Difference Between UCSD and SDSU

A University whether it is National or State is a great source of knowledge. University provides various types of courses, diplomas, and training at the same place.

Universities can be difficult to get admitted to, but they are worth it. UCSD and SDSU are two universities in California that have been training students for a century.


The main difference between UCSD and SDSU is that the number of undergraduates and postgraduate students is low in UCSD, while SDSU, being a state university, has a higher number of students. Both universities provide their services publically. UCSD and SDSU have a remarkable place when it comes to conducting research.


The term UCSD stands for University of California, San Diego. UCSD is a very well-known research university in California. It comes under State ownership and also gets shares in public funds.

It also receives the benefits of the Morrill Act under the term public land-grant institution. It provides a large variety of subjects for students.

The term SDSU stands for San Diego State University. Just like UCSD, SDSU is also a public research university situated in San Diego, the state.

When it was founded, the university was known as San Diego Normal School at first in 1897. SDSU is the third oldest University among the CSU system.

It has a stronger alumni base than any other Californian University.

Comparison Table Between UCSD and SDSU

Parameters Of ComparisonUCSDSDSU
FoundedUCSD was founded on the 18th of November, 1960. SDSU was founded in 1897, almost a century ago.
ColoursThe colour UCSD have are Navy Blue and gold.The colour SDSU have are Red, black, and, gold.
Full formUCSD is the short term for, ‘ University of California, San Diego’.SDSU is the short term for, ‘ San Diego State University.
Motto‘Let There Be Light’ is the motto of UCSD.‘Minds that move the world’ is the motto of SDSU.
Nobel laureateUCSD has 20 Nobel laureates on the campus.SDSU hasn’t been able to get any Nobel laureate prize yet.

What is UCSD?

University of California or UCSD is known as a public research university that is located in San Diego, California. UCSD was established in the 1960s.

“Pradeep Kumar Khosla” an Indian origin electrical and computer engineer is the eighth chancellor of UCSD. The University covers an area of about 2178 acres near the coast of the pacific ocean.

The degree program such as graduate and undergraduate offered by UCSD is over 200.

It enrolls about 33000 undergraduate and about 9000 graduate students. Among others, the university of the rank achieved by UCSD was quite higher and worth praising. “Let there be light” is the motto of UCSD.

It has been divided into four groups or divisions that are biology science, art and humanities, social science, and physical science. It is the second most applied university in 2021 by receiving more than 1,40,000 applications in a year.

The number of Nobel laureate prizes won by UCSD is 28, and also 8 medals of national science. The three Pulitzer prize and eight MacArthur fellowship have been acquired by UCSD.

It provides accommodations to the students with specific needs. The option of living in housing facilities or hostels has been provided for undergraduate students.

It is mostly available for graduate students of the university.

The university also has different research centers across the country such as the Kavli Institute for Brain and mind and Qualcomm institute for energy research.

San Diego has spent around $1.3 billion for the development of these research centers in 2019, ranking it as the 6th university in the nation.

What is SDSU?

San Diego State University also known as a research university is located in San Diego. It was founded in the year of 189i.

The former name of the university was known as San Diego Normal School. It ranks third in the oldest universities.

SDSU saved itself 3rd place in-state University system of California that includes 23 other Californian universities. SDSU has about 35000 student bodies and more than 3,00,000 students.

Its name has been changing since its establishment. From 1897-1923 it was known as San Diego Normal School. Then from (1923-1935), it was changed into The name San Diego State Teachers college.

In 1935 it was changed again into San Diego State College. After some years it was changed for the third time and renamed to California State University, San Diego (1972-1974).

Leadership Starts Here” is the motto of SDSU.

SDSU generates about 2.4 billion dollars annually which is a great benefit for the country’s economy and almost 60 percent of its graduates remain in the country. “Samuel T. Black in 1905 was the first president of SDSU.

SDSU had about 10 presidents. Some structures on the campus of the university are also named after its past presidents.

Its library was redesigned in the 1960s with a cost of about 8 million dollars covering a space of 300000 sq. Ft (28000 m. Sq). It was named Malcolm A. Love Library.

Main Differences Between UCSD and SDSU

  1. The number of Nobel laureates UCSD is 20. On the other hand, SDSU has not acquired a place in the Nobel laureate prize.
  2. The colors that represent UCSD are gold and navy blue and the colors that represent SDSU are 3 red, black, and gold.
  3. The acceptance rate in UCSD is around 38 percent while the acceptance rate in SDSU is around 28 percent which is quite lower than the University of California.
  4. In the national ranking of best universities in California, UCSD got 37th place, while SDSU got 164th place which is a huge difference.
  5. The number of students is lower in UCSD. On the other hand, SDSU has got a nice place in this criteria by having a higher number of students.


Universities have been an essential part of the field of education. They are big institutions that can stretch their hands through the whole nation or State.

Universities are learning foundations established by humans to keep the flow of knowledge.

By establishing schools and Colleges in different states, Universities work in a long chain of information. A person can get admitted to a college affiliated with a university or he can directly apply for admission in a University.

Colleges are easier to get admission into than universities due to the rough competition. One will have to pass the entrance exam conducted by the University.


  1. https://europepmc.org/article/med/11763167
  2. https://www.igi-global.com/chapter/begin-end-user-mind/8223
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