San Diego, CA
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Freshman

Academics: school is very well known.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Academics: The School of Business is given way more priority over other majors and it's obvious. Workload is manageable and there are plenty of internship opportunities. The building is pretty old so don't expect the marbled bathrooms that you see in the IPJ.

2 people found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Academics are great at USD because classes are small (basically forcing you to attend) and the accessibility of professors for their students. The school still has not received the national recognition is deserves unfortunately, because of the small size.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Academics: The teachers really get students to think in different ways, past the superficial curriculum.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Academics: The resources that this university has seem almost limitless. I really enjoy the professors' insights. Curriculum is on par most of the time. The registration process was easier than i expected it to be. Workload can be strenuous at times, but that's college I guess. Our school prides itself in our study abroad program. There are plenty of places and people to study with, whether it be tutors, friends, or just alone time at Copley Library.


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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
  • Accounting: 3%
  • Business Administration and Management: 4%
  • 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

Rate your school's academic environment on the following topics    Based on 66 responses

Very poor
  • Academic advisers
  • Class availability
  • Consistency in grading
  • Course subject variety
  • Curriculum flexibility
  • Gen-Ed requirements
  • Manageability of workload
  • Online course options
  • Quality of teaching assistants (TAs)
  • Scheduling/registration process
  • Technology in the classroom

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

Rate your school's professors on the following topics    Based on 68 responses

Very poor
  • Accessibility
  • Communication skills
  • General knowledge
  • Interest in class subjects
  • Interest in students
  • Time spent in classroom
  • Use of teaching assistants



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