The Antioch Story

Welcome to Antioch Santa Barbara!

About Antioch University

Antioch University was founded in 1852 in Yellow Springs, Ohio, as a private, liberal arts college. Horace Mann, known as the founder of the American public school system and the first president of Antioch, pioneered the introduction of coeducation, non-sectarianism, and non-segregation in order to educate “minds free from prejudice and yearning after truth.”

With diverse campuses in New Hampshire, Ohio, Seattle, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Antioch University today stands stronger than ever. As a private, nonprofit, comprehensive institution, Antioch University is a singularly accredited, highly integrated University. Antioch offers face-to-face, hybrid and fully-online coursework, and bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs in the following academic areas: Arts and Humanities, Business, Management, and Leadership; Counseling and Health Professions; Education; Environmental Studies and Sustainability; Interdisciplinary and Liberal Studies; and Psychology.

Our Mission

Antioch University provides learner-centered education to empower students with the knowledge and skills to lead meaningful lives and to advance social, economic, and environmental justice.

Our Vision

Antioch University aspires to be a leading university offering learners and communities transformative education in a global context that fosters innovation and inspires social action.

Our Goals

Antioch University Santa Barbara is one of five campuses within the national system of Antioch University. Our goal is to provide an excellent, innovative graduate and undergraduate education and to prepare our students for professional success and service to their communities. An Antioch education empowers students to act responsibly and to effect personal, social and environmental change within a global context. The Antioch approach emphasizes:

  • the development of the student as a whole person;
  • the integration of academic and experiential learning;
  • the enhancement of creative, critical, and independent thinking.

This approach to education springs from Antioch’s long-standing heritage of making learning meaningful and vital while promoting social justice. Given Antioch’s student-centered approach to education and its commitment to intellectual, social, cultural and ethnic diversity, the faculty’s primary duties are to teach and advise, as well as to engage in the intellectual dialogue of their profession. In addition, faculty, staff and students work with local communities to provide leadership and service, participating as broadly as possible in civic affairs.

Our Purpose

The purpose of Antioch University Santa Barbara is to prepare our students for professional success and service to their communities. To further these goals, Antioch’s academic experience and curriculum focus on developing critical thinking, leadership and an expansive worldview as the foundation for teaching and learning in all disciplinary fields of study. Our faculty, administrators and staff strive to model and nurture academic excellence and personal integrity based upon the basic values of ethical behavior, intellectual honesty and tolerance for the beliefs, ideas and cultural experiences of others.

Our Values

Antioch University Santa Barbara expects and demands consistent excellence in teaching and learning to meet the individual needs of our students in ways that recognize and respond to the rapidly evolving demands of a society undergoing dramatic technological and social change.

Antioch University Santa Barbara exists to provide both the highest standards of academic learning and career development for our students, and a civic forum for our community to engage in the respectful and open-minded discussion and debate of events and issues that affect all of us.

Antioch University Santa Barbara’s academic approach and efforts encourage and celebrate  innovation and flexibility in adapting to a time of historic transformation, but must always rest on a set of humanistic values that honor and demand personal integrity, ethical behavior, social responsibility, and an appreciation of (or commitment to) diversity from our students, faculty, administrators, and staff.

Antioch University Santa Barbara

The Santa Barbara campus opened in 1977 and has experienced steady growth. Located in downtown Santa Barbara, the campus offers more than 75 courses each quarter, all taught in English, with a faculty of more than 125 full-time and part-time instructors.  AUSB has 14 classrooms and Library resources that include an on-site facility as well as comprehensive electronic resources.  Antioch’s degree and certificate programs rely on traditional undergraduate- and graduate-level instructional books and supplies; students typically also have personal computers at their disposal.

Antioch University Santa Barbara serves local residents as well as commuters and participants in various low-residency programs. Although AUSB will always remain small and personal, current plans call for growth to about 800 students, with particular emphasis on growth in the international student body.

Antioch University Santa Barbara’s students are adults who seek a new direction in their careers or the mobility provided by earning an undergraduate or graduate degree. A diverse group of men and women ranging in age from 19 to 77, they share a serious determination to transform their lives. The average student is 35 years old, and over 70 percent receive some form of financial aid.

Students are drawn to Antioch University Santa Barbara from the Santa Barbara area as well as Ventura, Oxnard, the western San Fernando Valley, Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo. A growing number of Antioch students have relocated from countries around the world to Santa Barbara specifically to attend Antioch, attracted by Antioch’s distinctive education and the community’s justly famous climate, lifestyle, and amenities.

Educational Community

Antioch University Santa Barbara’s educational delivery system is designed for adult learners, most of whom have active professional and personal lives. Campus student life, therefore, is primarily focused in the classroom as the place where most student interaction occurs. Antioch is committed to ensuring a safe and supportive environment for the learning process. The Antioch legacy that continues today involves creating a learning space in which participants, both instructors and students, can explore and express ideas and points of view as part of the process of engaged learning.

