UC Santa Barbara, University Center
Departments and Programs
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The Department of Anthropology
The Department of Anthropology at UCSB has been a vibrant and active center of research and teaching for a half century. We offer B.A. degrees in two emphases: Cultural Anthropology (including archaeology), and Biological Anthropology. We offer graduate specializations in archaeology (including bioarchaeology), sociocultural anthropology, and integrative anthropological sciences. The aim of the anthropology major is threefold: (1) to prepare for graduate school those students who wish to work professionally in anthropology; (2) to prepare students for careers in secondary education or in social work; and (3) to provide a background in behavioral studies for students who desire a broad education in either the biological or the social sciences.
The Department of Art offers a dynamic, challenging, and open learning environment emphasizing interdisciplinary research and artistic production. We are committed to creative research that investigates the relationship between inquiry and practice and how this dynamic manifests itself in contemporary and historical approaches to cultural production in a continually changing world.
Our renowned faculty are deeply committed to teaching and creative research. We attract students who are self-motivated, visually and conceptually inventive and interested in being a part of an outstanding community of artists within a world-class research institution. At UCSB, emerging artists develop the means to express themselves and the critical thinking essential to their future roles within society. Our faculty, current students and alumni actively participate in local, national and international exhibitions, symposia and conferences.
The Department of the History of Art and Architecture at UC Santa Barbara offers a diverse and innovative curriculum that seeks to foster a critical understanding of the production of art and the built environment. With a faculty of seventeen full-time professors, two non-senate faculty and five affiliated faculty, the department offers both broad coverage and individualized programs tailored to student interests at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Although committed to sound historical research, we work beyond the traditional boundaries of art history to open those new perspectives that arise from interdisciplinary and theoretical approaches.
We are one of the only history of art and architecture departments whose faculty evenly divide as specialists of art and architecture. In the undergraduate curriculum a new emphasis on global perspectives and intercultural exchanges joins the department’s long-established strengths in European and Non-Western traditions. The department also offers an undergraduate emphasis in Architecture and the Environment, a program that promotes an interdisciplinary understanding of architecture within a complex matrix of social, geographical, and political factors
Forty years ago, the University of California at Santa Barbara launched a program devoted to the research, study, and teaching of Black Studies after several African American students seized control of the computer center on campus late in 1968 and demanded systemic change in the curriculum of the university. In the decades that followed, numerous struggles no less difficult have been waged to preserve, expand, and solidify a freestanding Department of Black Studies. Today, Black Studies is acclaimed by students as one of the best teaching departments on campus, with a solid roster of world-renowned scholars who teach, research, and serve the intellectual and policy interests of Black people around the world.
In its relatively brief history, the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at UCSB has earned a reputation as one of the top schools of its kind in the nation. It is among a handful of schools in the United States – and the only one in the West – that integrate science, management, law, economics, and policy as part of an interdisciplinary approach to environmental problem-solving.
Located on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and led by Dean Steve Gaines, the school is a leading center of research and teaching, where every student, whether pursuing the Master of Environmental Science & Management* degree or the PhD in Environmental Science & Management, receives a rigorous, varied, and highly personalized academic experience. The school pursues its research- and education-based mission from its location in Bren Hall, a cutting-edge structure that was recognized as the “greenest” laboratory facility in the United States when it was completed in 2002. In 2009 it became the first building anywhere to receive a second LEED Platinum certification, this time in recognition of maintenance and operations of an existing building.
The Chicana/o Studies Department engages students in the interdisciplinary study of Chicana and Chicano history, culture, and politics. Our students explore Chicana/o experiences in their most broad, comprehensive sense, informed by several philosophical and theoretical schools, historical and political scholarship, literary and religious traditions, artistic movements, mass media, and video and film. In partnership with affiliated faculty across campus and feminist and Black Studies Ph.D. emphasis programs, the B.A./Honors/M.A./Ph.D. programs in Chicana and Chicano Studies challenge students to link theory with practice, scholarship with teaching, and the academy with the community.
The Department of Classics at UCSB includes 11 full-time faculty members whose interests range across the Greek and Roman worlds. We teach a wide variety of undergraduate and/or graduate courses in Greek and Roman culture, society, history and archaeology, as well as a broad curriculum of Greek and Latin language and literature.
We offer three distinct “emphases” in our undergraduate major that suit a variety of students’ needs: one focuses on Greek and Latin literature, another is less language-based and offers a broader exploration of Greek and Roman culture, and a third is designed specially for those interested in archaeology. We currently have over 50 majors in these three emphases combined.
A former student once described the CCS as “a graduate school for undergraduates.” This is an apt description, not in the sense that we expect freshmen to enter CCS with a disciplinary knowledge base equal to that of a graduate student, but we do expect the same level of passion and commitment to the discipline.
