Undergraduate

For Prospective Undergraduate Students

As an undergraduate studying the sciences or mathematics in the College of Letters and Science, you will receive an outstanding education that combines specialization in your chosen major with a comprehensive liberal arts education. You will have opportunities to undertake your own scientific research, be part of a professor’s research group, or pursue internships that can enhance your skills and resume.

Students in labs in Psychology & Chemistry and biking to class on campus at UCSB

A degree from the Division of Mathematical, Life, and Physical Sciences will prepare you to succeed in academia, scientific research, medical school or one of the other health professions, business, or the non-profit sector. According to a 2011 study by Georgetown University, there is a high demand for science and engineering graduates across many sectors of the economy, and this need is expected to increase in coming years.

The division offers courses and degrees in mathematics and statistics, 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, problem-oriented program (and popular major) in environmental studies. You may choose from over 40 majors, from actuarial science to zoology, leading to a B.S. or B.A. degree, allowing you to select a program that is appropriate to your interests and career goals. Detailed information on the different majors and their requirements is available through the General Catalog.

As an undergraduate at UCSB, you will benefit from being part of an internationally renowned research university, with its outstanding faculty and facilities, and also have access to the support and tools you will need to succeed academically. Some information about our outstanding faculty is available in the box on this page, and you can learn more about different professors by browsing their departmental web pages.

Advising and tutoring

The College's Division of Undergraduate Education offers comprehensive academic advising and can help you to choose a major, plan your academic program, and assess your overall progress to your degree. Further information about these advising services is available here. The Division has a special advising program for students interested in medical school and the health professions, with dedicated staff advisers and medical professionals available to counsel students.

In addition to the College’s advising services, every department has a staff undergraduate adviser who can help you plan your curriculum, choose your courses, provide information about departmental honors, internship opportunities and career options, and answer questions about your specific department.

In addition to staff advisers, there are student peer advisers in the Division of Undergraduate Education and many departments. These peer advisers can answer many questions and offer advice based on their own experiences.

The science curriculum is demanding, and will require a lot of hard work on your part, especially during the first two years. The College has a number of services to assist you. The Campus Learning Assistance Service (CLAS) offers a variety of free weekly tutorial groups for lower-division math and science courses including calculus, statistics, chemistry, biology, and physics. They also offer free drop-in tutorial labs. The CLAS can help you improve your problem-solving skills and keep up with course reading, and we encourage you to make CLAS part of your study routine.