Welcome to UC San Diego

a guide to understanding the college system
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How the college system works

What is the UC San Diego College System?

The College system at UC San Diego is a unique university structure that personalizes the delivery of services to undergraduate students. The Colleges are residential neighborhoods on campus with their own residence facilities, staff, traditions and general education requirements. Every UC San Diego undergraduate is assigned to one of six colleges when they are admitted to UC San Diego.

Furthermore, College assignments are NOT based on major. Students may select from the full range of available majors regardless of College assignment.

Why does UC San Diego have the College System?

UC San Diego designed the College system to remove the anonymity and/or intimidation that can occur at a large, prestigious university. Our campus typically has an incoming class of about 7,200 students. The College system divides these students into six, smaller communities of a little more than 1,200.

This allows students to receive individualized advising and support services, and to enjoy the close-knit community of a small, liberal arts college with access to all the advantages of a large Tier 1 research university: internationally renowned faculty; undergraduate research opportunities; academic and professional internships; and state-of-the-art facilities, laboratories, libraries and amenities. At UCSD, you have the best of both worlds!

Why am I asked to rank the Colleges on my UC Application?

When we ask you to “rank” the Colleges, we are asking you to state your preference for College assignment, should you be offered admission to the University. Your rankings will not affect our evaluation of your application for admission--you are not applying to the Colleges, you are applying to the University. If you are offered admission, the Admissions Office will consider your rankings when assigning you to a College.

How do I decide to rank the Colleges on my UC Application?

We suggest you review the brief descriptions below of each colleges’ educational philosophy and General Education (GE) structure to see which fit best with your interests and goals. Read each statement and then rank the colleges 1 to 6 with the ranking of 1 being most like and 6 being least like your own educational philosophy and interests.

  • Revelle provides a defined formula for your success as a well-rounded scholar through a highly structured set of courses from many academic disciplines inside and outside of your major.

  • Muir advocates individual choice so you take an active role in shaping your education, selecting your four, year-long GE sequences from a broad list of academic disciplines.

  • Marshall directs your development as a scholar and citizen through courses designed to raise awareness and understanding of the diversity of cultures that comprise contemporary American society.

  • Warren produces a life in balance through Programs of Concentration you take outside of your major to provide you with a well-rounded education.

  • Roosevelt focuses on your development as a global citizen through courses that build your awareness and understanding of various histories, customs, ideas, problems and aspirations of peoples around the world.

  • Sixth concentrates on your development of ethical integrity, creativity, self-understanding, critical reasoning and appreciation of the powers and implications of science and technology.

UC san Diego’s six colleges

visit each college to find out more

What's Next?

You may have a lot of questions about the colleges. That's ok. Use the tools below to get more info and learn more about each College.