USD: 2020 Requirements, Scores & GPAs
This is the go-to guide for getting into University of San Diego. We suggest you read until the end... Not only will we layout the exact GPA and test scores you should aim for when applying to USD, but we’ll also offer creative ways to help your application stand out from the pack. We breakdown USD statistics better than any article out there and show you how these have changed over time. Also, make sure to check out University of San Diego on CampusReel to see what it’s really like here. If you're interesting in transferring to USD, the read our transfer guide. You can also use the below calculator to help determine your likelihood of acceptance at USD
What GPA do you need to get into University of San Diego?
University of San Diego’s average GPA is 3.9. University of San Diego does require GPA. This average GPA means University of San Diego is brutally selective - the most competitive applicants in the world are already applying to the school, in hopes of taking up residence in San Diego, and, somehow, you need to be better. Generally speaking, if your GPA is not at least equal to 3.9 then University of San Diego may be a reach. However, University of San Diego considers the ENTIRE application - we can make up for a weak GPA with more factors that we’ll discuss below. If your GPA is equal to or greater than 3.9, you’re sitting right in the sweetspot.
*BEFORE CONTINUING PLEASE NOTE: GPA and “prestige” DO NOT mean a college is right for you. University of San Diego may seem amazing on paper, but you may hate it... That’s why 700,000 students transfer colleges every year - they end up going to the wrong school. It’s crucial to watch the videos on CampusReel and make sure you can envision yourself on USD’s campus. These USD admission statistics do not sufficiently tell you what a college or university is like.
What is University of San Diego’s acceptance rate?
Last year University of San Diego’s acceptance rate was 51.68. However, check out how the acceptance rate has changed over time.
|Acceptance Rate||51.0 %||50.0 %||51.68 %|
As you can see, University of San Diego is a little easier to get into than last year.
Acceptance rate alone does not indicate your likelihood for getting into USD - it’s a very high level understanding of the true competition. Use the acceptance rate as a general guide for curating a list of 10-15 schools that fall into different ranges of competitiveness. Then, use the below data to get a deeper understanding of how your application will compare to the rest of the pool.
Does University of San Diego Require Test Scores?
University of San Diego requires that you either take the SAT or ACT. See the table below for how University of San Diego’s accepted students have performed on both tests. You may be wondering how many test scores should you submit. Generally, don’t freak out about taking the test too often. Industry consensus is that you can submit up to 6 tests as a reasonable limit.
University of San Diego SAT Requirements
University of San Diego’s average SAT score is 1205 - this is the sum of the math and reading portions of the SAT (the 1600 scale). Check out the below table for a deeper look into how students performed - it’s also very interesting to look at the average test score over time. The trend over time helps give insight into whether University of San Diego is getting more or less competitive.
|25th Percentile||75th Percentile||Average|
University of San Diego’s average SAT score is 1205. To be a competitive applicant for University of San Diego your SAT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 1100, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider University of San Diego a “target” school (one that you are likely to get into) you should aim for a score of 1310.
University of San Diego ACT Requirements
University of San Diego’s average ACT score is 84. To be a competitive applicant for University of San Diego your ACT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 76, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider University of San Diego a “target” school (one that you have a good chance of getting into) you should aim for a score of 92.
|25th Percentile||75th Percentile||Average|
University of San Diego Requirements
Now you know where you need to be for getting into University of San Diego from a grade and test score perspective. Let’s quickly outline what else you’ll need to provide for your application to get reviewed, and then we’ll move onto the most important section: differentiating your app.
How to get into USD
Follow these steps to maximize your chances of getting into USD. Everything you read above will help prepare you for what you need to achieve to have a shot at USD, but these steps will take you even further in applying that knowledge and differentiating your application.
Main Academic Excellence that is in line with USD admission standards.
- Score at least a 1205 on the SAT or 84 on the ACT.
- Maintain a GPA of at least a 3.9.
Join Extracurriculars that Align with USD’s Values.
- Join your school band, a sports team or another group activity. If University of San Diego values music heavily, for example, then try to participate in an organization related to that topic.
- Volunteer in your hometown. San Diego has tons of ways to be involved beyond just the college. University of San Diego wants applicants that are also good ambassadors for the school - they want students who will give back to the local community and broader San Diego area in general.
- Spend your summer doing something that speaks to your values, personal growth, leadership qualities and other less quantifiable characteristics. USD needs to see past your test scores and grades - they need to know that you will be a valuable and contributing member of their community. You are more than grades and test scores - your experiences should demonstrate that.
Prepare Your Application
- Write a stellar essay that shows University of San Diego something they can’t figure out from the other parts of your application. For a detailed guide on writing the best college essay, check this out.
- Get teacher recs that speak to your character. If you know what you’re majoring in and include that in your USD app, try to have at least 1 recommendation from a teacher in that department.
- Apply Before the Deadline. Too many students wait until the last minute to submit their application, and too much can go wrong during this precious time window. Since many students are applying on the last day, it’s possible that USD’s own system crashes. Don’t risk the added stress this can cause - submit your app a few days early.
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