University of California, San Diego

California, United States

Ranked among top 20 universities in US

About University of California, San Diego

The University of California, San Diego is a public research university founded in 1960 in the La Jolla neighbourhood of San Diego. Students should know that it’s not easy to get in UCSD. Students aim for this university primarily for two reasons:

  1. California
  2. Public University (read ‘low tuition fee’)

It ranks #17 according to U.S. News' 'Best Global Universities Ranking' list.

UCSD's School of Engineering


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Engineering graduate courses offered at UCSD

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UCSD, contrary to what the name might suggest, is not located in the centre of San Diego, but LA Jolla is a short drive from Downtown San Diego which is a good place to hang around. It’s around 26 miles from Tijuana, Mexico and within 100 miles of Los Angeles and Long Beach.


UCSD is built over 1200 acres and has a very modern architecture compared to most of the universities, perhaps because it’s one of the ‘newer’ universities. All the buildings are state of the art with all kinds of modern equipments in place. There are 6 main libraries in the campus and also a well equipped bar and coffee shop on the campus.

Residing Options

Most Graduate students tend to stay off campus, and although there are plenty of nice options available, not all are very affordable. The neighbourhood of La Jolla itself is nice, clean and convenient, and it’s pretty close to the beach. The rent here is roughly $ 600 per person per month (provided you believe in sharing). Some students also choose to live in the nearby cities of Pacific beach, Claremont, University City and Mira Mesa. Rents may be slightly cheaper in these areas but students often complain about the commute.


The climate of San Diego is classified as semi arid or Mediterranean, which in a nutshell means that it’s pretty pleasant. Fortunately, the climate is moderate and the temperatures don’t fluctuate too much. Average monthly temperature ranges from 14 degree C to 23 degree C. UCSD doesn’t experience rainfall and snowfall. You will often see students wearing shorts and hoods or t-shirts.

Faculty and pedagogy

Although students sometimes complain that some professors are more bothered about their own research than teaching, their quality can certainly not be doubted. It is said that more often than not professors are helpful and are willing to go out of their way to help students.

Financial aid

It’s difficult to get a financial aid, but because it’s a public research university, hence the fee is pretty much affordable. Moreover, since the university selects students of great profiles, you need to have some amazing achievements in your profile to get some kind of scholarship.

Jobs and placements

UCSD has good placements overall, but you should bear in mind that you’ll always be competing against a number of (perhaps more deserving) students for the same job. Make sure you make the best of your time at UCSD, both academically and otherwise, so that you have something to show for yourself once companies come knocking at the university door.


  • David E. Shaw - Founder of D.E.Shaw & Co.
  • Bill Atkinson - Co-developer of the Macintosh computer
  • Jason Snell - Editorial director of Mac Publishing and editor of Macworld


While the University of California certainly has better institutes, UCSD is by no means the least of them. Excellent institute, and placements to match.

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