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Campus Profile

Founded as an experiment in 1960, UC San Diego scholars aren’t afraid to challenge convention if it means we can accelerate answers to our society’s most pressing issues. As one of the top 20 research universities in the world, we are driving change far beyond our walls to advance society and propel economic growth. And the world has taken notice.

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 eleven academic, professional and graduate schools and eight undergraduate residential colleges. UC San Diego is also home to the prestigious Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the UC San Diego Health System.

 

Rankings

UC San Diego is making waves in the rankings. Globally and nationally, our campus is recognized for improving social mobility, offering a high-quality education at an affordable price, producing powerful research, advancing health care and more.

 

Global Rankings

drone picture of UC San Diego
1st Top “Golden Age” University
In 2020 for the fourth year in a row, Times Higher Education ranked UC San Diego 1st among the world’s top “Golden Age” universities—the best higher education institutions that were founded between 1945 and 1966.
7th Clarivate Highly Cited Researchers
The 2023 Highly Cited Researchers list includes 71 individual distinctions from UC San Diego (up from 66 last year). The university has the highest number of influential voices in the University of California system and ranks 7th highest among universities worldwide.
19th Academic Ranking of World Universities
The 2023 Academic Ranking of World Universities has recognized UC San Diego as No. 19 in its list of the top universities in the world. UC San Diego was also ranked No. 4 among public universities in the United States in the latest edition of the annual ranking released by ShanghaiRanking Consultancy.
20th U.S. News and World Report
U.S. News and World Report listed UC San Diego as 20th in their 2022-2023 Best Global Universities rankings, which are evaluated based on 13 indicators, such as global and regional research reputation, international collaboration and total citations.
29th Times Higher Education
UC San Diego was named the No. 29 university in the world, climbing five spots globally in the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2022. UC San Diego also rose four places nationally to No. 17 in the United States.
32nd Times Higher Education
UC San Diego was named the 32nd best university across the globe by Times Higher Education in their 2023 World University Rankings, which assessed more than 1,700 public and private institutions around the world. The campus was also named 20th best in the U.S.
33rd Center for World University Rankings
The Center for the World University Rankings named UC San Diego the 33rd best university in the world, 21st in the U.S. and seventh best public university in the nation in 2023.
 

National Rankings

Scripps Pier at sunset

1st U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools
The Preuss School UC San Diego—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 2023 list of “Best High Schools.” The school was also ranked the sixth best school in the State of California out of over 2,500 schools. 
3rd Forbes
UC San Diego was ranked third among the nation’s top public colleges, according to the Forbes 2023 list of America’s Top Colleges. UC San Diego was No. 21 out of the complete list of 500 four-year private and public colleges in the country. 
4th Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education
In their 2021 report, Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings named UC San Diego 4th among the top 10 public colleges in the West. 
6th Money Magazine Best Colleges for Transfers
In 2021, UC San Diego admitted over half of all transfer students who applied. The campus was named sixth in the nation among colleges where transfer students are succeeding in large numbers, according to Money Magazine’s 2018 list of “10 Best Colleges for Transfer Students.”
6th U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 
UC San Diego is named the nation’s sixth best public university in the U.S. News & World Report 2024 Best Colleges rankings. 
7th Washington Monthly
In 2023, Washington Monthly named UC San Diego the seventh best public university in the nation for contributions to social mobility, research and public service. 
9th Campus Pride and BestColleges
 UC San Diego was named the 9th best public university in the nation for LGBTQ+ students according to a new ranking by Campus Pride in partnership with BestColleges. The “2020 Best Colleges for LGBTQ+ Students” ranking, which placed the campus 17th overall, recognizes higher education institutions that provide both a quality academic experience as well as a safe and inclusive space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) students. 
9th Pitchbook 
According to Pitchbook’s 2023 annual rankings, UC San Diego ranked No. 33 in a list of the top 100 undergraduate universities in the world based on the number of alumni entrepreneurs who came out of the schools and founded venture capital-backed companies. It is No. 8 out of public undergraduate universities in the U.S.
43rd Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education
UC San Diego was ranked the 43rd best university nationwide in the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Ranking 2022 report. The ranking of more than 800 universities is based on 15 individual performance indicators. 
 

