May I visit the department and campus?
Yes, absolutely! Visits are very much encouraged. Feel free to visit at any time; there is no particularly advantageous time for our department and visits can be arranged either before, during, or after the application is filed. (Note that all admitted applicants will be invited to a specific Prospective Students Day in early spring.)
How do I arrange my visit?
Our faculty keep their own schedules and you should contact them directly via email (you can use the links from the Faculty page on our website at (here) to propose dates that would be convenient for you. You may also contact current graduate students to try to arrange a meeting; a list of current grads with their research interests is in the Graduate section of our site at (here) and includes email links. In addition you may send a brief email message to the Graduate Program Assistant describing your research goals and plans for visiting, and that can be forwarded to our graduate student email list. Once you have a specific date narrowed down you should notify the Graduate Program Assistant, to be sure they will be available at the time of your visit. She can answer many general questions and give a brief tour of the department. You should also plan on sitting in on classes and consider a campus tour.
When are the campus tours offered?
The UCSB Visitor’s Center offers campus tours daily at noon and 2 p.m. No reservations are required; you can just show up at the Center. Be warned, however, that the tours are heavily oriented toward undergraduate students with much emphasis on dorms, recreational facilities, etc. Many prospective graduate students have opted to skip the tour after finding the information not of particular use to them.
I want to sit in on a class; can I find a schedule online?
The quarterly Schedule of Classes is available online at http://www.registrar.ucsb.edu/
Or, you can drop by to see the Graduate Program Assistant first when you visit to get some help and a map.
If possible, it is courteous to get permission in advance to sit in on a class. However, it is also fine to introduce yourself to the instructor either just before or after the class.
I suddenly have a chance to visit but can’t give much notice; should I come anyway?
Yes, even on short notice it is fine to come in for a visit. Your chances of meeting with faculty and grad students are reduced, but hopefully you will be able to explore the department and campus and find a class to sit in on. Ideally you should at least check with the Graduate Program Assistant, even at the last minute, to see if she is available to help you.
What days of the week are best for visiting?
We recommend early- to mid-week, mainly because more classes and seminars are available on those days. Fridays probably offer the least opportunities for sitting in on graduate seminars. If you can arrange your visit so that you can sit in on the required 200 proseminar that would be ideal; all new grad students are required to take the series so you will have a chance to meet the newest cohort of students. The schedule varies — be sure to check with the Graduate Program Assistant for the current quarter’s schedule. However, any day is fine according to your convenience, and we realize not everybody can visit at the beginning of the week.
Where is the Religious Studies Department located and where can I park my car?
The Religious Studies Department is located on the third floor of the Humanities and Social Sciences Building. Follow this link to find directions to the campus and printable maps. Full parking information is provided there as well. Lot 27 is directly in front of our building, and Parking Structure 22 is just a short walk away, so plenty of parking is available.