Jewish students at UC Santa Barbara

University of California, Santa Barbara

#T-120, overall score 44.33/100

Fun Fact:

UCSB students celebrate the soccer team’s first goal of the game by throwing tortillas onto the field. They used to do this at basketball games as well, until the tortilla-tossing fans hit their own coach in the face and caused the Gauchos to be assessed three technical fouls in one game.

Why should Jewish students attend UCSB? There is a thriving, vibrant and active Chabad and Hillel, a large Jewish student body, and very little antagonism to Jewish students on campus. Jewish students maintain a strong presence in the student senate, and it’s easy to be a proud Jew on campus. The Jewish student organizations get along fantastically, are very active and super welcoming. From conversations with my colleagues it appears that UCSB has the most comfortable campus climate for Jews among all UC schools by a long stretch. —Rabbi Gershon Klein, Chabad @ UCSB

UCSB has a huge Jewish student population, with the most Jewish undergrads and the highest percentage of Jewish students in the entire Univeristy of California system. Santa Barbara Hillel enables students to connect with one another in a Jewish environment at their “Jewish Home Away From Home.” We offer a safe, welcoming and pluralistic presence as a vibrant center of student life in Isla Vista. Santa Barbara Hillel is proactive in standing up for our students, building bridges, and fostering a positive campus climate. We are uniquely positioned to reach students at this formative time in their lives by providing them the tools they need as they create the Jewish future. — Rabbi Evan Goodman, Edgar M. Bronfman Executive Director, Santa Barbara Hillel

ACADEMICS Score: 10/30

  • Score: 10/30
  • Acceptance rate: 36%
  • Student/faculty ratio: 18:1
  • Jewish Studies major: Minor
  • Israel Studies major: No


  • In-state tuition: $14,022
  • Out-of-state tuition: $40,704
  • Room & board costs: $15,186
  • Average annual scholarship/grant package: $20,980


  • Location: Santa Barbara, Calif.
  • Region: West
  • Public/Private: Public
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,850
  • Jewish undergraduate enrollment: 2,850
  • Jewish population share: 14%
  • Student origin: 95% in-state / 5% out-of-state
  • NCAA Division: I
  • NCAA team: Gauchos
  • Ultimate Frisbee teams: Black Tide, Burning Skirts

ISRAEL Score: 10.17/20

JEWISH LIFE Score: 20.83/40

  • Score: 20.83/40
  • Hillel: Santa Barbara Hillel
  • Chabad: Chabad @ UCSB
  • OU-JLIC: None
  • Meor: None
  • Jewish fraternities: AEPi, ZBT
  • Jewish sororities: SigAEPI
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in 2016: 0
  • Can you get kosher food on the school meal plan? No
  • Hillel Friday night services: 1
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Hillel: 125
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Chabad: 65
  • Synagogues within 10 miles: 2 (1 Orthodox, 1 Reform)
  • Eruv: None
  • Most famous Jewish alumnus: Michael Douglas
  • Most unique/noteworthy Hillel club: A wide variety of Israel-related organizations meet at and work in conjunction with Hillel. TAMID is one of the more recent additions, focusing on a business mindset through investments in Israeli companies.
  • Where do Jewish students come from? California, and a sprinkling of out-of-state undergrads. Grad students come from all over the county.
  • Kosher food details: There is an Albertsons Costco and a Trader Joe’s nearby. Between them, one can buy almost anything. There are kosher Shabbat dinners at Hillel and Chabad, biweekly Kosher cookouts, plus some holiday meals available.
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University of California, Santa Barbara

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