When they apply for admission, students choose one of eight majors offered by CCS: art, biology, chemistry and biochemistry, computer science, literature, mathematics, music composition, or physics. Ambitious students sometimes add a second major. When appropriate to their educational goals, they may also choose to complete both a Creative Studies major and a major in one the other colleges at UCSB. CCS students are also eligible to pursue a minor in the College of Letters & Science.
The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies is dedicated to the study of the civilizations of China, Japan and Korea in all their richness and diversity. Study focuses not only on East Asia’s increasingly vital role on the world scene, but also on various elements of the region’s long and fascinating history.
The Department offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in three areas: Asian Studies, Chinese, and Japanese. We also offer a special 5-year B.A./M.A. program in each of these areas. All majors include coursework in East Asian cultural studies (involving one or more East Asian country) and studying Chinese or Japanese. In addition, we have an innovative and exciting graduate program in East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies with 5 academic emphases, which combine rigorous language training, innovative research supervision by internationally renowned faculty, and keep awareness of cultural analysis and other methodological tools.
Instruction in economics on the Santa Barbara campus antedates the establishment of the Department of Economics. It began in 1909 at the State Normal School of Manual Arts and Home Economics, a 2-year professional training school. The school evolved through several name and location changes and in 1944 the Santa Barbara State College was designated as the third University of California campus with an enrollment of 1,464. By 1955 the campus was settled in its present home on the former Marine Air Force base next to the ocean. Three years later in 1958 it was given university status and named The University of California, Santa Barbara.
UC Santa Barbara’s English Department is a national leader in the study of Literature and the Environment (also known as ecocriticism and “green” criticism). What makes us unique is that, with a range of faculty members doing diverse though often interconnected research, we have seamless, strong coverage in ecocritical coursework from the early Renaissance through the 21st century. Moreover, we explore environmental issues from British, American, and Global perspectives, using a host of methodological approaches, with such emphases as non-human/human relations, environmental and social justice within a global rather than national context, and the political impact of institutions, networks, and regimes on bodies and the biosphere. Such diversity has allowed students to take courses as varied as “American Romanticism and Environmental Imagination,” “Postcolonial and Global Ecological Imaginations,” “Milton and Ecology,” “Natural Representations: Wordsworth, Dickinson, Bishop,” and “Animal Theory.”
Established in 1970, The Environmental Studies Program at UC Santa Barbara is one of the oldest and largest programs in the nation, and is recognized as one the most successful undergraduate environmental programs in the world.
With over 5,200 alumni, our graduates can be found holding leadership positions, nationally and internationally, in government, industry, law, and dozens of other fields. We pioneered an interdisciplinary educational model that is now widely adapted by other institutions around the globe. We combine a rigorous classroom experience with practical skills training.
Our mission is to train leaders, develop new knowledge, and devise solutions that will restore and sustain the health of our planet.
Feminist Studies is an interdisciplinary field that produces cutting-edge research and fosters innovative teaching. The subject matter of feminist studies is more than women: research and teaching focus on the ways that relations of gender, intersecting with race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, nation, ability, and other differences, affect every aspect of society.
The Department of Feminist Studies, with ten core and 50 affiliated faculty members, offers a multifaceted curriculum that invites students to deepen their understanding of diverse women’s lives, cultures, and histories in the United States and around the globe.
Film and Media Studies focuses on film, television, and new media around the world. With 400 undergraduate majors and more than two dozen graduate students, FMS cultivates critical and analytical skills through the study of media objects and practices. Majors have the opportunity to interact closely with our distinguished faculty through collaborative research projects and to engage with a vibrant mix of activities and student organizations, such as the Screenwriters’ Co-op, Reel Loud Film Festival, and Media Fields Journal. The department furthermore encourages students to explore future career paths and to build relationships with our network of committed alumni, many of whom return to campus regularly to share their experiences and insights. Our rigorous curriculum of study is fostering a new generation of visionaries with a stake in producing and understanding the future of screen media.
The Department of Geography aims to be the intellectual home of choice for studies of Earth as the home of humanity. Such studies need to integrate knowledge from a wide range of sciences and, consequently, require two conditions: access to specialists whose collective interests span both human and physical dimensions of the Earth system, and an infrastructure that supports information-rich, computationally-based investigation. Both the specialists and infrastructure are available at UCSB, but Geography aims to achieve a much greater level of creativity by ensuring that they exist in close proximity and by nurturing a population of undergraduate and graduate students who are methodologically equipped to contribute.
The philosopher Franz Rosenzweig once wrote that as many languages one speaks, as many times one is a human being.
