General Admissions Advice

  1. General trend of UCSB Engineering Undergraduate Admission

The demand for engineering degrees has changed dramatically, with the number of high school and transfer student admissions increasing significantly. One reason is that students are starting to see that engineers get to do interesting things. By completing a degree in engineering they learn to be problem solvers and collaborators. Second, there are more resources today to help students prepare for the major. There are more AP courses, robotic programs, etc. Third, students are attracted to engineering as a career due to the higher starting salaries.

The admission process is very specific and dynamic. What is true now might not be true next year. For instance, the admission essays have changed. Formerly there were two questions for the prompt and now students must answer three out of seven.

  1. Qualifications for applicants

UCSB is looking for future students who are not only prepared to be successful in the program, but who will also enrich the student population with their personal attributes, as described in their personal statements. GPA is important, but not the only qualifier.

  1. How applications are assessed – some general principles

The admissions process looks for a prescribed number of students for each major and takes into account GPA, test scores, quality and vigor of high school courses completed, extracurricular activities and work experience, and other measures.

For transfer students, coursework and GPA are weighted heavily. Requirements and standards for engineering student admissions may be higher at UCSB than at other UC’s due to the relatively small size of the programs.

  1. Application tips

Applying for engineering programs at multiple campuses is highly recommended due to the competitive nature of admissions. In addition, universities and departments typically must reject a number of otherwise qualified applicants to avoid over-enrolling students.

The application essay is like an interview. Effective essays cover such elements as 1) profound experiences that changed the individual and how, 2) goals for the future and 3) how one is preparing to reach those goals.

There is no longer an engineering admission guarantee at UCSB. However, there may be admission guarantee programs at other campuses, so speaking with counselors at those schools is advisable. Specifics about UC eligibility can be found on the UC website.