Prominent faculty and top-ranked programs

  • 16 Nobel laureates have taught on campus
  • 161 memberships are held by current and emeriti faculty, including Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla, in one or more of the three prestigious National Academies; the National Academy of Sciences (84), National Academy of Engineering (27) and Institute of Medicine (50).
  • Graduate programs at UC San Diego continue to rank highly as noted in the “America’s Best Graduate Schools” guidebook, released by U.S. News Media Group, publishers of U.S. News & World Report. More than 25 programs at UC San Diego rank in the top 25 nationwide.
  • In 2016, The Hollywood Reporter ranked UC San Diego’s Department of Theatre and Dance 5th in the nation among drama schools with an MFA program. The program also ranked 6th in the world.
  • Foreign Policy Magazine's 2015 rankings named UC San Diego's undergraduate international relations program and master's program for policy careers in international relations 13th best in the world.


  • More than 30 campus structures are equipped with solar panels and more than a dozen buildings are LEED certified; wireless sensors are situated across campus to determine the best time to gain and expend energy; and more than half of the campus community utilizes alternative transportation.
  • In 2015 UC San Diego was ranked 2nd nationally among “Top Academic Surf Schools” and “Core Surf Schools” by The Inertia, a website that focuses on surfing news and lifestyle.
  • UC San Diego’s Geisel Library is the world’s largest repository of the original work of Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), holding more than 10,000 original drawings, sketches, books and other memorabilia. The UC San Diego Library is recognized as a leader in digitization and digital preservation, and is collaborating with the Library of Congress and other partners in developing best practices for large-scale digital preservation.
  • The San Diego region boasts more than 1,100 life science companies and more than 80 research institutes. In 2014, the life science companies employed more than 34,000 in direct life sciences employment.

Student Achievements

  • UC San Diego was ranked 8th in the nation among doctoral institutions for the number of students who study abroad for a full academic year, by the Institute of International Education (IIE) Open Doors 2013 report.
  • In 2013-14, almost 500 doctoral degrees were awarded, and 89% of doctoral degree recipients were employed or engaged in further study within one year of graduating. Of those, 86% remained in the United States, and 37% were employed by or furthered their education at UC San Diego.
  • In 2016, the Graduate Division sponsored the third annual Grad SLAM, a competitive speaking event to showcase graduate student research and its impact. This year’s winners were from Biomedical Sciences, Theatre and Dance, and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
  • Boren Fellowships for 2014-2015 were awarded to four graduate students at the School of Global Policy and Strategy, while the Fulbright program selected seven graduate students from UC San Diego for its 2014-2015 cohort.

Resources, Innovation, and Impact

  • Fiscal year 2014-15 revenues totaled $4.3 billion; 22 percent of this total is revenue from contracts and grants, most of which is from the federal government for research.
  • UC San Diego generated 62 patents in 2014 and was top among all UCs in terms of total active inventions (3,009), total active U.S. patents (859) and total active foreign patents (886).
  • UC San Diego was named 16th best research university in the world by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies of Leiden University’s 2015 list that measured scientific impact of universities worldwide.
  • UC San Diego ranks 6th in the nation and 13th in the world for total research output by the journal Nature in their 2014 index. The University also currently ranks 5th in total research and development expenditures by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
  • The San Diego Supercomputer Center at UCSD is home to Gordon, one of the fastest supercomputers in the world, with 4 petabytes of disk storage, 64 terabytes of random access memory, and 300 terabytes of flash memory. Gordon has the ability to tackle the most vexing data-intensive challenges, from mapping genomes to crating ultra-detailed simulations of earthquakes.

Valuing Diversity

  • The UC-HBCU Initiative seeks to improve the representation of African Americans in UC graduate programs, particularly Ph.D. programs, by investing in relationships and efforts between UC faculty and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The UC San Diego Howard Partnership for Graduate Success is one of the existing programs and first hosted students in summer 2013.
  • The Bouchet Society at UC San Diego seeks to develop a network of preeminent scholars who exemplify academic and personal excellence, foster environments of support and serve as examples of scholarship, leadership, character, service and advocacy for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the academy. In the spirit of Bouchet’s commitment to these pursuits both within and without the academic realm, inductees into the honor society bearing his name should also exhibit these qualities.
  • UC San Diego is a diverse and supportive community. The Campus Community Centers - Black Resource Center, the Cross-Cultural Center, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center, the Raza Resource Centro, and the Women’s Center – are open to all members for the UC San Diego Community. By understanding and appreciating our diverse histories and experiences, we have found the common connections that bring us together to create strong communities.
  • UC San Diego has been named 9th among the top 23 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Questioning (LGBTQ) friendly universities in the nation, according to a new 2015-16 report by Affordable Colleges Online.
  • Graduate students come from all over the world to study at UC San Diego and represent 79 countries. Additionally, graduate students come from all over the United States and represent 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.