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 2023. To share some encouraging news, 10,000+ transfer applicants are still 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/checklist 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.

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.

The previous year (2021), the acceptance rate broken down by gender was:

  • Male transfer applicants: 44.3%
  • Female transfer applicants: 53.4%

When trying to get the complete picture of how difficult it is to transfer into a given school, it is important to also look at historical data. Many schools have wild fluctuations in transfer acceptance rate from year to year. Yet this is not the case here. As you can see, UC Santa Barbara is always within the 48%-58% range.

Historical transfer rates are as follows:

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

 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

All students must submit the following items as part of their UC Santa Barbara application:

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

  • Completion of the 7-course pattern requirement
  • Minimum 60 UC-transferable semester (90 UC-transferable quarter units)
  • Lower Division 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 3.5 or better GPA.

UC Santa Barbara Transfer Acceptance 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 35%
Psychology 52%
Economics 58%
Communication Studies 56%
Sociology 54%
Computer Science 10%

UCSB Transfer GPA

According to the university, the median GPA range for admits was 3.59.

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?

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

This school only admits transfer students at the junior level for fall entry only. One-third of the overall student body is made up of transfer students.

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 blog to be of interest:

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