thurgood marshall college

The student as scholar and citizen
Thurgood Marshall College guides students of all majors and all interests to become highly engaged citizens committed to a better society.

About Marshall College

Thurgood Marshall College, formerly known as Third College, was founded in 1970 in a fervent period of robust, social change in the United States and the world. From its beginning, the college has enriched the lives of students with a powerful commitment to the development of scholars as both professionals and engaged citizens. In 1993, the college was named in honor of former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Justice Marshall is well known for his profound dedication to educational opportunity for all, civil rights, freedom of speech, women’s rights, and the constitutional right to privacy. The college maintains cordial ties with the Marshall family based in Virginia.

marshall college

What distinguishes Marshall College?

General Education Requirements

General education courses introduce students to the founding principles of the college, provide a broad humanities, social science, and science background, and provide students with the skills necessary to pursue any departmental or interdisciplinary major.

full requirements info

Living at Marshall College

Housing and neighborhood

First-year residents live in residence halls equipped with cable TV and high-speed internet. Residence halls house students in suites that vary of triple, single, and mini-double rooms surrounding a spacious common area with a living room, large bathroom, and a patio. First-year students may also overflow to a few Marshall apartments.

Living on-campus is an exciting, dynamic part of your Marshall College experience.  At Marshall you’ll become a unique member of a diverse community, meeting students from all walks of life while building quality lifelong relationships.  Marshall’s Residential Life staff, including 20 Resident Assistants (RAs), is committed to a fun, positive, living-learning community. The RAs plan a variety of activities ranging from a community garden to “Unplugged,” a coffee-house performance venue. We encourage our students to become active, engaged community members.  Situated on the western most edge of campus, we are close to the ocean and Ocean View Terrace will be your impressive “home away from home” dining facility, slated to be open, with new renovations, in Fall, 2016.

housing profile
incoming student info

restaurant and market

Restaurant: OceanView
Newly renovated OceanView features stone hearth pizzas, salads, fresh baked desserts, Halal-friendly and Certified Kosher options, as well as, a 24/7 coffee and gelato bar.

 Market(s): Goody's Market


Did you know that your Dining Plan allows you to spend Dining Dollars at any UC San Diego Dining Services restaurant or market on campus? Each College offers great dining options, but you are not restricted from eating at locations not in your College neighborhood.


fall quarter

  • Welcome Week
  • Family Weekend
  • Thurgood Marshall Week
  • Marshallpalooza

Winter quarter

  • MLK Jr. Day Parade and
    Day of Service
  • Spirit Night
  • Black History Month
  • Semi-Formal

spring quarter

  • Cultural Celebration
  • Marhsall College Night
  • Senior Week
  • Scholar & Citizen Reception (for graduating students)
  • Student Leadership Recognition


  • Unplugged
  • Marshall Speaker Series
  • ThurGOOD Reads
  • Pizza with the Provost
  • Dine with the Dean of Student Affairs
  • Coffee/Dine with a Prof

College traditions are special events that connect students to significant milestones.  We hope Marshall’s one-of-a-kind line-up will become part of your student experience!

more traditions

Learn more about Marshall College

Get the answer to commonly asked questions about Thurgood Marshall College


Does the freshmen writing program, Dimensions of Culture (DOC), teach students to write the perfect five paragraph college essay?


Dimensions of Culture (DOC) is designed to encourage students to think critically on a variety of social and philosophical problems AND to become better writers.


Is it true that Marshall College is full of students who care about social justice?


Inspired by Marshall’s founding and namesake, many Marshall students care about creating a more inclusive, equitable, and just society. However, like all of the six colleges at UC San Diego, we are a diverse community and students explore and hold many beliefs. We actively encourage this diversity. As a result, students engage in many academic and co-curricular interests and engage in a variety of programs across the University.


Marshall College is situated near the Sociology and Economics buildings, so do most students major in those subjects?


Marshall College students hold majors in all fields offered at UC San Diego. Marshall has a high number of STEM majors, because Pre-Med or engineer students recognize the value of social equity and justice in these fields. We also have students who major in the Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.  Our goal is to create scholars and citizens in every profession, with the hope and expectation that students will work towards the betterment of their world.


Are the General Education requirements student-friendly and help Time to Degree?


Yes! Marshall College General Education requirements are student-friendly; it is easy and possible to graduate from UC San Diego at Marshall College in four years, if you’re a first-year student, or two years, as a transfer. We have excellent college advisors who will help keep you on track and focused on your academic and career goals.