About UC San Diego

More than fifty years ago, the founders of the University of California, San Diego had one criterion for the campus: it must be distinctive. Since then, UC San Diego has achieved the extraordinary in teaching, research, and public service. 

UC San Diego is a student-centered, research-focused, service-oriented public institution that provides opportunity for all. Recognized as one of the top fifteen research universities worldwide, a culture of collaboration sparks discoveries that advance society and drive economic impact. Our students are committed to public service. For the fifth consecutive year, UC San Diego has been ranked first in the nation based on research, civic engagement, and social mobility. We are one campus with multiple pillars of excellence, a top ten public university that is transforming lives, shaping new disciplines, and advancing the frontiers of knowledge.

Sixteen Nobel laureates have taught on campus. Other stellar faculty members have been awarded the National Medal of Science, Fields Medals, Pulitzer Prizes, MacArthur Fellowships, and many other honors, including a Tony Award and an Academy Award.

UC San Diego’s rich academic portfolio includes six undergraduate colleges, five academic divisions, and four graduate and professional schools. The university’s award-winning scholars are experts at the forefront of their fields with an impressive track record for achieving scientific, medical, and technological breakthroughs.

As a member of the ten-campus family of the University of California, UC San Diego is widely recognized for its faculty and for its wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs that lead to the bachelor’s, master’s, MBA, EdD, MD, PhD, and PharmD degrees.

UC San Diego is a member of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and is fully accredited by the Senior College Commission of WASC,


Founded in 1960, UC San Diego enrolled its first undergraduates in 1964. Nevertheless, the campus can trace its origins as far back as the late 1800s. At that time, zoologists at the UC Berkeley campus, seeking a suitable location for a marine field station, found the La Jolla area of San Diego a very desirable site. The facility they established became a part of the University of California in 1912 and was eventually named the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. In the late 1950s, when the regents of the University of California decided to situate a general campus in the region, Scripps Oceanography formed the nucleus of the new campus.

The Colleges of UC San Diego

Undergraduates at UC San Diego enjoy the benefits of a great university combined with the advantages of a small liberal arts college. The master plan conceived by the university’s founders borrowed from Oxford and Cambridge Universities’ concept to provide a family of colleges, each with its own special academic and social flavor. UC San Diego’s students gain a sense of belonging through affiliation with one of the campus’s semiautonomous colleges.

There are six colleges: Revelle, John Muir, Thurgood Marshall, Earl Warren, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Sixth College. Each is independent and yet interrelated to the others: All university academic and support facilities are available to every student, regardless of his or her college affiliation. Each college has its own educational philosophies and traditions, its own set of general-education requirements, and its own administrative and advising staff.

Students applying to UC San Diego should select a college in order of preference. Details regarding the individual colleges are given in the “Undergraduate Colleges” section of the catalog.

Major Fields of Study

UC San Diego offers a wide variety of nationally recognized majors in a broad array of fields. Refer to the “Undergraduate Degrees Offered” section of the catalog.

For a list of graduate programs, refer to the “Graduate Studies” section of the catalog.

Should you need help in deciding on a major, UC San Diego faculty and staff are available to assist you. Among them are the deans of academic advising in the provosts’ offices of the six colleges, faculty members, and departmental advisers. Additional specialists in the Career Services Center and in Psychological and Counseling Services are available to help you appraise your personal aptitudes.

Campus Climate at UC San Diego

We believe that true excellence is achieved through productive relationships among people of diverse perspectives. When the collective talents of our students, faculty, and staff at UC San Diego are united in an environment that is open and inclusive, creativity and innovation prosper.

The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion works to ensure that our campus community is one of equal opportunity, where mutual respect and cross-cultural collaboration is fostered and open dialogue is encouraged. UC San Diego has many resources that support the recruitment and retention of historically underserved populations, deepen understanding, and challenge misconceptions surrounding diversity, and develop proactive leaders who advocate for inclusion.

Student Organizations and Other Extracurricular Opportunities

In addition to world-class academics, UC San Diego is dedicated to providing a spectrum of student organizations and activities to enhance each student’s experience. From cultural diversity to the arts, and sororities and fraternities to social causes, the options for student involvement are vast. For more information, go to

Athletics at UC San Diego

UC San Diego has a proud tradition of academic and athletic excellence. One of the top NCAA Division II programs in the country, intercollegiate athletics provides students with one of the more extensive and competitive sports programs in the United States. UC San Diego has won 136 individual national championships, and a remarkable 1,169 student-athletes have been named to All-America teams. The campus also fields several club sports teams, and an intramural program that provides athletic competition in a wide variety of sports. Go to or