Why USD?

It's a place like no other.

The University of San Diego is the youngest private institution among U.S. News & World Report’s Top 100 universities in the nation. Set on a mesa overlooking Mission Bay, our students study and collaborate in an intimate setting. Small class sizes ensure that our award-winning faculty will know your name. Our contemporary Catholic values and liberal arts education help to develop ethical leaders and compassionate citizens with a global perspective. You will have the opportunity to expand your horizons by participating in the highest-ranking study abroad program in the nation. Developing meaningful relationships on campus, in the local community and around the world will help you to reach your full potential in mind, body and spirit.

At USD, we are dedicated to educating confident, original thinkers who are ready to make a positive difference in the world.



Achieving Excellence in Learning

Your USD education is based on a rigorous curriculum that synthesizes classroom learning with real-world application. The end result is the development of innovative Changemakers committed to solving society’s most pressing problems.

A USD professor working closely with several students at their desks

Recognized nationally

Being the youngest university among the top 100 in the nation is just the beginning. USD graduate programs in business, law, education, peace studies and nursing consistently rank among the best in the nation. You’ll be learning from world-renowned, award-winning faculty who employ modern and innovative approaches to a classical liberal arts education in a rich Catholic intellectual tradition — with a global perspective.

Liberal arts for the 21st century

Since our founding, we have educated students who find meaningful connections beyond the classroom and combine academic knowledge with inspiring interactions with the world around them. The ability to see beyond a single subject or major empowers our students to find opportunities for innovation, identify points of synergy and affect positive, far-reaching change. To cultivate such inventive habits of mind and heart, our students complete our core curriculum. It was crafted to ensure that a USD student is a well-rounded student, who will succeed no matter where their professional and personal ambitions lead.

A professionally dressed student chats with a professor in front of a display board.

Small class sizes, huge opportunities

With an undergraduate student population of more than 5,000, you’ll get the courses you need to graduate in four years. What's more, nearly 95% of our full-time faculty have their Ph.D. or terminal degree, and they are readily accessible to help make your academic experience at USD a successful one.

The average class size is 22. But small class sizes doesn't mean you are limited. To the contrary, you'll get personal attention from your professors, and the opportunity to work on side-by-side with them on valuable real-world research projects.

Your career begins on campus with a solid academic preparation and practical experience. Through relationships with our thriving scientific and entrepreneurial communities and ample opportunities for support for internships and research, you’ll enter the job market with an individualized plan for success.

Learn more about Academics at USD.



Embracing Contemporary Catholic Values

The university's Catholic identity is manifest across campus through the presence of a vibrant faith community; a commitment to service in our local and global communities; and the ongoing consideration of questions of vocation, meaning and purpose.

A student carries candles as she processes in Founders Chapel.

Grounded in a rich Catholic intellectual tradition, the university welcomes and embraces all people and their faith traditions. In this religiously diverse environment, members of the USD community share their beliefs, both intellectually and spiritually, to the benefit of all. We believe that a person's faith intensifies and deepens when enriched by understanding other religious traditions. As a Torero, you’ll have every opportunity to:

  • Grow, understand and practice your faith
  • Join in prayer, retreats and service outreach programs
  • Serve others through our active faith community

USD's professional community directors, resident ministers and student resident assistants are committed to your full development. You will be encouraged to look closely at the world around you, and carve out a role that brings meaning not only to your life, but to others as well.

Student laughs with others in Mexico


Developing Future Leaders in a Nurturing Community

One of the best parts about being a Torero is embracing the USD lifestyle. Our active, thriving community offers plenty of opportunities to develop lasting relationships with classmates and faculty who are committed to your development, in and out of the classroom. While here, you’ll have the opportunity to experience:

  • Vibrant Living Learning Communities where you can expand your intellectual curiosity beyond the classroom and establish a sense of community with your fellow Toreros.
  • On–campus housing that is available for all four years.
  • A welcoming and inclusive community atmosphere founded on trust, safety and respect.


Living and Learning in an Inspiring Location

At USD, we endeavor to educate the mind, heart and spirit of each and every Torero. University co-founder Mother Rosalie Hill believed that there are three things significant in education: beauty, goodness and truth. For nearly seven decades, this belief has been reflected in the fabric of our university.

A student looks out over San Diego from the Garden of the Sea

USD's campus, known as Alcalá Park, is recognized as one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation. The Spanish Renaissance style of architecture was chosen by USD's founder for its enduring beauty and the region's historical ties to Spain. Click an image below to visit USD's virtual tour, which features campus amenities, from dorm rooms to dining rooms, from places to kick back to places to kick it into gear.

The San Diego region

In addition to a thriving life on campus, USD students can access the San Diego region's incredible benefits:

  • Experience life in America’s Finest City: Home to a thriving music, theater and arts scene, San Diego is also known for its laid-back, beach lifestyle. Add in an array of world-class attractions like the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park and Sea World, and it’s easy to understand why it’s become one of the world’s most sought-after living locations.
  • The San Diego area has a growing, entrepreneurial and innovative spirit. Many of the world’s top science and technology companies are headquartered here, and a variety of internship and professional opportunities are available to Toreros through our Career Development Center.
  • USD’s location in an international gateway city empowers Toreros with the unique opportunity to participate in a variety of educational and cultural immersion programs that challenge their worldview, and inspire possibilities.