The Ivy Scholars guide to UCSD’s culture, admissions, and other essential information for prospective students and their families.
Lying just minutes from the beach in Southern California, UCSD was founded with the intention of being a premier research institution, and it continues that lofty tradition today. With a college system based on the Oxford model, UCSD is unique in the UC system, offering a college experience dissimilar to them in culture and traditions, while maintaining a strong academic presence.
US News Rankings:
Average Applicant Pool: 90,000
Average Number of Applicants Accepted: 30,000
Average Number Enrolled: 5,000
Application Systems: Apply California
SAT Scores: 25th% – 1280, 75th% – 1460
ACT Scores: 25th% – 27, 75th% – 33
UCSD does not consider demonstrated interest.
Recommendation Letter Policies:
Letters of recommendation are not required, and UCSD asks that you not submit them.
UCSD Essay Prompts:
Courses of Study:
AP Credit Policies:
Computer Science Options:
Additional Specialty Programs:
Programs for High Schoolers:
School Motto: Let there be light
Mission and Values:
Residential Housing System:
Each of the undergraduate colleges at UCSD has its own residential system, so students in the same college will reside together. First year students live in residence halls, while upperclassmen usually reside in student apartments. UCSD offers two years of guaranteed housing to incoming students.
Campus & Surrounding Area:
Yearly Cost of Attendance:
All students who apply must complete the Free Application for Federal Student AId (FAFSA), to be considered for aid. Most scholarships and aid are based on financial need, although some are merit based. UCSD is unable to provide grants or scholarships for non-California residents.
Additional Financial Aid & Student Loan Information
There are a number of more selective scholarships, open to students who meet certain criteria. Students must fill out a form when applying to determine which of these scholarships they are eligible for. Many students change their residency status to California residents in order to qualify for additional scholarships and aid.