Here we talk about the best colleges in San Diego, life in San Diego, Cost of living and lot more to the educational system in San Diego.
San Diego has some of the country’s top beaches and more than 260 days of sunlight each year. San Diego is home to nearly 20 universities and colleges, including some of the top in the state and country.
Some of these schools boast some of the country’s greatest research facilities, while others have stellar reputations in subjects such as business administration, engineering, public health, and the arts. Students with a variety of career goals might discover a degree program that suits them at one of San Diego’s premier institutions.
10 Best Colleges In San Diego 2024
Why should you study in San Diego?
Lets take a moment here to note more reasons to study in San Diego, as we continue to the list of best colleges in San Diego.
Within San Diego’s 4,200 square miles as California’s second-largest city, students will find a wealth of activities, attractions, and cultural diversity. Two of the most well-known neighborhoods are La Jolla, with its lovely coastal surroundings, and Coronado, which may be reached by ferry, water taxi, or a two-mile-long bridge.
Some of the most popular colleges are located in La Jolla, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos, and Santee.
1. Educational Opportunities
The four-year universities in San Diego each have something special to offer. The University of California, San Diego, is one of the country’s best research universities, and its collegiate campus is ideally positioned near the seaside. San Diego State University was named the 23rd most entrepreneurial university by Forbes.
San Diego’s major industries include aerospace and defense, clean technology, tourism, healthcare, cybersecurity, and manufacturing. San Diego has one of the highest concentrations of military assets in the world, with one out of every five residents employed by the military. Other notable San Diego employers include UC San Diego, Sharp Healthcare, and Qualcomm.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), San Diego’s unemployment rate is 6.6 percent, with average weekly wages of $1,430.
3. Cost of Living
According to PayScale, San Diego’s cost of living is 44 percent more than the national average. Housing costs are much higher than the national average, at 136 percent, and transportation costs are 29 percent higher. Average prices include a $817,184 median home price, a $2,560 median rent, and $3.76 for a loaf of bread.
Of course, coastal communities, like most cities, have higher costs, but inland communities have lower housing and lifestyle costs.
Employment Prospects in San Diego
It is quite advised to know the employment prospect here before we to list down all the top best colleges in San Diego.
The Employment Development Department forecasts 569,200 job openings between 2014 and 2024, with professional and business services taking the lead, followed by educational services, healthcare, social assistance, and leisure and hospitality.
San Diego is also one of the best places in California to look for IT jobs, second only to San Jose, Silicon Valley’s core. Qualcomm, Northrop Grumman, and Booz Allen Hamilton are just a few of the prominent tech companies in the area.
The average hourly wage in San Diego was $30.91 in May 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which was nearly 14% more than the national average. San Diego is also known for its venture capital industry, which has produced some of the country’s fastest-growing companies.
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10 Best Colleges In San Diego 2024
1. University of San Diego
University of San Diego is the first in our list of best colleges in San Diego. The University of San Diego is a private Catholic liberal arts university in San Diego, California. The university offers 42 bachelor’s degree programs, several of which can be customized by students.
Students can earn a BA or BS in a variety of subjects, including English, behavioral neuroscience, sociology, and engineering.
A bachelor’s degree in business administration is also available, with six majors to choose from, including finance and marketing. The liberal studies BA degree provides a broad education with 12 concentration options.
Students can enroll in unique graduate programs such as the MA in peace and justice. USD offers a BSN-to-Ph.D. curriculum, making it one of San Diego’s best nursing schools. USD offers online master’s degrees in applied data science and applied artificial intelligence.
For their first and second years, undergraduate students at USD must live on campus. Undergraduate tuition is $52,120 per year. Graduate students pay between $925 to $1,620 per credit. Candidates in their first year must attend college preparation courses and may submit their SAT or ACT scores.
USD has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission.
Location: San Diego, CA
2. University of California-San Diego
This is the second in our list of best colleges in San Diego. UC San Diego is widely recognized as one of the best universities in the city. Students attend classes at a main campus that is immediately across the street from the Pacific Ocean.
The institution offers undergraduate majors in the arts and sciences, as well as excellent public health, psychology, and political science programs with a range of specializations.
The engineering school at UC San Diego provides a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with five concentrations. Graduate students can pursue master’s degrees in bioengineering, economics, physics, and education studies. With medical and pharmacy schools, UC San Diego is one of the greatest colleges in San Diego.
Undergraduate tuition is approximately $14,700 per year. Non-residents pay an additional $29,800 in tuition. Graduate students pay roughly $17,500 per year, plus an additional $15,100 if they are not residents.
Candidates in their first year must complete college-level coursework but are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores. The Senior Colleges and Universities Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges has granted UC San Diego regional accreditation.
Location: La Jolla, CA
3. San Diego State University
SDSU, Is the third of the top best colleges in San Diego. It was founded in 1897, now has approximately 36,000 students and offers bachelor’s degrees in 97 subjects. Many majors are available, including astronomy, child development, financial services, and sports training. There’s also a BSBA in accounting, finance, or management.
SDSU Global offers online degree completion programs in a variety of fields, including business, education, healthcare, and fitness. SDSU is also one of the best universities in San Diego for graduate students. Master’s degrees are available in 84 different subjects at the university.
California residents pay $8,140 per year for traditional undergraduate programs. Non-residents are need to pay an additional $11,880. Graduate students in California pay $9,570 per year, plus an additional $7,130 for nonresidents.
Candidates for first-year admission must have completed college preparatory courses with a grade of C- or above. SDSU has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission.
San Diego, California
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4. Point Loma Nazarene University
Here is the Point Loma Nazarene University as the fourth in our list of best colleges in San Diego. For a faith-based liberal arts education, PLNU is a good choice. In the humanities, sciences, and social sciences, the university offers 60 programs. A 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio supports personalized learning and mentorship.
Finance, biology, chemistry, multimedia journalism, and kinesiology are just a few of the topics available to undergraduates. PLNU offers an excellent pre-professional program that encompasses optometry and medicine.
Nontraditional students might earn a degree at satellite campuses or online. The school offers a BBA, RN-to-BSN, and BA in organizational leadership degree completion program that is totally online. For working graduate students, PLNU offers part-time, evening, and online degrees.
Undergraduates at PLNU pay $38,800 per year in tuition. Tuition for graduate school ranges from $320 to $1,160 per unit. For undergraduate candidates, standardized test scores are not necessary. The Senior Colleges and Universities Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges has granted PLNU regional accreditation.
Location: San Diego, CA
5. California State University-San Marcos
This is the fourth in our list of best colleges in San Diego. CSUSM is 35 kilometers from the city of San Diego. The school has roughly 16,000 students on campuses in San Marcos and Temecula. CSUSM has 43 bachelor’s degree programs and 24 master’s degree programs to choose from.
CSUSM offers bachelor’s degrees in a variety of subjects, including business, STEM fields, modern languages, and sociology. The college also offers students to construct their individual curriculum with the “special major” BA.
The university also manages extensive undergraduate and graduate nursing and teacher education programs.
CSUSM offers MBA, MPH, MSW, and master of biotechnology degrees, making it one of San Diego’s best graduate institutions.
California citizens pay roughly $5,740 for seven or more units, while nonresidents pay $15,240. In-tuition for resident graduate students taking 7 or more units is $7,180. Non-residents are charged an additional $16,680.
Undergraduate candidates must finish college preparation courses and maintain a grade point average of C or above. CSUSM has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission.
Location: San Marcos, CA
6. John Paul The Great Catholic University
Another top of the best colleges in San Diego is the John Paul The Great Catholic University.
JPCatholic focuses on creative arts activities and is named after Pope John Paul II. The college only accepts about 300 undergraduates each year.
JPCatholic’s three-degree programs feature a core curriculum as well as project-based learning. Students at JPCatholic complete their degrees in three calendar years rather of the traditional four.
A bachelor’s degree in communications media, a bachelor’s degree in humanities, or a bachelor’s degree in business are available to students. JPCatholic, one of San Diego’s top art schools, specializes on illustration and graphic design. Students can also pursue animation and game development specializations. In a variety of filmmaking professions, students can get expertise and build portfolios.
