Quality of Campus Life: A Student Opinion Survey - Executive Summary

Spring 1997

In the spring of 1997, Student Affairs in collaboration with Associated Students and the Graduate Student Association surveyed undergraduates for their opinions regarding the strengths and weaknesses of campus life. By answering a locally developed questionnaire, respondents provided their counsel about a variety of campus programs and services, and evaluated various aspects of the UCSD environment. Overall, a total of 2,393 students participated in the study. The results showed that for the vast majority of students at UCSD the academic environment has met or exceeded their expectations. For many students, however, the social environment has been less than expected.

Summary of Findings

Academic/Social Environment Better than expected/
  As expected
Academic environment 87%
Social environment 40%
Quality of Instruction Very Satisfied/
Faculty instruction in major field of study 78%
Faculty instruction 72%
TA/graduate student instruction 59%
Academic Programs  
Variety of courses offered at UCSD 67%
Course content in major 67%
Class size 42%
Facilities and Services  
RIMAC(Recreation, IntraMural, AthleticComplex) 88%
Library facilities 85%
University Centers 80%
Classroom facilities 72%
Study Centers 72%
Parking 15%
Campus Climate Strongly agree/
Campus is safe and secure 78%
Would recommend UCSD 70%
Would choose UCSD again if starting over 63%
Feel welcome at UCSD 61%
Faculty are helpful 60%
Students are friendly 55%
Feel a sense of belonging 49%


The vast majority of students currently enrolled at UCSD (87%) report that the academic environment on campus has met or exceeded their expectations. While the academic environment exceeds most students' expectations, fewer than half (40%) report that their expectations vis-a-vis UCSD's social environment have been met.

More than two-thirds of all undergraduates report being "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with faculty instruction (72%), the variety of courses offered at UCSD (67%), library facilities (85%), classroom facilities (72%) and the like.

Although there is almost universal approval (88%) of the campus' relatively new Recreation, Intramural, and Athletic Complex (RIMAC), few students (15%) are satisfied with parking services.

Compared to the general population, fewer transfer students, commuter students, students who work more than 20 hours per week, and under-represented students are satisfied with the social climate at UCSD. Most troublesome for under-represented students is the perceived atmosphere of ethnic and political understanding on campus.

Although under-represented students, as compared to other groups, are less satisfied with the social environment, most students, irrespective of background characteristic, would recommend UCSD to others (70%), would choose UCSD again if starting over (63%), feel welcome at UCSD (61%) and perceive the campus as being safe and secure (78%).