UC San Diego

UC San Diego is a student-centered, research-focused, service-oriented public institution recognized as one of the top 15 research universities worldwide.

Located along the sun-soaked Southern California shore, internationally renowned faculty and accomplished students enjoy one of the most beautiful locations and best weather in the U.S. Undergraduates participate in multidisciplinary research focused on innovation, discovery and enriching society. A unique, six-college residential system provides a smaller, supportive environment within the large research university. UC San Diego has ranked in the top two in the nation for eight consecutive years, based on research, civic engagement and social mobility.

Academic highlights


UC San Diego offers more than 130 undergraduate majors across five disciplinary areas: arts & humanities, social sciences, engineering, biological science, and physical science. The campus offers a wide range of education and research opportunities focused on interdisciplinary learning. The Qualcomm Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology applies our strength in computer science to diverse fields from engineering and medicine to archaeology and music. Scripps Institution of Oceanography is at the forefront of modern climate change science. Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center helps speed discoveries to new drugs and treatments for patients. And we are home to the first and only Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination to help society become more effective at harnessing human imagination.

Six College System

Unlike most universities, college affiliation is not based on a student's major field, but on the college's unique focus. Each college has its own programmatic theme, general education requirements, housing and staff. When applying to UC San Diego, students rank the colleges in order of preference, based on how their own interests align with the colleges' philosophies:

Sixth College challenges its students to examine interactions between culture, art and technology to imagine the future.

Eleanor Roosevelt College is committed to a comprehensive general education that prepares students to succeed in the global and multicultural economy of the 21st century.

Earl Warren College emphasizes a close connection between undergraduate education and personal and career goals.

Thurgood Marshall College believes that scholarship and social responsibility go hand in hand; students are encouraged to participate in community and public service programs.

John Muir College stresses the spirit of self-sufficiency and individual choice; students take an active role in shaping their individual academic programs.

Revelle College emphasizes intellectual challenge and preparation for competition in a complex world, featuring a well-rounded, structured liberal arts curriculum, with concentrations in the arts and humanities, sciences and social sciences.


One of the nation’s 10 largest centers for science, engineering and medicine, UC San Diego secured more than $1.16 billion in research funding in 2017. Undergraduate research and internship opportunities can be found in every field of study. San Diego’s biotechnology industry is based upon the research conducted and subsequent spin-off companies from UC San Diego. UC San Diego Health Sciences is internationally recognized for bringing discoveries from research labs to patient bedsides.


UC San Diego ranks 3rd among public universities for faculty elected to National Academies. Five Nobel laureates currently teach on campus, as well as recipients of the Pulitzer Prize, Fields Medal, MacArthur “Genius” Award, Guggenheim fellowship, Tony Award, Academy Award, Kyoto Prize, Balzan Prize and hundreds more. Our scholars and researchers are also innovators with more than 300 startup businesses in the San Diego community.

Clubs and activities

Campus-wide and college-specific events, quarterly festivals, 600 student clubs and organizations, and several cross-cultural and community centers provide a full range of leadership and social opportunities.


UC San Diego Athletics features 23 intercollegiate programs for men and women. Triton teams have captured 30 national championships in the past 25 years. 60 percent of the students play intramural sports. UCSD has 29 competitive sports clubs and 30 recreational clubs.

Environment and tempo

The serene setting of the San Diego campus, with its stands of giant eucalyptus trees and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, strikes a perfect balance with the academically charged atmosphere. The campus is 12 miles north of downtown San Diego and its vibrant nightlife, theaters and cultural activities. Breathtaking destinations abound for camping and hiking, snow sports, and ocean and beach activities.