About the University of San Diego

Inspired by faith, informed by its core mission and values, and dedicated to the ongoing legacy of its founders, the University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity's urgent challenges.

USD's community of scholars are committed to educating the whole person—intellectually, physically, spiritually, emotionally, socially and culturally. The university provides a character-building education that fosters independent thought, innovation, integrity, analytical thinking, and an open-minded and collaborative world-view.

The original chapter of the University of San Diego was written on a brisk early winter afternoon in December of 1949, when local dignitaries joined Bishop Charles Francis Buddy and Mother Rosalie Clifton Hill for a groundbreaking ceremony atop a wind-swept mesa overlooking the burgeoning San Diego cityscape.

The Society of the Sacred Heart volunteered to provide a $4 million endowment for the College for Women. The original furnishings included ornate crystal chandeliers, beautiful tapestries, and of course, library books.

In more modest surroundings, the College for Men and the School of Law began classes in 1954, eventually moving into Thomas Moore Hall, now known as Warren Hall. Other buildings were soon constructed, including the centerpiece of the university, the blue-domed Immaculata Church, which was consecrated in 1959.

In 1972, the colleges merged and formed what is now the University of San Diego. Committed to the Catholic faith, the school's leaders also embraced the spirit of ecumenism and academic freedom. Currently, more than half of the undergraduates attending USD profess to faiths other than Catholicism.

Today, the University of San Diego is a nationally ranked Catholic institution with 476 full time and 522 part time faculty members and over 9,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students. USD has a Carnegie classification of “Doctoral University: High Research Activity” and offers 42 bachelor’s degrees, 30 master’s degree, the JD degree, five LLM degrees, and three doctoral degrees. Minority enrollments currently stands at 37% of the student body.

Governed by an independent Board of Trustees, the University has nine academic divisions: the College of Arts and Sciences, the schools of Business, Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, Law, Leadership and Education Sciences, Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, Joan B. Kroc School of Peace and Justice, Copley Library, and the division of Professional and Continuing Education.

The 180-acre campus now houses buildings that encompass more than two million square feet and provide educational, administrative, residential, athletic, dining and support services.

Getting across campus now requires a hike, but thanks to steadfast planning by USD's leaders over the last six decades, the destination remains the same: a consummate liberal arts education.