University of San Diego

2014 Quick Stats
5998 Alcala Park

San Diego, CA 92110-2492

Phone: (619) 260-4600
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
male /
Dec. 15
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#91 Overall Score: 50 out of 100. National Universities

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University of San Diego is a private institution that was founded in 1949. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 5,457, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 180 acres. It utilizes a 4-1-4-based academic calendar. University of San Diego's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 91. Its tuition and fees are $41,392 (2013-14).

The University of San Diego is a Roman Catholic institution open to students of all faiths. The school overlooks Mission Bay, and downtown San Diego is about a 15-minute trip away. On campus, there are more than 100 student organizations, including more than 10 fraternities and sororities. Most of the San Diego Torero sports teams are members of the NCAA Division I West Coast Conference; the football team competes in the NCAA Division I-AA Pioneer League. Athletic teams are cheered on by the school's mascot, a costumed bullfighter named Diego Torero. The University Ministry coordinates retreats and immersion trips and hosts daily Mass services, including a special Mass for Peace on Wednesday nights.

After class, students can relax at nearby beaches, like La Jolla and Pacific Beach, or explore Balboa Park, the biggest urban cultural park in the country, which is home to 15 museums, the San Diego Zoo and the Old Globe Theatre. Opportunities to kayak, sail, wind surf and more are nearby. Students can join group excursions, led by the school’s Outdoor Adventures program, or rent kayaks, surfboards and snorkel equipment on campus for trips on their own. Freshmen must live on campus, and for students around on the weekends, the school hosts a Friday Night Movies series.

The University of San Diego has a variety of graduate programs, including a Tier 1 School of Law and an accredited paralegal program. Some enrichment programs are specific to the school's religious foundation, like the Center for Christian Spirituality and the Oscar Romero Center for Faith in Action. Notable alumni include Lowell McAdam, chairman and CEO of Verizon Communications; Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs; and Andrew Firestone, a former contestant on  ABC’s "The Bachelor."

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

The University of San Diego is a private, Roman Catholic institution devoted to cultivating social justice and global awareness. Selected as one of only 19 "Changemaker" campuses worldwide, USD's renowned professors and innovative students are committed to extending the educational experience beyond the confines of the classroom and into the world at large. Thus, in addition to receiving an outstanding education from one of the nation's premier universities, USD students are immersed in an environment that is dedicated to creating change on a global scale. Located on the Pacific Rim and just 22 miles from the Mexican border, USD is optimally positioned for international activity. From learning about border relations to studying abroad for a semester or two, USD students are known for their extensive international experience and global perspective, which has resulted in the university being ranked number one in the nation for study abroad participation. Offering over 80 international programs in 35 different countries, USD's study abroad program has received national attention for its expansive, varied, and accessible learning opportunities for students. Over 86% of USD students study abroad during their collegiate career, many of whom participate more than once. Whether overseas or on campus, there is one constant in the USD experience: student activities are never lacking. Centrally located in America's Finest City, USD's 180 acre suburban campus boasts not only beautiful Spanish Renaissance architecture and state of the art facilities but also a dynamic campus community where activities abound. Home to over 200 clubs and organizations, 17 NCAA Division I sports teams, and a variety of Greek and honor societies, there is truly something for everyone at USD. Nestled in the heart of San Diego, students are also able to navigate their surrounding city with ease. From frequenting popular hangouts at the beach to strolling through downtown's vibrant Gaslamp Quarter, students can always find something new to explore. In fact, exploration is an essential aspect to the USD life, as all new students are immersed in a first-year experience program that engages students both academically and socially. Over 95% of freshmen live on campus at USD, all of whom live in themed residential areas known as Living Learning Communities, or LLCs. LLC themes range from Social Justice to Sustainability and house students within a core community of likeminded individuals. Each LLC takes part in a variety of activities throughout the academic year, some of which include: intellectual dinners and debates, trips to the theatre, and even swimming with sharks. LLCs also play a central role in USD's rigorous and engaging liberal arts curriculum, as each student's residential area ties into their first semester coursework. Although a beautiful, dynamic campus and nearby beaches are certainly nice perks, the primary focus at USD is to provide students with an outstanding, personalized academic experience. With an undergraduate population of about 5,500, USD fosters an individualized learning environment in which class sizes average only 22 students and every single course is taught by a professor. The university's undergraduate model is defined by a comprehensive core curriculum and strongly encourages interdisciplinary study and research. A student's career begins on campus, strengthened by solid academic preparation and practical experience, and a USD education certainly produces cultured, global-minded, and sought-after graduates ready to make a real difference in the world.

General Information

School type private, coed college
Year founded 1949
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic
Academic calendar 4-1-4
Setting urban
2012 Endowment $345,592,714


When applying to University of San Diego, it's important to note the application deadline is December 15. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due January 15. The application fee at University of San Diego is $55. It is more selective, with an acceptance rate of 42.6 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity more selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 42.6%
Application deadline December 15
SAT/ACT scores must be received by January 15

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at University of San Diego is 16:1, and the school has 42.6 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at University of San Diego include: Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Social Sciences; Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs; Psychology; and Biological and Biomedical Sciences. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 87.5 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 16:1
4-year graduation rate 65%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 41%
Social Sciences 16%
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 11%
Psychology 7%
Biological and Biomedical Sciences 6%

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Student Life

University of San Diego has a total undergraduate enrollment of 5,457, with a gender distribution of 44.7 percent male students and 55.3 percent female students. At this school, 45 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 55 percent of students live off campus. University of San Diego is part of the NCAA I athletic conference.

Total enrollment 8,105
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA I

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Campus Info & Services

University of San Diego offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, placement service, day care, health service, and health insurance. University of San Diego also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at University of San Diego.

Students who have cars on campus N/A
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At University of San Diego, 53.7 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $24,009.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

Tuition and fees $41,392 (2013-14)
Room and board $11,910 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

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