Those interested in the business side of the arts, for example, might concentrate on marketing and advertising. Students pay $36,000 in tuition each year. A minimum GPA of 2.6 is required, but no SAT, ACT, or CLT scores are necessary.
JPCatholic has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission.
Location: Escondido, CA
7. Thomas Jefferson School of Law
This is Thomas Jefferson School of Law, it is always regarded as the seventh top best colleges in San Diego.
Thomas Jefferson offers studies in 10 academic subjects, including law, business, and government. On campus, Thomas Jefferson University offers a JD, an LL.M., and an LL.M. in practice skills, making it one of San Diego’s best law schools. Students can receive an LL.M., JSD, or M.S.L. by studying online.
Students can choose from a variety of specializations, including family, criminal, and intellectual property law. Volunteering and performing other chores in the school’s community are other good ways for students to obtain practical experience. Online graduate programs cost $1,620 each unit, and on-campus graduate programs cost $1,110-$1,340 per unit.
Admission to the LL.M. programs requires a J.D. degree. The M.S.L. program requires a bachelor’s degree in business. To be eligible for the JD program, applicants must have at least an associate degree and submit LSAT scores. Thomas Jefferson has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission.
Location: San Diego, CA
8. California Western School of Law
Here comes the eight in our list of best colleges in San Diego. Founded in 1924, the CSWL is San Diego’s oldest law school. Students study in the political and legal heart of San Diego. Around 650 students are enrolled in the university’s JD programs to prepare for the bar exam. The College of Social Work and Law offers four degrees: a JD, a JD/MBA, a JD/MSW, and an LL.M. in Spanish.
The first year of the JD program covers criminal law, civil process, and legal skills. Upperclassmen study constitutional law, evidence, and the criminal justice system, among other subjects. Topics such as entertainment and sports law are among the electives available. CSWL is one of San Diego’s top hands-on learning colleges. Students must complete clinical externships, clinics, and simulation courses.
In-tuition for the JD program is $28,040 each trimester. A bachelor’s degree and LSAT scores are required for admission to JD programs. The Senior Colleges and Universities Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges has granted CSWL regional accreditation.
Location: San Diego, CA
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9. San Diego Christian College
At the ninth list of the top best colleges in San Diego we have the San Diego Christian College.
In Santee, SDCC offers both on-campus and online programs. Bachelor’s degree programs on campus include biblical studies, business administration, and communication. The flying school at SDCC, which is less than a mile from campus, prepares future pilots for careers in missionary and commercial aviation.
SDCC offers a BS in business administration and a BA in psychology as online majors.
The liberal studies associate’s degree can also be utilized to begin a student’s education. With this online degree, nontraditional students can explore career options and progress to a bachelor’s degree program at SDCC.
SDCC, one of San Diego County’s top universities, offers two graduate programs: a master’s degree in leadership and a master’s degree in education. Undergraduate residential tuition is $24,500 per year, while online tuition is over $400 per unit. Graduate school costs $605 per credit hour.
Standardized exam scores are required for applicants with fewer than 24 college units. SDCC has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission.
Location: Santee, CA
10. National University
The National University at San Diego makes up our list of the top best colleges in San Diego. Despite the fact that NU has campuses all around California, its headquarters are in San Diego. The school creates programs specifically for out-of-the-box thinkers. Students can choose from 75 different degrees, many of which are offered online, and study for up to four weeks at a time.
NU’s associate and bachelor’s degree programs provide a liberal arts education. Majors include general studies, biology, psychology, and interdisciplinary studies.
A BS in healthcare administration, allied health administration, or criminal justice administration may be pursued by those seeking a more career-oriented degree. The nursing program offers RN-to-BSN and RN-to-MSN degrees. NU also offers a complete teacher education bachelor’s and master’s degree program.
Each quarter unit costs $370 for undergraduates at one of San Diego’s most cost-effective colleges. Each quarter unit costs between $442 and 760 dollars for graduate students. First-year students must submit ACCUPLACER scores and have a minimum GPA of 2.0 to ensure that any previous credits are transferable. NU has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission.
Location: La Jolla, CA
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