UC San Diego is widely acknowledged for its local impact, national influence and global reach. In the 2008 U.S. News & World Report rankings, the university is recognized as the seventh best public university and is in the top 35 of all public and private universities in the nation.
As a premier research institution, UC San Diego is in the entrepreneurial business of creating new knowledge, from combating global warming to composing an orchestral symphony to writing a book about electoral politics. Every faculty member—regardless of his or her academic field—is engaged in the stimulating quest for new information and understanding. Instructors, like their students, are always learning, constantly bringing new knowledge and insights into the classroom, and fostering a sense of intellectual curiosity among their students.
The Torrey Pines Mesa is an internationally acclaimed hotbed of discovery and innovation. UC San Diego, located in the heart of the mesa, is not an island but a nexus—with links to a myriad of knowledge-generating centers. Within a four-mile radius of the university are 30,000 researchers in an impressive array of disciplines.
Several of the university’s top-ranked programs cross intellectual boundaries, such as bioengineering, theatre and dance, digital arts and neuroscience. Environmental science, for instance, is a truly interdisciplinary program that involves eleven other departments.
UC San Diego researchers frequently collaborate with their prestigious neighbors, including the Burnham Institute for Medical Research, La Jolla Playhouse, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla Symphony, and The Scripps Research Institute.
On campus, academic divisions and departments, graduate and professional schools, and organized research units (ORUs) are vital centers of research and learning.
“There are lots of good reasons for students who think they may not be interested in research to do it anyway. Having a research mindset is something you will use for the rest of your life, even if you don’t pursue a research career. You don’t want to be in a position where you’re relying on someone else to interpret data for you. It doesn’t matter if you’re a doctor or an engineer or a mortgage broker. There will be data—and if you can’t read it for yourself, you will be at someone else’s mercy.”
Director of the Academic Research Programs
“One thing that’s difficult for many undergraduate artist/researchers is navigating the intersection of art and research. Most of us tend to grow up thinking that good art comes from gut instinct and is therefore incompatible with the analytical requirements of research. So I try to help students realize that there’s a give-and-take to it. That gut instinct that tells you something is artistically interesting may also be pointing you to the seed for interesting research. But instinct is also informed by all the exposure to and research you’ve done on earlier work.”
Associate Professor of Visual Arts