University of San Diego

Learn what degree programs University of San Diego offers. Research its academics, and read about its admission and financial aid info to make an informed education decision.

About University of San Diego

The University of San Diego (USD) was ranked 18th among Great College Towns and the 20th Most Beautiful Campus by The Princeton Review in its 'Best 377 Colleges' publication. The private school is located in a large coastal city near downtown, as well as the mountains and Mexican border.


With its 180-acre campus, the university offers programs for undergraduate, paralegal, graduate and law students. USD awarded more than 1,000 bachelor's, 600 master's, and 300 doctorate degrees as of 2012. The school's most popular majors are business administration, accountancy, communication studies, finance, marketing, psychology and political science.

USD's professors use community involvement as another avenue to teach social justice and ethics outside their classrooms. USD's undergraduate students are among the top in the country's study-abroad participation.

The school's Copley Library houses various books, media, articles and journals, and it also facilitates group studies. Students can nurture their interests in spirituality, peace and commerce, community and government relations, health and wellness by participating in various organizations, including the Center for Christian Spirituality, the Office of Community and Government Relations and the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice.


Students who wish to attend USD should fill out and submit a common application available on the school's website, along with a $55 application fee, high school transcripts, an essay and academic letter of recommendation.

Applicants should have at least four years in high school English, 3-4 years in math, 3-4 years in science with at least two years of laboratory, 3-4 years of foreign language and at least two years in social studies. Students admitted in 2012 had an average Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.95. Applicants must also submit official scores from the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the American College Testing (ACT) Extra-curricular activities, which demonstrate talents and skills, leadership experience and community relations, are also critical in the admissions process.

Transfer students must have at least 24 college credits with a GPA of at least 3.0. Preference is given to students who have more than 24 credits, a 3.0 GPA and excellent grades in English composition, literature and college algebra. International students must submit their official Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores of at least 80 or the International Language Testing System (ILTS) scores of at least 6.5. SAT or ACT scores will also be considered.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The cost for tuition at the University of San Diego in 2011-2012 was nearly $40,000 per academic year for full-time undergraduate students. Tuition for part-time undergraduates was $1,315 per unit up to 11 units. Student fees were more than $400, while books and supplies cost over $1,600. The total estimated cost was $55,086.

At USD, 70% of the students receive some type of financial aid. Scholarships are available, including merit awards and music, athletic and diversity scholarships. Students also utilize federal, state and private loans and grants. Students must submit their financial aid applications by March 2. Students are notified of their financial aid awards from March 15 to May 1.

School Type 4-year, private, not-for-profit*
Degrees Offered Bachelor's, post bachelor's certificate, master's, doctorate*
Religious Affiliation Roman Catholic*
Academic Calendar Semesters**
School Setting Large city*
Student Body 8,317 in 2012**
Student Housing 95% of freshmen and roughly 50% of undergraduates live on campus**
Schools and Programs Eight schools and colleges, 40 bachelor's degrees plus varying concentrations and 49 minors, 34 master's, three doctorate degrees**
Student-Faculty Ratio 15 to 1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010:
Bachelor's: Business Administration and Management (175), Master's: Business Administration (79), Doctorate: Law (322), Certificate: Legal Assistant/Paralegal (249)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rates In 2011:
64% in four years
74% in 5 years
75% in six years**
Admission Rate 17% freshmen, 34% transfer, 49% graduate applicants accepted in Fall 2011**
Entering Class Size 1,143 students in 2012**
First-Year Retention Rates 87% full-time in 2011*
Average SAT and ACT Score of Admitted Students SAT average is 1890; ACT average is 28 in 2012**
Application Due Date December 15 for regular Fall decision; October 1 for Spring decision**
Decision Notification Date April 1 for Fall semester; November to January for Spring semester**
Tuition $39,486 per year or $19,743 per semester for full-time students**
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) Scholarships and grants (65%), student loans (43%), parent loans (20%) in 2010**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 70% in 2010**

Sources:*IPEDS Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics, **University of San Diego

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Undergraduate Admissions, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110
  • Phone: (619) 260-4600
  • Website:
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