University of California–San Diego Reviews and Ranking Awards

La Jolla, California

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The University of California–San Diego is a leading research university and rated as among the top research institutions in the US and globally. The school has a long record of groundbreaking innovations and technological leadership. The University of California campus at San Diego merges academic and technological excellence with a dedication to social change and contributions to the betterment of populations across the world.

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Overview of University of California–San Diego (UCSD)

Research into sustainable industry, climate change, and global health are among the many topics getting immersive study at the UC–SD. The teaching and educational philosophy emphasizes collaboration and connection to social leadership.

Located along the Pacific Coast in southern California, this University of California campus began as an oceanography station. It later became a military institution before emerging as a place of education in the University of California system. The university began as an academically-focused institution for physics and engineering studios. The modern university took form in 1959 as the University of California at La Jolla and later renamed University of California-San Diego. It has evolved into a six-college university with a unique campus on the Pacific shore.

The University of California-San Diego is a public university in a large city setting. The San Diego region is among the scenic wonders of North America, with the Pacific coastline as a backdrop. The school has had renowned scholars in key roles and its leadership. It has also been a research leader and source of innovation. The university and its faculty have created more than 600 companies, including some of the region’s leading biotechnology enterprises.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting City: Large
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 19:1
Graduation Rate 86%
Year Founded 1960

Student Enrollment

Total Students37,887


Undergraduate Student

Male 15,142.5
Female 15,142.5

Graduate Student

Male 3,801
Female 3,801

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University of California–San Diego Reviews

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UCSD Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 44,684
Female 53,210


Male 13,405
Female 15,963

Acceptance Rate30%

Male 30%
Female 30%

Enrollment 6,755

Male 1,621
Female 1,486
Application Fee $70
High School GPA Required
High School Rank -
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations -
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline November 30
Common Application Accepted Yes

UCSD Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

The costs of education in the US overall are high and typically beyond the reach of average families to pay for on their own. The national, state, and local governments can each help student families by subsidizing some of the costs. At the University of California-San Diego tuition has in-state and out-of-state pricing. The in-state tuition rate is $14,445 and the out-of-state rate is $44,169. The average in-state total before financial aid is about $39,000 while the out-of-state total before aid is about $69,000.

The average net price reflects the actual costs to students and families when combined with available levels of financial aid including grants, scholarships, and loans. The University of California-San Diego average net price is $13,452 per year. Financial aid programs support nearly two-thirds of the entering class. They include grants, scholarships, and student loans.

Average net price 2017-2018
Net Price $13,452
Average Total Aid $19,393
Students Receiving Financial Aid 63%
Room & Board $14,271

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $14,415
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $44,169
  • Books and Supplies - $1,128
  • Room & Board - $14,271
  • Other - $4,035


The origins of the university were in oceanography, physics, and engineering. The university evolved into an outstanding school for both liberal arts and science-based studies. Their faculty has had the benefit of retaining some of the nations thought leaders in education and other fields. The university attracts talented faculty and students from many nations and nearly every part of the world.

The retention rate is a key measure of the quality of a school, college, or program. It’s the percentage of students that return after the first year. The University of California-San Diego has a 94% retention rate. The graduation rates are another set of figures that reflect the level of student success. The University of California –San Diego has a 62% four-year graduation rate. At the six-year mark, the rate rises to 86%.

The university offers a wide range of academic programs and the flexibility to explore areas of interest. The student faculty ratio is 19 students to each faculty member. Students have an excellent opportunity to work closely with the distinguished faculty. Retention and graduation rates are indicators that they school selects excellent candidates and they adjust to the school culture and succeed academically.

Student Population Total

Student Population 37,887

Evening Classes : -
Online Learning : -

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Biological & Biomedical Majors 1,621 Total Graduates / 21%
Anatomy 376 Graduates
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 267 Graduates
Neurobiology and Anatomy 220 Graduates
Bioinformatics 67 Graduates
Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography 62 Graduates
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 1,318 Total Graduates / 17%
International/Global Studies 465 Graduates
Cognitive Science 459 Graduates
Mathematics and Computer Science 377 Graduates
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 17 Graduates
All Engineering Majors 936 Total Graduates / 12%
Electrical and Electronics Engineering 173 Graduates
Mechanical Engineering 134 Graduates
Computer Engineering, General 115 Graduates
Chemical Engineering 104 Graduates
Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering 102 Graduates
All Social Science Majors 872 Total Graduates / 11%
Econometrics and Quantitative Economics 249 Graduates
Political Science and Government, Other 163 Graduates
Economics, General 143 Graduates
Sociology 92 Graduates
Political Science and Government, General 91 Graduates
Mathematics and Statistics 462 Total Graduates / 6%
Mathematics, Other 168 Graduates
Applied Mathematics, General 161 Graduates
Statistics, Other 73 Graduates
Mathematics, General 60 Graduates
All Computer Information Science Majors 411 Total Graduates / 5%
Computer Science 411 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 26%

Outcome & Salary

The University of California-San Diego prepares students for leadership roles in their careers and in their communities. Their education helps them value knowledge, curiosity, and a pursuit of excellence. The educational philosophy emphasizes contributions to the greater society. Their education prepares them for social, career, and financial success.

Recent graduates and alumni of the University of California-San Diego can expect to achieve above average earnings measured on an annual and lifetime basis. Graduates in the early-career phase average $63,400 per year. The earnings average rises to $78,000 later in their career path. At the mid-career point, their average salary is about $124,000.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $63,400
College Grads Average Salary $78,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $123,700
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $780,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $2,017,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $53,808
10 Year Projected ROI $726,192
20 Year Projected ROI $1,963,192
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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