University of California, San Diego

UC San Diego is an academic powerhouse and economic engine located along the Pacific Ocean in one of the most beautiful cities in the United States. Recognized as one of the top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report, UC San Diego is ranked number one in the nation for positive impact by Washington Monthly, among many other honors.

The undergraduate college system is unique in the US, modeled after colleges at Oxford and Cambridge Universities in the UK.

Founded in 1960, no other university in the world has achieved so much in half a century. Our location is unparalleled, our impact unmistakable. UC San Diego shapes minds, changes lives, launches industries and builds the future…one student, one discovery and one achievement at a time.

Student demographics

  • Total enrollment:  29,324 — 23,046 undergraduates, 4,529 graduates, 1,749 in medical and pharmacy schools
  • Undergraduate characteristics:
  • Gender: 49.5% male, 50.5% female
  • 90% of undergraduates are from the state of California
  • Undergraduates come from 49 U.S. states and 90 countries/regions.
  • Undergraduate majors by disciplinary area: Arts 3%, Humanities 3.3%, Engineering 20.3%, Science/Math 10.3%, Biology 18.7%, Social Sciences 38.1%, Special/Undeclared 6.3%
  • Ethnicity: African American 1.9%, Asian 44%, Mexican American 12.1%, Filipino 4.4%, Latino/Other Spanish 3.4%, Native American 0.5%, Caucasian 24.2%, Other/Undeclared 9.5%

ESL program and/or support services

  • English Language Institute at UCSD Extension – offers 4-week and 10-week programs separate from the University; programs include pre-university, conversation, business, academic, among others
  • The International Center on campus offers English in Action, a tutoring program
  • Office of Academic Support & Instructional Services (OASIS) offers tutoring and writing programs
  • Numerous opportunities for students to interact with native English speakers in social and academic settings plus special events hosted by the International Center, I-House, internationally themed clubs

Student Housing options


  • Admitted freshmen who meet application deadlines are guaranteed 4 years of on-campus housing in their residential colleges; admitted transfer students who meet the deadlines are guaranteed 2 years of on-campus housing in The Village at Torrey Pines, a complete living community specifically for transfer students.
  • Continuing students (who have been enrolled for one year or more) may apply to live in I-House on campus (approximately 50/50 mix of international students and US students);
  • Summer housing options are available to students who are enrolled full time during the academic year.


  • Apartment living specifically for graduate students is available near the campus.

All students have the option to live off-campus – there are numerous resources to help students with information about rentals, roommates, and transportation.

More information about Housing can be found here.

Application deadlines

  • Undergraduates submit a University of California application online between November 1 and November 30, to apply for the following academic year (beginning in September). There is one application for all the campuses. The application is available on the University of California website beginning October 1 each year.
  • Graduate applications may vary by school.

Admission requirements

To learn about Undergraduate Admission for International Students, please click here.

To see a virtual tour of University of California, San Diego, please click here.

International Student visas issued

Both F1 and J1, depending on individual factors. More information about Student visas can be found here.

Cost of attendance and financial assistance

Click here for undergraduate financial information.

Click here for graduate financial information.

At this time, financial aid is not available for international students.

All costs and budgets published are estimates and subject to change.