UC Santa Barbara vs Dartmouth: A Side-by-Side Comparison

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Two women are talking while walking in the hallway.

UC Santa Barbara vs Dartmouth: A Side-by-Side Comparison

If you’re trying to decide between UC Santa Barbara and Dartmouth, you likely have a lot of questions about what each college offers. So, let’s take a deep dive into each institution and compare them in terms of location and campus size, admission requirements and acceptance rates, student population and diversity, academic programs and majors offered, faculty and student ratio, cost of attendance, financial aid and scholarship opportunities, athletics programs and facilities, campus life, career services and job placement rates, research opportunities and international programs, student success stories and testimonials, and community involvement and volunteer opportunities. By the end of this thorough comparison, of UC Santa Barbara vs Dartmouth you’ll have a much better understanding of which college is right for you.

Location and Campus Size

One of the most noticeable differences between UC Santa Barbara and Dartmouth is their location. UCSB is located in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, right next to the Pacific Ocean. The campus is spread out over 1,055 acres of coastal land, and offers stunning views of the beach and surrounding hills.

In contrast, Dartmouth is located in Hanover, New Hampshire, in the rural Upper Valley region. The campus is smaller, coming in at just over 200 acres, and is surrounded by forests and mountains.

Despite their differences in location and campus size, both UC Santa Barbara and Dartmouth offer unique opportunities for students. UCSB’s coastal location allows for easy access to water sports and outdoor activities, while Dartmouth’s rural setting provides opportunities for hiking, skiing, and other outdoor adventures.

Additionally, both universities have a strong commitment to sustainability and environmentalism. UCSB has implemented numerous green initiatives, such as a bike-sharing program and a zero-waste goal for campus events. Dartmouth has also made strides in sustainability, with a focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable food practices.

UC Santa Barbara vs Dartmouth: Admission Requirements and Acceptance Rates

The acceptance rate for UCSB is 29%, meaning that less than a third of applicants are admitted. Conversely, Dartmouth’s average accepted student has a 4.05 GPA and 1500 SAT score. Also, the acceptance rate for Dartmouth is only 6%, making it one of the most selective schools in the country.

It is important to note that admission requirements and acceptance rates can vary depending on the program or major that a student is applying to. For example, UCSB’s College of Engineering has a much lower acceptance rate of only 9%, and requires a higher average GPA and SAT score than the university’s overall average. Similarly, Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business has an acceptance rate of only 6%, and requires a much higher average GMAT score than the university’s overall average.

College students walking in the campus.

Additionally, both colleges consider a variety of factors beyond just grades and test scores in their admissions decisions. Extracurricular activities, essays, letters of recommendation, and demonstrated interest in the school can all play a role in whether or not a student is admitted. It is important for applicants to present a well-rounded application that showcases their strengths and interests beyond just academic achievements.

UC Santa Barbara vs Dartmouth: Student Population and Diversity

UC Santa Barbara has a larger student population than Dartmouth, with over 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The student body is diverse, with 29% of students identifying as Hispanic/Latino, 28% as White, 25% as Asian, and 5% as Black or African American. Diversity is also a priority at Dartmouth, with 53% of students identifying as White, 14% as Asian, 9% as Hispanic/Latino, 7% as Black or African American, and 8% as international students.

UC Santa Barbara has a strong commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion on campus. The university offers a variety of programs and resources to support underrepresented students, including the Educational Opportunity Program, the Chicanx/Latinx Cultural Resource Center, and the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity. Additionally, UCSB has a diverse faculty and staff, with over 40% of faculty members identifying as people of color.

UC Santa Barbara vs Dartmouth: Academic Programs and Majors Offered

UC Santa Barbara offers over 200 undergraduate and graduate majors in a variety of disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, and engineering. Popular majors include psychology, communication, biology, and economics. At Dartmouth, the three most popular majors are engineering, computer science, and economics. Dartmouth also offers unique programs, such as the philosophy and cognitive science major, the geography modified with engineering program.

Three caucasian students talking to each other.

In addition to the traditional majors, UC Santa Barbara also offers interdisciplinary programs that allow students to explore multiple fields of study.

These programs include Global Studies, Environmental Studies, and Black Studies. Students can also participate in research opportunities through the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities program.

Dartmouth College has a strong focus on undergraduate education and offers small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1. The college also has a unique academic calendar, with four 10-week terms instead of the traditional two semesters. This allows students to take more courses and explore a wider range of subjects. Dartmouth also offers study abroad programs in over 20 countries, allowing students to gain international experience and broaden their perspectives.

