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4 College Sophomore

Academics: Courses are challenging, yet rewarding.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: Registration can be stressful but you usually get the classes you want. Most classes have waitlists. Expect to work hard with the average workload professors deal out. Popular study areas are Copley or Law Libraries, La Paloma, Aromas, or just outside. Study abroad is very popular and the norm.

3 College Freshman

Academics: not bad, not too hard, not super easy. overall decent

5 College Sophomore

Academics: Professors are good and easy to talk to.

4 people found this useful Report
1 College Junior

Academics: I wish my major was taken seriously by the institution. There was only 1 advisor this school year and I had no help with choosing my courses or figuring out my plan. My advisor messed up my DARS and also led me down the wrong path. The major on the USD website is also listed wrong, and it is so hard to figure out which classes are need to graduate. I can't believe this school with only 5000 students can't even give us the attention needed so we can succeed. The Deans are of no help and the school has such a hard time finding professors to teach the upper division Behavioral Neuroscience classes, which is nerve racking as a senior trying to get the classes. It's so upsetting because I am so eager to learn about my major and the school makes it difficult because sometimes the professors that they randomly have teach these courses don't know the material enough or do not know how to teach it properly.

7 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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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 117 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • 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.
  • 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.

How often do you:    Based on 68 responses

  • Attend class (lectures and recitation)
  • Do all of your homework
  • Do all of your assigned reading
  • Adequately study
  • Take advantage of office hours/study sessions
  • Take notes

Where did this school rank in your list of potential schools when applying?    Based on 68 responses

  • 22% This was my dream school.
  • 63% This was one of my top choices.
  • 15% This was a school I settled for (safety school).



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