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Higher Education Institutions

"San Diego is a very interconnected town in a way that many big cities are not, and it has aspirations to continue to make progress and move forward, aspirations that San Diego State embodies."

Elliot Hirshman, 10th President of San Diego State University
June 10, 2016

San Diego’s higher education institutions conduct groundbreaking research, train the region’s workforce, and provide a talent pipeline that positions the region to compete for investment and jobs on the global stage. The University of California San Diego has become one of the top 10 public universities in the country in a span of only 50 years.1 San Diego State University has educated more of San Diego’s civic leaders than any other institution. Together, higher education in San Diego employs hundreds of thousands of people and provides a lasting economic impact through the creation of ideas, innovations, talent, and companies.

University Highlights

  • Women in STEM: UC San Diego enrolls and graduates the most women STEM students of any school in the country. One in three female students at UC San Diego are STEM majors.2
  • Economic Impact: Contributing to the economic vitality of the San Diego region, San Diego State University announced in 2017 that it has a $5.67 billion local economic impact.3
  • Local partnerships: In 2018, San Diego-based Viasat donated $1.5 million to Cal State University San Marcos to become a founding partner of the school’s new engineering program that will include Bachelors of Science degrees in software and electrical engineering.4




 1. US News & World Report, “Top Public Schools,” 2018. 2., “Where do Women Study STEM,“ 2017. 3. San Diego State University, “SDSU Generates $5.67B in Economic Activity for San Diego Region,” 2017. 4. The San Diego Union Tribune, “CSU San Marcos adds engineering program after gifts from Viasat, Hunter Industries,” 2018.