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
Founded in 1885, Stanford University is a private research university in the San Francisco metro area and has a total undergraduate enrollment of about 17,000 students. Stanford is made up of three schools with over 40 undergraduate academic departments, and popular graduate programs including medicine, law, and business. The campus was rebuilt after the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and is now known for its mission-style architecture, with the Stanford Memorial Church at the epicenter of campus life.
Stanford is on a quarter-based academic calendar with tuition and fees exceeding $50,000 annually. The school is one of the most highly regarded research institutions and has produced numerous Fulbright and Rhodes Scholars.
In addition to its strong scholastic traditions, Stanford is also known for its local rivalry with UC Berkeley, and their annual meeting known as the “Big Game” takes place at the Rose Bowl. Notable alumni include actress Reese Witherspoon, author John Steinbeck, and former President of the United States, Herbert Hoover.
The University of Southern California, also known as USC, is a private research institution founded by Robert Widney in 1880. Situated in an urban setting just west of downtown Los Angeles, USC has a current undergraduate enrollment of just over 19,000. USC is very selective in its admission process and is an internationally renowned center for learning and research. USC’s Trojans compete in the PAC-12 and wear cardinal red and gold.
USC is made up of over twenty undergraduate schools including the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. USC operates on a semester-based academic calendar, and tuition for in-state students and out-of-state students exceeds $55,000 annually, before financial aid. Outside of athletics, USC has a large alumni network in the film industry, with graduates including actors John Wayne, Will Ferrell, Forest Whitaker, and the face of Reading Rainbow, LeVar Burton.
USC provides its student body with intimate undergraduate classes that are typically 20 students or fewer, which can be ideal for those that lean towards group learning over the lecture format. USC is not only known for its strong academic foundation - the school also operates a globally recognized athletic program. The university has sent student representatives to every Olympic Games since 1912 and has amassed over 250 Olympic medals, which is more than some countries!
The University of California Berkeley or UC Berkeley is a public institution that was founded in 1868. Located in Berkeley, California, this school was the first campus that was built in the University of California System and offers over 130 academic departments and 80 interdisciplinary research groups with the business school, computer engineering, and biological sciences programs ranking in the top nationally. UC Berkeley has a total undergraduate enrollment of around 32,000 students that take classes according to a semester-based academic calendar. Prospective students should note that California residents receive in-state tuition at a much lower rate than applicants from out-of-state.
UC Berkeley has a history of student-based political action and discussion, and was the center of the Free Speech Movement, which began in 1964 and fueled opposition to segregation and the Vietnam War. The graduation rate at UC Berkeley is an impressive 91.9%, thanks in part to the student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1.
UC Berkeley is known for its campus architecture, but the University Botanical Garden also draws international attention with over 10,000 types of plant species. Beyond academics, UC Berkeley athletic teams, represented by their campus mascot Oski the Bear, compete in the PAC-12 with an annual football rivalry with Stanford. Notable alumni include U.S. women’s soccer star Alex Morgan, actor Gregory Peck, and the legendary queen of Americana cuisine, Alice Waters.
The University of California Los Angeles or UCLA is a public institution that was founded in 1919, and the total undergraduate enrollment for the class of 2021 was just over 30,000. UCLA is situated in an urban setting on a campus that takes up over 419 acres in the vibrant city of Los Angeles. Students at UCLA take classes on a semester-based academic calendar, and tuition for in-state students is roughly a third of the cost that out-of-state students pay, making it a very attractive option for California residents. UCLA tends to offer large, lecture-style undergraduate classes and boasts a graduation rate that exceeds 90%.
Located in the heart of Los Angeles, California, UCLA is made up of six undergraduate schools, seven professional schools, and four health science programs including a nationally-ranked Arts and Architecture department, School of Medicine, and School of Public Health. UCLA is a public, nonprofit institution that was founded by Ernest Carroll Moore and Edward Dickson through the expansion of the existing Normal School. UCLA’s colors are “true blue” and gold, which represent the Pacific Ocean and gold wildflowers that are local to Southern California.
UCLA receives the most college applications of any university in the world and is also known as the only leading research institution that was founded in the 20th century. Beyond academics, UCLA athletic teams, known as the Bruins, compete in the PAC-12, with an annual football rivalry with USC. Notable alumni include MLB legend Jackie Robinson and actor James Franco.
|School||Average Tuition||Student Teacher Ratio||Enrolled Students|
|California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA||6 : 1||2,237|
|Harvey Mudd College Claremont, CA||8 : 1||904|
|Stanford University Stanford, CA||11 : 1||17,249|
|Pomona College Claremont, CA||7 : 1||1,637|
|Soka University of America Aliso Viejo, CA||8 : 1||419|
|Claremont McKenna College Claremont, CA||8 : 1||1,346|
|University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA||22 : 1||48,321|
|University of California-Berkeley Berkeley, CA||24 : 1||43,185|
|University of California-Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA||21 : 1||44,371|
|Scripps College Claremont, CA||11 : 1||1,109|
|Occidental College Los Angeles, CA||10 : 1||1,985|
|University of California-Irvine Irvine, CA||26 : 1||36,908|
|Pitzer College Claremont, CA||11 : 1||1,086|
|University of California-Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA||24 : 1||26,314|
|University of California-San Diego La Jolla, CA||28 : 1||38,736|
|University of California-Davis Davis, CA||22 : 1||38,634|
|Santa Clara University Santa Clara, CA||15 : 1||8,669|
|Pepperdine University Malibu, CA||22 : 1||8,824|
|University of California-Riverside Riverside, CA||26 : 1||25,547|
|Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA||16 : 1||9,822|