The College of Letters and Science

Melvin Oliver. right, Executive Dean of the College of Letters & Science and SAGE Sara Miller McCune Dean of Social Sciences, presents the 2012 Luis Leal Award to Alexei Mlodinow for outstanding achievement in the social sciences.

Melvin Oliver, right, Executive Dean of the College
of Letters & Science and SAGE Sara Miller McCune
Dean of Social Sciences, presents the 2012 Luis Leal
Award to Alexei Mlodinow for outstanding achievement
in the social sciences.

The College of Letters and Science is an innovative and diverse academic unit that offers some 90 majors and 38 minors to more than 18,000 undergraduates and some 2000 graduate students. Building on the great strength of its traditional disciplines, the college’s departments and programs provide exciting opportunities for faculty and students at the cutting edge of interdisciplinary inquiry.

As the largest center of teaching, learning, and research on the UCSB campus, the College fosters an environment of stimulating intellectual exchanges among senior faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates. The undergraduate curriculum encourages exploration and intellectual breadth through the completion of the General Education Program, and provides depth through the acquisition of the analytical skills and methods of a specific academic discipline. The College Honors Program provides enrichment opportunities for highly motivated students.

The College’s Division of Undergraduate Education, headed by the Dean of Undergraduate Education, offers academic advising and direction and is the home of the Honors Program. Faculty members from diverse disciplines serve as assistant deans and are available for consultation on a variety of academic matters. An experienced team of peer and college advisors assist students in individual consultations and in small group meetings and workshops.

Academic departments and programs form the core of the College of Letters and Science and are grouped into three academic divisions: the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts; the Division of Mathematical, Life, and Physical Sciences; and the Division of Social Sciences. These divisions collectively hold close to 50 departments and programs, as well as numerous interdisciplinary centers and research units, in which some 700 faculty teach and conduct original research. Faculty collaborate with colleagues in the College of Engineering, the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, and other units.

One of the greatest strengths of UC Santa Barbara is the interdisciplinary nature of the university. Interdisciplinary study is characterized by a crossing of academic borders and boundaries. Building on the traditional strengths of a liberal arts education, rigorous scholarship, and inspiring teaching, our innovative programs engage students in a variety of interdisciplinary approaches and methodologies. Students can choose a course of study from across the College’s divisions, drawing on classes in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Many students have double majors and minors. As part of their undergraduate education, students may choose to study abroad in one of 34 countries through the Education Abroad Program, or at the University of California centers in in Washington D.C. or Sacramento.