First Impressions: University of San Diego
This year my travels took me to California to visit, among other places, the University of San Diego (USD). This is a mid-sized university, much like Villanova, that also has its own graduate business school and law school while offering undergraduate programs in Business, Engineering and the liberal arts. USD has one of the more beautiful campuses you could ever visit—and it hardly hurts to go to college in a community where so many young people want to live. I’ve gathered some First Impressions and collected some photos to make a Pinterest page.
Like Villanova, USD competes for students versus other mid-sized private universities as well as much larger state schools. Within California virtually every selective state university is big—and many popular majors are “impacted.” Opportunities to be admitted into majors in business, engineering and some science programs are restricted because these schools cannot hire enough faculty to teach the required courses. This is not so at USD, where students are admitted to the university, and not a major. They can put themselves in a position to declare any major in their sophomore year and never have a class with more than 50 students. This, and USD’s location, are extremely powerful selling points.
USD also competes in NCAA Division I sports with enviable success. This was current Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh’s first head coaching stop. He won two conference championships before moving on to Stanford, the 49ers and Michigan. Fifteen Toreros have played Major League Baseball, the best known being reigning National League MVP and World Series champion, Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs.
But USD is a private university where direct charges (tuition and fees, room and board) exceed $62,000 for the coming academic year. It cannot meet the full need for most of its students although admissions are need blind. It’s unlikely that a Californian would pay less to attend USD than a state university in their state. However, non-residents who have a strong transcript and New SAT scores over 1300 might find that USD is the less expensive option. Once a regional school, USD is attracting almost half of its freshman class from outside the Golden State. Take a campus tour and you will see why.
Report Card: University of San Diego
- Four Year/Six Year Graduation Rates: B+/B+
- Freshman Retention: B+
- Costs: B
- Curriculum: A
- Community: A
- Comforts: B
- Connections: B+