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Santa Barbara City College

Santa Barbara City College

Santa Barbara City College


Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) International students have always played an essential role in the life of Santa Barbara City College. Santa Barbara City College welcomes international students and encourages them to utilize all the services provided by Student Support Services and the International Student Support Program (ISSP) staff. Santa Barbara City College is in Santa Barbara, California, also known as the American Riviera. Just 100 steps from the beach, Santa Barbara City College offers one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation. Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, it's close to the entertainment industry capital of the world, Los Angeles to the south, San Francisco to the north, and Las Vegas to the East. 283 days of sunshine and its unique location offer plenty of activities year-round. The International Student Support Program office staff strives to provide international students with an opportunity to benefit from a high-quality academic curriculum, as well as from intellectually stimulating and fun social and extra-curricular activities. International students can enroll at Santa Barbara City College to improve their English Language skills through the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program or complete an associate's degree, a certificate of achievement or diploma, or a competency or departmental award through the Academic Program. Attending for a Gap year (for one year or a semester) or enrolling at another U.S. Institution while at Santa Barbara City College are also options for international students. Santa Barbara City College offers 250-degree programs, 80 certificates, and 28 fully online programs, degrees, and certificates. Selected as the #1 Value Community College 3 years in a row as well as having received the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, Santa Barbara City College is a great choice for international students academically and financially.

Our Vision

Santa Barbara City College strives to build a socially conscious community where knowledge and respect empower individuals to transform our world.

Our Mission

As a public community college dedicated to the success of each student . . .

Santa Barbara City College welcomes all students. The College provides a diverse learning environment and opportunities for students to enrich their lives, advance their careers, complete certificates, earn associate degrees, and transfer to four-year institutions.

The College is committed to fostering an equitable, inclusive, respectful, participatory, and supportive community dedicated to the success of every student.

Our Core Principles

Santa Barbara City College’s core principles guide all aspects of instruction, organization, and innovation:

  • Student-centered policies, practices, and programs
  • Participatory governance
  • A psychologically and physically supportive environment
  • Free exchange of ideas across a diversity of learners
  • The pursuit of excellence in all college endeavors.

Our Charter

Santa Barbara City College’s mission and core principles honor our commitment to the spirit and intent of the foundational framework of the California Community Colleges, as described in California Education Code §66010.4:

  • Primary Mission: Academic and vocational instruction at the lower division level; advancement of California’s economic growth and global competitiveness through education, training, and services.
  • Essential and Important Functions: Remedial instruction, ESL, adult noncredit instruction (in areas defined as being in the state’s interest), and student support services.
  • Authorized Function: Community services courses.


Admission Requirements

Before you apply, make sure you meet these admission requirements:

  • All applicants must have the equivalent of a 2.00 U.S. GPA or higher. A high school diploma is not required for students who are 18 years old or older.
  • All applicants must be 17 years old or older by their first-semester start date. Students who are under 18 must submit a copy of the "minor forms" below with their application, and a copy of their high school diploma before the program start date.
  • English Proficiency Requirement for Admission to the Academic Program. There are several options for you to meet our requirements (i.e. coursework, language school, standardized tests, etc.). We do not require TOEFL/IELTS.
  • Transfer students from U.S. language schools must have 80% attendance or higher at the language school and meet one of the English Proficiency Requirements.
  • Sufficient funding for the estimated Cost of Studies.

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester

Application opens in January 2023!


June 1 for new students

June 15 for transfer/current F-1 students in the U.S.

Spring Semester

October 15 for new students

November 1 for transfer/current F-1 students in the U.S.

Summer Session

Summer Session 2023 is only open to students transferring from another U.S. institution.

April 1

Visa Requirements

Current F-1 Students in the U.S.

If you are transferring to SBCC from another school in the U.S. complete the steps above, and upload the following additional documents to your online application:

  • Copy of F-1 visa
  • I-94 Arrival/Departure Form - At the link, click on "Get most recent I-94".
  • Copy of I-20
  • Verification of Status Form - Students must be "in status". The advisor at your current institution will need to verify and sign this form.

After you apply

  • We will begin processing Spring 2023 applications by September 1. After September 1 applications will be processed within 3 weeks from the date you submit a complete application. IMPORTANT: Applications must have the student's personal email address on the application.
  • Accepted students will be sent an Offer of Admission, I-20, and Registration Instructions via email.
  • The Form I-20 is a nonimmigrant document you will need to apply for an F-1 student visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country.

Scholarships and Funding

Santa Barbara City College offers a great variety of scholarships to its current, transferring, and newly incoming students.

Enrolled students may apply one time per year in February. If awarded, the money is disbursed for the following academic year in two parts: half in the fall semester and half in the spring semester. The amounts range from very small: $100-750 and larger $1000-2500 with some variations in between


SBCC ranked among the best colleges for an associate degree by Salary Score

On Jan. 28, 2020, Optimal (formerly the SR Education Group) released GradReports, comparing the salaries of over 4.6 million college graduates to determine Salary Scores for more than 885 college degrees. Scores were then used to rank the best colleges in the U.S. for 2021 at the associate, bachelor's, and master's degree levels. Santa Barbara City College is pleased to announce that it ranked No. 11 in the category of Best Associate Degrees

Providing availability to Salary Scores comes at a convenient time for prospective students contemplating their options, since higher education has been radically altered by COVID-19. The economic fallout from the pandemic has magnified the need for the cost-benefit analysis of pursuing a college degree, especially under the shadow of an already looming student debt crisis.

This past year has created an atmosphere of enormous financial strain and uncertainty, said Optimal CEO Sung Rhee, and now more than ever, students and their families are in need of data that demonstrate earnings outcomes, giving them the ability to plan for the future and also feel confident in their decisions.

GradReports Salary Score is based on median alumni earnings in the year after graduating, using data from the U.S. Department of Education's College Scorecard. The score compares the median alumni salary for a specific program at one school to the median alumni salary for the same program at other schools, allowing prospective students to see which schools offer top earnings for that program. Each school then receives an overall Salary Score by degree level to illustrate colleges that prepare students for a high-paying career regardless of major. This overall score is based on how well the school performs across all the programs it offers, weighted by student enrollment in each program.

An evaluation of alumni salaries at the associate degree level at nearly 700 community colleges, technical colleges, and other institutions, revealed that 87 percent of the top 100 schools are public colleges. California graduates performed especially well, with eight of the top 25 colleges located in California.

SBCC offers over 100 associate degrees in subject areas ranging in everything from Accounting to Vocational Nursing.

A recent press release from Optimal considers GradReport a predictor of earning potential and ROI [return on investment] for one of the most crucial investments a student will ever make.

  • 2020 Rated #1 of the Top 50 Best Value Community Colleges in the nation.
  • 2019 Rated #1 of the Top 50 Best Value Community Colleges in the nation.
  • 2018 Rated #1 of the Top 50 Best Value Community Colleges in the nation.


  • Santa Barbara

    721 Cliff Drive Santa Barbara, CA, 93109, Santa Barbara

  • Santa Barbara

    Cliff Drive,721, 93109, Santa Barbara