What is CCS?

Welcome to the College of Creative Studies (CCS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Founded in 1967, CCS is unique within the University of California system.

A former student once described 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, Computing, Writing and 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.

Each of the approximately 400 Creative Studies students enjoys close individual advising from faculty committed to undergraduate teaching. Students meet quarterly with their faculty advisor to plan a program of study that is tailored to the student's individual strengths and goals. General education requirements are flexible and can be satisfied by courses taken in both CCS and/or in the other colleges.

Courses offered by CCS are designed to allow students to rigorously explore or even modify a field of knowledge, rather than merely expose them to a predetermined quantity of fixed subject matter. Through intense creative work and research projects typically reserved for graduate school, students acquire a thorough comprehension of their discipline and are encouraged to begin making original contributions to the field. Most CCS classes are tutorials, studios and small seminars. In addition to taking CCS courses, students are encouraged to work within academic departments in the UCSB Colleges of Letters & Science and Engineering, taking advantage of the full spectrum of courses, extensive research equipment, facilities, and faculty expertise available across the campus.

CCS faculty and staff endeavor to help students find appropriate and enriching research experiences. CCS students have worked with some of UCSB's most highly acclaimed research faculty. One recent CCS alumnus even has his name on a published research paper alongside one of UCSB's Nobel Prize winning faculty members.

A small intellectual community of committed undergraduate students and faculty, set within a major research university, the College of Creative Studies is indeed the best of both worlds.