University of San Diego
San Diego, California
The University of San Diego (USD) is dedicated to the values originally articulated by its founders, Bishop Charles Francis Buddy of the Diocese of San Diego and Mother Rosalie Hill of the Society of the Sacred Heart.
Those values are reflected in the University’s rich Catholic intellectual tradition. USD’s community of scholars are committed to educating the whole person—intellectually, physically, spiritually, emotionally, socially and culturally. The university provides a character-building education that fosters independent thought, innovation, integrity, analytical thinking, and an open-minded and collaborative world view.
The University of San Diego welcomes and respects those whose lives are formed by different traditions, recognizing their important contributions to a pluralistic society and to an atmosphere of open discussion and discovery, which is essential to a liberal arts education.
Get to know University of San Diego
- Campus Ministries
- Choral groups
- Concert band
- International Student Organization
- Jazz band
- Marching band
- Model UN
- Music ensembles
- Musical theatre
- Pep band
- Radio station
- Student government
- Student newspaper
- Television station
- First-Year Seminars and Experiences
- Common Intellectual Experiences
- Learning Communities
- Writing-Intensive Courses
- Collaborative Assignments and Projects
- Undergraduate Research
- Diversity/Global Learning
- Service-Learning, Community-Based Learning
- Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience
The University of San Diego uses its global network of alumni and industry contacts to connect students with a vast array of opportunities to apply their classroom learning to real-world environments.
USD is consistently ranked among the top universities in the nation for the percentage of undergraduate students participating in study abroad programs.
Research at USD is a year-round process. Each semester, each summer and even during Intersession, the act of research is a full-time, invested commitment for Torero undergraduate and graduate students and faculty. USD students are eager to explore, engage and add value to what is already a solid academic offering. Faculty who are active in research and publishing, also apply for grants that enable them to be research mentors for USD students who collaborate on projects. Students generate ideas for innovative ventures that respond to a social or environmental issue of their choice, and compete for seed funding to launch or expand their ventures. Social ventures may be for-profit, non-profit, or hybrid models with a domestic or international focus.
The number of sections of each class size.
2-9: 147 | 10-19: 292 | 20-29: 405
30-39: 289 | 40-49: 35 | 50-99: 1 | 100+: 0
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Nonresident aliens: 474
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 206
White, non-Hispanic: 2,944
American Indian or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 15
Asian, non-Hispanic: 426
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 20
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 334
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 131
Total Enrollment: 5,677
USD’s faculty are teachers first, but they are also scholars and mentors. Almost 95% of the full-time faculty have a Ph.D. or terminal degree in their field. They are accessible to students and actively teach, as there are no teaching assistants or graduate students teaching undergraduate coursework at USD. Students at USD build relationships with faculty as mentors, colleagues, and research advisors.
The University of San Diego’s First Year Experience (FYE) strives to build a community of engaged student learners who value academic excellence, intellectual, personal, and spiritual development, inclusion, ethical conduct, and compassionate service. It integrates two core components: the Preceptorial Program and the residential life living and learning environment.
THE FRESHMAN PRECEPTORIAL PROGRAM
The Freshman Preceptorial program begins each USD student’s academic career with a combination of advising, orientation, and an introduction to college-level scholarship. The preceptor, a faculty member in the student’s intended area of study, has frequent contact with each advisee and continues advising throughout the student’s general education program. Once students declare a major by the end of their sophomore year, the responsibility of advising shifts to a department faculty member, who provides specialized guidance.
Under the direction of USD faculty mentors, incoming freshman from all disciplines are encouraged to participate in research/scholarly activities. In many cases, students will continue their research work throughout their undergraduate careers and take advantage of unique opportunities to present their work at national and international conferences.
Creative Collaborations showcases the vibrant student-faculty interactions that are a hallmark of a USD education. This conference celebrates the intellectual life at USD and provides all undergraduate students an opportunity to present their preliminary and completed research and creative projects in an environment with other students and faculty. Working side-by-side and engaged in intellectual pursuits with their faculty mentors, USD students gain lifelong experiences that extend well beyond the classroom.
Working with USD’s Changemaker Hub, innovative USD Changemaker students are encouraged to employ imagination, hard work and passion to generate transformative ideas for global social change.
Residential Life is second of the two core components of USD’s First-Year Experience. All freshmen are required to live on campus during the first year. First-Year Experience Resident Assistants (FYE RA’s) work with residents on their halls to establish a respectful and inclusive community. The residential living and learning experience at USD seeks to establish a strong academic community that supports student learning outside the classroom. All students in first year halls will meet individually with their FYE RA’s, who serve as mentors and resources for university services, activities, and programs.
SPECIAL STUDY OPTIONS
Programs available at this institution.
English as a Second Language (ESL)
Liberal arts/career combination
Teacher certification program
LIFE ON CAMPUS
Recognized by Best Choice Schools as the #1 Most Beautiful Campus in the United States, USD is well known for its stunning architecture, pristine landscapes and beautiful vistas. One of the best things about being a University of San Diego student is experiencing life on campus. The friendly and energetic atmosphere guarantees that there is always something to do, and someone to do it with. The active, thriving community offers plenty of opportunities to get involved with fellow students and residents from the neighborhood surrounding the beautiful 180-acre Alcalá Park campus.
Over 95% of freshmen live on campus, and on-campus housing is available for all four years. Almost half of all students live on campus for the duration of their time at USD, which provides for an active student life. Students participate in over 200 clubs and organizations, residence hall activities, community service and University Ministry programs, and gain valuable leadership skills as part of Associated Students. Additionally, USD offers a world-class theatre, nationally respected speakers, Greek life, honor societies, and much more.
