Colleges in San Diego: Universities, Trade and Technical Schools

A perfect climate, gorgeous beaches, and more than a few interesting things to do — what's not to love about San Diego? Known for the famous San Diego Zoo and unique attractions like LEGOLAND California, San Diego is also home to several colleges, universities and vocational and trade schools that can prepare students for their future careers.

The wealth of educational opportunity gets a big boost from local initiatives that help ensure the best education for all. One of these is the San Diego Promise, a program that makes the first two years of community college a "no cost" option for first-time, full-time students. To help students even further, the Community Scholars Initiative through The San Diego Foundation provides wrap-around services and scholarships for up to 300 students each year.

Fun Facts about Trade and Technical Schools in San Diego

San Diego is home to numerous trade, technical, vocational and community colleges. From medical training at California Medical College to San Diego Bartending School, several options provide opportunities for unique careers. Those seeking a diploma, associate degree or to earn transfer credits to one of the many colleges and universities in the area can turn to the San Diego Community College District. It's the second largest community school systems in the state with over 100,000 students spread out over three main campuses and seven continuing education campuses.

Fun Facts about San Diego Colleges and Universities

Higher education opportunities abound in San Diego. There many colleges in San Diego as well as universities, including San Diego State University and University of California San Diego. Founded in 1897, San Diego State University is the oldest institution of higher learning in the city; today it is home to over 36,000 students. The distinctive UC San Diego campus is home to just slightly more students, making it the largest university in the area.

Graduate Schools in San Diego

Students interested in pursuing graduate-level education in San Diego, can find opportunities to study law, medicine, social work and many other fields. The Thomas Jefferson School of Law and the California Western School of Law are great for aspiring legal professionals, while the UC San Diego School of Medicine serves as the region's only institution through which to become a doctor. Most universities in San Diego provide some sort of graduate experience, whether it's a handful of programs or a full-fledged graduate school.

To learn more about higher education opportunities int he state, view our extensive list of California Colleges.


  • About UC San Diego, University of California San Diego,, accessed September 2018
  • "Hundreds More Low-Income Students Targeted for College Success with Community Scholars Initiative," The San Diego Foundation, April 17, 2018,
  • List of San Diego Universities and Colleges,, accessed September 2018
  • San Diego Community College District,, accessed September 2018
  • San Diego Promise,, accessed September 2018
  • SDSU Mission and History, San Diego State University,, accessed September 2018
Education Institutes in San Diego
Total Number of Educational Institutes
Total Enrollment in all institutes
Number of Public Educational Institutes
Number of Private For-Profit Institutes
Number of Private Non-Profit Institutes
Graduation Rate
Total Graduates With Bachelors Degree
On Campus and Online Programs in San Diego
Number of Institutes Offering on-campus programs
Number of Institutes Offering on-line programs
Number of Institutes Offering both

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics,
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