The Department of Recreation at UC Santa Barbara is committed to creating a healthy and welcoming campus environment for all students, faculty, staff and community members.The department seeks to promote an active, balanced lifestyle that contributes to the development of the social, emotional and physical skills essential to long-term health and wellbeing. We strive to be an industry leader in environmental conservation and sustainability.

Offering a wide variety of activities, programs, services and facilities for students, faculty/staff & the community, Recreation is where Gauchos "Find Their Fit".

The UCSB Recreation Center opened in 1995 with 100,000 sq. ft. and has been one of the most popular spots on campus ever since. The original Rec Cen has two swimming pools, two gymnasia, two weight rooms, two squash courts and five racquetball courts. The Rec Cen Expansion (Rec Cen II) was approved by students in Spring 2000, opened in the Spring of 2005 and added 56,000 sq. ft. to the Rec Cen Complex. The expansion includes an additional weight room, multi-activity court (MAC), climbing center, spa, pottery studio, classroom and additional locker facilities.


Intramural Sports

Intramural Sports exists for those looking to engage in a physical and competitive play, without an extreme level of commitment. With different leagues, tournaments, and flexible game times, IM Sports is perfect for those looking to learn a new sport, make lasting friendships, or practice their talents.

 Sport Clubs

Students who have a strong passion for a certain sport should look into joining one of the 23 Sports Clubs. Athletes sweat it out for the love of the game and competitive achievement. The UCSB Sports Club program is one of the most successful in the nation, boasting 75 National Championship awards and over 1,000 student athletes. 

 Special Events

Special Events is a multifaceted program that creates, collaborates and supports a diversity of recreational activities. Our events vary in nature from competitive to playful to personalized experiences through sport, play, fitness and overall wellbeing-focused activities. We create numerous one-time, quarterly and annual special events including the annual Fun & Fitness Festival, Turkey Trot, Alumni Softball Tournament and Warm Up with REC. 

Adventure Programs

Adventure Programs is how UCSB tackles outdoor and wilderness trips and skills. It exists to enhance campus and community life by providing educational and recreational experiences through wilderness trips, outdoor recreation classes, ropes courses, and climbing center programs.  Meet new people, hone your skills, and experience the awesome wonder of nature.


The Aquatics program encompasses the Department’s pool facilities, professional staff and lifeguards, swimming and water fitness classes, and youth swimming programs. The Recreation Center pool includes an Olympic sized pool, diving well, spa, and handicap access – all overseen by student lifeguards.

Gaucho REC

Gaucho REC (Recreation and Exercise Classes) are for leisure and personal interest only. Offerings range from arts and crafts to yoga, or from music to martial arts. There are no pressures, exams, (except for certification courses), or grades, simply learn and enjoy!

Group Fitness/ Cycling Classes

Through these programs, people will get the most out of their resistance training exercises and are taught proper form, technique and intensity in whichever discipline the class is being taught in. 

Group Fitness classes are taught by professional instructors who aim to get you to the next level of performance. Join in the camaraderie with others who will sweat by your side as you go through offerings such as cardio circuit, kickboxing, pilates, step interval, and more.

Group Cycling is a high intensity cardio workout choreographed to music from warm up to cool down. Three different types of classes are offered for multiple skill levels: All Level, Endurance Ride and Cycle & Core. Our Schwinn Fitness™ certified instructors are there to keep you focused, motivated and engaged for a results oriented workout.

Youth Programs

Department of Recreation Youth Programs offers quality summer camps and classes that draws thousands of participants from the Santa Barbara area and around the world each year. The popular Summer Day Camps have been running for the past 34 years, introducing children to action-packed adventure and opportunities to make new friends. Activities include swimming, ropes courses, soccer, field trips, nature hikes, and more. 

Governance Board

The Recreation Center Governance Board sets facility policies and approves special request use. UCSB Associated Students appoints one student each academic year to sit on the Board as part of their Campus-Advisory Positions program. The elected student acts as the Associated Students Representative to the Committee. 

Associated Students is all about making the students' voice heard. Campus-Advisory positions are rare opportunities where students can sit on boards with faculty and staff from the campus and vote on decisions that have serious impact. Whether it involves changing the face of campus or addressing women's issues the campus cannot function without student input. Make your voice heard and represent your fellow students through Campus-Advisory positions. Depending on the position the process of appointment can vary.

For more information and to apply for the AS Advisory Position go to: https://coc.as.ucsb.edu/index.php