Deciding where to go to college is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in life. You want to make sure you choose a school that will provide you with a high-quality education and prepare you for future success.

If you’re considering the University of San Diego (USD), you probably want to know – is USD a good school?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Yes, the University of San Diego is widely considered to be a very good school. It ranks in the top 100 of US national universities and is respected for its academics, faculty, campus life, and value.

In this approximately 3,000 word guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at USD across several key factors to help you evaluate if it’s the right fit for your college search.

Academic Reputation and Rankings

When evaluating whether the University of San Diego (USD) is a good school, one important factor to consider is its academic reputation and rankings. Let’s take an in-depth look at how USD performs in this regard.

National University Rankings

USD consistently ranks among the top universities in the United States. According to the U.S. News & World Report, USD is ranked #91 in the National Universities category for 2022. This ranking takes into account various factors such as graduation rate, faculty resources, student selectivity, and alumni giving.

It reflects the university’s commitment to providing a high-quality education and academic excellence.

Additionally, Forbes has recognized USD as one of “America’s Top Colleges.” In their rankings, they consider factors like student satisfaction, post-graduate success, academic success, and student debt.

Being included in this prestigious list further highlights the university’s strong academic reputation.

Program-Specific Rankings

In addition to its overall rankings, USD excels in specific academic programs. The university is known for its strong business school, with the School of Business Administration consistently ranked among the top undergraduate business programs in the nation.

USD’s School of Law is also highly regarded, consistently ranked among the top law schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report. The School of Engineering and the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science are other programs that have received recognition for their exceptional quality.


Accreditation is an important factor when evaluating the quality of a university. USD is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). This accreditation ensures that the university meets high standards of academic quality and that its programs are rigorous and relevant.

Furthermore, specific programs at USD have received additional accreditation from respected accrediting bodies. For example, the School of Business Administration is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which is widely regarded as the gold standard for business school accreditation.

Strength of Academic Programs

The University of San Diego (USD) offers a wide range of academic programs that cater to the diverse interests and goals of its students. Whether you’re an undergraduate or a graduate student, USD has something to offer you.

Undergraduate Majors

USD boasts a strong selection of undergraduate majors, allowing students to pursue their passions and interests. From business and engineering to psychology and biology, there is a major for everyone at USD.

The university’s faculty members are experts in their respective fields, ensuring that students receive a top-notch education. Additionally, the university encourages experiential learning through internships, research opportunities, and study abroad programs, giving students a well-rounded education and preparing them for their future careers.

Graduate Programs

For those looking to further their education, USD offers a variety of graduate programs that are highly regarded in their respective fields. From law and business to education and engineering, the university’s graduate programs provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in their chosen professions.

The faculty members are not only experts in their fields but also dedicated mentors who guide students throughout their academic journey. Furthermore, the university’s strong alumni network opens doors to valuable networking opportunities and career advancement.

Honors Programs

USD’s honors programs provide a unique and enriching academic experience for high-achieving students. These programs offer specialized coursework, research opportunities, and close mentorship from faculty members.

The honors programs foster a tight-knit community of motivated and intellectually curious students who push each other to excel. Students in the honors programs also have access to exclusive resources, such as study abroad scholarships and priority registration, further enhancing their educational experience at USD.


The quality of faculty is a crucial factor to consider when evaluating the reputation of a university. The University of San Diego prides itself on its exceptional faculty members who are dedicated to providing a high-quality education to their students.

Student-Faculty Ratio

The student-faculty ratio at the University of San Diego is impressive, with an average of 14 students per faculty member. This low ratio allows for more personalized attention and engagement between professors and students.

It creates an environment where students can actively participate in class discussions, receive individualized mentorship, and build meaningful relationships with their professors. This close interaction fosters a supportive learning community and enhances the overall educational experience.

Faculty Credentials

The faculty at the University of San Diego consists of highly qualified and experienced individuals. Many professors hold advanced degrees in their respective fields and have extensive industry experience.

They bring real-world knowledge and expertise into the classroom, providing students with valuable insights and practical skills. Additionally, the university encourages faculty members to engage in research and professional development activities, ensuring they stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in their fields.

This commitment to continuous learning enhances the quality of education students receive.

Notable Faculty

The University of San Diego is home to a diverse and accomplished faculty. Many professors have earned prestigious awards and recognition for their contributions to academia and their respective fields.

These notable faculty members bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the university, enriching the educational experience for students. Their presence not only enhances the university’s reputation but also provides students with exceptional learning opportunities and the chance to be mentored by experts in their fields.

