UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

Division of Mathematical, Life, and Physical Sciences

Other Pages In Divisions within the College of Letters and Science

The Division of Mathematical, Life, and Physical Sciences (MLPS) promotes quantitative and scientific literacy essential to intelligent participation in an increasingly technological world. Professors prepare students not only by teaching the accumulated formal knowledge and structure in various disciplines, but also training them to think independently.

The Division offers courses and degrees in mathematics, statistics and actuarial science; in the life sciences of biology and psychological and brain sciences; and in the physical sciences of chemistry, geography, earth science, and physics. In addition, the division is home to a unique, interdisciplinary program (and popular major) in environmental studies. Departments in MLPS with particular strengths and interest in areas of ecology and the environment include: Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology; Geography; and Earth Science.

Most departments engage students in various K-12 and Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) outreach programs that contribute to a more scientifically-aware society. Undergraduate research experiences and programs are available through many departments, offering students the chance to participate in original field and laboratory research with faculty and graduate students.

The Division’s undergraduate majors offer excellent preparation for graduate and professional schools, including medical schools, where our graduates have exceptionally high acceptance rates.

Because interdisciplinary study is strongly promoted at UCSB, MLPS is able to offer a unique experience to its students that comes from the removal of barriers between fields of science and other disciplines such as engineering, social sciences, and education. Our graduate programs and research are strong across the Division, and a number of special interdisciplinary programs, including those in bio-molecular science and engineering, dynamical neuroscience, environmental studies, and marine science, have been formally established. Opportunities to further interdisciplinary collaboration, and for interactions with distinguished visiting scientists from around the world, are fostered by a remarkable group of centers and institutes on campus. These include the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, the Marine Science Institute, the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (one of the few world centers for exploration and utilization of remote sensing techniques), the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration, the Institute for Terahertz Science and Technology, the Earth Research Institute, the Center for Polymers and Organic Solids, the Sage Center for the Study of the Mind, the Brain Imaging Center, the Neuroscience Research Institute, the California NanoSystems Institute, the Materials Research Laboratory, the Center for Research in Financial Management and Statistics, the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies and the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering.