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 June 30, 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.
2021-2022 Academic Year Housing
On June 17, 2021, the following groups were notified via email that we will be able to accommodate them in either our university-owned housing or university-affiliated housing (Tropicana Student Living):
  • 2020-2021 freshmen and transfer students who did not have a university housing opportunity this past year and who applied by the deadline,
  • 2021-2022 freshmen and transfer students who applied by the deadline,
  • other groups such as Regents Scholars, Promise Scholars, Guardian Scholars, veterans, gender inclusive and unaccompanied homeless youth

Contract offers will go out on June 30 and July 1. Assignments will follow in early September. Most of our rooms are shared by 2 or 3 students. There are only a few single occupancy rooms available.  If students who receive a contract offer have already made other housing arrangements, please be certain to cancel with usStudents with contract offers will have until Tuesday, July 6 at 4pm to return their contract. For students who currently have a 2021-2022 UCSB housing contract, you can create a roommate group with other contract holders by using the optional roommate button on your respective contract page: The deadline to set up roommate groups is July 15 at 4pm. This is an optional process and those who do not complete it will be matched based upon the answers to their roommate preference questions. 

The UC system has proposed a mandatory vaccination policy for all students. We believe this policy will be finalized and issued by July 15. Students will not be assigned to a housing space without proof of a completed vaccination or proof of an exemption approved by Student Health Services. All students will need to upload their vaccination record no later than September 6. We encourage you to upload your vaccine record as soon as possible at your Student Health Services student portal. Vaccine records will be verified by state and national COVID vaccine databases.
If you are unable to be vaccinated and need to request an exemption, please contact Student Health Services after July 1 at their web page Exemption Requests for Required Immunizations. Students who have received an exemption of vaccination will need to test upon move-in, and then sequester until they receive a second negative test result. Students who are sequestering are only permitted to leave their residence to pick up food or go to a medical appointment. Dependent upon how long it takes for test results, students should expect to be sequestered for 8-10 days. In addition, students who are not vaccinated will be required to have asymptomatic tests weekly, complete daily health screenings, wear a mask and maintain social distance. Failure to comply with the campus COVID protocol will result in a review by the student conduct system which could result in cancellation of your housing contract.
Wait List
Students who do not fit into one of the categories mentioned above and who applied for housing have been placed on a wait list and will not receive a contract in our initial round of offers. University & Community Housing Services will conduct a rolling contract process. This means they will offer a round of contracts, see the return rate, and then offer more until all spaces are filled. We anticipate having more information about available space by mid to late July.
The students who did not receive an initial contract offer may choose to remain on the wait list, or they can begin exploring other options in the community using our Rental Listing site. Additionally, we will be notifying these students soon with information about a virtual rental fair that we are organizing.
If students on the wait list have already made other housing arrangements, please be certain to cancel with us.
Summer 2021 Housing
We will not be able to provide housing for Summer Session students with the exception of some residents currently staying with us for this Spring 2021 quarter. We are happy to announce that our partners at Tropicana Student Living are able to accommodate summer applicants. Tropicana Student Living offers student housing in accordance with UCSB Summer Sessions. Double rates start at $1,300/session or $2,500 for session A+B. Double occupancy apartments (2 people/bedroom - 4 people/apartment) and single occupancy residence hall rooms (suites with no kitchens) are available. Optional meal plans are also available at the Tropicana Café. For more information, please visit their website: Tropicana Student Living
We also 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: