University of San Diego - USD
An integral part of the San Diego educational community, the University of San Diego is located two miles north of downtown San Diego in the area of Linda Vista on the north side of Mission Valley. The beautiful Mission and Spanish Renaissance style buildings create an atmosphere of old world charm conducive to reflection and study. The campus includes views of the Pacific, San Diego Harbor, Mission Bay, the Coronado Islands, and La Jolla.
Founded in 1952 as a women’s college—the San Diego College for Women, it joined the male-only San Diego University in 1972 to form the University of San Diego. As a private Catholic university, the university offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in liberal arts, business, education, law, nursing, and health. Though a Catholic University, a secular board of trustees oversees the University's operations. However, the Bishop of San Diego, retains a seat as a permanent member of the board of trustees.
USD has experienced most of its growth since 1998. In that year, Joan B. Kroc, philanthropist and wife of McDonald's owner Ray Kroc, endowed USD with a gift of $75 million for the building of the Institute for Peace & Justice. Other recent gifts from weight-loss guru Jenny Craig and from philanthropist Donald Shiley have led respectively to the Jenny Craig Pavilion, an athletic venue, and the Donald P. Shiley Institute for Science and Technology. The University has a long list of influential alumni still active in the funding and functions of the campus.
The graduate programs at USD are particularly strong. In San Diego, one out of four lawyers are alumni of the USD School of Law. The Philip Y. Hahn School of Nursing & Health Science is among the top ten percent of graduate-level nursing programs in the country according to U.S. News & World Report; and The Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice matriculated its first class in 2002, preparing the way for a new generation of leaders.
The athletic department at USD participates in the West Coast Conference of the NCAA. The football program does not offer scholarships, but competes at Division I-AA in the Pioneer Football League. The men’s basketball program, coached by Brad Holland, has developed into a nationally recognized program, competing each year against ranked schools such as Gonzaga University, also in the West Coast Conference. The Toreros teams garner a lot of press coverage in the San Diego area and the beautiful new Jenny Craig Arena is a popular venue for a night out for basketball.
While USD has just under 5,000 students, it remains one of the big three universities in the San Diego area, along with UCSD and San Diego State University, and has high national recognition as a school emphasizing public service and commitment to excellence.