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10 Best Spots to Study on Campus

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With finals week on the horizon, consider breaking away from your usual routine to find a “new-to-you” study spot on campus. Research shows that getting a change of scenery and having new, diverse experiences each day are closely tied to positive emotions and an enhanced sense of well-being. From coffee shops and academic buildings to outdoor spaces and more, UC San Diego boasts dozens of great spots to hunker down in a variety of settings. Here are 10 of UC San Diego Today’s most inviting picks:

Cup of iced coffee sits on ledge overlooking Scripps Pier

1. Pinpoint Café

Located in the Eckart Building at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Pinpoint Café has become a TikTok sensation for good reason: perched above Scripps Pier, the peaceful, treehouse-like spot boasts some of the best ocean views on campus. With a menu that includes unique drinks like “blue ocean latte,” a variety of specialty toasts, acai bowls and more, it’s worth the trek to 8755 Biological Grade, where you’ll breathe in the salt air and likely decide to stay awhile.

2. Geisel Library 8th Floor

When studying in public spaces, do you often find yourself sucked into eavesdropping on other people’s conversations? If complete and utter silence is what you crave, look no further than the top floor—better known as the silent study floor—of UC San Diego’s iconic Geisel Library. Take the elevator to the 8th level, where you’ll not only find sweeping views of the campus and beyond, but also an atmosphere so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

Two students study at table on 5th floor terrace

3. 5th Floor Terrace, Sixth College

An open-air rooftop terrace connects the 5th floors of the Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences buildings, located in the North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood—home of Sixth College. There, you’ll find beautiful landscaping, a variety of tables, chairs and cushioned seats, and a bird’s-eye view of the Pacific. 

Fountain in front of Institute of the Americas

4. Fountain at the Institute of the Americas Building

Looking for peace and tranquility? Venture to the central fountain outside the Institute of the Americas Building, located just west of LionTree Arena. The building’s Spanish-style plaza, where the fountain is located, has a different vibe from the rest of the campus, and may offer just the escape you’re looking for. It’s a great place to clear your head and gear up for the finals-week marathon.

Table and chairs with ocean mural on wall

5.    Computer Science & Engineering Building, Basement Floor 

The Computer Science & Engineering Building, located in Warren College, was designed in 2002 to create a sense of community, with “interaction spaces” located throughout the building. This concept shines on the building’s basement floor, where a variety of tables and seating areas attract students to study individually or in groups. It may be a basement, but with ocean-inspired wall murals and unique design features, it feels anything but confining. 

Tables in Franklin Antonio Hall entry

6.    Franklin Antonio Hall 

Opened in 2022, the state-of-the-art Franklin Antonio Hall, part of the Jacobs School of Engineering, arguably has one of the most beautiful interiors on campus, with study spaces galore on both the first and second floors. The building is also home to the recently unveiled Crafted @ Minerva’s Café, which offers coffee, boba tea and fresh, organic food with a focus on sustainability. 

Exterior of Copa Vida

7. Copa Vida

Known for its lavender lattes, cortados, matcha and more, local favorite Copa Vida—which roasts its own beans—opened its campus location in 2021 on the ground floor of the Arts and Humanities building in Sixth College. Since then, it’s become a UC San Diego staple, offering ample indoor and outdoor seating for coffee and tea lovers who wish to sit and sip their favorite beverage while working, studying or writing papers.

Three students study on Sun God Lawn

8. Sun God Lawn

Need to connect with the Earth? Home to artist Niki de Saint Phalle’s 1983 “Sun God,” one of the most recognizable works in the university’s Stuart Collection, Sun God Lawn offers a sprawling green space to toss a picnic blanket or towel and get your daily dose of vitamin D while preparing for the big test. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen!

Two students study in hammock

9. Hammock Swings

They may be a prime napping spot, but campus hammocks—located on the lawns of the Price Center and the Main Gym, as well as near Revelle and Marshall Colleges—can also be a great spot to park yourself with your laptop as you study for finals. Get some fresh air and sway in the breeze, and you’re sure to feel less stressed in no time. 

Laptop and drink on table with Seventh Lawn beyond

10. East and West Lawns, Seventh College

With a focus on our changing planet, it seems fitting that Seventh College is home to two expansive green spaces—its East and West Lawns. On both lawns, you’ll find unique and flexible tables and seating areas where you can get comfortable and focused.

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