Everything You Need to Know About UCSB, America's Favorite Party School

'UCSB' may be the acronym for "The University of California - Santa Barbara," but we won't blame you if you know it as “The University of Casual Sex and Beer.”

‘UCSB’ may be the acronym for “The University of California - Santa Barbara,” but we won’t blame you if you know it as “The University of Casual Sex and Beer.”


Photo: Glenn Belt

The school (which isn’t actually in Santa Barbara, but on a nearby peninsula) has a well-deserved reputation as America’s favorite party school, but behind the boozy facade lies a university of prestige, that students and faculty have plenty to be proud of.

Whether it’s for a semester or for the weekend, here’s everything you need to know about how to chill on one of So Cal’s chillest campuses.


This is what living the dream looks like. Photo: tkramer

The Typical Student

Most Likely Major: Social Science

Most Likely Career: Nobel Prize Winner

No, not every student from UC Santa Barbara pursues a career in marketing, or botany, even if it seems like it. It’s not an easy school to get into, which may explain why students are able to party and maintain their GPA.

UCSB currently has five Nobel Prize winners on its faculty — same amount that UCLA has and three more than UC Irvine.

It’s also one of the most diverse campuses in the entire University of California system — 44% white, 25% hispanic, 20% Asian, 4% African American.


I have a mighty need!! Photo: kris krüg

The Typical Townie

Most Likely Interest: Beach, Chillin’, Resourcefulness

While there are plenty of locals to contend with in nearby Santa Barbara, the actual town closest to UCSB is Isla Vista, a beach town whose population is almost exclusively college students.


It’s like going on a four-year vacation and getting a degree at the end. Photo: Glenn Belt

Start Here

Campus Point has a great view of the ocean, and there are tons of little parks scattered along Del Playa. If you’re looking to drink, there are a plethora of bars within walking distance of anything in Isla Vista. Start with a pitcher of beer and some pizza or wings from Woodstock’s Pizza to coat your stomach for a night of excess.

Essential Dish

As the night continues and you can still stand, head to Freebirds World Burrito for a quesarito (where do you think Taco Bell stole the idea of wrapping ingredients with a burrito from?) and some nachos for the table.


That’s as much meat as 50 Chipotle burritos. Photo: Bytemark

Best Way to Get a Party Invite

If you can’t get invited to a party at UCSB, you’re doing something wrong. While there’s a strong bar scene, cruising along the 6500 to 6600 block of Del Playa Drive on the weekend is a great starting point. Don’t bother waiting until 10 P.M, either — USCB is all about the day drinking.


No, really — this is what passes for student housing at UCSB. Photo: Britta Gustafson

The Lingo

Like. Sick. Let’s roll out. Dude. You trippin’? That’s sketch. That’s super sketch. Like. Totes. Let’s for sure roll out. Freebirds?


Like, chillll bra. Photo: Dan Queiroz