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3 College Sophomore

Academics: As of now I am undeclared, but other people don't seem to have problems getting jobs lined up.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: The study abroad programs are great and the business school also has a great reputation.

4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: USD provides rigorous curriculum that is definitely worth the tuition. Professors have high standards for students, but are also accessible for assistance and are caring for their students.

4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: The convenience of online study is amazing. I can stay working in my profession while attending school and my curriculum is still challenging.

5 College Freshman

Academics: I'm only a freshman but I've changed my major from Behavioral Neuroscience to Theology with a Bio & Chem minor. I've officially declared an my major advisor, who is also my professor right now, is one of the coolest people I've ever met. There are really awesome professors here for sure, just make sure to ask around or use rate my professor to avoid some of the not-so-good ones. I work on campus and am a part of a sorority and I can still manage to stay on top of schoolwork. All of the professors have Phd's so they know what they're talking about and are really passionate about it.

1 person found this useful Report

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 76th
    Most Caring Professors
  • 82nd
    Professors Most Interested in Classes
  • 119th
    Smartest Professors
  • 187th
    Best Academic Advisers
  • 351st
    Best Course Variety

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Shannon Palka
Thousand Oaks, CA
English and Theology
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

USD is a small school that places a great deal of emphasis on small classes and giving students individual attention. A downside to this is that many classes, both intro level and upper division, have mandatory attendance or weigh participation in your final grade. The benefits are that your professors will know your name, your strengths, your weaknesses, and in some cases, your hobbies, and how you’re doing in other classes. This can be motivation to come to class and keep up with the material. There are no teaching assistants at USD, so it is easy to form close, personal relationships with faculty. Professors are required to have office hours, and it behooves students to go in and talk, either to ask for help or just to check in. After you declare a major, you are assigned an adviser who is a tenured faculty member in your department whose research interests go along with your professional interests (e.g., an English major interested in creative writing will be assigned an adviser who publishes short stories or poetry). This comes in handy when you are planning your courses because professors get to know and understand your personality and goals, and will help you build a meaningful schedule.

As a liberal arts school, USD has a broad core curriculum that is a burden for many students. In addition to the fairly standard math, science, and literature requirements, USD also requires students to take logic, ethics, fine arts, and three semesters of theology and religious studies. These courses can be admittedly tedious, and many students take core classes abroad for three weeks during summer or intersession, utilizing USD’s expansive study abroad program. This way students get a pretty easy three units and get to travel. Not bad.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
Total FT Faculty
Faculty with Terminal Degree
Average Faculty Salary
Full-Time Retention Rate
Part-Time Retention Rate
Graduation Rate
Programs/Majors Offered
Academic/Career Counseling?
Remedial Services?
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 40%
  • 20 to 49 students: 60%
  • 50 or more students: 0%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: Yes
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: Yes
Recreational/Avocational: Yes
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: Yes
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Engineering
  • School of Business Administration
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Doctorate - Professional practice
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
  • Post-bachelor's certificate
Most Popular Majors
  • Business Administration and Management: 4%
  • Finance, General: 3%
  • Law: 6%
  • Paralegal: 5%
Graduation Requirements
  • Arts/fine arts
  • English (including composition)
  • Foreign languages
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy
  • Religion
  • Sciences (biological or physical)
  • Social science
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Other Academic Offerings
  • Double major
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Honors program
  • Independent study
  • Internships
  • Liberal arts/career combination
Online Courses
Online courses are not offered for undergraduates and cannot be transferred for credit to USD.
Best Places to Study
  • Copley Library
  • Hahn University Center
  • Law Library
  • Mission CafĂ©
Tips to Succeed
  • Become an email addict.
  • Bring graded papers and tests to office hours and dispute bad grades.
  • Don't worry about your peers' income brackets.
  • Get in the habit of going to class.
  • Get involved in clubs that interest you. It's the best way to meet people that you will really get along with.
  • Make friends with the locals, as well as students from other universities.
  • Stay relaxed. USD and San Diego are more mellow than most places in the United States.
  • Take advantage of the beach. Learn to surf. Play intramural sports.
  • Try to be as immune as possible to gossip.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 66 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 5 responses

  • 25% Robert Kardashian (JD) - lawyer for O.J Simpson
  • 12% Petia Ynachulova - professional beach volleyball player
  • 12% Lowell McAdam (MBA) - president, Verizon Wireless
  • 12% Mike Brown - 2009 NBA Coach of the Year
  • 12% Alison Cox - Olympic rower
  • 12% Jim Parsons (MFA) - actor
  • 6% Theo Epstein (JD) - Boston Red Sox general manager
  • 6% Eric Musselman - former NBA head coach
  • 0% Kevin Reese - former New York Yankees outfielder
  • 0% Bill Bavasi - former MLB general manager
  • 0% Andrew Firestone - reality TV star

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 68 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.



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