University Communications and Public Affairs


UC San Diego’s main campus is located near the Pacific Ocean on approximately 1,200 acres of coastal woodland in La Jolla, California. The campus sits on the ancestral homelands of the Kumeyaay Nation. Kumeyaay people continue to have an important and thriving presence in the region. UC San Diego’s rich academic portfolio includes six undergraduate colleges, five academic divisions and five graduate and professional schools.

Global Rankings

drone picture of UC San Diego
1st Top “Golden Age” University
Times Higher Education ranked UC San Diego 1st among the world’s top “Golden Age” universities—the best 100 institutions that were founded between 1945 and 1966.
5th Times Higher Education
In 2018, UC San Diego was named the 5th best public university across the globe by Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The campus was also ranked 20th in the United States and 31st globally.
15th Academic Ranking of World Universities
In the prestigious 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities released by the Center for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong, UC San Diego was ranked the 15th best university in world.
16th U.S. News and World Report
U.S. News and World Report named UC San Diego the 16th best university in the world and the nation’s 5th best public university in 2017 for research; global and regional reputation; international collaboration; number of highly-cited papers; and doctorates awarded.
17th Center for World University Rankings
The Center for the World University Rankings named UC San Diego the 17th best university in the world, 14th in the U.S. and third best public university in the nation in 2016.

National Rankings

Scripps Pier at sunset
1st BestColleges.com
According to a 2016 study by BestColleges.com, UC San Diego is 1st in the nation for enrolling and graduating the most women with majors in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). In addition, UC San Diego’s proportion of STEM graduates is three times the national average.
1st U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools
The Preuss School UCSD—a charter middle and high school for low-income students who strive to become the first in their families to graduate from college—was ranked the best high school in San Diego County by U.S. News & World Report in their 2018 list of “Best High Schools.” The school also received a Gold Award designation and was ranked the 6th best school in the State of California based on performance on state assessments, graduation rates and college preparation. And in 2017, Preuss was named one of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools” in The Washington Post’s annual rankings of how successfully schools challenge their students.
2nd Washington Monthly
In 2017, Washington Monthly named UC San Diego the 2nd best public school in the nation and the 6th best overall. The rankings recognize what colleges do for their country, including leading efforts to enroll large numbers of low-income and first-generation students.
5th New York Times College Access Index
The New York Times ranked UC San Diego 5th in the nation for a commitment to economic diversity in their 2017 College Access Index. The ranking is based on a combination of the number of lower-and middle-income students that UC San Diego enrolls and the price of tuition.
9th College Choice
College Choice, an online publication that helps students select a school, named UC San Diego the 9th best public university in the nation for LGBTQ students in their 2017 list of “50 Best Colleges for LGBTQ Students.
10th U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Guidebook
For more than a decade, U.S. News & World Report has included UC San Diego among the nation’s top 10 public universities. In the 2017 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges guidebook, UC San Diego ranked 10th best public university in the nation and 44th best university in the U.S. among more than 300 public, private and for-profit institutions. 

Financial Figures

UC San Diego student researchers
$261.4 million UC San Diego celebrated a record-breaking increase in charitable gifts according to the Regents counting convention. The campus received a 23 percent increase in private support in fiscal year 2016-17 over the preceding year, thanks to almost 40,000 gifts and grants. Through fiscal year 2016-17, the Campaign for UC San Diego has raised $1.414 billion toward transforming the campus, the student experience and ultimately the way humanity approaches problems and develops solutions.
$4.7 Billion Fiscal year 2016-17 revenues; 20% of this total is revenue from contracts and grants, most of which is from the federal government for research.
$1.16 Billion Amount of sponsored research support received in fiscal year 2016-17, a three percent increase over the previous year.
$1.347 billion Total combined endowment for the campus as of fiscal year 2016-17, managed by the UC San Diego Foundation and the UC Regents.

Unmatched Value

UC San Diego students celebrating graduation
5th A 2016 analysis of graduates’ compensation from Money.com data shows that UC San Diego is the fifth best college for students seeking a path from an affordable public college to a high-paying job. Using data from Payscale, Money.com found that the average mid-career salary for a UC San Diego graduate is $106,000 and the average early career salary is $53,700.
6th UC San Diego is ranked 6th among 25 peer institutions for earning potential of graduates. According to the 2017 study by the New York Times, by age 34, UC San Diego graduates earn an average salary of $65,300 ($77,700 for men and $57,300 for women).
10th In 2017, Forbes ranked UC San Diego 10th among the top 25 Public Colleges With The Highest-Earning Graduates. According to the report, UC San Diego alumni mid-career earnings are $108,000.
17th In 2016, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance named UC San Diego the 17th best value public university in the nation based on its academic quality and affordability, including high four-year graduation rates, low average student debt at graduation, the availability of financial aid and overall great value.
20th In 2017, Washington Monthly named UC San Diego 20th Best Bang for Buck among public schools in the western U.S.
23rd UC San Diego ranks 23rd among the top 50 U.S. universities and colleges for amount of money alumni made over 20 years after earning a degree in the 2017 Top 50 Best Value Colleges by ValueColleges.com.


UC San Diego basketball game
Division 1 UC San Diego is transitioning into the NCAA Division 1 Big West Conference.
23 UC San Diego has 12 men’s and 11 women’s competitive sports teams.
30 Number of NCAA national championships earned.
251 UC San Diego has won 251 national, regional and conference championships.
1,309 Number of Tritons that have been named to All-America teams.


UC San Diego Geisel library
32 Over three dozen buildings at UC San Diego are LEED-certified, including three platinum, 17 gold, six silver and six certified.
50% UC San Diego’s campus vehicle fleet is one of the greenest in the nation with more than 50 percent comprising hybrid, electric or alternative fuel vehicles.
85% Considered one of the most advanced in the world, UC San Diego’s microgrid generates approximately 85 percent of the electricity used on campus annually, saving more than $8 million a year.

Did You Know?

Fallen Star sculpture at UC San Diego by artist Do Ho Suh
1st The Jacobs School of Engineering is home to the world’s first first full-scale outdoor shake table, designed to create realistic simulations of earthquakes to advance seismic safety.
1st Scripps Institution of Oceanography climate scientist Charles David Keeling was the first to confirm the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a benchmark of global warming studies.
1st In 2018 UC San Diego was ranked 1st nationally among “Top 10 Surf Colleges” by Surfer Magazine. Criteria included high academic standards, notable alumni as well as access to high quality surf. UC San Diego’s surf team has won six national championships.
2nd In 1963, UC San Diego Professor Maria Goeppert Mayer became the second woman in history to win a Nobel Prize in Physics.
19 Number of public artworks that make up UC San Diego’s Stuart Collection.
1986 In 1986, UC San Diego established the world’s first cognitive science department, which has become one of the leading centers of this field.
10,000 Number of original drawings, sketches, books, and photographs created by Theodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, that are housed at the UC San Diego Library.