Sorority sisters volunteering at a blood drive.
Photo by Jon Kalan
The College of Letters and Science is a vibrant academic community that embraces and promotes intellectual, socioeconomic and ethnic diversity.
As admission to the UC system becomes increasingly competitive, UC Santa Barbara’s student body is more diverse then ever. The campus has seen a rise in the number of African American, American Indian, Chicano, and Latino students as a percentage of total enrollment, from 14% in 1994-95 to 24% in 2009-10.
On campus, students have access to academic resources and social and cultural networks that can enrich their educational experience. Resources include support for undergraduate research, the Educational Opportunity Program (for eligible students); academic advising (through the College’s Office of Undergraduate Education and through academic departments for majors); Student Affairs; and campus cultural organizations and student groups. The UCSB MultiCultural Center presents over 90 events each year that increase cultural awareness and understanding. These events include lectures, films and videos, panel discussions, readings, art exhibitions, and music, dance, and dramatic performances.
Computer lab in the Student Resources Building.
Photo by Kim Bui
The new Student Resources Building (SRB) (left) houses the Office of Student Life, Campus Learning Assistance Services, and the Disabled Students Program. The SRB is also home to the African Diasporic Cultural Resource Center; American Indian Cultural Resource Center; Asian Resource Center; Chican@/Latin@ Resource Center; Greek Student Resource Center; Middle Eastern Student Resource Center; Non-Traditional and Re-entry Student Resource Center; the Office of International Students and Scholars; the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity; and the Women’s Center.
The student body is just one part of a diverse academic community; the College’s outstanding faculty, rigorous liberal arts curriculum for undergraduates, and innovative graduate programs are equally important elements.
UC Santa Barbara’s faculty are recognized for their interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and our innovative academic departments and programs reflect today’s diverse and globalized society. The faculty cross traditional boundaries in their teaching and research, and students in turn broaden their understanding and appreciation of different viewpoints, and embrace a more global perspective.
For undergraduates, the traditional liberal arts education is based on the study of diverse subjects - literature, languages, philosophy, history, mathematics, and science. All undergraduates in the College must meet General Education requirements, which include courses on world cultures, European traditions, and ethnic studies. These are part of subject areas covering English, foreign languages, writing, social sciences, culture and thought, the arts, literature, and mathematics and the sciences. Through this course of study, students have a wide range of options to take classes in the College's renowned area studies programs (Black Studies, Asian American Studies, Chicana and Chicano Studies, Feminist Studies, Global and International Studies), as well as to study world religions, Islamic architecture, modern China, global warming, women’s struggles in Africa, Asia and Latin America, French African literature, or any number of courses described in the General Catalog. This intellectual diversity teaches students about different cultures, traditions, and societies, and helps them to be active and informed members of their own society.
The College participates in initiatives to increase the participation of underrepresented students in doctoral programs, including the McNair Scholars Program The UC Santa Barbara Graduate Division partners with the Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships, located within the California NanoSystems Institute, on the UC LEADS program. This is a two-year program where undergraduates who are interested in pursuing doctoral degrees in the sciences and engineering can explore their disciplines and experience a research environment.
For graduate students, the College offers many possibilities. Overall, UC Santa Barbara has more than 80 outstanding research units, centers, and institutes, nearly all of which are interdisciplinary and provide innovative research opportunities for graduate students. The College offers graduate students the opportunity to work closely with faculty, with an intimate graduate student to faculty ratio, allowing for close mentoring of students.