The University of San Diego was founded on a 180-acre campus in 1949 by the Reverend Mother Rosalie Hill and Bishop Charles Francis Buddy, sponsored by the Diocese of San Diego. It began as separate colleges for men and women, with classes meeting for the first time in 1952. In 1954, the School of Law opened and in 1972, the Colleges for Men and Women and the School of Law joined to become the University of San Diego, a single, co-educational private Catholic university. Now governed by an independent board of trustees, USD welcomes students, faculty and staff of diverse religious traditions and remains dedicated to the values originally articulated by Mother Hill and Bishop Buddy.
The University of San Diego is a Roman Catholic institution committed to advancing academic excellence, expanding liberal and professional knowledge, creating a diverse and inclusive community, and preparing leaders dedicated to ethical conduct and compassionate service.
USD provides a values-based education that stresses the importance of individual responsibility within the community and the workplace. Global social innovation has become a focus of the student experience. Current enrollment (2011-2012) totals 8,200 with students choosing from 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Approximately 2/3 of the students are undergraduate; the remaining are graduate students. The academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences and the Schools of Business Administration, Leadership and Education Sciences, Law, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Peace Studies.
USD was selected in 2011 to become one of Ashoka U’s “changemaker campuses” focused on producing graduates prepared to make a difference through sustainable social change initiatives. USD is one of ten campuses worldwide to receive this designation. The selection was based on the number of students actively involved in community service, the philosophy of USD of leadership development for social change, and the commitment of students, faculty, and management to focus on applying academic research and intellect toward the solution of local and global social problems.
USD’s student athletes are known for outstanding sports achievements, along with a high graduation rate. The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is educating its student-athletes while building leadership and teamwork qualities and a reputation as winners on and off the field of play. USD Toreros have repeatedly earned the right to compete in NCAA tournaments. The University of San Diego captured the 2011-12 West Coast Conference Commissioner's Cup, awarded to the WCC institution garnering the most success during conference play. San Diego is the first West Coast Conference school to win the Commissioner's Cup five times - let alone five straight years.