Our mission is to teach German and Slavic languages, and to research and teach the literatures and cultures of the peoples living in these languages. We offer classes that address the highly complex histories and cultures of German speaking and Slavic countries. While our classes are steeped in the histories of these different literatures and cultures, our faculty believes that studying the past has an impact on the present, and that studying the diversity of literatures helps our students understand the present in its complexity and with the many challenges of a globalized world.
January 2014 marked the fourteenth anniversary of the establishment of UCSB’s pioneering Global & International Studies Program. When it was established in early 1999, it was widely recognized as one of the first interdisciplinary undergraduate majors in international studies in the country to focus on globalization. Former Secretary of State Warren Christopher presided over the inaugural occasion. Today, the Program has a highly successful Masters Program in Global Studies, a PhD emphasis in Global Studies, and will begin accepting applications for its first cohort in fall of 2014 for the newly approved PhD in Global Studies.
Without knowledge of the past, individuals and societies become prisoners of the present—unable to understand the causes of present circumstances and present problems. As a liberal discipline, history aims to permit students to transcend their own cultural limits and, by the study of other societies in other ages, to open their eyes to the diversity of the human environment. It has often been noted that history is the first truly “interdisciplinary” discipline. This is true because everything, no matter how specialized, has a history, and therefore everything is a proper subject of study for the historian. In this department, for instance, the course offerings range not only from the ancient world to modern times, but also strive to give students a truly global perspective through the study of a diverse array of peoples and places.
The major in interdisciplinary studies offers students an opportunity to develop an individualized program of study in three separate departments within the College of Letters and Science. The major provides a means to achieve a sharply focused academic goal that cannot be met by the combination of any existing major and upper-division electives. Potential applicants are urged to consult with an advisor in the College of Letters and Science (Cheadle Hall 1117) early in their academic careers for assistance in formulating their objectives within the major and in identifying the courses at UCSB that will best fulfill their goals. Because interdisciplinary studies is declared primarily at the upper-division level, students should plan their program carefully during their freshman and sophomore years in order to meet the lower-division requirements stipulated by individual departments.
For over half a century, the Department of Political Science at UC Santa Barbara has been home to top scholars engaged in cutting edge research. Housed in a world-class university widely known for its inter-disciplinarity, the department is committed to rigorous quantitative and qualitative research, as well as to normative theory.
The department also prides itself on first-rate teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Our research and teaching cover the traditional fields of international relations, comparative politics, American politics, political theory, and research methods. In collaboration with faculty in other departments and research centers on campus, we also emphasize two cross-cutting areas: politics of identity and politics of the environment.
The Religious Studies Department at UC Santa Barbara is the largest religion department in the University of California system, and one of the most diverse religion departments in the world. With an internationally recognized faculty of twenty-three professors, two permanent lecturers, and more than twenty affiliates and visiting scholars, the Department prides itself on the both the breadth and depth of its course offerings and programs. Many of the languages necessary for the study of the religion — Arabic, Hindi, Persian, Punjabi, Sanskrit, and Tibetan — are taught within Religious Studies. The Department will celebrate its 50th anniversary during calendar year 2014.
The Department of Sociology at UCSB maintains a multi-level and multi-method approach to social inquiry, with special strength and international visibility in six interrelated areas of research: Conversation Analysis; Culture; Global Studies; Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies; Race, Ethnicity, and Nation; and Social Movements, Revolutions and Social Change. These areas of research organize, rather than constrain, the extensive research conducted here. UCSB Sociology is ranked Number One in the area of Sex and Gender (2013 US News and World Report) and is among the top ten programs in the Sociology of Culture.
The Department of Theater and Dance fosters a vibrant and stimulating environment that encourages creative self-expression and critical thinking. Undergraduate programs include intensive, conservatory-style training for actors and dancers, as well as general degrees with a focus on Dance, Design, Directing, Playwriting, Theater and Community and Theater and Performance Studies. The department’s nationally recognized and highly ranked graduate program offers a diverse array of interdisciplinary approaches to performance research within a global orientation. The department provides a lively forum for faculty to integrate teaching and research, at the cutting edge of their areas of expertise.
In the UCSB Writing Program, students study and practice writing in academic, civic, and professional contexts. Undergraduate courses focus on study of and practice with writing expected by different audiences. Lower division courses help students develop foundational critical writing, reading, research, and analysis strategies. Upper division courses concentrate on the study and practice of writing in specific academic, professional, and civic contexts as well as on the study of writing as an academic discipline.
The Program also offers a Professional Writing Minor and opportunities for undergraduates and graduates to conduct independent research with expert faculty. The Writing Program supports graduate education with graduate-level classes, writing workshops, and courses focusing on writing theory and pedagogy. The Program also offers a Ph.D. emphasis in Writing Studies for students in select departments.