Best Colleges in California

Follow the Bear

Once you come to The Golden State, you never go back

California’s gorgeous scenery makes West Coast living easy. With the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Sierra Nevadas to the east, California is the most populous state in the country. Major universities have campuses in Los Angeles, Chico, Berkley, San Diego, San Francisco and more.* Have a soft spot for food production, viniculture, aerospace, or education? California leads the country in wine production and single-origin produce agriculture. The Golden State also has robust aerospace and education programs for all the engineers and teaching students out there. IT majors are also in good company with San Francisco’s iconic Silicon Valley. Recent job growth is at 1.36%, well over the nation’s average, with major industries including finance, business, engineering and technology.*

Once you’re in California, it’s a little work and a lot of play. Fill time between classes with wine tasting in Napa Valley or surfing in San Diego. Outdoor lovers can’t get enough with hiking and camping in Yosemite National Park, skiing in Mammoth, or rock climbing at Joshua Tree. California has thousands of restaurants and bars, concerts all year long, and the famous Hollywood. With over 20 professional sports teams, Lakers, 49ers, Angels, Kings, and more, as well as the Rose Bowl, you’re sure to find a good reason to show some spirit. Regardless of where you choose to live in California, make sure to own something that shows off your new state flag with that iconic big, brown bear.

*Wikipedia, “Colleges and Universities in California” *www.bestplaces.net/economy/state/California
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Best Four Year Universities in California

Rank School Name Location Description   Rating
1 Stanford University Stanford, CA

Stanford University offers 310 Degree programs. It's a large private university in a large suburb. In 2015, 5,246 students graduated with students earning 2,428 Master's degrees, 1,802 Bachelor's degrees, 1,008 Doctoral degrees, and 8 Certificates degrees.

Based on 64 Reviews
2 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA

University of Southern California offers 589 Degree programs. It's a large private university in a large city. In 2015, 16,393 students graduated with students earning 8,077 Master's degrees, 5,915 Bachelor's degrees, 1,669 Doctoral degrees, and 732 Certificates degrees.

Based on 52 Reviews
3 California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA

California Institute of Technology offers 99 Degree programs. It's a small private university in a mid sized city. In 2015, 565 students graduated with students earning 243 Bachelor's degrees, 196 Doctoral degrees, 125 Master's degrees, and 1 Certificates degree.

Based on 4 Reviews
4 University of California-Berkeley Berkeley, CA
UC Berkeley

University of California-Berkeley offers 385 Degree programs. It's a large public university in a mid sized city. In 2015, 12,586 students graduated with students earning 8,789 Bachelor's degrees, 2,481 Master's degrees, 1,211 Doctoral degrees, and 105 Certificates degrees.

Based on 140 Reviews
5 University of California-Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA

University of California-Los Angeles offers 425 Degree programs. It's a large public university in a large city. In 2015, 13,293 students graduated with students earning 8,770 Bachelor's degrees, 3,072 Master's degrees, 1,450 Doctoral degrees, and 1 Certificates degree.

Based on 88 Reviews
6 Pepperdine University Malibu, CA

Pepperdine University offers 136 Degree programs. It's a medium sized private university in a large suburb. In 2015, 2,532 students graduated with students earning 1,259 Master's degrees, 972 Bachelor's degrees, and 301 Doctoral degrees.

Based on 8 Reviews
7 University of California-San Diego La Jolla, CA

University of California-San Diego offers 283 Degree programs. It's a large public university in a large city. In 2015, 8,634 students graduated with students earning 6,438 Bachelor's degrees, 1,478 Master's degrees, and 718 Doctoral degrees.

Based on 36 Reviews
8 University of California-Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA

University of California-Santa Barbara offers 256 Degree programs. It's a large public university in a mid sized suburb. In 2015, 6,773 students graduated with students earning 5,786 Bachelor's degrees, 537 Master's degrees, 364 Doctoral degrees, and 86 Certificates degrees.

Based on 52 Reviews
9 Santa Clara University Santa Clara, CA

Santa Clara University offers 152 Degree programs. It's a medium sized private university in a mid sized city. In 2015, 3,059 students graduated with students earning 1,648 Bachelor's degrees, 1,046 Master's degrees, 226 Doctoral degrees, and 139 Certificates degrees.

Based on 20 Reviews
10 University of California-Irvine Irvine, CA

University of California-Irvine offers 311 Degree programs. It's a large public university in a mid sized city. In 2015, 9,629 students graduated with students earning 7,055 Bachelor's degrees, 1,681 Master's degrees, 636 Doctoral degrees, and 257 Certificates degrees.

Based on 16 Reviews

Best Community Colleges in California

Rank School Name Location Description   Rating
1 De Anza College Cupertino, CA

De Anza College offers 124 Degree programs. It's a very large public college in a small city. In 2015, 2,374 students graduated with students earning 1,703 Associate's degrees, and 671 Certificates degrees.

