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The University of San Diego (USD) is a private, not-for-profit educational institution. Its student population is just under 9,200 and the student-to-faculty ratio is quite good at 14 to 1. Students choosing to attend the University of San Diego will have chosen an institution affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. Students are also offered campus housing. For students who do choose to live on-campus, the opportunity to take part in activities helps to enrich these students’ lives, allowing them to feel more involved with campus life. As students get to know their way around campus, they may realize that, when they want to, they can relax or study outside.

Overview of University of San Diego (USD)

As students explore off-campus, they will be able to find plenty of opportunities to relax or find recreational activities, shopping or places to eat in San Diego. The city is large, so students should be able to find plenty of things to entertain them when they aren’t studying at the university.

However, students planning to attend the University of San Diego might want to see what past activities might help them add additional credits to their transcript. Students who took Advanced Placement classes and passed some of the exams may be able to earn extra credit. The same goes for students who took dual credits (taking high school and college classes simultaneously, usually in an early college high school setting).

General Information

School Type Private not-for-profit
Campus Setting City: Large
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 14:1
Graduation Rate 81%
Year Founded 1949

Student Enrollment

Total Students9,181


Undergraduate Student

Male 2,604
Female 3,315

Graduate Student

Male 1,435
Female 1,827

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USD Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 5,515
Female 8,240


Male 2,482
Female 4,202

Acceptance Rate49%

Male 45%
Female 51%

Enrollment 1,146

Male   440
Female 706
Application Fee $55
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations Required
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline December 15
Common Application Accepted Yes

University of San Diego Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Families of students attending the University of San Diego have chosen an excellent private university for their students. However, private universities are known for being more expensive than their public counterparts. In this case, tuition, room and board, books, supplies, and other fees and charges bring the entire sticker price up to $70,999.

However, the average net price as of the 2018-2019 school year was only $35,936. How can this be? Well, the net price paid by families indicates the amount of many the average student had left to pay after financial aid is applied to their total. Another statistic schools tend to track is net price by income. This is important because financial aid is made available based on a family’s income. If one family makes significantly less than another, then they may receive significantly more financial aid. At USD in a recent academic year, a family earning between $75,001 and $110,000 paid around $30,369 and families earning more than $110,001 paid around $41,679.

The percentage of first-year students eligible for financial aid in a recent year was 82%. A slightly lower percentage (80%) received an average of $31,109 in grants and scholarships and an average of $28,466 in institutional grants and scholarships.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $35,936
Average Total Aid $31,109
Students Receiving Financial Aid 82%
Room & Board $14,126

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $51,186
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $51,186
  • Books and Supplies - $1,970
  • Room & Board - $14,126
  • Other - $3,717


Some students’ and their families may be interested in the retention and graduation rates for the university. After all, these can help students make value judgements based on how previous students have fared in attending this university. The retention rate refers to the percentage of freshman students who returned to the university for their second year of school. At the University of San Diego, this is an excellent 92%. The 4-year graduation rate is at or above the average at 66% and the 6-year rate is quite good at 81%.

Sometimes, students realize they have a serious time conflict with one of their classes and a job. If the class is necessary for graduation, students need a way of continuing with the class so that they can graduate on time. Luckily, the university offers distance learning for individual classes (online classes). This means that students can drop the problematic class section and add the online section. Unfortunately, evening classes aren’t offered.

The five most popular degree programs for students at this university are business, management, marketing and related support services; biological and biomedical sciences; social sciences; engineering; and communication, journalism and related programs. While students may ultimately choose a different degree program to major in, this is just a short glimpse at the most popular degree offerings in recent years.

Student Population Total

Student Population 9,181

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 566 Total Graduates / 41%
Finance, General 175 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 109 Graduates
Accounting 98 Graduates
Business Administration and Management, General 96 Graduates
All Biological & Biomedical Majors 157 Total Graduates / 11%
Neuroscience 83 Graduates
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 43 Graduates
Biochemistry 28 Graduates
Biophysics 2 Graduates
All Social Sciences Majors 142 Total Graduates / 10%
Political Science and Government, General 58 Graduates
International Relations and Affairs 33 Graduates
Sociology 30 Graduates
Economics, General 14 Graduates
All Engineering Majors 126 Total Graduates / 9%
Mechanical Engineering 76 Graduates
Industrial Engineering 25 Graduates
Electrical and Electronics Engineering 21 Graduates
Engineering, General 4 Graduates
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 103 Total Graduates / 8%
Communication, General 103 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 30%

Outcome & Salary

Graduates of the University of San Diego should have the opportunity to find an excellent career. Graduates earn early-career salaries averaging $60,200, while their mid-career salaries average closer to $115,700.

The average four-year cost of education for a University of San Diego graduate is $143,744, which affects their return on investment (ROI). Based on those salary numbers we mentioned, their 10-year salary earnings potential is $751,830 and their 20-year earnings potential is $1,908,830. After subtracting the average four-year cost of education, this gives graduates a 10-year projected ROI of $808,086 and a 20-year ROI of $1,765,086.

High school graduates going straight to work have a national average salary of $38,792. Their 10-year projected income is $387,920 and their 20-year projected income is $775,840.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $60,200
College Grads Average Salary $75,183
College Grads Mid Career Salary $115,700
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $751,830
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,908,830
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $143,744
10 Year Projected ROI $608,086
20 Year Projected ROI $1,765,086
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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