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 atop a mesa with stunning, panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, downtown San Diego and Mission Bay, our students study and collaborate in an inspiring and intimate setting. Small class sizes ensure that you'll have direct access to our award-winning faculty, and our contemporary Catholic values and liberal arts education help to develop ethical leaders and compassionate citizens with a global perspective. Located on the Pacific Rim just 22 miles from the Mexican border, USD is optimally positioned for international activity. While here, 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

At USD, our focus is to provide students with an outstanding, personalized academic experience. With an undergraduate population of about 5,700, USD fosters an individualized learning environment in which class sizes average only 22 students and every single course is taught by a member of the faculty.

The university's academic model is defined by a comprehensive core curriculum and strongly encourages interdisciplinary study and research. Through relationships with our thriving scientific and entrepreneurial communities and ample opportunities for support for internships and research, our students enter the job market with an individualized plan for success.

A USD education begins on campus, is strengthened by solid academic preparation and practical experience, and produces cultured, global-minded, and sought-after graduates ready to make a real difference in the world.

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.

Experience San Diego—life in America’s Finest City

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

  • A thriving music, theater and arts scene and a 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.
  • 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.
  • An international gateway city. Because of its location, San Diego is home to a culturally diverse population. Students are empowered with the unique opportunity to participate in a variety of educational and cultural immersion programs that challenge their worldview and inspire possibilities.