John Muir college

celebrating the independent spirit
Muir is known for its welcoming, supportive community;  and hosting organizations and activities.  Muir students are recognized for their individuality & Independent Spirit.

About Muir College

UC San Diego’s second college, John Muir College, admitted its first students in 1967. The remarkable life of the college's namesake, the nineteenth-century nature writer and founder of the Sierra Club, continues to inspire and inform the college’s vision and core values. An inventor, businessman, and environmentalist, John Muir was a risk-taker and a remarkable person who forged his own path.

Hence, the college’s motto, “Celebrating the Independent Spirit,” expresses our wish that all our students lead varied, successful, committed, and self-directed lives. In this spirit, the college’s GE requirements offer students from every major maximum freedom to choose courses that meet individual goals and interests within a framework that insures breadth and depth of knowledge across three major disciplinary areas.

john muir college

Why Choose Muir?

General Education Requirements

Muir College's philosophy is that students benefit most when allowed maximum freedom to choose courses meaningful to them within a program that includes both breadth and depth across different fields of inquiry in the sciences, social sciences, arts, humanities, and foreign languages. The flexible GEs make it possible for students to double major, pursue one or more minors, and take advantage of programs such as education abroad while still graduating within four years.

full requirements info

Living at Muir College

the Muir Neighborhood

Living on campus at Muir College provides students with memories they’ll treasure for a lifetime. Our residence halls provide much more than just a place to study, sleep, and eat. The college’s friendly, knowledgeable staff, in partnership with Muir’s student House Advisors, create a safe, welcoming, and learning environment, as well as assist and facilitate students’ personal growth outside the classroom. You will notice, we avoid using the term ‘dorms’; it simply does not capture the dynamic excitement of our facilities, Tenaya and Tioga Halls and the Tuolumne and Tamarack Apartments. Our residential program is unique and highly engages our residents in entertaining, educational, and fun programs throughout the year.

Muir College has four residential units: two residence halls and two apartments buildings. The residence halls, Tioga and Tenaya, hold most of our first-year students, while our apartments, Tuolumne and Tamarack, hold the second, third, and fourth year students.

housing profile
incoming student info

dining and more

Restaurant: Pines
Located in the heart of Muir College, Pines restaurant offers a vast array of freshly-made cuisine to satisfy all tastes for students who are on the move to and from class. Take your meals to go or stay, relax and dine at Pines. We offer plenty of seating within our spacious dining room or on one of our six exterior balconies or patios overlooking the Muir campus.

Coffee House: Muir Woods
Bringing the quintessential coffee shop experience to UC San Diego, Muir Woods is the energetic heart of campus. A focus on product and people drives Muir Woods to be a university favorite; drawing customers from across campus for the best coffee. Muir Woods carries fair-trade, organic coffee from a San Diego roaster (Café Virtuoso), premium tea (Tea Gallerie), and fresh local pastries (Baked in the Sun) all at prices everyone can love. The catalysts of this magic are the baristas (Muiristas) capable of carrying on scintillating conversations while they craft beverages and make sure you get to class on time.

Restaurant: Roots
UC San Diego’s first vegan restaurant, Roots represents the school’s efforts to accommodate the university’s vegan community while promoting healthy eating habits. Located beside Muir Woods, Roots offers standard vegan fare, such as salads and soups, as well as heartier items, including a faux-chicken barbecue sandwich and a baked potato topped with vegan cheese. Like all campus restaurants, Roots accepts the university’s Dining Dollars, and can be integrated into students’ meal plans.

pines menu

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

  • Halloween Carnival
  • Pumpkin Drop

Winter quarter

  • Spirit Night
  • MLK Day & Parade

spring quarter

  • Muirstock
  • John Muir Week
  • The Muir Musical

The wonderful, close-knit community at Muir College is directly linked to the high level of student initiation of and involvement with a wide range of activities and events throughout the year. Whether it be a whale watching trip, playing croquet, attending a casino night, writing an article for our own student-run newspaper, or performing in the Muir Musical we are certain there is an organization or activity for everyone!

more info

Muir FAQ

Get the answer to commonly asked questions about John Muir College


What makes Muir special?


Several factors make Muir a special place to study, live, and develop. Our flexible general education requirements allows students to follow their interests, explore new fields, and take their education into their own hands. Muir also has a deep culture of student involvement – our numerous student organizations and varied leadership opportunities provide co-curricular activities that emphasize the whole student. Finally, Muir has a dedicated staff – in advising, student affairs, and residential life – that is committed to give students the best possible college experience.


What is M.O.M. and P.O.P.?


Muir is the only college with its own College Center. This serves as a focal point for resident and non-resident students. It serves as a mini student union, complete with the Muir Woods Coffeehouse, the sundry store, a help desk, and ample study space. The help desk provides information, promotes college and university events, dispenses tickets, etc. – this is known as ‘Middle of Muir’ (M.O.M.). The sundry store is called ‘Purveyor of Products’ (P.O.P.) – MOM and POP, you’re never far from home!

Various upgrades to the College Center has created a unique performance space which hosts a variety of events – always free to the Muir community and beyond.


What are some of the student leadership opportunities offered at Muir?


Student leaders are an integral part of the Muir College enterprise. From leadership roles in our over 30 student organizations (e.g., Muir Eventual Doctors, Muir Environmental Corps, Muir Volunteer Program), the Muir Musical, Muir College Council, to Orientation Leaders, Housing Advisors, and Student Interns, Muir trains over 200 leaders in both volunteer and compensated student leadership positions. These positions foster and promote an appreciation of the environment, the development of interpersonal and leadership skills, intellectual growth, and active community responsibility and engagement.