San Diego, CA
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3 College Freshman

Diversity: there is diversity, however, the "groups" tend to congregate together.

2 people found this useful Report
2 College Junior

Diversity: Since the tuition is through the roof expensive, it's almost impossible not to have a student population comprised entirely of rich, white kids. If you don't fit the mold, it can make student life hard. The atmosphere is similar to that of an over-priveleged high school.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Diversity: The diversity here isn't as great as it could be. The majority of the population here is caucasian but that isn't a deterrent from finding great people who accept you, no matter their ethnicity/religion or beliefs

3 Recent Alumnus

Diversity: There is not a ton of traditional "diversity" at USD, but students are incredibly diverse when it comes to life experiences. Students are very accepting and welcoming of everyone, regardless of their race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or whatever. Join some sort of organization (club, Greek life, outdoor group, etc.) and you will find a welcoming group of people, ready to accept you with open arms. Most people who don't feel connected, have not done this, and blame the lack of diversity.

4 College Freshman

Diversity: USD is geared toward expanding diversity and has multiple resources for it. It offers support for LGBTQ, different race identifications, different religions, and a Center for Awareness and Service (CASA).


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 92nd
    Most Conservative Schools
  • 1302nd
    Most Liberal Schools
  • 1336th
    Most Open-Minded Schools

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

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

USD is definitely not thought of as a particularly diverse school. Most of the student population is white, Christian, and economically well-off, with only around 25 percent of minority students. However, in recent years, the administration has made serious attempts to increase diversity on campus. Lots of scholarship money is available for qualified minority students. Student Outreach And Recruitment (SOAR) holds a number of recruitment events for minority students and travels around the greater San Diego area in attempt to recruit more minority students.

Although the student population at USD is still very homogeneous, the campus is very laid-back and accepting of all types of minorities. USD tries to make all students feel welcome, regardless of their economic status, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Every fall, Public Affairs, Associated Students, and Torero Program Board sponsor Hate Crimes Awareness Week, where students are given information and can pledge to stand up against hate crimes and help promote acceptance on campus.

Facts & Statistics

African American
Native American
Historically Black College/University?
Tribal College?
Out-of-State Students
Common States of Residence
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Foreign countries
  • Nevada
  • Washington
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 2%
18-19: 31%
20-21: 33%
22-24: 18%
25+: 17%
Female Faculty
Male Faculty
Faculty Diversity
African American: 3%
Asian American: 8%
Hispanic: 7%
International: 4%
Native American: 0%
White: 78%
Unknown: 0%
Gay Pride
There is a significant number of gay students at USD, and PRIDE, a club for LGBTQ students and allies, is considerably active on campus. They hold an annual dance that usually gets a good turnout, as well as bake sales. They also form a team to participate in the AIDS Walk at Balboa Park every October. Students are generally tolerant and supportive.
Political Activity
The University of San Diego is not a very politically active campus. There are clubs for both the left and right wings, but most students lean right. Sometimes political figures will come and speak on campus, but most political activity is low-key. In the fall semester of 2011, in the heat of the Occupy Movement, the most politically active group was made up of faculty members.
Economic Status
Many students are wealthy, but there are a lot of scholarships for students with financial need. Students from different financial backgrounds interact pretty seamlessly.
Most Common Religions
USD is a Catholic school, so there are some very large Catholic and Christian organizations, and Catholic masses are held every day. The Intervarsity Christian Fellowship has a large presence. There are also a lot of students that don't identify as religious.
Minority Clubs on Campus
Although it is a small campus and nearly three-fourths white, USD does have a very active base of minority clubs. The Black Student Union is very active, as is MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán). Other clubs on campus include a Jewish Student Union, an Asian Students Association, and several other groups that emphasize cultural awareness.

Student Polls

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 73 responses

  • 4% Libertarian
  • 16% Not sure
  • 1% Very conservative
  • 22% Conservative
  • 26% Moderate
  • 12% Liberal
  • 18% Progressive/very liberal

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 73 responses

  • 0% Libertarian
  • 3% Very conservative
  • 36% Conservative
  • 34% Moderate
  • 18% Not sure
  • 5% Liberal
  • 4% Progressive/very liberal

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 72 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How diverse is your personal circle of friends in the following areas?    Based on 72 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How accepting is the campus community as a whole toward someone who falls into the minority (ethnic, sexual, or religious)?    Based on 74 responses

  • 3% It's hard to be a minority here.
  • 9% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 49% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 39% Very accepting.
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