Images of UCSB

  • The cliff outside of Computer Science
  • Sunset over Santa Barbara hills
  • Looking north outside of Computer Science
  • The courthouse in downtown Santa Barbara
  • Behind the UCSB library
  • Another flawless sunset
  • The Santa Barbara airport
  • Fireworks near the Santa Barbara Pier
  • Palm trees along the cliff
  • Kohn Hall
Academic Research

  • UCSB Computer Science Department has seen a meteoric rise in the most recent ranking of the Ph.D. programs by the National Research Council (NRC). The new NRC ranking places the UCSB Computer Science Department solidly in the top ten! Unlike the US News and World Report graduate program rankings which are purely based on an opinion poll, the NRC rankings are an objective assessment of a program's quality based on a vast amount of collected data that are analyzed using a sophisticated ranking formula. The website allows users to browse the NRC assessment data interactively. We are happy to see the rankings catch up with the cutting edge work and top-tier students produced by the UCSB Computer Science Department.

  • Times Higher Education ranks UCSB 29th in the world, 21st in the US.

  • UCSB has one of the top research programs in Computer Science, ranked #21 in federal funding for academic research. Here are the most recent statistics from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

  • Newsweek Magazine named UCSB as one of America's 25 Hot Schools (2005). Here is what they said about UCSB:
    "If there's a more beautiful campus than this one at the edge of the Pacific, we haven't seen it. For many students, that would seal the deal, but UCSB also boasts Nobel Prize winners on its faculty, top research centers in science and technology and an extensive study-abroad program. The number of applicants has doubled in the past decade, with 36,651 applying for admission to the class of 2008 (19,325 were accepted). Aside from the top academics, a big draw for many is the variety of recreation. The campus has its own beaches where students can surf, and the Big Bear ski resort is just a few hours' drive away."

    Read the article online, or as a cached PDF.

  • U.S. News and World Report ranks UCSB #34 in top Computer Science programs (2006), and #21 in top engineering schools (2005). Our ranking of #34 is an improvement of 15 points higher than our ranking in 2002, representing the biggest jump of any school in the rankings.

  • U.S. News and World Report 's guide, "America's Best Colleges" named UCSB as the 13th best public university, and ranked #45 in its list of top US universities.

  • Shanghai Jiaotong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities ranks UCSB as #34 in the world, and #26 in the USA. See the full list here.

  • UCSB is home to ten national centers and institutes, including seven that are sponsored by NSF.

  • The computer science PhD program has produced stellar graduates now employed as faculty and researchers in top universities and prestigious industrial laboratories around the world. Here is a brief sampling of some of them:
      UCLA, Cisco, Boeing, Cornell, Microsoft, Google, Virginia Tech, Carnegia Mellon University, Oracle, Mount Holyoke, Case Western Reserve, MIT Lincoln Labs, Inktomi, Yahoo, IBM, and others.

Renowned Faculty

  • In addition to five winners of Nobel Prizes, UCSB's faculty includes many elected members or fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (21), the National Academy of Sciences (25), the National Academy of Engineering (26), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (43).

  • The Computer Science Department was established in January 1979. We have 29 permanent faculty, and 5 regular lecturers who teach lower division classes primarily. Among our faculty are a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Many are winners of the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) awards, and numerous others serve as editors in chief or associate editors of computer science journals and chairs or vice chairs for national and international conferences and workshops. Our faculty routinely present keynote addresses and invited lectures worldwide. Just this year (2011) alone, the department faculty added 2 ACM Fellows, 1 IEEE Fellow, 1 ACM Distinguished Scientist, and 1 AAAS Fellow to its list of awards.

  • Our faculty regularly organize top conferences and workshops in their respective research areas. These conferences are regularly held in the Santa Barbara area. Past conferences and workshops have included IEEE International Conference on Networking Protocols (ICNP), International Workshop on Peer-to-Peer Systems (IPTPS), International Conference on Developments in Language Theory (DLT), IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR), ACM Multimedia, and the Crytographic Hash Workshop. Finally, every year UCSB hosts the Annual International Crytology Conference (Crypto).


  • The Santa Barbara / Goleta area is one of THE most beautiful and temperate places to live in the world. In addition to having a campus situated on the oceanfront, UCSB students enjoy warm sunny weather all year round. This winter has been particularly warm. The high temperature for the last three days (February 11-13) was 80 F, or 26 C. Many celebrities, musicians, actors have made Santa Barbara their home away from Hollywood. But don't worry, while Hollywood stars make real estate prices skyrocket, local housing rental prices are still quite reasonable for graduate students.

Living in Santa Barbara

  • There are university owned apartments for single students and families for which graduate students can apply. For single students, Santa Ynez apartments are university owned furnished apartments located in Isla Vista. They are 2 bedroom apartments with two grad students in each apartment. Single student apartments range from $550 to $1000/month. You apply on-line between April 1 and June 1, and apartments are allocated by lottery. For student families, family housing ranges from $700 to $1000/month. Apply right away on the housing web site. Finally, childcare is available at the University Children's center for children 3 months to 5 years. They should add their name to the waiting list on the children center's web site right away.

  • Average living costs are as follows:
  • Food:       $350 / month, less if you cook regularly
    Utilities:  $100 / month for each apartment, lower for students sharing

    For housing information, definitely first take a look at the UCSB housing office website.  You'll find lots of information about different kinds of housing and how to apply for them. Once you receive your perm #, you can use this site to check for housing listings.  Here is another site that provides information for International students.  Finally, you should use Google Maps to locate the apartment and its distance to UCSB.

  • Transportation:
    Students usually bike or walk to campus from Isla Vista. Bus service is free and available throughout Santa Barbara.

Moving to Santa Barbara

  • Temporary lodging will be available on campus in the Anacapa Hall dormitory from late August 27th through mid September, for approximately $40.00 per night, per person (double occupancy). No reservations are necessary.

    • For International students

      The Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) will assist international students in obtaining their visas. 
      Students admitted to UCSB in the F-1 category will receive the Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant (F-1) Student Status from OISS. The Confidential Financial Statement and other financial documents that were submitted as part of your admission application will be sent along with the Form I-20 directly to you.

      Just before the beginning of Fall Quarter, a special orientation program is organized for all international students who are beginning their studies at UCSB. The purpose of the three-day program is to inform students how to be successful in this new academic environment, introduce them to key people on the campus who will be of assistance, and give them a chance to meet other international and American students. Important information about how to maintain lawful immigration status as well as regulations governing permission to work will also be reviewed.

Life on Campus

  • There are roughly 3000 graduate students on the UC Santa Barbara campus. That is 14% of the total student population.

  • The Computer Science department currently has 180 graduate students, including 107 PhD students and 73 MS students

  • Here are some photos of students in our department, and the great places they've gone on to after graduating from UCSB.

  • International students might be interested in reading about the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS). There you'll find lots of useful information covering topics such as Visas, financial matters, health insurance, orientation and hints on moving to UCSB.

  • For fun things to do around UCSB, check out the UCSB Arts and Lectures Program, where you can find information on local lectures and performances by high profile artists. This spring, performances include concerts by Bonnie Raitt, B. B. King, Wu Man, and a lecture by General Colin Powell.

  • For lots of questions about life at UCSB, check out the  Office of Student Life.