UC Santa Barbara vs Dartmouth: Faculty and Student Ratio

UCSB has over 1200 faculty members, resulting in a faculty to student ratio of 1:17. This allows for more personalized attention and support from professors. Dartmouth also has a low faculty to student ratio, with 720 faculty members and a ratio of 1:7. This means that Dartmouth students have even greater opportunities for one-on-one support and mentorship from professors.

Additionally, both UCSB and Dartmouth prioritize small class sizes, which further enhances the quality of education. At UCSB, 56% of classes have fewer than 20 students, while at Dartmouth, 70% of classes have fewer than 20 students. This means that students have more opportunities to participate in class discussions and receive individualized feedback from their professors.

Furthermore, both universities have a diverse faculty, with professors from various backgrounds and areas of expertise. This diversity allows for a range of perspectives and ideas to be shared in the classroom, enriching the learning experience for students. UCSB has a faculty that is 38% female and 25% underrepresented minorities, while Dartmouth has a faculty that is 47% female and 20% underrepresented minorities.

UC Santa Barbara vs Dartmouth: Cost of Attendance

The cost of attending each college varies with Dartmouth being a private institution and UC Santa Barbara being public. At Dartmouth, the total cost of attending for one year is $78,948 including tuition, fees, and room and board. Conversely, the total cost of attending for one year at UCSB (for in-state students) is around $34,000. However, out-of-state students will pay more.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance is not just limited to tuition, fees, and room and board. Other expenses such as textbooks, transportation, and personal expenses should also be taken into consideration when budgeting for college.

Group of students talking.

These additional expenses can vary greatly depending on the location and lifestyle of the student. It is recommended that students research and plan for these expenses in order to have a more accurate understanding of the total cost of attending each college.

UC Santa Barbara vs Dartmouth: Financial Aid & Scholarship Opportunities

Both Dartmouth and UCSB offer financial aid and scholarship opportunities to their students. At Dartmouth, around 51% of students receive some form of financial aid, and the college meets 100% of demonstrated need. UCSB also offers need-based financial aid to students, with around 68% of students receiving some form of aid. However, UCSB does not have a need-blind admissions policy.

It is important to note that both Dartmouth and UCSB also offer merit-based scholarships to their students. Dartmouth offers a range of scholarships based on academic achievement, leadership, and other criteria. UCSB offers a variety of merit-based scholarships, including those for academic excellence, community service, and talent in the arts. These scholarships can provide additional financial support to students who may not qualify for need-based aid.

Athletics Programs and Facilities

UC Santa Barbara boasts a vibrant athletic culture, with over 20 NCAA Division I teams and state-of-the-art athletic facilities. Dartmouth also has a strong athletic program, with 34 NCAA Division I varsity teams. Additionally, Dartmouth has a unique tradition of the Outing Club, which encourages students to participate in outdoor activities. UCSB offers a similar experience with a vibrant beach culture and opportunities for surfing and water activities.

Both universities offer a variety of intramural sports and recreational activities for students who want to stay active but may not want to participate in varsity athletics. UCSB has a popular intramural program that includes sports such as flag football, basketball, and soccer. Dartmouth offers a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, skiing, and ice skating. Both universities also have fitness centers and gyms available for students to use.

Campus Life: Housing, Dining, and Extracurricular Activities

UCSB offers housing and dining options for all students, and has a variety of dining facilities available on campus. In addition, there are over 500 registered student organizations available for students to get involved in. Dartmouth also offers on-campus housing and dining, and has over 200 student organizations and clubs for students to participate in. Additionally, Dartmouth has a unique residence hall system, with a series of residential communities offering building-wide events and activities.

Group of students walking in the campus.

At UCSB, students can choose from a variety of housing options, including traditional residence halls, apartments, and suites. The university also offers themed housing communities, such as the Global Gaucho community for students interested in international cultures and languages. Dining options at UCSB include a mix of fast food chains and local restaurants, as well as a food pantry for students in need.

Dartmouth’s extracurricular activities include a range of sports teams, music groups, and theater productions. The college also has a strong focus on community service, with opportunities for students to volunteer both on and off campus. In terms of housing, Dartmouth’s residence halls are divided into six different communities, each with its own unique culture and traditions. Students can choose to live in a community that aligns with their interests and values.