The University of San Diego’s 180-acre space rests atop a mesa overlooking San Diego, Mission Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The distinctive Spanish Renaissance architecture and breathtaking views provide an idyllic environment that’s endlessly conducive to learning. With the sun shining an average of 300 days per year and an average temperature of 70.5 degrees, recreational options abound. Google virtually any San Diego destination, and it will likely be within 20 minutes of the University of San Diego.
Take up surfing, dive into the thriving local arts scene or just meander on the beach. When winter comes, drive a few hours to ski or play in the snow, or head for the desert.
San Diego is California’s second largest city and the United States’ ninth largest. The region boasts 70 miles of pristine beaches and an array of world-class family attractions, including the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, SeaWorld and Legoland.
The renowned zoo is just one small part of Balboa Park, an urban expanse that houses numerous museums, art galleries, beautiful gardens and the Tony Award-winning Old Globe Theatres. Petco Park is home to baseball’s San Diego Padres, and Qualcomm Stadium houses the NFL’s San Diego Chargers.
The Mission Bay Aquatic Center is the world’s largest recreational waterfront facility, offering instruction in an array of water sports, including sailing, surfing and kayaking. The center is designed primarily for the students, faculty, staff and alumni of San Diego’s colleges and universities.
NCAA Division 17 NCAA Division I Teams, 21 sports clubs
West Coast Conference, Pioneer Football League
Colors: Blue & White
With San Diego’s ideal climate, it’s easy to understand why club sports are such an integral component of the student experience. To stay active, more than 500 students participate each year in events ranging from surf contests along the California coastline to weekend-long rugby tournaments featuring college teams from across the country.
Percent of students living on campus.
First-time, first-year (freshman) students: 95%
Campus housing options.
Apartments for single students
Special housing for disabled students
PREPARATION FOR SUCCESS
USD is committed to the intellectual, spiritual, and overall development of its students. Students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to write well; think critically, ethically and quantitatively; ask the right questions; recognize problems; and work within teams to develop solutions. USD’s students leave well prepared to pursue their career or post-graduate goals.
TOREROLINK AND INTERNSHIPS
Internships at USD are focused on work assignments that are relevant to a student’s career of choice. USD’s networking tool, ToreroLink, connects students with alumni and industry leaders to explore a variety of employment opportunities and internships.
CAREER DEVELOPMENT CENTER
USD also offers students a full spectrum of career services, from ambassadors that assist students with career exploration and counseling, to interviewing tips and on-campus interviewing with prominent employers. Each semester, the University of San Diego’s Career Development Center hosts on-campus interviews as well as presentations by employers and graduate/professional school recruiters.
Community Service Learning extends academic achievement from the classroom to the outside community so students can apply the lessons they have learned, serve neighbors in need, and carry out the principles of social justice and ethical conduct. Interdisciplinary collaboration gives faculty and students the skills they need to solve the multi-dimensional problems of the 21st century and generate “real world” learning platforms for broad-based innovation and dynamic creativity. For more than six decades, USD has built on academic strengths to emerge as a pioneer in developing future leaders who are ready to address the challenges of our changing world with ethics and compassion.
Rigor of secondary school record | Academic GPA | Standardized test scores
Class rank | Application Essay | Recommendation(s) | Extracurricular activities | Talent/ability
Character/personal qualities | Alumni/ae relation | Religious affiliation/commitment | Volunteer work
Interview | First generation | Geographical residence
Racial/ethnic status | Work experience | Level of applicant’s interest
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th Percentile: 590 | 75th Percentile: 670
25th Percentile: 590 | 75th Percentile: 680
25th Percentile: 26 | 75th Percentile: 30
25th Percentile: 25 | 75th Percentile: 29
25th Percentile: 25 | 75th Percentile: 33
25th Percentile: 8 | 75th Percentile: 10
The primary purpose of the financial aid program at the University of San Diego is to provide financial assistance to students who would be unable to attend the university. Financial assistance consists of scholarships, grants, loans and on-campus employment.
Financial aid from the university is a supplement to funds that can be provided by the student, the student’s family, and other sources. Students requesting financial assistance may be expected to meet a portion of their educational expenses by accepting employment, loan(s) or both. Because financial aid funds are limited, need is the primary factor in awarding most financial aid. For USD scholarships and grants, consideration is given to the applicant’s academic achievement, character and potential. Students requesting financial assistance from USD resources must also apply for scholarships and grants funded by their home states for which they may be eligible.
The University of San Diego evaluates each application for admission without considering whether the student will apply for need–based aid. Merit Scholarships are awarded to students in the top third of our applicant pool.
TYPES OF AID AVAILABLE
- Scholarships and grants do not have to be repaid. Eligibility is based on academic factors and the student’s potential to contribute to USD as determined by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions or individual graduate departments. Financial information provided on your FAFSA is also considered.
- Student Loans must be repaid; however, provisions allow students to postpone payment until they have completed their education, drop below half-time enrollment or withdraw. Repayment is generally made according to an installment schedule.
- The Parent PLUS loan allows parents to assist their dependent students in meeting their educational expenses. While repayment generally begins 60 days after receipt of the loan proceeds, parents have the option to defer repayment until their student graduates and the interest rate is comparatively low.
- Part-time Student Employment offers students the opportunity to help meet educational expenses while gaining valuable work experience. Federal Work Study (FWS) and College Work Opportunity (CWO) may be offered to students with documented need.