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Why Choose UC San Diego?

Because you Belong

There are so many reasons why graduate students decide to enroll at UC San Diego - from world renowned programs to world renowned beaches. We think you belong here and we hope you will decide to make this place your home.

Our Foundation

Unlike other institutions, UC San Diego was established through cutting-edge graduate teaching and research from the beginning, so we could attract the very best scholars. And they came.

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Prominent faculty and top-ranked programs

  • 16 Nobel laureates have taught on campus
  • 163 Memberships held by current and emeriti faculty in National Academy of Sciences (85), National Academy of Engineering (32) and National Academy of Medicine (46).
  • Graduate programs at UC San Diego continue to rank highly as noted in the “America’s Best Graduate Schools” 2021 guidebook, released by U.S. News Media Group, publishers of U.S. News & World Report. More than 20 programs at UC San Diego rank in the top 25 nationwide.
  • In 2020, The Hollywood Reporter ranked UC San Diego’s Department of Theatre and Dance 4th in the nation among drama schools. 
  • Foreign Policy Magazine's 2018 global rankings lauded UC San Diego for its master’s program for policy careers in international relations, ranked 15th best around the world. The campus’s Ph.D. program was named the best among public colleges for students pursuing an academic career in international relations.


  • More than 30 campus structures are equipped with solar panels and three 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 2018 UC San Diego was ranked 1st nationally among “Top 10 Surf Colleges” by Surfer Magazine. Criteria included high academic standards, notable alumni as well as access to high quality surf. UC San Diego’s surf team has won six national championships.
  • 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 currently observing its 50th anniversary with a planned yearlong celebration aimed at recognizing the remarkable legacy of Geisel Library, UC San Diego’s most iconic architectural masterpiece.
  • The San Diego region has more than 1,100 life science companies and more than 80 research institutes, per the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. The life science sector in San Diego, alone, employs more than 42,000 people.

Resources, Innovation, and Impact

  • Fiscal year 2018-19 revenues totaled $5.4 billion; 20% of this total is revenue from contracts and grants, most of which is from the federal government for research.
  • UC San Diego generates more than 400 inventions and 250 patents each year. It also spins off more than 50 companies annually, driving the economic growth of the San Diego region.
  • UC San Diego was named 13th best research university in the nation and 40th best college in the world by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies of Leiden University in their 2020 report that measured scientific impact of universities worldwide.
  • More than 1,000 companies utilize, or have utilized, technology created at UC San Diego
  • UC San Diego received $1.35 billion in sponsored research support for FY2019 (July 1-June 30). The university reached a new milestone for the fourth consecutive year.

Valuing Diversity

By the Numbers

Explore our Campus Profile for the most up-to-date numbers on graduate and professional students.

  • 8,641 Total graduate and professional students
  • 3,648 Doctoral students
  • 3,144 Masters students
  • 907 Clinical residents
  • 796 MD and pharmacy students