Research Rankings

UC San Diego researchers
$1.76 Billion UC San Diego received $1.76 billion in sponsored research funding in fiscal year 2023, up from $1.64 billion the previous year — a more than 6 percent increase.
1st Three doctoral programs—Biological Sciences, Bioengineering and Scripps Oceanography—are ranked 1st in the nation according to the results of the 2010 National Research Council Data-Based Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs, conducted every ten years.
4th UC San Diego ranked 4th among public research institutions in the U.S. according to the Nature Index Annual Tables 2023. The tables highlight the most prolific institutions and countries in high-quality research publishing for the year 2022. 
4 Scripps Institution of Oceanography operates four research vessels that enable faculty, students and researchers to address our planet’s most pressing environmental challenges within a cutting-edge mobile laboratory. In 2019, the oceanographic research vessel Bob and Betty Beyster became the newest addition to the Scripps Fleet. 
10th In 2022, Nature Index ranked UC San Diego 10th in the world among the top 200 institutions in biomedical sciences in their assessment based upon published research in a targeted set of high-quality scientific journals. 
13th UC San Diego was named 13th best research university in the nation and 46th best college in the world by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies of Leiden University in their 2022 report that measured scientific impact of universities worldwide.
100+ More than 100 research centers on campus.
 

Best Value Rankings

UC San Diego students celebrating graduation
5-star rating UC San Diego earned 5 stars–the highest rating available–in Money’s Best Colleges in America 2023 list. The outlet annually recognizes colleges that combine quality and affordability.
8th UC San Diego placed eigth among the nation’s top public colleges for students seeking an outstanding education at an affordable price, according to The Princeton Review’s Best Value Colleges for 2023. 
11th UC San Diego has been ranked the 11th best public university in the country among colleges that pay off the most in a 2019 ranking by CNBC. The rankings measured UC San Diego’s costs, financial aid packages and the earnings for alumni at the start of their career ($61,300), as well as the mid-point ($94,050) and after they have been in the workforce for more than ten years ($126,800).
13th In 2019, Forbes ranked UC San Diego 13th among America's Best Value Colleges. Scores are based on net price, net debt, alumni earnings, timely graduation, school quality and access for low-income students. 
19th In 2019, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance named UC San Diego the 19th best in-state 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. 
21st In 2023, Washington Monthly named UC San Diego 21st Best Bang for the Buck among public universities in the western U.S. 
Top 10% UC San Diego was named a Social Mobility Innovator by CollegeNET, Inc. for successfully enrolling students from low-income backgrounds, graduating them into promising careers and fostering a campus culture based on inclusive excellence. UC San Diego has ranked among the top 10 percent of schools on the index for the past four years.
 

Graduate Program Rankings

UC San Diego Department of Theatre doing a play
5th The Hollywood Reporter named UC San Diego's Department of Theatre and Dance MFA and undergraduate program fifth in the world in their list of the best places to get an acting degree in 2022. Also, the department's undergraduate program was named among the top five in the nation for the best bachelor's degrees to help launch an acting career in their 2018 report.
4th UC San Diego Rady School of Management ranked 4th in the nation for entrepreneurship and learning by Bloomberg Businessweek in 2022.
13th UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management MBA program ranked 13th in The Princeton Review’s 2023 survey naming the top graduate schools for entrepreneurship studies. 
6th In their 2022 rankings, College Choice named UC San Diego’s Master’s in Fine Arts Program 6th in the nation based on academic reputation, student satisfaction, affordability and average annual salary of early career artists.
11th Foreign Policy Magazine’s 2018 rankings named UC San Diego 11th in the nation for best undergraduate institutions to study international relations. The rankings also named UC San Diego's master's program for policy careers in international relations in the 15th spot and Ph.D. program for an academic career in international relations in the 7th spot. 
14th UC San Diego Rady School of Management’s two-year MBA program has been ranked 14th in the world in a 2018 The Times Higher Education and Wall Street Journal business school report. The ranking was determined using data provided by schools and a survey of the schools’ alumni.

