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San Diego

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QS Best Student Cities ranking: 76th

Climbing four places in the Best Student Cities ranking this year, San Diego is the second-largest city in the US state of California, located on the west coast of the country near to the border with Mexico.

With attractive beaches and numerous tourist attractions, the city has been given the nickname ‘America's Finest City’. It’s also often featured in lists of the safest cities in the US and is known for having excellent weather all year round.

The 1,200-acre Balboa Park is a popular spot for local culture, as it contains many green spaces as well as museums, theaters, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.

Due to its location as a border town, San Diego is heavily influenced by both Mexican and American cultures, resulting in a wide range of cuisines to sample in the city’s many restaurants. The city is also well known for its craft-brewing scene, with the city and county (of the same name) often called ‘America's craft beer capital’.

There are many universities and private colleges in San Diego, three of which rank within the top 1,000 in the QS World University Rankings® 2020, with the University of California, San Diego within the top 50 in the world.  The presence of UCSD and other research institutions has helped to fuel biotechnology growth in the city.

Would San Diego get your vote? Tell us why.

Internationally ranked universities in San Diego

More about San Diego

Number of universities ranked by QS


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To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, 
view the methodology.


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Sabrina Collier's profile image
Written by Sabrina Collier
The former Assistant Editor of TopUniversities.com, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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