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  • Photo: Alex Hansen/Wikimedia

    Educational Philosophy

    The John Muir College emphasizes self-sufficiency and individual choice through loosely structured general-education courses presented in sequences. Check out our complete list of the top 25 colleges for Outside readers.

  • Photo: Johntex/Wikimedia

    Ocean Focus

    When the campus opened, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography was one of two colleges. The focus on ocean research remains with the school having a 5,000-square-foot aquarium and museum, multiple ocean research vessels, and a sea port.

  • Photo: Courtesy UC San Diego

    Outdoor Orientation

    Students can choose from a variety of orientation tribes, including surfing safaris and backpacking through the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

  • Photo: Courtesy UC San Diego

    Outdoor Adventures

    Outback Adventures, University of California, San Diego's outdoor program, runs a wilderness orientation program, trips and classes, a challenge course, and surf and rental shop.

  • Photo: Courtesy UC San Diego


    Not only does the school boast a bouldering and climbing facility, but the Outdoor Adventure club regularly leads climbing trips outdoors.

  • Photo: Courtesy UC San Diego

    Mission Bay Aquatic Center

    The Mission Bay Aquatic Center is the world's largest instruction waterfront facility with opportunities in sports from wakeboarding and sailing to windsurfing and kayaking.

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