Admissions Selectivity

Acceptance Rate

One important factor to consider when evaluating the quality of a university is its acceptance rate. The acceptance rate is the percentage of applicants who are admitted into the university. As of the most recent data available, the University of San Diego had an acceptance rate of X%.

This means that out of every 100 applicants, X were accepted into the university. The university’s acceptance rate can provide insight into how competitive the admissions process is and how selective the school is in choosing its students.

SAT/ACT Scores

Another important aspect of admissions selectivity is the average SAT/ACT scores of admitted students. The SAT and ACT are standardized tests that measure a student’s readiness for college. The University of San Diego considers these scores as part of its admissions process.

According to the university’s website, the average SAT score for admitted students is X, and the average ACT score is X. These scores give prospective students an idea of the academic caliber of the student body and the level of preparedness expected by the university.


The grade point average (GPA) is another factor that universities consider during the admissions process. The GPA reflects a student’s academic performance throughout high school. The University of San Diego looks for students who have demonstrated strong academic achievement.

While there is no specific minimum GPA requirement, it is generally recommended that applicants have a GPA of at least X. However, it is important to note that GPA is not the sole determining factor in the admissions decision.

The university takes a holistic approach, considering various aspects of an applicant’s profile, including extracurricular activities, personal statements, and letters of recommendation.

It is important to keep in mind that admissions selectivity is just one aspect to consider when evaluating whether the University of San Diego is a good school. Other factors such as academic programs, faculty, campus culture, and student resources also play a crucial role in determining the overall quality of a university.

It is recommended that prospective students research and visit the university to gain a comprehensive understanding of what it has to offer.

Tuition and Affordability

When considering whether the University of San Diego (USD) is a good school, one of the key factors to examine is the tuition and affordability. College can be a significant financial investment, and it’s important for students and their families to understand the costs associated with attending USD.

Sticker Price

The sticker price, or the published cost of tuition and fees, at the University of San Diego can initially seem high. However, it’s essential to consider the value of the education and the opportunities that USD provides.

The university offers a range of academic programs, exceptional faculty, and state-of-the-art facilities, which all contribute to the overall cost.

According to the official USD website, for the academic year 2021-2022, the undergraduate tuition and fees amount to $53,310. It’s worth noting that this does not include additional expenses such as room and board, textbooks, or personal expenses.

While this price may seem daunting, it’s essential to remember that many students receive financial aid to help offset these costs.

Average Financial Aid Package

The University of San Diego is committed to making education accessible to students from diverse economic backgrounds. Financial aid plays a crucial role in helping students afford their education at USD.

The university offers a comprehensive financial aid program, including need-based grants, scholarships, work-study opportunities, and loans.

According to the College Navigator, the average financial aid package at the University of San Diego for undergraduate students in 2019-2020 was $29,111. This includes grants, scholarships, and loans. It’s important to note that financial aid packages can vary depending on individual circumstances, such as family income, academic achievement, and other factors.


USD offers a variety of scholarships to help students further reduce the cost of attendance. These scholarships are awarded based on various criteria, including academic achievement, leadership potential, community involvement, and talent in specific areas such as the arts or athletics.

One notable scholarship program at USD is the President’s Merit Scholarship. This highly competitive scholarship is awarded to incoming freshmen who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement and leadership potential.

The scholarship covers full tuition for four years, providing a significant financial benefit to the recipients.

Additionally, there are numerous other scholarships available at USD, including departmental scholarships, endowed scholarships, and scholarships for specific majors or areas of study. The university’s website provides detailed information about the various scholarship opportunities and the application process.

Campus Culture and Student Life

Size and Demographics

The University of San Diego (USD) is known for its vibrant campus culture and diverse student body. With an enrollment of over 9,000 students, the university offers a lively and bustling environment that fosters collaboration, creativity, and personal growth.

The student population at USD is made up of individuals from all 50 U.S. states and over 70 countries, creating a truly international community.

Campus Environment

The campus of USD is situated on a picturesque mesa overlooking the Pacific Ocean, providing students with breathtaking views and a serene atmosphere. The university’s commitment to sustainability is evident in its beautifully landscaped grounds and LEED-certified buildings.

The campus features state-of-the-art facilities, including modern classrooms, research labs, and a world-class library, all designed to enhance the learning experience of students.


USD offers a variety of on-campus housing options to accommodate the diverse needs and preferences of its students. From traditional residence halls to apartment-style living, there are choices for everyone.

The university ensures that students have a safe and comfortable living environment by providing amenities such as study lounges, laundry facilities, and 24/7 security. Living on campus also allows students to easily access campus resources and get involved in the vibrant community.

Extracurriculars and Events

USD is renowned for its vibrant extracurricular scene, offering a wide range of clubs, organizations, and events that cater to diverse interests and passions. Whether students are interested in sports, arts, community service, or student government, there is something for everyone to get involved in.

The university also hosts numerous events throughout the year, including concerts, guest lectures, and cultural celebrations, providing students with ample opportunities to socialize, learn, and have fun.

Outcomes and Career Support

Graduation and Retention Rates

When considering whether the University of San Diego (USD) is a good school, it is important to examine the graduation and retention rates. These statistics provide valuable insights into the school’s ability to support and retain its students. According to the U.S.

News & World Report, USD has an impressive four-year graduation rate of 78%. This is higher than the national average, indicating that the university is successful in helping students progress through their academic programs in a timely manner.

Additionally, the retention rate at USD stands at 90%, which demonstrates that the university creates a supportive and engaging environment that encourages students to continue their education.

Career Services

Another important factor to consider when evaluating the University of San Diego is the quality of its career services. The university offers a comprehensive range of resources to help students prepare for their future careers.

From resume workshops to mock interviews and networking events, USD’s career services department is dedicated to equipping students with the skills and connections necessary to succeed in the job market.

Additionally, the university has strong partnerships with local businesses and organizations, providing students with opportunities for internships and job placements. The emphasis on career readiness and professional development sets USD apart, ensuring that students are well-prepared for life after graduation.

Notable Alumni

The success of a university can also be measured by the achievements of its alumni. The University of San Diego boasts an impressive list of notable alumni who have made significant contributions in various fields.

For example, Matt Thompson, a USD alumnus, co-founded the popular news website The Atlantic. Another notable alumnus is Debbie Turner, who had a successful acting career and is best known for her role as Marta von Trapp in the classic film The Sound of Music.

These examples highlight the diverse range of accomplishments by USD’s alumni, demonstrating the university’s ability to nurture and support successful individuals. The achievements of these alumni reflect positively on the education and opportunities provided by the University of San Diego.

Location and Campus

The University of San Diego is located in the beautiful city of San Diego, California. Known for its perfect weather and stunning beaches, San Diego offers students a vibrant and dynamic backdrop for their academic journey.

With its rich cultural diversity and thriving arts scene, it’s no wonder that San Diego has consistently been ranked as one of the best cities to live in the United States.

City of San Diego

San Diego offers a plethora of opportunities for students both inside and outside the classroom. The city is home to a wide range of industries, including technology, biotech, and defense, providing students with numerous internship and job prospects.

Moreover, the city’s thriving startup ecosystem offers students the chance to collaborate with innovative entrepreneurs and gain real-world experience.

Aside from its professional opportunities, San Diego is known for its vibrant cultural scene. From world-class museums and art galleries to lively music festivals and theater performances, students at the University of San Diego can immerse themselves in a rich cultural experience.

Campus Amenities

The University of San Diego’s campus is nothing short of impressive. With its Spanish Renaissance architecture and lush gardens, the campus offers a picturesque setting for academic pursuits. The university boasts state-of-the-art facilities, including modern classrooms, research centers, and laboratories, providing students with the resources they need to excel in their studies.

Additionally, the campus features a range of amenities to enhance student life. From well-equipped fitness centers and sports facilities to numerous dining options and student organizations, the University of San Diego ensures that students have access to a vibrant and engaging campus community.

Surrounding Area

The University of San Diego is located in the neighborhood of Linda Vista, which is just a short drive away from popular attractions such as Balboa Park, SeaWorld, and the famous San Diego Zoo. Students can take advantage of the city’s proximity to outdoor recreational activities, including hiking trails, surfing spots, and beach volleyball courts.

Moreover, San Diego’s close proximity to the Mexican border offers students the opportunity to explore another country and immerse themselves in a different culture. This cross-cultural experience can be both enriching and eye-opening for students, broadening their perspectives and expanding their horizons.


The University of San Diego offers a first-rate education with highly-ranked programs, exceptional professors, a vibrant campus community, and prime location in sunny San Diego. While it is a selective and expensive private school, USD also provides generous financial aid and delivers strong outcomes for its graduates.

By reviewing USD’s performance across key areas like academics, student life, affordability, career support, and more, we can conclude that yes – the University of San Diego is considered an excellent institution overall.

Hopefully this detailed guide gave you the insight needed to determine if USD is the right choice to meet your educational goals.

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