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Friday, August 23, 2002 - 17:00
Santa Barbara, CA

The University of California, Santa Barbara has been named one of the 12 "hottest" colleges in the nation, according to the Kaplan College Guide which is published by Newsweek magazine and on newsstands Monday (Aug. 26).

Cited for its strengths in many academic disciplines, Santa Barbara was praised for its "increasingly impressive academic reputation and glamorous location."

The magazine went on to mention that three UCSB faculty members have won Nobel Prizes in the last four years, that the physics doctoral program is one of the top 10 in the country, and that the Institute of Theoretical Physics attracts scientists from around the world.

UCSB's College of Engineering was also singled out for being highly rated in national rankings, "especially in the rapidly expanding field of materials science."

The article's writers also commented on the renewed interest in science and technology among college-bound students nationally.

But it was not just the quality of the science and engineering departments that were cited in the article:

"UCSB is famous for its film-studies major that lets students study film theory along with aesthetics," according to the article. Moreover, "one quarter of UCSB's undergraduates take part in research, teaming up with faculty and grad students."

The article also stated that UCSB is the only university in the UC system to offer religious studies through the Ph.D. level.

Further, it mentioned the opening this year of the new building for graduate study in environmental management, "the greenest building in California because it meets the highest federal and local standards of energy efficiency."

"I am delighted by the growing recognition of what we have accomplished at UCSB, now recognized as one of the hottest schools and best bargains in North America," said Chancellor Henry Yang. "Our students participate in highly ranked academic programs, engage in original undergraduate research, and study with award-winning professors. Our campus offers a wonderful balance between strong academics and a high quality of student life in an extraordinary location."

Demand for admission to UC Santa Barbara has risen dramatically in recent years.

Freshman applications have increased by 67 percent in the last five years, and 27 percent of the students who applied for the fall quarter had a grade point average of 4.0 or higher.