Fundamental to this learning process is a respect for difference. Because each adult brings unique histories, experiences, and ways of knowing to the classroom, each student can benefit from an authentic interaction with another. Discussion and debate depend on an appropriate degree of respect for all persons involved and for the distinct experiences that they bring. Class discussions are not so much designed as opportunities for individual learners to demonstrate how much or what they know, but as environments for personal learning and growth while also furthering the learning and understanding of the community as a whole. In order to achieve this sort of learning environment, students must recognize a certain degree of responsibility for the success of the learning experience of the class as a whole.

Within this learning community, Antioch delivers a distinctive education that recognizes learning derived from previous work and life experience, and uses written narrative evaluations instead of impersonal and competitive grades (although individual students may request grade equivalents in addition to narrative evaluations). Among the distinctive features of our learning environment are:

  • A personalized education that integrates academic excellence, experiential learning, and a commitment to community service. This tripartite model is the cornerstone of all Antioch educational programs.
  • Individualized study and intense collaboration between students and faculty.
  • An integration of theory and practice. Graduate and undergraduate students alike are required to earn credits through experiential learning, such as field study, internships, and traineeships. Most of Antioch’s faculty members are practitioners and professionals in their respective fields and their experience is brought into the classroom.
  • An emphasis on encouraging students to recognize and integrate diversity in intercultural, inter-group, intergenerational, and interpersonal dynamics. Antioch students are encouraged to question and probe their own views and those held by others, while simultaneously being responsible for respecting each and every individual in the community. Discussion and critical reflection are fully encouraged as ways of self-learning and of furthering the learning and understanding of the Antioch community.
  • A supportive environment that encourages collaborative learning, values social awareness and activism, and respects the multiple roles of adult students.
  • The development of communication and critical thinking skills to support effective and independent thought and action and a curriculum designed to prepare students to find meaningful work, improve professional opportunities, and lead more purposeful lives.
  • Student-friendly systems designed for adult learners.

At Antioch, learning means more than sitting in classes and listening to lectures. Learning means reflection, dialogue, and challenge. While the instructor is the expert in a given area of study, teaching and learning is an interactive process in which the student and teacher together develop attributes of liberally educated individuals and competent, socially concerned, skilled professionals.

Degrees Offered

  • Bachelor of Arts in Applied Arts & Media
  • Bachelor of Arts in Applied Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Technology & Business Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology
  • Master of Arts in Education
  • Master of Arts in Psychology
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Education
  • Master of Fine Arts in Writing & Contemporary Media
  • Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

Academic Certificates Offered

  • Induction Program
  • Dual Credential Certificate
  • Mild/Moderate Education Specialist Credential Certificate
  • Multiple Subject Credential Certificate
  • Nature-Based Early Childhood Education Certificate

Statement of Commitment, Inclusion and Diversity

In recognition of our mission, vision, and core values, Antioch University governors, faculty, staff, students, and alumni pledge to engage in ongoing development as an inclusive learning community. Our goal is justice and empowerment for all. To this end, we respond to the spectrum of human diversity so that no one is marginalized. Firmly rooted in our longstanding tradition of challenging inequities and promoting social change, we are committed to continued growth as an international university that addresses the complexities of the diverse regions we serve. To move beyond tolerance toward inclusion, affirmation and the celebration of our differences, we embrace challenges and recognize that the responsibility for this rests with each member of the community and with the university as an educational institution. We commit to creating and maintaining a learning environment free from discrimination, and we encourage and support those who identify and speak out against discrimination in pursuit of social justice. We demonstrate our commitment to the celebration of difference through self-examination, respectful interactions, and through formal and informal policies and practices that give life to these ideals within Antioch University and the world around us.


Antioch University strives to be a unique national educational resource committed to progressive, innovative, and high-quality education for adult students. Antioch strives to be a democratically minded and participatory institution of higher education. Antioch’s governance structure is based on several fundamental assumptions:

  • The governance structure contributes to achieving Antioch’s mission, priorities and objectives;
  • The governance structure clearly articulates and provides for each academic program’s curriculum to be developed and implemented by the faculty to achieve Antioch’s educational mission;
  • The governance structure provides for appropriate and meaningful involvement of students, faculty, staff, and administration in decision-making processes and facilitates communication, promotes cooperation, and encourages effective and efficient operation;
  • The governance structure judiciously uses institutional, human, and fiscal resources to achieve its mission, priorities, and objectives.

Antioch seeks to provide a wide range of opportunities for broad involvement in governance. Principal responsibility for governance of the University rests with the Board of Governors, which appoints a University Chancellor to lead the University’s five campuses. The principal responsibility for the Santa Barbara campus rests with its Provost and Chief Executive Officer, who provides leadership to the campus and is responsible to the Antioch University Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and University Provost, Chancellor, and Board of Governors. The Santa Barbara Provost and Chief Executive Officer and faculty Program Chairs provide leadership in academic affairs, and the faculty as a whole is responsible for curricular development, innovation and excellence, for providing a challenging student-centered classroom environment, and for modeling a community of lifelong learning. The Faculty Senate of Antioch University Santa Barbara deliberates on policy, curricular, and planning issues. Student voices related to these policy issues are directed to the Provost. The campus also has other governing and advisory bodies, a wide range of faculty and staff meetings, and community-wide meetings to provide input into campus operations and directions.


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