2 Foothill College Los Altos Hills, CA

Foothill College offers 104 Degree programs. It's a large public college in a large suburb. In 2015, 1,461 students graduated with students earning 916 Associate's degrees, and 545 Certificates degrees.

3 MiraCosta College Oceanside, CA

MiraCosta College offers 162 Degree programs. It's a large public college in a large suburb. In 2015, 2,799 students graduated with students earning 1,533 Certificates degrees, and 1,266 Associate's degrees.

4 Santa Monica College Santa Monica, CA

Santa Monica College offers 89 Degree programs. It's a very large public college in a small city. In 2015, 3,764 students graduated with students earning 2,240 Associate's degrees, and 1,524 Certificates degrees.

5 Santa Rosa Junior College Santa Rosa, CA

Santa Rosa Junior College offers 213 Degree programs. It's a very large public college in a mid sized city. In 2015, 5,736 students graduated with students earning 3,780 Certificates degrees, and 1,956 Associate's degrees.

6 Cypress College Cypress, CA

Cypress College offers 130 Degree programs. It's a large public college in a large suburb. In 2015, 1,925 students graduated with students earning 974 Associate's degrees, and 951 Certificates degrees.

7 College of the Canyons Santa Clarita, CA

College of the Canyons offers 85 Degree programs. It's a large public college in a large suburb. In 2015, 2,029 students graduated with students earning 1,366 Associate's degrees, and 663 Certificates degrees.

8 El Camino Community College District Torrance, CA

El Camino Community College District offers 158 Degree programs. It's a very large public college in a large suburb. In 2015, 2,508 students graduated with students earning 2,019 Associate's degrees, and 489 Certificates degrees.

9 Orange Coast College Costa Mesa, CA

Orange Coast College offers 179 Degree programs. It's a very large public college in a mid sized city. In 2015, 3,830 students graduated with students earning 2,040 Associate's degrees, and 1,790 Certificates degrees.

10 Pasadena City College Pasadena, CA

Pasadena City College offers 150 Degree programs. It's a very large public college in a mid sized city. In 2015, 4,043 students graduated with students earning 3,201 Associate's degrees, and 842 Certificates degrees.

Based on 4 Reviews

List of all Colleges in California

Filter:
Degree Levels
  • Associate's
  • Bachelor's
  • Certificates
  • Doctoral
  • Master's
Program Length
  • Less than 2 years (below associate)
  • At least 2 but less than 4 years
  • Four or more years
Control Type
  • Private for-profit
  • Private not-for-profit
  • Public
School Logo School Name Average tuition Student Teacher Ratio Enrolled Students
Stanford University Stanford University Stanford, CA
5/5
6 : 1 16,980
University of Southern California University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
5/5
16 : 1 43,401
California Institute of Technology California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA
5/5
7 : 1 2,255
University of California-Berkeley University of California-Berkeley Berkeley, CA
3/5
21 : 1 38,189
University of California-Los Angeles University of California-Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
3/5
12 : 1 41,908
Pepperdine University Pepperdine University Malibu, CA
5/5
16 : 1 7,632
University of California-San Diego University of California-San Diego La Jolla, CA
3/5
15 : 1 32,906
University of California-Santa Barbara University of California-Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA
3/5
24 : 1 23,497
Santa Clara University Santa Clara University Santa Clara, CA
5/5
14 : 1 8,680
University of California-Irvine University of California-Irvine Irvine, CA
3/5
17 : 1 30,836
University of California-Davis University of California-Davis Davis, CA
3/5
15 : 1 35,186
Claremont McKenna College Claremont McKenna College Claremont, CA
5/5
8 : 1 1,349
Occidental College Occidental College Los Angeles, CA
5/5
11 : 1 2,023
Pomona College Pomona College Claremont, CA
5/5
8 : 1 1,663
University of San Diego University of San Diego San Diego, CA
5/5
15 : 1 8,251
Chapman University Chapman University Orange, CA
5/5
14 : 1 8,305
Harvey Mudd College Harvey Mudd College Claremont, CA
5/5
8 : 1 825
University of San Francisco University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
5/5
15 : 1 10,797
Loyola Marymount University Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA
5/5
13 : 1 9,392
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo, CA
3/5
23 : 1 20,944
University of California-Santa Cruz University of California-Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, CA
3/5
27 : 1 17,868
University of the Pacific University of the Pacific Stockton, CA
5/5
12 : 1 6,281
San Diego State University San Diego State University San Diego, CA
2/5
31 : 1 34,254
University of California-Riverside University of California-Riverside Riverside, CA
3/5
24 : 1 21,385
California State University-Long Beach California State University-Long Beach Long Beach, CA
2/5
27 : 1 37,446

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