UCSB Transfer Acceptance Rate and Requirements – 2024

December 18, 2023

ucsb transfer acceptance rate, uc santa barbara

Only one-quarter of the 111,000 freshman applicants to UC Santa Barbara are admitted. This makes the school about three times as selective as it was back in the late 1990s. In fact, UCLA in that era had a much higher acceptance rate than UCSB does in 2024. To share some encouraging news, UCSB is a very transfer-friendly campus—10,000+ transfer applicants are admitted to Santa Barbara each year. This blog will share the UCSB transfer acceptance rate as well as other essential pieces of information like the UCSB transfer deadline, the requirements for applicants, the UCSB transfer decision date, and much more.

UCSB Transfer Acceptance Rate

Below we present the most current available UC Santa Barbara transfer acceptance rate as well as historical data.

For entry in the fall of 2023, UCSB received 17,069 applications and accepted 10,302 students. This means that the UCSC transfer acceptance rate is 60.4%.

For entry in the fall of 2022, the UCSB transfer acceptance rate was 58.1%. That year, UC Santa Barbara received 17,632 transfer applications and accepted 10,246 students.

When trying to get the complete picture of how difficult it is to transfer into a given school, it is important to look at historical data. Many schools have wild fluctuations in transfer acceptance rates from year to year. However, this is not the case here. As you can see, UC Santa Barbara is always within the 48%-60% range.

Historical transfer rates are as follows:

Year Acceptance Rate
2021 48.8%
2020 49.2%
2019 51.1%

UC Santa Barbara Transfer Acceptance Rate by Major

At a school of UCSB’s size, it’s also essential to consider acceptance rates by major. Here are some of the transfer acceptance rates for some of the most popular majors at the University of California Santa Barbara:

Major Acceptance Rate
Biology 47%
Psychology 66%
Economics 61%
Communication Studies 70%
Sociology 72%
Computer Science 11%

UCSB Transfer Deadline

For every academic program, the UCSB transfer deadline is November 30. The application window opens on August 1, so you can begin completing all materials at that time. The FAFSA deadline is March 2.

UCSB Transfer Requirements

The UCSB transfer application requirements are as follows:

Official transcripts and letters of recommendation are not part of the UCSB transfer requirements. In fact, they are not even accepted during the admissions process. However, by January 31, all applicants will need to complete a Transfer Academic Update (TAU) that provides their fall grades and planned spring coursework. If accepted, you will need to provide final, official transcripts.

In addition to meeting the aforementioned requirements, you’ll need to have achieved/earned the following:

  • Completed the 7-course pattern requirement
  • Possess a minimum 60 UC-transferable semester credits (90 UC-transferable quarter units). To clarify, this school only admits transfer students at the junior level.
  • Completed selective major or non-selective major preparation courses.
  • Apply via a Transfer Admission Guarantee (majors in the College of Engineering, College of Creative Studies, and select Dance, Music, and Theater programs are ineligible).
  • Possess a 3.4 or better GPA, particularly if applying to a selective major.
  • Attended a California community college. UCSB gives preferences to applicants from CA community colleges, to the tune of a 91.7% acceptance rate.

We recommend thoroughly reviewing the UC Transfer Application Guide.

If you are a student at a California community college, we recommend thoroughly exploring ASSIST for articulation agreements between Santa Barbara and your current school.

UCSB Transfer GPA

In the most recent cycle, the mid-50% GPA range for admits was 3.48-3.92. Moreover, according to admissions: “it is recommended that you have an overall transferable GPA of 3.2 or higher for most majors (3.6 or higher for engineering). The higher your GPA is, the more competitive you will be in our selection process. If you are an out-of-state student or a non-California community college (CCC) student, it is recommended that you have a GPA of 3.5 or higher.”

University of California Santa Barbara Essays

Required UC Santa Barbara Essay:

Please describe how you have prepared for your intended major, including your readiness to succeed in your upper-division courses once you enroll at the university.

Choose 3 of the following 7 questions (in addition to the mandatory prompt above):

  • Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time.
  • Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.
  • What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?
  • Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.
  • Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?
  • What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?
  • Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California?

All essays have a 350-word maximum, and applicants are encouraged to answer the three that align most closely with their individual experiences and circumstances.

UCSB Transfer Decision Date

The UCSB transfer decision date will be posted on the Applicant Portal by mid-to-late April.

Final Thoughts – UC Santa Barbara Transfer Acceptance Rate

If you are accepted as a transfer student to UC Santa Barbara, you’ll be in good company—one-third of the overall student body is made up of transfer students. Additionally, we encourage any prospective transfer to set up a 15-minute conversation with a transfer admissions counselor.

Straight from the admissions office, here are a few final important tips:

  • Finish UC-E and UC-M requirements early. Do not wait until the spring term before transferring to take these courses.
  • Finish major preparation courses early. Do not wait until the spring term before transferring to complete all your major preparation.
  • If you TAG to UCSB, make sure you also submit your UC application to UCSB under the same major.

If you are looking for information on how to apply to UC Santa Barbara as a first-year student, you may find the following blogs to be of interest:

Those searching for application info on other institutions may wish to visit our Dataverse pages/blogs: