University Communications and Public Affairs


As a billion-dollar research enterprise framed by the Pacific and positioned in the heart of one of the most densely concentrated innovation hubs in the nation, UC San Diego is a unique place where fresh ideas are translated into solutions to benefit society.

Economic Impact

UC San Diego tech company

San Diego’s first biotechnology company, Hybritech, was started in 1979 by UC San Diego School of Medicine professor Ivor Royston. Hundreds of other groundbreaking local companies have roots with our university, from telecommunication giants like Qualcomm Inc. and ViaSat; to Ballast Point Spirits, one of the region’s earliest craft breweries; and green energy pioneers like Sapphire Energy.

By the Numbers
#1 UC San Diego is the top employer based in San Diego County.
1,000+ Over 1,000 companies utilize, or have utilized, technology created at UC San Diego.
2nd In 2017, UC San Diego faculty and students were granted 103 patents for their work. 
4th The Milken Institute identified UC San Diego among the top five in the nation for startup creation in their 2017 report, "The Best Universities for Technology Transfer."
30 Technologies invented by UC San Diego are being put into practice by companies in 30 states across the U.S., with the majority utilized by companies in California.
42 Total start-ups launched in 2017 by faculty, students and staff.
100 Licensed inventions created in 2017 by UC San Diego faculty and students.
150+ Students and alumni from the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego have founded 150 operational startup companies since the school’s first MBA class graduated in 2006.
2,500+ In 2017, the UC San Diego Office of Innovation and Commercialization managed more than 2,500 inventions and more than 550 intellectual property agreements.
29,200 Direct jobs attributable to active UC San Diego-related companies.
34,448 Total number of full and part-time academic and staff employees at UC San Diego (as of April 2017).
$32.4 Billion Total estimated annual sales of active UC San Diego-related companies in San Diego County, including those utilizing licensed technology.

Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Designation

In 2017, UC San Diego was named an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), a designation that fewer than 60 universities nationwide have achieved. The designation recognizes universities that are leaders in spurring regional economic development, including workforce enhancement, innovation and entrepreneurship and civic growth.

Public Service

UC San Dego volunteers in the community

At UC San Diego, we strive to make a difference in all that we do—it is an integral part of our university mission. Our faculty members don’t just teach, they conduct breakthrough research that changes lives locally and globally. Staff members unite to better the local community through hundreds of hours of volunteer work. And students are shaped into global changemakers through service-learning projects around the world.

Changemaker Campus

UC San Diego was designated as a Changemaker Campus in 2017 by Ashoka U for its role as a leader in social innovation education. Only a select number of universities around the world have received this designation. UC San Diego is the first University of California campus to be recognized. Read more

By the Numbers
1st Highest population of low-income students (11 percent) among peer institutions. (New York Times, 2017).
1st Best public university in the nation for social mobility, research and public service. (Washington Monthly, 2018). Read more
5th Fifth in the nation for the number of disadvantaged students who have greater prospects of becoming high wage earners as adults. (New York Times, 2017).
12th in the nation among schools contributing the most graduates to Teach For America (2015).
14th Top fifteen for number of alumni serving as Peace Corps volunteers. In total, the campus has produced over 800 volunteers.
50 Number of hours Chancellor Khosla encourages all campus community members to volunteer each year as part of the university’s Volunteer50 Program. Learn more
64 Number of student organizations on campus that have a primary focus on service.
850+ Number of local low-income and first-generation college students who have been awarded a Chancellor’s Associates Scholarship. Read more
3 Million Number of annual community service hours contributed by faculty, staff and student volunteers.

Making College Attainable: Chancellor’s Associates Scholars Program

UC San Diego Chancellors Associates Scholars Program

More than 850 local low-income and first-generation college students have been named Chancellor’s Associates Scholars. When combined with other financial aid, the award covers students’ tuition, on-campus living expenses, books and more—essentially a full scholarship.

Community Outreach

UC San Diego engages the local community through numerous social, environmental and educational initiatives, including: