended the letter grade requirement for A-G courses completed in winter, spring and summer 2020 for all students. A-G courses completed in winter, spring, and summer 2020 with Pass (P) or Credit (CR) grades will satisfy appropriate A-G requirements.

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3. Personal Life Accomplishments

UCSB doesn't just look at academic accomplishments to bring in our freshman class. We look at your extracurricular activities and accomplishments in light of the opportunities available to you. Learn how applications are reviewed.

A Note on ACT & SAT Exams

UCSB will not use SAT/ACT scores in our selection process for fall 2021 applicants. All applicants to UC have the option to submit scores on the application. If you elect to do so, these scores will not be visible to Admission Counselors reviewing your application to UCSB. For details on the UC system, visit the UC Exam Requirement page.

UCSB departments that previously recommended SAT subject exams have suspended these recommendations given the current challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Selection Criteria

Admitted applicants exceed the admission eligibility requirements above. UCSB considers 14 holistic review factors to review your achievements and personal qualities in the context of the opportunities and/or challenges you have experienced. We do not compare your application with any other applicant, regardless of school or location.

Evaluation by College & Supplemental Applications

  • College of Letters and Science: Choice of major is not considered and a supplemental application is not required except if you're applying to dance or music performance majors, which require applicants to complete an audition in late January or early February.
  • College of Engineering: Students are selected by major for all five majors. No supplemental application is required. If you're interested in engineering, you should have a solid background in advanced high school mathematics with high grades in all math courses through 11th grade and enrollment in pre-calculus or higher in 12th grade. Be sure to select a second choice major outside of Engineering on your application: if you're not selected for Engineering you will also be reviewed for your second choice major if one was selected.

  • College of Creative Studies: All applicants must submit a supplemental application, which is reviewed by Creative Studies faculty, in addition to the general UC application. If you're not selected for Creative Studies you will automatically be considered for admission to Letters and Science.

Personal Insight Questions Resources

Use these guides to help write your UC application Personal Insight Questions (PIQs).

 

PIQ Guide in English

If your primary language is English, use this UC PIQ guide.

UC Personal Insight Questions (English) PDF

 

PIQ Guide in Spanish

If your primary language is Spanish, use this UC PIQ guide.

UC Personal Insight Questions (Spanish) PDF