2023-2024 U.S. News and World Report Rankings

UC San Diego musicians
“Best Graduate Schools” 
Fine Arts Time-based media/new media (7th), fine arts (10th).
Engineering Biomedical/bioengineering (5th), computer science: systems (8), computer engineering (10th), computer science (12th), best engineering school (12th), computer science: programming language (12th), computer science: artificial intelligence (12th), computer science: theory (12th), electrical engineering (14th), aerospace engineering (18th) mechanical engineering (23rd), civil engineering (25th), and material engineering (30th).
Health Sciences School of Medicine research program (21st) and School of Medicine primary care (30th).
Sciences Discrete mathematics and combinatorics (5th), physics of living systems (5th), biochemistry (8th), geophysics and seismology (8th), earth sciences (9th), neuroscience/neurobiology (9th), algebra (10th), genetics (10th), cell biology (12th), molecular biology (12th), condensed matter (13th), biochemistry/biophysics (13th), geometry (15th), theoretical chemistry (15th), biological sciences (17th), physical chemistry (17th), mathematics (20th), chemistry (20th), physics (21st), geochemistry (21st), math analysis (23rd), biostatistics (34th) and statistics (41).
Social Sciences and Humanities Behavioral neuroscience (1st), international politics (5th), econometrics (7th), political science (8th), comparative politics (10th), sociology of culture (10th), development economics (11th), psychology (12th), American politics (13th), economics (14th), public finance (14th), labor economics (17th), political methodology (17th), microeconomics (18th), macroeconomics (18th), history (30th), sociology (31st) and English (53rd).
 

Academics

UC San Diego’s academic programs, taught by recognized experts, prepare students to stand out and lead change. As a student-centered university, all undergraduates belong to a tight-knit college community and are equipped to succeed through supplemental learning, faculty-mentored research opportunities, student success coaches and more.

Undergraduates in class
12 Divisions and schools
140+ Undergraduate majors
7 Undergraduate residential colleges
26:1 Student-to-faculty ratio
Undergraduate Fields of Study by Student Population
36.6% Social Sciences
18.8% Engineering
17.5% Biology
13% Physical Sciences
5% Arts and Humanities
2.7% Special/Undeclared
2.5% Scripps Institution of Oceanography
2.1% Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute
1.7% Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science
Top 5 Undergraduate Majors by Student Population
17.5% Biology
7.9% Psychology
7.4% Economics
7.1% Mathematics
6.0% Cognitive Science
 

About Students

Students at UC San Diego are curious about the world around them and eager to make a difference. Both academically exceptional and socially conscious, our undergraduate and graduate scholars set the bar high. They travel the world on service learning trips to improve public health and sustainability; they develop exciting entrepreneurial ideas and launch companies; and they work alongside faculty members on diverse research projects, from civic engagement to ocean aerosols and materials inspired by nature.

UC San Diego undergraduate students in class
43,381 Total student population (Fall 2023)

Undergraduate Students

Freshmen
130,830 Freshman applicants (Fall 2023)
Transfer
19,942 Transfer applicants (Fall 2023)
92% Of admitted transfer students come from California Community College
Total
33,096 Total number of all undergraduate matriculated students (Fall 2022)

Graduate and Professional Students

9,872 Total graduate and professional students
3,814 Doctoral students
4,315 Masters students
962 Clinical residents
781 MD and pharmacy students

Degrees Conferred 2022

8,438 Bachelor’s degrees
1,955 Masters degrees
601 Ph.D.
113 M.D.
66 Pharmacy
277 Candidate in Philosophy
 

About Faculty, Staff and Alumni

There is a spirit of bold ingenuity shared among the UC San Diego community. Faculty members are sought-after experts in their field, equally passionate about tackling our world’s toughest problems and training the next generation of student leaders. Staff bring heart and creativity to advance the mission of our campus. And alumni stand out as distinct thinkers who make waves in diverse fields.

