covid-19 information

COVID-19 Information

For important updates on UC Santa Barbara campus safety precautions and associated information from county, state, and federal public health officials, please visit UCSB's COVID-19 information page and the CDC's COVID-19 website
The information below represents our current plans and is subject to change. (Updated March 23, 2021)
We understand how difficult this uncertainty has been for you and your family, and we are grateful for your patience as the campus works to find solutions. The pandemic situation remains very fluid and accordingly, our current plans continue to evolve and are subject to change.
Please review our COVID community guidelines handbook for more information regarding our residential communities in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Fall 2021 Housing
Housing applications for new freshmen and continuing undergraduate students opened on March 16, 2021. For more information, please visit our contracts page and click on your respective class level. Currently it is not possible to know exactly how the pandemic will affect operations in student housing and residential life for the 2021-2022 Academic Year. Consequently, we are not offering housing guarantees at this time. We are still awaiting guidance from campus and health authorities to determine how many spaces we can offer to student residents. Once we have this guidance, we will offer contracts for available spaces. 
Summer 2021 Housing
At this point, the campus has not made definitive plans for summer housing. We are cautiously optimistic that conditions will allow us to welcome more students back to campus by the summer. The specifics of how many spaces, and the allocation process have yet to be determined. We continue to follow national, state, UC and local directions closely. We will share information on our Summer Session Housing web page as it becomes available. We encourage you to take a look at the programs UCSB Summer Sessions is offering that provide the option of living in our communities:

Spring 2021 Housing
The campus decided not to open any additional housing for Spring Quarter. We are at capacity in our university apartments, and will not be opening residence halls this academic year. We understand how disappointing this may be for you. However, we want to let you know that Tropicana Gardens, which is a privately operated suite-style residence hall, has a few openings. This may be an option for you if you still intend to come to campus this academic year.

University & Community Housing Services can also assist students in securing privately-owned accommodations in the community. For more information, visit our Rental Listings page and click on "Community Housing Guide." If you are contemplating living in Isla Vista, please do so with extreme caution and be aware that signing a lease for privately-owned accommodations is legally binding, and private landlords are not likely to cancel contracts if your plans change or you need to leave. Additionally, make sure you are comfortable with the density level of the rental units you are exploring and that the people you live with will strictly adhere to social distancing and face covering requirements. There was a rising number of COVID cases in Isla Vista this past summer and density played a role in that increase. 
Winter 2021 Housing 
  • Campus leadership decided that all undergraduate residence halls would remain closed but we have accommodated up to 1000 residents in the undergraduate apartments beginning Winter Quarter 2021. First priority offers went to students that already completed apartment contracts and had not cancelled. Any remaining spaces were allocated to students that had already completed residence hall contracts and had not cancelled. Newly opened spaces were in San Joaquin, Sierra Madre, and Santa Ynez. All rooms are single occupancy. New apartment contracts beginning Winter Quarter 2021 include a mandatory meal plan with a choice of either 7 meals per week ($1040/month) or 10 meals per week ($1142/month).
  • Meal service is take-out provided at Portola Dining Commons. We encourage students not to travel during Spring Break. Portola Dining Commons will be open for regular to-go meal service from Monday 3/22 to Friday 3/26 to residents of Sierra Madre, San Joaquin, and Santa Ynez. 
  • Before Arrival:
  • ​Upon Arrival:
    • Obtain a COVID-19 test on campus immediately, available at no charge to students living on campus.
    • Getting tested should be one of the first things you do.
    • Further information on how to schedule this appointment at our campus testing sites will be emailed to you.
  • After Arrival:
    • Sequester in your room (leaving only for essential activities) for at least 7 days. In person social interactions should be minimal to none. 
    • Obtain a second COVID-19 test on campus after 7 days, available at no charge to students living on campus. 
    • Follow our campus COVID-19 mitigation measures:
      • Always wear face coverings in public
      • Maintain appropriate physical distance from others
      • Wash hands frequently
      • Observe all public health orders, including the prohibition of social gatherings beyond those in your immediate household
    • Regular testing thereafter: Minimally, weekly testing after arrival or on a schedule to be determined by campus. (COVID testing is provided for students living on campus, funded by the University.)
Resources for further information: