University Benchmarks

Ranking the Top 100 Academic Universities ranks the universities that attract and produce the best academic students.

There are many 'University Rankings' on the internet. Most rankings rely heavily on subjective metrics like 'reputation' and 'selectivity'. UniversityBenchmarks is purely an academic ranking model. The rankings are based on the reported academic and financial metrics of the colleges. There are no subjective factors like 'reputation' that are used. The calculations are performed using normal statistical models. All universities are considered equal and there is no weighting of the ranking categories.

The university 2014-2015 dataset is comprised of over 2400 US Universities & Colleges and comes from multiple sources using the most favorable reported metrics for a university.

The universities are ranked against each other in each filtered set. It is an iterative process whereby lower ranking universities are removed and the set is re-ranked until the final set of 100 is reached.

Selecting 'Rank Top 10 Only' will show the Top 10 for each filter category ranked against each other.

The academic rankings of the universities within the major conferences (ACC, Big12, Big10, Pac12, SEC) are available.

The 2017 rankings will be available in August.

  • It is possible for universities to be ranked higher/lower than one another depending on the filter set.
  • Conference averages are based on the top 8 schools in the conference.
  • Public Schools are highlighted
  • Clicking on the university's seal icon will take you to the university's website.

Ranking Fields

Rank - Overall rank based on the average of the ranking fields (Scores, Difficulty, Smartest, Brainpower, Faculty and Research).

Scores - SAT & ACT scores. The university's test scores are corrected for dropout rate when score level is Good, Excellent or Elite. This will slightly boost scores for highly competitive schools.

Difficulty - Academic rigor is estimated based on how difficult it is to get an "A" at the university. An estimated GPA at the university is calculated for the average US Student. University grade inflation, average GPA, and STEM density are factors.

Smartest - University that can field the highest scoring students based on the average US University size. Higher Smartest Rank = "Smartest for the Average University"

Brainpower - The average "smartest" rank using 5 reference populations (CalTech, MIT, Stanford, GaTech and Berkeley). Higher Brainpower Rank = "Higher Density of Smart Students". The university ranked higher can mathematically field 'X' number of smarter students than universities ranked below them.

Faculty - Ranking based on number of % of faculty with awards and academy membership.

Research - Ranking is achieved by iteratively ranking the average of 3 research metrics (r-pop, r-stem, r-other ). The lowest ranked college is then removed and the new set is re-ranked. The result is the schools with potentially the strongest research environments per student bubble up to the top regardless of size or research budget.

  • r-pop - Average research spending for student population
  • r-stem - STEM research spending
  • r-other - Other/Medical/Health research spending

Salary ROI - "Salary Return on Investment" is not used in the overall ranking but is provided for additional information. Using the undergraduate average starting and mid-career salaries, the rank is based on a 20yr salary accumulation (with raises) minus the cost of a 4 year education at the university. Salaries are normalized across the country using the average COLA for the university's geo-economic region (7 regions total). The COLA effect is diminished by the level of the university. Elite, Excellent and Good universities have a greater distribution of graduates across the country and a diminishing COLA effect. The resultant value would be the graduate's spending potential over the 20yr period.

Overall ROI - "Overall Return on Investment" is not used in the overall ranking but is provided for additional information. The average of Overall Rank and Salary ROI. This would be the "Best academic bang for the buck". Colleges that produce the best education, at the best price, with the best return will be ranked higher.

Color Key - ranks are colorized as follows 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 50 100

The 2016 University Academic Rankings

University of San Diego

2016 University Academic Rankings

The University of San Diego (USD) is a private Roman Catholic university in San Diego, California. The university offers 42 baccalaureate degrees, and several degrees in law, nursing, (masters, PhD, and DNP), and other doctorate programs. The university comprises seven different academic colleges.


Chartered in 1949, the university opened its doors to its first class of students in 1952 as the San Diego College for Women. Reverend Charles F. Buddy, D.D., then bishop of the Diocese of San Diego and Reverend Mother Rosalie Hill, RSCJ, a Superior Vicaress of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, chartered the institution from resources drawn from their respective organizations on a stretch of land known as "Alcalá Park," named for San Diego de Alcalá. In September 1954, the San Diego College for Men and the School of Law opened. These two schools originally occupied Bogue Hall on the same site of University High School, which would later become the home of the University of San Diego High School. Starting in 1954, Alcalá Park also served as the diocesan chancery office and housed the episcopal offices, until the diocese moved to a vacated Benedictine convent that was converted to a pastoral center. In 1957, Immaculate Heart Major Seminary and St. Francis Minor Seminary were moved into their newly completed facility, now known as Maher Hall. The Immaculata Chapel, now no longer affiliated with USD, also opened that year as part of the seminary facilities. For nearly two decades, these schools co-existed on Alcalá Park. Immaculate Heart closed at the end of 1968, when its building was renamed De Sales Hall; St. Francis remained open until 1970, when it was transferred to another location on campus, leaving all of the newly named Bishop Leo T. Maher Hall to the newly merged co-educational University of San Diego in 1972. Since then, the university has grown quickly and has been able to increase its assets and academic programs. The student body, the local community, patrons, alumni, and many organizations have been integral to the university's development.

Significant periods of expansion of the university, since the 1972 merger, occurred in the mid-1980s, as well as in 1998, when Joan B. Kroc, philanthropist and wife of McDonald's financier Ray Kroc, endowed USD with a gift of $25 million for the construction of the Institute for Peace & Justice. Another significant donation to the college came in the form of multimillion-dollar gifts from weight-loss tycoon Jenny Craig, inventor Donald Shiley, investment banker and alumnus Bert Degheri, and an additional gift of $50 million Mrs. Kroc left the School of Peace Studies upon her death. These gifts helped make possible, respectively, the Jenny Craig Pavilion (an athletic arena), the Donald P. Shiley Center for Science and Technology, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Degheri Alumni Center. As a result, USD has been able to host the West Coast Conference (WCC) basketball tournament in 2002, 2003 and 2008, and hosted international functions such as the Kyoto Laureate Symposium at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice and at USD's Shiley Theatre. Shiley's gift has provided the university with some additional, and more advanced, teaching laboratories than it had previously. In 2005, the university expanded the Colachis Plaza from the Immaculata along Marian Way to the east end of Hall, which effectively closed the east end of the campus to vehicular traffic. That same year, the student body approved plans for a renovation and expansion of the Hahn University Center which began at the end of 2007. The new Student Life Pavilion (SLP) opened in 2009 and hosts the university's new student dining area(s), offices for student organizations and event spaces. The Hahn University Center is now home to administrative offices, meeting and event spaces, and a restaurant and wine bar, La Gran Terazza.

< ... [more on wikipedia]

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "University of San Diego", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0

University of San Diego Details

University of San Diego Details
detail value
conferencePioneer Football League / West...
overall ROI rank[195
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for University of San Diego?

1. number 203 for Academics.

2. number 195 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to University of San Diego?

1. Santa Clara University

2. Loyola Marymount University

3. College of William and Mary

4. Adelphi University

5. The College of New Jersey

6. Wake Forest University

7. Gonzaga University

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

University of San Diego National Academic Rankings

University of San Diego National Academic Rankings
category rank scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI
Div1 Nonivy844357889383897791
Div1 Private313133293127303336
West Coast Conference348333333
West Coast Region192229223821221414
State of California161822192814141113
Top Ten Top250203150182170200144156154195
Top Ten West Coast Conference348333333

Peer Universities / Similar Universities

(mathematically similar student body, size, academics, stem, salary... etc)

University of San Diego Peer Universities, Similar Universities to University of San Diego

University of San Diego Peer Universities, Similar Universities to University of San Diego
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Santa Clara UniversityCaliforniaWest Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent12398
Loyola Marymount UniversityCaliforniaWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage218233
College of William and MaryVirginiaColonial Athletic AssociationPublicExcellent5460
Adelphi UniversityNew YorkNortheast 10 ConferencePrivateAboveAverage365444
The College of New JerseyNew JerseyNew Jersey Athletic ConferencePublicGood164193
Wake Forest UniversityNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent6650
Gonzaga UniversityWashingtonWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage235214
University of San FranciscoCaliforniaWest Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage226241
Seattle UniversityWashingtonWestern Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage280320
Baylor UniversityTexasBig Twelve ConferencePrivateGood134128
Miami University-OxfordOhioMid American ConferencePublicGood11867
University of California-Santa BarbaraCaliforniaBig West ConferencePublicGood63122
Truman State UniversityMissouriGreat Lakes Valley ConferencePublicAboveAverage208189
University of St ThomasMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateAboveAverage238156
Southern Methodist UniversityTexasAmerican Athletic ConferencePrivateExcellent8073
Christopher Newport UniversityVirginiaUSA South Athletic Conference ...PublicAboveAverage268320
Hofstra UniversityNew YorkColonial Athletic AssociationPrivateAboveAverage231298
SUNY College at OswegoNew YorkState University of New York A...PublicAboveAverage361450
Emory UniversityGeorgiaUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent3629
University of Mary WashingtonVirginiaCapital Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage424386
Salisbury UniversityMarylandEmpire Eight / Capital Athleti...PublicAboveAverage243358
Creighton UniversityNebraskaBig East ConferencePrivateAboveAverage273190
Providence CollegeRhode IslandBig East ConferencePrivateAboveAverage286350
University of ScrantonPennsylvaniaLandmark ConferencePrivateAboveAverage399368
Calvin CollegeMichiganMichigan Intercollegiate Athle...PrivateAboveAverage255209
Brandeis UniversityMassachusettsUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent46116
Catholic University of AmericaWashington DCOld Dominion Athletic Conferen...PrivateAboveAverage381458
Dallas Baptist UniversityTexasHeartland ConferencePrivateAboveAverage408342
University of Northern IowaIowaMissouri Valley ConferencePublicAboveAverage252248
University of VermontVermontAmerica EastPublicAboveAverage136191
Yeshiva UniversityNew YorkSkyline ConferencePrivateGood141208
Furman UniversitySouth CarolinaSouthern ConferencePrivateGood232192
Union UniversityTennesseeGulf South ConferencePrivateGood225213
University of Puerto Rico-Rio PiedrasPuerto RicoIndependent Southeast RegionPublicAboveAverage176232
University of Puget SoundWashingtonNorthwest ConferencePrivateGood227223
Muhlenberg CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateGood223217
Clark UniversityMassachusettsNew England Women's & Men's At...PrivateGood201224
Denison UniversityOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateGood204170
Trinity UniversityTexasSouthern Collegiate Athletic C...PrivateGood212170
CUNY Bernard M Baruch CollegeNew YorkCity University of New York At...PublicAboveAverage135182
The College of WoosterOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateGood277317
University of DelawareDelawareColonial Athletic AssociationPublicAboveAverage107138
Simmons CollegeMassachusettsGreat Northeast Athletic ConferencePrivateAboveAverage376452
University of OregonOregonPacific 12 ConferencePublicAboveAverage174221
University of IowaIowaBig Ten ConferencePublicGood6879
Centre CollegeKentuckySouthern Athletic AssociationPrivateGood244198
Utah State UniversityUtahMountain West ConferencePublicAboveAverage165120
Beloit CollegeWisconsinMidwest ConferencePrivateGood250233
University of GeorgiaGeorgiaSoutheastern ConferencePublicGood8265
Seton Hall UniversityNew JerseyBig East ConferencePrivateAboveAverage365390

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

University of San Diego Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to University of San Diego

University of San Diego Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to University of San Diego
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Clark UniversityMassachusettsNew England Women's & Men's At...PrivateGood201224
Elon UniversityNorth CarolinaColonial Athletic AssociationPrivateGood200178
University of DenverColoradoThe Summit LeaguePrivateAboveAverage204186
Denison UniversityOhioNorth Coast Athletic ConferencePrivateGood204170
Furman UniversitySouth CarolinaSouthern ConferencePrivateGood232192
Texas Christian UniversityTexasBig Twelve ConferencePrivateAboveAverage214181
Emerson CollegeMassachusettsNew England Women's & Men's At...PrivateGood207240
Gettysburg CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateExcellent170148
Marquette UniversityWisconsinBig East ConferencePrivateAboveAverage197121
Mercer UniversityGeorgiaSouthern ConferencePrivateAboveAverage237242
Whitman CollegeWashingtonNorthwest ConferencePrivateExcellent153154
Lafayette CollegePennsylvaniaPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent165106
Syracuse UniversityNew YorkAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateAboveAverage172216
The University of AlabamaAlabamaSoutheastern ConferencePublicAboveAverage175112
University of CincinnatiOhioAmerican Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage202106
American Athletic Conference (Low)-American Athletic Conference-Conf-AboveAverage-162
Davidson CollegeNorth CarolinaPioneer Football League / Atla...PrivateExcellent155129
Temple UniversityPennsylvaniaAmerican Athletic ConferencePublicAboveAverage168199
University of DaytonOhioPioneer Football League / Atla...PrivateAboveAverage278138
University of KansasKansasBig Twelve ConferencePublicAboveAverage172130
Texas Tech UniversityTexasBig Twelve ConferencePublicAverage176104
Oklahoma State UniversityOklahomaBig Twelve ConferencePublicAverage182124
University of California-RiversideCaliforniaBig West ConferencePublicAverage167212
University of Hawaii at ManoaHawaiiMountain West Conference / Big...PublicAverage204245
Florida International UniversityFloridaConference USAPublicAverage163170
San Diego State UniversityCaliforniaMountain West ConferencePublicAverage183218
Washington State UniversityWashingtonPacific 12 ConferencePublicAverage189193