About Faculty

UC San Diego faculty members
3,804 Total number of faculty
1,733 Number of ladder-rank faculty
2,071 Clinical/in-residence faculty
356 Lecturers
1,154 Postdoctoral scholars
3,822 Student teachers and research assistants
Faculty Awards (including Faculty Emeriti)
168 Memberships held by current and emeriti faculty in National Academy of Sciences (88), National Academy of Engineering (32) and National Academy of Medicine (48).
216 UC San Diego faculty who have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the largest general science organization in the world and publisher of the journal Science.
143 UC San Diego faculty who have been selected for the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, which awards the brightest early career scientists in the U.S. and Canada whose drive, creativity and insight make them a researcher to watch. 
Nobel Prize Sixteen Nobel laureates have taught at UC San Diego. In addition, the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to former vice president Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose roster of researchers lists nearly two dozen Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientists including Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Richard Somerville and Lynne Talley.
National Medal of Science Michael Freedman, mathematics (1987); Craig Venter, pharmacology (2009); and Shu Chien, bioengineering (2011).
Breakthrough Prize Dr. Napoleone Ferrara (2012); Don Cleveland (2017); James McKernan (2017); Joanne Chory (2017)
American Academy of Arts and Letters Rand Steiger (2011 Music Award); Chinary Ung (2020); Lei Liang (2021 Music Award); Anthony Davis (2021); and Roger Reynolds (2023).
American Academy of Arts and Sciences Susan Ackerman (2019); Yishi Jin (2019); John Wixted (2019); Paul M. Churchland (2020); Vicki H. Grassian (2020); Margaret S. Leinen (2020); David G. Victor (2020); Ananda Goldrath (2021); Eileen Myles (2021); Stefan Savage (2021); Arshad B. Desai (2022); Karen Oegema (2022); and Ana Celia Zentella (2022).
Fields Medal Michael Freedman, mathematics (1986); and Efim Zelmanov, mathematics (1994).
Tony Award Judith Dolan, theatre and dance (1997).
John von Neumann Theory Prize in Mathematics Ruth Williams (2016).
MacArthur Fellowship Michael Freedman, mathematics (1984); Arnold Mandell, psychiatry (1984); Edwin Hutchins, cognitive science (1985); Michael Schudson, communications (1990); Patricia Smith Churchland, philosophy (1991); Nancy D. Cartwright, philosophy (1993); Russell Lande, biology (1997); Kun-Liang Guan, pharmacology (1998); Guillermo Algaze, anthropology (2003); Carol Padden, communication (2010) and Stefan Savage, computer science (2017).
Pulitzer Prize Roger Reynolds, music (1989); Rae Armantrout, poetry (2010); and Anthony Davis, music (2020).
Grammy Award Kamau Kenyatta (2014).
Academy Award Henrik Wann Jensen, computer science and engineering (2004).
View Full List of Awards

About Staff

#1 UC San Diego is the largest employer headquartered in San Diego County.
40,285 Total number of full and part-time academic and staff employees at UC San Diego (as of April 2023). 

About Alumni

245,000 UC San Diego alumni worldwide
24% Live in San Diego County
Notable Alumni
J. Craig Venter
J. Craig Venter
National Medal of Science honoree and one of the first to sequence the human genome.
Nathan East
Nathan East
One of the most recorded bassists in history.
Kate Rubins
Kate Rubins
NASA astronaut and the first scientist to sequence DNA in space.
Wong Fu Productions
Wong Fu Productions
Asian American filmmaking group.
Nick Woodman
Nick Woodman
Founder and CEO of GoPro.
DJ Patil
DJ Patil
First chief data scientist for the White House.
Kim Stanley Robinson
Kim Stanley Robinson
American science fiction writer.
Milana Vayntrub
Milana Vayntrub
Actress, writer, producer and humanitarian.
Mike Judge
Mike Judge
Television and film writer and director.
Learn More About Alumni
 

Economic Impact

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.

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 telecommunications giant Qualcomm, Inc.; to Ballast Point Spirits, one of the region’s earliest craft breweries; and Portfolium, a unique student electronic portfolio network.

UC San Diego tech company
#1 UC San Diego is the largest employer headquartered in San Diego County.
1,000+ Over 1,000 companies utilize, or have utilized, technology created at UC San Diego.
3rd UC San Diego is third in the University of California system for the highest number of U.S. patents issued in fiscal year 2019-20. In fiscal year 2019-20, UC San Diego issued 96 U.S. patents. 
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 States 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.
31 Total start-ups launched in 2018 by faculty, students and staff.
118 Licenses created in 2018 by UC San Diego faculty and students.
2,500+ In 2018, the UC San Diego Office of Innovation and Commercialization managed 2,539 inventions and more than 460 new intellectual property agreements.
$16.5 Billion Total annual economic impact in California—more than the entire annual revenue of the state of Arizona.
32,429 Direct jobs attributable to active UC San Diego-related companies.
100,492 Jobs throughout California directly and indirectly supported by UC San Diego.
40,285 Total number of full and part-time academic and staff employees at UC San Diego (as of April 2023).
$32.4 Billion Total estimated annual sales of active UC San Diego-related companies in San Diego County, including those utilizing licensed technology.
 

Financial Figures

As the region’s leading research university, the campus continues to have a significant impact on San Diego’s economy. Philanthropic and research support enables our scholars to achieve critical breakthroughs that will impact lives for generations to come.

UC San Diego student researchers
$3.05 billion Raised in the Campaign for UC San Diego thanks to the support of more than 164,000 donors, making us the youngest university in the country to surpass a multibillion milestone in a single campaign. Through the Campaign for UC San Diego — our 10-year university-wide comprehensive fundraising effort, which concluded on June 30, 2022 — philanthropy empowered us to enhance student support, ensure student success, transform our campus, connect our community, and redefine medicine and health care on a global scale.
$565.7 million In fiscal year 2023-23, UC San Diego celebrated its sixth record-breaking fundraising year, exceeding $500 million for the first time.
$7.5 billion Fiscal year 2021-22 revenues; 17% of this total is revenue from contracts and grants, most of which is from the federal government for research.
$1.76 billion UC San Diego received $1.76 billion in sponsored research funding for FY2023 (July 1-June 30), a more than 6% increase over the previous year. 
$2.63 billion Total combined endowment for the campus as of fiscal year 2022-23, managed by the UC San Diego Foundation and the UC Regents.
 

Public Service

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.

UC San Dego volunteers in the community

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.

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.

1st Highest population of low-income students (11 percent) among peer institutions. (New York Times, 2017).
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).
7th Best public university in the nation for social mobility, research and public service. (Washington Monthly, 2023). 
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.
64 Number of student organizations on campus that have a primary focus on service.
2,200+ Number of local low-income and first-generation college students who have been awarded a Chancellor’s Associates Scholarship. 
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 2,200 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:

 

Health

UC San Diego Health—the region’s only academic health system—is dedicated to clinical, research and teaching excellence. For decades, UC San Diego Health and its schools of medicine and pharmacy have been advancing medicine through breakthrough discoveries — including pioneering firsts in surgery, imaging, cancer treatment and cardiovascular care. And with more than 1,500 doctors and scientists who are published experts in their fields, UC San Diego Health is well equipped to deliver the highest quality patient-centered primary and specialty care.

UC San Diego Health Care students
1st UC San Diego Health is ranked first in San Diego, placing it among the nation’s best hospitals (U.S. News and World Report, 2023-2024). It also placed on the “Best Hospitals National Honor Roll,” a distinction awarded to only 22 hospitals nationwide that are recognized for outstanding patient care.
6th among public schools for National Institutes of Health research funding FY19 (UC San Diego School of Medicine NIH awards)
18th best pharmacy school in the nation (U.S. News and World Report, 2020)
30th best school of medicine in the nation for primary care (U.S. News and World Report, 2023-2024)
100+ physicians in 50 specialties named Top Docs (San Diego Magazine, 2023)
1,713 Faculty members in the schools of medicine and pharmacy.
3,005 Students, postdocs, residents and fellows.
7,000+ Patients receiving treatment in clinical trials.
9,100+ UC San Diego Health employees.
854,000+ Total yearly outpatient visits to UC San Diego Health
800+ Beds at UC San Diego Health medical centers.
$599 Million UC San Diego Health provides over $599 million in charity care and benefits to the community (FY 2020-21).
$761 Million Research awards (FY 2019).
'A's For Hospital Safety UC San Diego Health's hospitals in both La Jolla and Hillcrest earned top marks from The Leapfrog Group in the fall of 2022 for keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors. 
Top Teaching Hospital UC San Diego Health's hospitals in La Jolla and Hillcrest were recognized as among the nation's Top Teaching Hospitals by The Leapfrog Group in 2022. This is the most competitive recognition for excellence in hospital safety and quality. No other UC hospital earned this top teaching hospital recognition.  
View All UC San Diego Health Rankings

U.S. News and World Report “Best Hospitals” 2023-24

UC San Diego ranks in the top 50 nationally in ten specialties. More than 4,500 medical centers across the nation were ranked by U.S. News and World Report

20th Cancer
23rd Cardiology, Heart and Vascular Surgery
39th Diabetes and Endocrinology
14th Ear, Nose and Throat
18th Gastroenterology and GI Surgery
17th Geriatrics
21st Neurology and Neurosurgery
15th Obstetrics and Gynecology
9th Pulmonology and Lung Surgery
32nd Urology

UC San Diego Student-Run Free Clinic Project

For two decades, the Student-Run Free Clinic Project has helped people of all ages and circumstances access high-quality health care, regardless of their ability to pay. The project assists community members with a range of critical health services, including psychiatric care. 

UC San Diego Health Firsts

  • Discovered insulin resistance is a primary cause of Type II diabetes.
  • First to show that memory could be enhanced in Alzheimer’s disease patients by stopping the action of a brain chemical called acetylcholinesterase (AChE). These findings led to the development of some of the first treatments.
  • Performed the first pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE), an operation for removing blood clots from the pulmonary arteries to treat chronic pulmonary hypertension.
  • First to learn of associations between a lack of Vitamin D and breast and other cancers.
  • Uncovered the first direct evidence of how a cancer gene works.
  • First to identify the neurobiological early-warning signs of autism during a child’s first year of life, a finding that offers the potential for earlier diagnosis, intervention and improved clinical outcomes for autistic children.
  • The Hamilton Glaucoma Center, founded in 2004, is the first facility in the world dedicated solely to glaucoma clinical and laboratory research.
  • First to define the concept of gene therapy as a way to treat diseases by using gene transfer techniques.

UC San Diego Health Academics

As part of our academic enterprise, UC San Diego Health has three professional schools, each located on the university campus in La Jolla.

UC San Diego School of Medicine

UC San Diego School of Medicine building

Founded in 1968, the UC San Diego School of Medicine accepts 125 students each year out of approximately 5,000 applicants.

The Integrated Scientific Curriculum combines clinical medicine and medical science. Students get hands-on clinical instruction at institutions including UC San Diego Health hospitals, the VA San Diego Medical Center, Naval Medical Center San Diego and Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego. 

Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences building

Founded in 2000, the Skaggs School enrolls an average of 240 Pharm.D. students, 60 Ph.D. students and 30 pharmacy residents yearly.

The innovative and flexible curriculum leads to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree, taught by a stellar health sciences faculty in a program closely associated with the outstanding clinical, research and academic programs in the School of Medicine. The school is also fourth in the nation for NIH grants and total research funding, according to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy’s FY2022 institutional rankings report.  

The Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science 

kid holding i am public health pin

The Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science was founded in 2019 with a $25 million lead gift from the Dr. Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Family Foundation, seed money to grow in a new era of public health research, education and rapid societal change, with a mission to create and promote healthier populations on a local, national, and global scale.

The school leverages UC San Diego's interdisciplinary and collaborative culture to develop and implement solutions to reduce or eliminate disparities in disadvantaged or underserved communities and improve the overall health of our communities.

UC San Diego Health Clinical Facilities

To fulfill our mission, UC San Diego Health maintains a two-campus strategy integrating research, teaching and clinical care at locations in Hillcrest and La Jolla. Each medical complex supports acute in-patient care and a spectrum of outpatient primary and specialty medical and surgical services, including ambulatory and emergency patient care.

UC San Diego Medical Center at Hillcrest
UC San Diego Medical Center—Hillcrest
Opened in 1966 | 390 beds | Comprehensive Stroke Center | Area’s only Regional Burn Center | Level I Trauma Center | Owen Clinic for HIV/AIDS 
Jacobs Medical Center building
Jacobs Medical Center
Opened in 2016 | 364 beds | Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and hospital-based Birth Center | Advanced surgical, cancer and cardiac rehabilitation care 
Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center building
Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center
Opened in 2011 | 54 beds | San Diego’s first Comprehensive cardiovascular center | Global leader in pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE) 
Moores Cancer Center building
Moores Cancer Center
Opened in 2005 | Region’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center 
Shiley Eye Institute building
Shiley Eye Institute
Opened in 1991 | Anne and Abraham Ratner Children’s Eye Center | Joan and Irwin Jacobs Retina Center | Hamilton Glaucoma Center 
Clinic members working
Community-based clinics and specialty services
Our work often focuses on outreach to underserved communities and members of health disparity groups.
 

More About UC San Diego

Meandering the campus, you might stumble upon a giant bear made of boulders, part of UC San Diego’s iconic public art collection. Or discover the immersive SunCAVE, a 360-degree virtual reality space where you can be transported to an archaeological site across the globe. UC San Diego shines in so many ways—from developing the first cognitive science department to being the top surfing school in the nation. Learn more about our unique university.

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.
21 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.
20,000+ 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.

Athletics

UC San Diego basketball game
Division 1 In 2020, UC San Diego became a member of the Big West Conference in NCAA Division I
23 UC San Diego has 12 men’s and 11 women’s competitive sports teams
30 Number of NCAA national team sport championships earned.
90 UC San Diego scholar-athletes earn degrees at a 90 percent graduation rate, the highest-rated public institution among all of NCAA Division I and II. 
276 UC San Diego has won 276 national, regional and conference championships
1,389 Number of Tritons that have been named to All-America teams.

Sustainability

UC San Diego Geisel library
58 UC San Diego has completed 58 LEED-certified buildings and renovations on campus, including 11 platinum, 28 gold, 16 silver and three 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.