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Academics

Your diverse and innovative interests may not fit into just one major. We offer opportunities that fit you. Check out what’s offered within majors, departments and the colleges.

Undergraduates benefit from working with graduate students in our interdisciplinary programs. In large departments, grad students will be your TAs (teaching assistants) and in smaller departments, you'll be taking classes, researching, and working on projects alongside the masters and PhD candidates.

UC San Diego has earned top international rankings in its 50-year history. The university was built around the idea of superior academics, and we continue to support the growth of academic excellence. For the latest news and updates that showcase the scope of the founders' vision, explore the Academic Affairs website.

Majors and Minors

Research

Taking part in undergraduate research provides not only exposure and insight into desired career paths, but also introduces students to great strides in world-renowned research being made by UCSD grad students, researchers and faculty. Whether in the sciences, humanities or the arts, you can find opportunities for research through the resources below as well as through individual departments and faculty.

Want to do research? Check out our research websites, or find an academic internship in any subject, or customize your own!

Alexander

Alexander Vu

Human Biology

"You don’t have to be a science major; you don’t have to be any particular major. Every single major has some sort of research initiative, and it’s all very exciting, and the school really promotes that sort of environment."

David Artis

David Artis

Dean of Undergraduate Research Initiatives

"Research is a great leveler. If you’ve got a really good idea, it doesn’t much matter that you’re a first-year student, or a first-generation student whose family didn’t go to college. The quality of your work speaks louder than anything else. If you’re a smart student and doing good research, you’re going to get a lot of affirmation and support."

Faculty Voices

Teddy Cruz

Teddy Cruz

Visual Arts

His work in public culture and urbanism along the Tijuana-San Diego border was featured in MoMA New York, which included affordable housing projects to deal with effects of gentrification.

Camille Forbes

Camille Forbes

Literature

Director of the Literature Department’s Undergraduate Studies, she has also performed stand-up comedy acts and a one-woman stage piece “Tales of Suburban Squalor.”

Paul Siegel

Paul Siegel

Engineering

Named a Master Inventor at IBM Research, he is a leading authority on coding for hard disk magnetic recording systems.

María Luisa Zúñiga

María Luisa Zúñiga

Medicine / Global Public Health

As Principal Investigator of the Hispanic Serving Health Professions scholar training program, she specializes in the mentorship of students and residents from underrepresented communities in the US.

Jerry Yang

Jerry Yang

Chemistry & Biochemistry

A Hellman Fellow and an American Cancer Society Research Fellow, he received the California HIV/AIDS IDEA Award in 2011 for his work in Alzheimer’s and reducing HIV infection.

ROTC Programs

U.S. Air Force ROTC Program

The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) is a three- or four-year program designed to equip students with leadership skills and commission officers for tomorrow’s air force. Required course work includes lectures, a leadership laboratory practical component, panel discussions, dialogues, problem solving, and physical training. All course work is completed on-site at or near San Diego State University (SDSU), with the exception of a four-week summer field training encampment conduced on a military base between the student’s second and third year. UC San Diego does not have a ROTC program; however, under the provisions of a special agreement, students may participate in the ROTC program hosted at SDSU. Students may enroll and attend ROTC classes at SDSU by contacting the SDSU Department of Aerospace Studies at (619) 594-5545. Scholarships may be available for qualified cadets. The credits in these classes may be transferred as electives to meet degree requirements. Upon successful completion of the program and all requirements of a bachelor’s degree, cadets are commissioned as second lieutenants and serve a minimum of four years in the active duty air force.

NROTC

The Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps San Diego was established at the University of San Diego and San Diego State University in the summer 1982. Since then, cross-town enrollment agreements with Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU), Cal State University San Marcos (CSUSM), and the University of California San Diego (UCSD) were also established. The Battalion has grown from an initial cadre of 28 to its current strength of 151 students. This includes Midshipmen, active duty Marines participating in the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program (MECEP), and active duty sailors who have been selected for the Seaman to Admiral 21 (STA-21) Officer Candidate program.

The mission of NROTC San Diego is to develop Battalion members morally, mentally and physically while imbuing them with the highest ideals of duty, honor, and loyalty. College graduates commission as Ensigns in the Navy or Second Lieutenants in the Marine Corps; they have potential for future development in mind and character to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship, and government.

The proximity of NROTC San Diego to Navy and Marine Corps facilities makes NROTC San Diego a popular choice for those seeking a commission.

The NROTC Unit is headquartered at USD, which hosts the weekly drill periods, and has offices at SDSU. Naval Science courses are offered at both campuses.

Please visit the following links for more information:
http://www.sandiego.edu/nrotc/
http://www.nrotc.navy.mil/

Research

Resources

Spotlight on Faculty

Dr. Shu Chien

Shu Chien, Ph.D Founding Chair of Bioengineering department

  • 2011 ceremony at the White House:
  • Received National Medal of Science
  • Recognized for contributions in cardiovascular molecular bioengineering
  • Born in Beijing, raised in Shanghai
  • Visit Dr. Chien's lab