The University of San Diego is a Roman Catholic establishment, but open to students of all faiths. Founded in 1949, it occupies 866 hectares of picturesque Mission Bay Pacific Ocean coastline, consisting of 761 buildings and several natural reserves. Offering over 200 undergraduate and graduate degree programmes, it remains high on the list of popular universities.
The campus is home to the Stuart Collection, an assortment of public art projects made possible in 1981 through its founder and initial benefactor, James Stuart DeSilva. The Collection is made up of a mix of vibrant, thought-provoking art, with well-known pieces such as the Sun God, an imposing figure of a large winged creature. Located in the vicinity of the Faculty Club, its wide coiling snake path circling its own garden, the snakehead guiding walkers towards the Geisel Library.
San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) buses, trolleys and coasters provide ample transportation to the University, with the USD Tram running from Main Campus to the Old Town Transit Centre. Interstate 5 and Interstate 8 provide easy routes for self-drivers.
The University welcomed its first class of students in 1952, at that time called the San Diego College for Women. In 1952 the San Diego College for Men and the School of Law opened, the two schools then merging and becoming the University of San Diego.