Poets&Quants Top Business Schools

University of San Diego Knauss School of Business


Contact our general manager with any questions. Profile updated: January 29, 2024.

Contact Information

Knauss Center for Business Education
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, California 92110
Admissions Office:

Tuition & Fees In-State: $291,992*

Tuition & Fees Out-of-State: $291,992*

Average Salary: $77,242

Graduates With Jobs 90 Days After Graduation: 87%

International: 4%

Minority: 42%

First generation college students: 22%

When do students declare their majors: Freshman Year

Acceptance Rate: 47%

Average GPA: 4.05

HS Class Top Ten: 47%**

*The total cost of the degree over four years for the most recent graduating class inclusive of school fees, room, board, or living expenses.

** HS Class Top Ten is the percent of the student population that graduated high school in the top ten percent of their class.

*** Please note that these statistics are provided for the business school major only whenever possible. If a school does not track these statistics separately, then the university-wide statistics are provided.

The University of San Diego’s Knauss School of Business ranked No. 52 in this year’s 2023 rankings, dropping 5 places from last year’s No. 47 ranking. 

Their acceptance rate for the most recent incoming class was 46.70% – more exclusive than last year’s class at 52.62%. Their average SAT scores were not reported again this year, but back in 2021, their incoming class had an average score of 1250.

Employment went down only a bit, from 90.91% for the Class of 2022 securing full-time employment within three months of graduation to 87.24% for the Class of 2023. 

Internship rates were up this year, with 74% of the Class of 2023 landing a business-focused internship before graduating compared to 71% of the Class of 2022. While San Diego’s Knauss School of Business was fairly balanced in two of the three methodological categories (51st in Career Outcomes and 59th in Admissions) they scored highest in the Academic Experience category, placing 45th.

San Diego’s undergraduate business program is characterized by its student-centric approach to education. At San Diego, student development is the key focus — from small class sizes to ultimate creative freedom in projects. 


Students can choose from nine business majors including: Accountancy, Business Administration, Business Economics, Economics, Finance, International Business, Marketing, Real Estate, and Supply Chain Management.

As a private university, the University of San Diego is able to offer small class sizes that offer high-quality teaching and mentorship. Most classes are capped at 35 or 40 students. Additionally, university policy allows for students to change their major at any time, without restrictions, giving students more flexibility and free-reign in exploring their passions and learning at their own pace. 

“I will say the teachers at USD were incredible and overall so supportive and offered a wonderful experience,” one alumni told us. “They were so wonderful at mentoring beyond the classroom and so supportive of students.”

“The faculty was extremely professional and cared for the individual development of the student,” another alumni said. “The relationship that I had with each of my professors was instrumental in my understanding of the material and progression as a young professional.”

The level of care and support for each student is something that is unique to the San Diego education. Oftentimes, at larger universities, it can be difficult to get one on one time with professors, but San Diego’s small class sizes and student-centric policies allow each and every student to get the level of support and mentorship they need. 


The senior thesis is one of the cornerstone experiences at San Diego. It’s a year-long project where students take their cumulative business knowledge and apply it to a topic of their choice. Many alumni we surveyed highlighted their senior thesis as the key “signature experience” during their time at San Diego. 

“My senior thesis provided me a platform to apply real-world knowledge and econometrics to evaluate a topic I deeply care about,” one alumni said. “Without the experience of constructing my senior thesis, my learning would have been surface level and I would not have been able to apply it in the business world.”

One thing that makes the senior thesis experience unique at San Diego is the free-reign that students get in exploring a topic that they are truly passionate about. Faculty at San Diego actively encourages students to explore novel topics that they are interested in. Additionally, students are given the freedom to execute research and analysis how they want. 

“My senior thesis was an economic model designed to determine if there was a correlation between orphan diseases (diseases with fewer than 200,000 patients) and revenue,” another alumni said. “It took 4 months of research & countless reiterations to arrive at my final model. To me, the uniqueness of the experience came not from the amount of work but from the hands-off approach. I was forced to think of my vision, create a game plan & execute. This is not dissimilar from the business world which is why I valued this experience.”

For many alumni, the senior thesis experience is one that proves valuable and applicable to their careers today. 

“I developed an economic research paper on a subject I am incredibly passionate about,” one alumni said. “It taught me the essential skill of how to tell a story with your data. I use this skill every single day in my job.”

Overall, San Diego offers a quality business education where students come first. Through small class sizes, supportive mentorship, and freedom to explore, San Diego business students can truly thrive and discover their passions. 

Alumni say: 

“Through my senior seminar in business economics, I gained the research abilities necessary for my profession today. Talking in front of the class presenting my research and working collectively as a unit helped me in ways none of my other classes did. My work ethic today comes from all my years of school, but especially college. Being able to be independent and develop these life skills prepares you for the business industry in ways you don’t realize until you’re actually there.”

“I took a summer abroad trip for a financial modeling course in Croatia. The experience was life changing and forever memorable. The staff were incredible and the travel agency was superb in making us feel at home, going above and beyond to provide us with the best experience possible. We had 3 off sites where we were able to learn about different businesses in person to help us with our learnings. 10/10 NPS and it is an experience I will never forget.”

“I had to create a product with a team and go through a meticulous process that included almost every aspect learned in the business school. What made it unique was that after graduating, I was able to recreate the same process in personal projects that today are successful.”

“Year-long thesis research on a subject of my choosing and under the guidance of a faculty member. Unique vs typical coursework because of the length and breadth of research as well as encouragement to explore novel topics (for example, mine was on baseball, the industry I planned on entering after graduation).”

“Real-time cases, Total cost Offerings, drafting of Operational Business Plans inside and outside of the Supply Chain Management and Business Administration roles assisted exponentially with the preparation for my career.”