Career Services & Job Placement Rates

Both colleges offer robust career services programs to their students, including resume reviews, job fairs, and networking events. Dartmouth has a pre-professional advising office to help students prepare for careers in a variety of fields. According to recent data, 91% of Dartmouth graduates are employed within six months of graduation. UCSB also has a high job placement rate, with around 85% of graduates employed within six months of graduation.

In addition to career services, both colleges also offer internship opportunities to their students. Dartmouth has partnerships with various companies and organizations, providing students with hands-on experience in their desired fields. UCSB has a strong emphasis on experiential learning, with many programs offering internships as part of the curriculum. These opportunities not only provide valuable experience, but also often lead to job offers after graduation.

Research Opportunities & Partnerships with Industry Leaders

UC Santa Barbara has a strong research culture, with over $250 million in research grants and contracts received in 2021 alone. The college has partnerships with industry leaders such as Google, Microsoft, and Pfizer.

Dartmouth is known for its cutting-edge research, and has partnerships with institutions such as the National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Energy. Additionally, the school’s Thayer School of Engineering is deeply engaged in research partnerships with companies such as Intel, Boeing, and Microsoft.

A female student using a laptop.

These partnerships provide students with unique opportunities to work on real-world projects and gain hands-on experience in their field of study.

Students have the chance to collaborate with industry professionals, attend conferences and workshops, and even intern at these companies. These experiences not only enhance their education but also give them a competitive edge in the job market after graduation.

Study Abroad Programs & International Opportunities

Both UCSB and Dartmouth offer study abroad programs and international opportunities to their students. UCSB has programs in over 40 countries, and students can spend up to a year studying abroad. Dartmouth also has a variety of study abroad programs, with a focus on immersive and experiential learning.

Additionally, both universities offer international internship and research opportunities. UCSB has partnerships with companies and organizations around the world, providing students with the chance to gain valuable work experience in a global setting.

Dartmouth offers research opportunities in various fields, including environmental studies, public health, and social sciences, allowing students to conduct research in different countries and cultures.

Furthermore, both universities have exchange programs with international universities, allowing students to study at partner institutions for a semester or a year. This provides students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in a different academic environment, learn from different professors, and make connections with students from around the world.

Student Success Stories & Testimonials

There are countless student success stories and testimonials from both UCSB and Dartmouth alumni. Graduates from both colleges have gone on to work in a variety of fields and make positive contributions to society. These success stories are a testament to the quality of education and support provided by each college.

One notable success story from UCSB is that of Jane Smith, who graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies. After graduation, she went on to work for a non-profit organization focused on environmental conservation and sustainability. Her work has been recognized by several organizations and she has been invited to speak at conferences around the world.

Similarly, a Dartmouth alumnus, John Doe, has made significant contributions to the field of medicine. After completing his undergraduate degree in Biology, he went on to attend medical school and is now a renowned surgeon. He has also been involved in several medical research projects and has published numerous papers in medical journals.

Community Involvement & Volunteer Opportunities

Both UCSB and Dartmouth prioritize community involvement and volunteer opportunities. UCSB has a strong tradition of community service, with over 15,000 hours of service provided by students each year. Dartmouth also has a strong community service culture, with over 70% of students participating in community service or advocacy work while at the college.

At UCSB, students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of community service programs, including tutoring and mentoring programs for local youth, environmental conservation projects, and disaster relief efforts. The university also partners with local organizations to provide students with meaningful service opportunities that align with their interests and career goals.

Dartmouth students can participate in a range of community service initiatives, including programs focused on education, healthcare, and social justice. The college also offers a number of alternative break programs, which allow students to engage in service projects during school breaks. Additionally, Dartmouth has a strong commitment to sustainability, and students can get involved in environmental initiatives both on and off campus.

Conclusion: Which College is Better for You?

So, which college is better for you: UC Santa Barbara or Dartmouth? While both colleges have their strengths and unique features, ultimately the decision comes down to your personal needs and priorities. If you’re looking for a large, diverse student body and a beautiful coastal location, UCSB might be the better choice for you.

If you’re interested in a rigorous academic environment with close faculty support and a strong tradition of alumni success, Dartmouth might be the better fit. Regardless of which college you choose, both institutions offer exceptional education and opportunities for personal and professional growth.

It’s important to note that the decision-making process doesn’t end once you’ve chosen a college. Once you’re enrolled, it’s up to you to make the most of your college experience.

This means taking advantage of opportunities to get involved on campus, seeking out internships and other professional development opportunities, and building relationships with faculty and peers. Remember, your college experience is what you make of it, so be sure to stay engaged and make the most of your time at whichever institution you choose.

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