University of Califronia San Diego

The University of California, San Diego (popularly known as UC San Diego or UCSD) is a selective, research-oriented public university located in the La Jolla community of San Diego, California. The university, one of ten University of California campuses, was founded in 1960 around the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. UC San Diego tends to attract students who are interested in science and engineering due to the prominent San Diego biotechnology and telecommunications sectors that developed nearby because of the presence of the university. The university is also near several well-known and respected research centers, such as the Salk Institute, the Burnham Institute for Medical Research and The Scripps Research Institute.

Forward Thinking at the Gateway to the Pacific: Nestled along the Pacific Ocean on 1,200 acres of coastal woodland, UCSD is a powerful magnet for those seeking a fresh, next-generation approach to education and research. Since its founding over four decades ago, UCSD -- one of the ten campuses in the world-renowned University of California system -- has rapidly achieved the status as one of the top institutions in the nation for higher education and research. UCSD’s interdisciplinary ethos and tradition of innovation and risk-taking underlie its research strength and ability to recruit top scholars and students.

Budget: UCSD’s annual revenues are $2.2 billion. (24% of this total is from the federal government for research; 12% is from the State of California for education.)

Students: UCSD received more than 45,000 applications for fall 2007 admission (the second highest application rate in the University of California system and possibly in the nation). The average high school GPA of admitted freshmen for fall 2007 was 4.06 and average SAT-I Reasoning scores were 634 Critical Reading, 670 Math and 640 Writing. Total campus enrollment for fall ‘07 was 27,500. UCSD ranks 3rd nationally among major research universities sending students abroad in full-year programs, and 8th among U.S. research institutions in the number of international scholars hosted.

Economic Impact: UCSD is an engine for regional economic growth. UCSD faculty and alums have spun-off close to 250 local companies, including over a third of the region’s biotech companies. In addition, UCSD is San Diego County’s third largest employer, with a monthly payroll in excess of $90 million, and more than 26,000 employees.

Specialized Resources: UCSD’s graduate and professional schools include Scripps Institution of Oceanography; School of Medicine; School of International Relations and Pacific Studies; Center for U.S. – Mexican Studies; Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Jacobs School of Engineering (graduate and undergraduate), and Rady School of Management. The campus is also home to the UCSD Medical Center, the San Diego Supercomputer Center; California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2); Center for Research in Computing and the Arts; Center of Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture, and Archaelogy (CISA3); Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation; and Institute of the Americas.


UCSD was named the “hottest” institution in the nation for students to study science by Newsweek and the 2006 Kaplan/Newsweek College Guide.

UCSD ranks 7th in the nation in National Academy of Sciences membership. (The top universities, in rank order, are: Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley, MIT, Princeton , Caltech, UCSD, Yale, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison , Univ. of Chicago and Univ. of Washington.)

U.S. News and World Report ranks UCSD as 7th best public university in the nation, and 32nd among the nation’s top 50 universities.

UCSD was ranked the 4th best university in the nation by the Washington Monthly’s 2007 College Guide, based on the positive impact the university has had on the country.

The journal Foreign Policy ranked UCSD 9th in the nation for international relations studies and 10th for international public policy studies.

The National Research Council ranks UCSD 10th in the nation in the quality of its faculty and graduate programs. The NRC ranks oceanography and neurosciences 1st in the nation.

Kiplinger's Personal Finance ranks UCSD 8th nationally for best values in public colleges in the U.S. outranking UC Berkeley and UCLA. The Princeton Review 2007 edition of America’s Best Value Colleges also lists UCSD among 150 “best values.

The 2007 Academic Rankings of World Universities conducted by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China ranked UCSD 14th internationally.

The Preuss School, a public charter at UCSD, is the 9th best high school in the nation according to Newsweek.


UCSD’s total research funding for 2005-06 was $733 million. The National Science Foundation ranks UCSD 7th in the nation in federal R&D expenditures. (The top ten research universities, in rank order, are: Johns Hopkins, Wisconsin-Madison, UCLA, Michigan, UCSF, Washington, UCSD, Stanford, Pennsylvania, Duke.)

The Milken Institute ranks UCSD 6th among the world’s leading universities in the strength of its biotechnology research publications and 8th in the number of biotech patents issued.

Thomson Scientific ranks UCSD the 7th highest-impact research institution in the nation from 2001-2005, based on the citation impact of published research in science and the social sciences. Based on the number of citations, UCSD ranks 2nd in the nation in the field of pharmacology, 4th in the nation for molecular biology and genetics, and 5th in the nation for clinical medicine.

In the 2008 survey of graduate programs by U.S. News, the Jacobs School of Engineering ranked 3rd and the School of Medicine ranked 2nd in the nation for research expenditures per faculty member. Total federal, state and industry research support at the School of Medicine is $273.7 million, and at the Jacobs School, $139 million.


Nobel Prize: George E. Palade, 1974, physiology/medicine; Renato Dulbecco, 1975, physiology/medicine; Harry Markowitz, 1990, economics; Paul Crutzen, 1995, chemistry; Mario J. Molina, 1995, chemistry; Sydney Brenner, 2002, medicine; Clive W.J. Granger and Robert F. Engle, 2003, economics.

Fields Medal: Professor of mathematics Efim Zelmanov (1994).

Balzan Prize: Freeman Gilbert, SIO professor (1990), and Wolfgang Berger, SIO professor (1993).

National Medal of Science: Astrophysicist Margaret Burbidge and oceanographer Walter Munk (1985); physician/scientist George Palade (1986), and bioengineer Yuan-Chen Fung (2000).

National Humanities Medal: Latin American history scholar Ramon Eduardo Ruiz (1998).

Pulitzer Prize: Roger Reynolds (1989) Music.

Kyoto Prize: Oceanographer Walter Munk (1999).

Enrico Fermi Award: Physicist Herbert F. York (2000).

MacArthur Foundation Awards: Guillermo Algaze, anthropology; Nancy D. Cartwright, philosophy; Patricia Churchland, philosophy; Michael Freedman, mathematics; Ramon Gutierrez, history and ethnic studies; Edwin Hutchins, cognitive science; Russell Lande, biology and Michael Schudson, communication.

Tony Award: Judith Dolan, theatre and dance (1997)

Academy Award: Henrik Wann Jensen, computer science and engineering (2004)

University of California, San Diego, ranked 58th in the THES-QS 2007 World University Ranking

University of California, San Diego, ranked 89th in the THES-QS 2008 World University Ranking

University of California, San Diego, ranked 76th in the THES-QS 2009 World University Ranking

University of California, San Diego, ranked 65th in the QS 2010 World University Ranking

University of California, San Diego, ranked 77th in the QS 2011 World University Ranking

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Education is not a preparation for life, Education is life itself ~ John Dewey
William Butler Yeats: Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.