Choosing a college is a pivotal decision for any incoming university student. At the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), this decision takes an interesting twist due to the unique college system in place. The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) has eight residential colleges, each with its own unique character and traditions. When applying to UCSD, students are asked to rank the colleges in order of preference. Deciding how to order your UCSD college preferences can be a challenging yet exciting task.
UC San Diego’s small colleges help you thrive in a welcoming community. Students have access to personalized advising, support services, and leadership opportunities through their college while enjoying the advantages of a large Tier 1 research institution. Each college has its own philosophy and traditions, as well as its own General Education requirements.
The College to which you are assigned has no impact on your major. College assignment is not based on major. Students may study any major regardless of their college affiliation.
Here are a few things students should keep in mind when ranking the UCSD colleges:
- Academic interests: Some colleges are known for their focus on specific academic disciplines. For example, Revelle College is known for its focus on the natural sciences and humanities, while Sixth College is known for its focus on interdisciplinary learning. Students should consider their academic interests when ranking the colleges.
- Extracurricular activities: Each college has its own unique set of extracurricular activities. For example, Muir College is known for its strong student government and its vibrant social life, while Seventh College is known for its commitment to social justice and its focus on diversity and inclusion. Look into the clubs, organizations, and extracurricular activities associated with each college. Consider how they align with your interests and goals. Students should consider the extracurricular activities that are important to them when ranking the colleges.
- Personal values: Each college has its own unique culture and values. For example, Revelle College is known for its focus on intellectual rigor and its commitment to diversity, while Eighth College is known for its focus on creativity and the arts. Students should consider their personal values and what is important to them in a college community when ranking the colleges.
- Location and Facilities: Students should consider the physical location of each college on campus and its proximity to their major buildings or other facilities they’ll frequently use.
- Housing Options: Different colleges offer various housing styles, from high-rises to apartment-style living. Consider your preferences and what each college provides.
Tips for Deciding Your College Preferences
- Research Extensively: Take the time to thoroughly research each college. Read about their philosophy, review the general education requirements, and understand the unique aspects of each residential college.
- Reflect on Your Values: Consider what matters most to you in a college experience. Whether it’s a strong focus on a supportive community or a vibrant social scene. You should identify your priorities.
- Connect with Current Students: Reach out to current students or alumni from each college to gain insights into their experiences. They can provide valuable perspectives that may not be apparent in official university literature.
- Attend Admissions Events: If possible, attend UCSD admissions events, college fairs, or virtual tours to gather firsthand information and impressions.
- Be Flexible: Keep in mind that while you have the option to indicate your college preferences, the final decision may also depend on availability and the overall distribution of students.
Here is a brief overview of each college:
Revelle College is the oldest and largest residential college at UCSD. It is known for its focus on academic excellence and its commitment to diversity. Revelle College has a strong focus on the natural sciences and humanities, but it also offers a variety of programs in the social sciences and arts. Some of the most popular majors among Revelle students include biology, chemistry, physics, English, and history. Revelle students usually pursue double majors, engage in research, and graduate with university honors.
Muir College is known for its friendly and inclusive atmosphere. It is home to a diverse student body and a wide range of extracurricular activities. Whatever your chosen major, you’ll be free to select meaningful courses that support your area of study and allow you to flex your creative muscles. The adaptable nature of coursework enables many students to pursue double majors and/or minors and still graduate in four years. The Muir Dance Marathon is an annual event that raises money for charity and is one of the largest student-run events at UCSD. Muir students are often involved in student government, volunteer work, and other ways to give back to the community.
Thurgood Marshall College is named after the first African American Supreme Court justice. It is known for its commitment to social justice and its focus on diversity and inclusion. The students pursue their chosen major with a solid arts, humanities, and sciences foundation that highlights the evolution of American society. The students get the opportunity to put their teamwork and puzzle skills to the test during The Amazing Race to Sun God. Marshall students are often involved in student government, social justice initiatives, and other ways to make a difference in the world.
Earl Warren College is named after the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California and Governor of California. It is known for its focus on academic excellence and its commitment to civic engagement. No matter what your major, Earl Warren College will help you develop as an ethical citizen who impacts our global society through an undergraduate experience balanced between academics, co-curricular activities, and social experiences. With a core focus on fundamentals like writing, ethics, and logic, you’ll be challenged to polish your critical thinking and problem-solving skills and apply this knowledge to your major. The students get the opportunity to celebrate all the joys of the winter season at Winter Warrenland. Warren students are often involved in research and other scholarly pursuits, as well as student government, volunteer work, and other ways to participate in the civic life of their community.
Eleanor Roosevelt College is named after the former First Lady of the United States and United Nations Ambassador. It is known for its commitment to public service. Roosevelt’s core curriculum, Making of the Modern World, encourages students to develop a deeper understanding of their history and heritage and how it fits into humanity’s greater cultural context. Roosevelt students are often making a difference in their local community or around the globe.
Sixth College is the newest residential college at UCSD. It is known for its innovative approach to education and its focus on interdisciplinary learning. Sixth College is also known for its commitment to experiential learning. Students are encouraged to participate in internships, research projects, and other opportunities to gain hands-on experience in their field of study. All Sixth College students are required to complete a capstone project in their senior year. This project allows students to apply what they have learned in their coursework to a real-world problem. The students can also warm up their thumbs for Winter Game Fest, a weekend video game tournament for gamers of all levels.
Seventh College’s theme, “A Changing Planet,” encompasses a broad range of pressing global issues including the climate crisis, mass migration, and rapid cultural and technological change. Seventh College encourages students to approach large-scale, global issues from an interdisciplinary perspective and to enhance their academic and real-world skills through research, internships, and study abroad.
Eighth College’s philosophy showcases a commitment to community engagement and philosophical reflection is essential for effectively addressing the root causes of many of the world’s most challenging issues, such as structural racism, economic disparities, health and well-being, and climate disruption. Eighth students will focus on writing-intensive courses and interdisciplinary research that emphasizes community, wellness, anti-racism, and social justice. Eighth College will welcome its inaugural first-year class in fall 2023.
All of UCSD’s residential colleges offer a variety of amenities and resources to support students’ academic and personal development. Each college has its own dining hall, library, and common areas. Colleges also offer a variety of student support services, such as academic advising, counseling, and career services.
UCSD’s residential colleges are an important part of the university’s unique culture. They provide students with a sense of community and belonging, and they offer a variety of opportunities for students to grow and learn.
To conclude, selecting the order of your UCSD college preferences is a personal decision that should align with your academic and personal goals. Take the time to explore each college thoroughly, connect with current students, and reflect on what matters most to you in a college experience. The UCSD college system is designed to provide a diverse and enriching environment, and by making an informed decision, you can set the foundation for a successful and fulfilling university journey.
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