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About John Muir College


John Muir College, the second oldest college of UC San Diego, admitted its first students in the fall of 1967 and moved to its present quarters in 1970. The college was named after John Muir (1838-1914), a Scottish immigrant who became a famous Californian naturalist, conservationist, and author. 

Inspired by John Muir’s self-directed and multifaceted life, Muir College stresses the spirit of individual choice and responsibility within the framework of a supportive and inclusive community. The college also encourages awareness of environmental issues and involvement in environmental preservation and sustainability.

Wooden plaque at John Muir College.

Our College Motto

"Our motto, 'Celebrating the Independent Spirit', expresses our dedication to helping students to lead varied, successful, committed, and self-directed lives."

What distinguishes Muir College from the other colleges?

  • Our college motto, “Celebrating the Independent Spirit”, expresses our dedication to helping students to lead varied, successful, committed, and self-directed lives
  • Commitment to environmental justice, Indigenous land relationships, and climate justice; Home of UCSD’s Environmental Studies minor since 1993
  • Actively maintains an inclusive community that supports individuals and their intersecting identities, which includes (but is not limited to) ethnicity, nationality, language proficiency, gender, sexual orientation, and political beliefs
  • Flexible general education requirements that allows students to choose courses that meet individual goals and interests within a framework that ensures breadth and depth of knowledge across major disciplines: math and natural sciences, social sciences, and fine arts and humanities
  • A vibrant and eccentric culture with traditional celebrations such as Halloweek or Muir Musical


This is a panoramic of Muir College.