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A Matter of Degrees : Freeway, Family Close AAs, BAs, MAs, & Ph.Ds


North County residents are served by a wide range of colleges: there are two-year community colleges like Palomar and MiraCosta, public universities like UC San Diego and the new Cal State University San Marcos, and private colleges such as the University of San Diego.

Under the California Master Plan for Higher Education, universities and colleges are assigned distinctive roles.

University of California campuses, including UCSD in La Jolla, emphasize research and graduate-level studies. They draw students from the top 12.5% of the state's high school graduates, generally based on a combination of Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores and grade point average.

The California State University campuses, including SDSU and CSUSM, offer a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees but have less stringent qualifications for enrollment.

Community colleges, including Palomar and MiraCosta, are generally open to anyone at least 18 years of age. The schools award associate of arts degrees as well as serve as steppingstones to four-year colleges.

The following is an overview of major colleges and universities serving area residents:


9500 Gilman Drive La Jolla CA 92093 Phone: 534-3161 (UCSD Extension: 534-3400) UC San Diego is the southernmost of the nine campuses in the University of California system.

Occupying nearly 1,200 acres just west of Interstate 5 in La Jolla, UCSD is widely recognized for the high quality of its academic programs.

It is considered one of the top research universities in the nation. In 1986, the Ford Foundation ranked the school as one of the top six in the country based on the strength and balance of its academic programs, the proportion of graduates who go on to earn doctoral degrees and the ethnic diversity of the student body. The other five were Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and Yale.

The campus includes the School of Medicine, the UCSD Medical Center and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

UCSD's academic plan was modeled after Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and is made up of five undergraduate colleges: Revelle, John Muir, Third, Earl Warren and Fifth.

The university operates on the quarter system and has about 18,000 students, 14,000 of them undergraduates.

Yearly fees for California residents are about $2,500, while out-of-state tuition and fees are slightly over $10,000.

In addition to its regular academic programs, the UCSD Extension program offers classes to the general public from several sites, including a newly-opened North County Center in Rancho Bernardo.


5300 Campanile Drive San Diego CA 92115 Phone: 594-6871 (Extended studies: 594-5821) With an enrollment of 35,000, including about 7,000 graduate students, San Diego State University is one of the largest schools in the nation.

The university's sprawling 300-acre campus is located on a hilltop known as Montezuma Mesa near Interstate 8 in East San Diego.

One of 20 campuses in the California State University system, San Diego State offers bachelor's degrees in 76 areas, master's in 56 and doctoral degrees in seven.

Fees for California residents are $926 a year based on two full-time semesters during a nine-month academic year, while non-residents pay an additional $205 per unit each semester.

The present campus, with its mission-style buildings, came into use in 1931 when the college moved from its 17-acre location at Park and El Cajon boulevards.

As enrollment at SDSU has swollen in recent years, students seeking degrees in some fields have increasingly found all available classes filled. That scheduling pressure is expected to increase in the fall as new cutbacks in state funding take effect.



820 W. Los Vallecitos Blvd. San Marcos CA 92069 Phone: 471-4119 California State University, San Marcos, the first new public university in the state in 20 years, began its life last fall when 482 students arrived for classes at a temporary campus located in a business and industrial park.

Administrators hope that by 1993 the university will begin moving into its permanent site, a 305-acre campus that will be completed in stages over the next 20 years and will eventually serve over 25,000 students.

Currently, the school is accepting juniors, seniors and graduate students. In the fall of 1995, underclassmen will also be accepted. When the school is completed it will be North County's only four-year public university.

Academic majors are planned in biology, business accounting, business management, history, liberal studies, mathematics, psychology and sociology.

Tuition and fees are set by university trustees who govern the state system and compare to those at other state universities, such as SDSU.


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