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—recognized as one of the top ten public universities by U.S. News & World Report and named three years in a row by the Washington Monthly as number one in the nation in rankings measuring “what colleges are doing for the country”—is widely acknowledged for its innovation. Here, students learn that knowledge isn’t just acquired in the classroom—life is their laboratory.

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

UC San Diego was founded on principles of collaboration, respect, and excellence. To foster the best possible working and learning environment, the university strives to maintain a climate of fairness, acceptance, cooperation, and professionalism, which is embodied in the campus Principles of Community. UC San Diego embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion as essential ingredients of academic excellence in higher education. The university is committed to providing programs and policies that enhance the campus climate and broaden the richness and diversity of the community and curriculum.

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

Sports at UC San Diego

Through its intercollegiate athletic and intramural programs, UC San Diego provides students with one of the more extensive and competitive sports programs in the United States. UC San Diego fields a wide variety of intercollegiate athletic teams, several club sports teams, and an intramural program that provides athletic competition in a wide variety of sports. Go to or