The faculty in English at UCSB includes nationally prominent scholars working at the forefront of current literary studies in a professionally oriented research department. A recent national study places the University of California with its ten campuses in a class apart from all other public universities in the United States for quality of research; the same study, ranking the scholarly productivity of faculty in the humanities at all public research institutions, places UCSB second only to Berkeley nationwide.
The graduate program in English offers a balanced emphasis on scholarship, criticism, and theory. It is especially strong in Medieval, Renaissance, and eighteenth-century studies; in modern and American literature; in literary theory, cultural criticism, culture of information, interdisciplinary studies; and in gender studies and minority literatures. The program is large enough to field a full range of graduate seminars, but small enough to provide a sense of community and a high level of faculty-student engagement.
UCSB provides an exciting intellectual environment in a setting of great natural beauty. The attractive campus, overlooked by the Santa Ynez Mountains, lies on an 815-acre promontory jutting into the Pacific Ocean. The West Campus, part of which is designated a natural preserve, contains undeveloped, ecologically important dunes facing the Channel Islands. Downtown Santa Barbara is 10 miles away; Los Angeles less than two hours by car. The campus community currently numbers about 18,000 students, of whom about 2,100 are graduate students.
The city of Santa Barbara offers a wide variety of theatrical and musical productions, art and natural history museums, botanical and zoological gardens, festivals, one of the nation’s most dense concentrations of shops and restaurants, and breathtaking views of mountains, Spanish-style architecture, beaches, palms, and sea.