Students

The Division of Mathematical, Life, and Physical Sciences (MLPS) promotes quantitative and scientific literacy essential to participation in an increasingly technological world. Professors prepare students not only by teaching the accumulated formal knowledge and structure in various disciplines, but also training them to think independently.

The Division offers courses and degrees in mathematics, statistics and actuarial science; in the life sciences of biology and psychological and brain sciences; and in the physical sciences of chemistry, geography, earth science, and physics. In addition, the division is home to a unique, interdisciplinary program (and popular major) in environmental studies.

Most departments engage students in various K-12 and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) outreach programs. Undergraduate research experiences and programs are available through many departments, offering students the chance to participate in original field and laboratory research with faculty and graduate students.

The Division’s undergraduate majors offer excellent preparation for graduate and professional schools, including medical schools, where our graduates have high acceptance rates.

Because interdisciplinary study is strongly promoted at UCSB, MLPS is able to offer a unique experience to its students that comes from the removal of barriers between fields of science and other disciplines such as engineering, social sciences, and education.

Our graduate programs are strong across the division. A number of special interdisciplinary programs, including those in bio-molecular science and engineering, dynamical neuroscience and marine science, have been formally established.

Opportunities to further collaboration and to interact with distinguished visiting scientists from around the world are fostered by a remarkable group of centers and institutes on campus. These include:

The Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics

The Marine Science Institute

The National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (one of the few world centers for exploration and utilization of remote sensing techniques)

The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

The Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration

The Institute for Terahertz Science and Technology

The Earth Research Institute

The Center for Polymers and Organic Solids

The Sage Center for the Study of the Mind

The Brain Imaging Center

The Neuroscience Research Institute

The California NanoSystems Institute 

The Materials Research Laboratory

The Center for Research in Financial Management and Statistics

The Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies 

The Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering