Marine Science

Marine Science will be accepting applications from incoming first-year students and on-campus transfers for Fall 2023. 

This application is your chance to tell us about who you are and why the CCS Marine Science program is a great fit for you. In order to put your best foot forward in your application, we encourage you to spend time reading through the CCS Marine Science webpage to understand what makes this program different from studying on the broader campus and why these differences are meaningful to you.

Transfer students from on campus are encouraged to apply! Please check out the Major Sheet to learn more about potential coarse-loads and transfer requirements.

Please reach out to if you have any questions about CCS, the Marine Science program, or the application process.

Letter of Intent

Write a letter to the attention of the CCS Marine Science faculty that is no more than two pages, double spaced. In this letter, tell us about the following:

  • What drew you to marine science,
  • The topics that you want to study and explore,
  • Your reasons for wanting to study and explore these topics at CCS, and
  • How the multidisciplinary* Marine Science curriculum aligns with your interests and goals.

This letter is separate from the essay required in the UC application and is the most important part of your application to the Marine Science program. Please save and upload this letter as a PDF in order to avoid formatting distortions.

*By multidisciplinary we are referring to an education in marine science that will span multiple disciplines including biology, geology, chemistry, physics, and disciplines of your choosing.


In addition to the copies you send to the UCSB Office of Admissions, there is a section on the CCS Online Application where you must upload copies of your transcripts from every high school and college you have attended. Transcripts do not need to be official, so a scan or picture of your transcripts may be uploaded (jpeg or PDF). If you are currently enrolled at UCSB, please upload a copy of your course history, which you can obtain using a screenshot from GOLD. It is your responsibility to ensure that attachments uploaded to your application are clear and legible.

Submitting Work in Evidence of Talent

Although submitting work in evidence of talent is not required, we highly encourage you to do so because it gives us a better sense of what you are interested in and how you’ve gone about pursuing your interests up to this point. If you talk about ways in which you've pursued your interest in marine science in your Letter of Intent, you can upload evidence of those efforts under this field.

So, what is work in evidence of talent? This is any work that shows a commitment to pursuing your interests in marine science. This might include a description of observations you made in your own backyard, on a field trip, online, or elsewhere to better understand some phenomenon that caught your interest, and the steps you took to learn more about it. Evidence of talent does not necessarily mean field or laboratory research. We understand that not every student will have had the opportunity to participate in field or laboratory research or generate scientific reports and that is more than okay! Our goal through this part of the application is to better understand your interests in marine science and how you’ve gone about pursuing them.

To prepare for writing this section, spend some time thinking about what examples you would use to describe to a friend or family member to help them understand just how curious and motivated you are to learn about marine science.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation are not accepted for applications to the CCS Marine Science major. You do not need to solicit letters of recommendation in preparing for your CCS Marine Science application nor should you upload them as supplemental documents.

Decision by the College

For Fall UCSB applicants, the College of Creative Studies cannot inform applicants of decisions on their CCS applications until the University of California Santa Barbara has mailed the campus’ admission/deferral letters in March. CCS decision letters follow immediately thereafter. A denial from CCS does not negatively affect your admission to one of the other colleges at UCSB.

If you are a registered UCSB student applying to the program, you may take Creative Studies classes even if you are not enrolled in CCS, on a space-available, instructor-approved basis.