Santa Barbara City College

Fast Facts

  • School Size


  • Tuition

    $5,000—$10,000 Year

  • Affiliation


  • Type of School

    2yr/Community College

  • Student Body Gender


  • Religious Affiliation

    No Affiliation

  • Scholarships for International Students


  • Conditional Admission Available


  • Top Programs

    Arts and Design, Communication, Marketing

  • Setting

    Small/College town

  • Type of Housing

    Homestay, Apartment

  • Social Media

The College

Santa Barbara City College is a community college with close to 20,000 students, including 1,500 international students from more than 70 different countries. In addition to providing excellent transfer preparation (the first two years of study toward the four-year baccalaureate degree) for universities, SBCC offers over 100 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide range of occupation/ career fields and a variety of general education opportunities. The college is fully accredited. Earlier this year, SBCC was ranked as the #1 Community College in the US by the prestigious Aspen Institute out of 1,000 community colleges in the nation.

Many international students start their American education at Santa Barbara City College and then transfer to University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). Santa Barbara City College transfers more students to UCSB than another other college due in part to the guaranteed transfer program. Santa Barbara City College also has an excellent transfer rate to other UC's as well as other four year schools.


The Santa Barbara City College campus is located on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and is only steps to the beach. It is truly one of the more picturesque locations in the United States. The campus is located about 90 minutes north of Los Angeles and approximately 6 hours south of San Francisco. Santa Barbara is known as America's Riviera; it is clean, safe and a healthy environment.

Academic Program

The International Student Support Program is organized into two components. The English Language Studies Program (ELSP) is intended for students who want to study Englsh as a Second Language. The International Student Academic Program (ISAP) is open to students who are prepared to take non-ESL academic courses.

The English Language Studies Program is an intensive language program (12.0 units) for beginning to advanced level international students who wish to improve their English skills before taking other college/university classes. ELSP students are required to enroll full-time in English as a Second Language classes, but can also enroll in some non-ESL courses. Once students complete the ESL Program, they can automatically enroll in the International Student Academic Program.

The International Student Academic Program is open to students who have placed above the ESL levels on the SBCC assessment test and who are prepared for advanced English and regular college courses, with approval from the program advisor.

Campus Life

International students are encouraged to participate in college-wide clubs, sports and activities. There are over 30 student groups and organizations currently active at SBCC. Additional activities are planned for all international students which feature optional educational, cultural, and recreational field trips designed to provide cross-cultural experiences and the opportunity to interact with other students.


The Santa Barbara community offers many housing options including dormitories with meals (16 miles from campus), apartments and home stays. The Santa Barbara City College staff will assist students with housing questions and provide a list of local housing providers.


Applications are accepted anytime. Students must be 18 years or older and have graduated from High School.

Deadlines for the various semesters are:
Fall Semester June 1*, June 15**
Spring Semester October 1*, November 1**
Summer Session April 1

*Out of US applicants
**(Current F-1 students in U.S.)

For information and questions:
For more information: Santa Barbara City College

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Santa Barbara City College
721 Cliff Drive
Santa Barbara CA 93109
P: 805.730.4040
2yr/Community College
  • Accounting
  • Anthropology
  • Art History
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Child Development
  • Communication
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Culinary
  • Earth Science
  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • English Language (ESL)
  • English Literature
  • Environmental Studies and Sustainability
  • Film Studies
  • Finance
  • Food Science
  • General Management
  • Geography
  • Geological Sciences
  • Global & Area Studies
  • Health and Wellness
  • History
  • Horticulture
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Interior Design
  • Journalism
  • Liberal Arts
  • Literature in English
  • Marketing
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Plant Biology
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Sports
  • Studio Art
  • Technology/Computers
  • Theatre
Certificate/Short Term
  • Business
English Programs
  • English Language (ESL)
  • Summer Intensive English