Top California Colleges and Universities

About this article
California lies along the Pacific Coast of the United States and is widely recognized for its cultural and racial diversity. The state is home to some of the world's most renowned institutions for higher learning, five of which are described below.
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Top Five Schools in California

Stanford University

Stanford University is a private university that was founded in 1891 in Stanford, California. The campus sits 37 miles southeast of San Francisco and is home to 6,422 undergraduate students. Stanford University is one of the most distinguished institutions in the world and has received numerous accolades for its academic progress. Currently, Stanford is ranked fourth on U.S. News and World Report's Best Colleges list. Another aspect of Stanford that is often recognized is the opportunities students have to study abroad and in Washington, D.C.

California Institute of Technology

Currently ranked sixth on U.S. News and World Report's guide to America's Best Colleges, California Institute of Technology has long been recognized as a world leader in education and research. The university was founded in 1891 and has grown to enroll only 864 undergraduate students. Though it continues to maintain its small size, Cal Tech is an institution with a big impact. Cal Tech currently operates and maintains NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and is actively engaged in many other research endeavors related to the natural sciences and engineering.

University of California-Berkeley

The University of California-Berkeley was founded in 1868, making it the oldest of the ten institutions within the University of California System. Commonly referred to as simply Berkeley, the institution offers its 23,863 undergraduate students more than 300 different academic programs taught by revered professors, many of whom are Nobel Laureates or have received other distinguished designations. Berkeley has many top-rated academic programs and is currently ranked #21 by U.S. News and World Report. The academic rigor of the university results in an intensely selective admissions process for incoming freshmen and freshwomen.

University of California-Los Angeles

The University of California-Los Angeles is currently the largest university in the state of California, with an undergraduate enrollment of 24,432 students. The university was established as part of the University of California System in 1919 after a brief tenure as a normal school. UCLA's reputation as a leader in education and research is well established, and the institution was named one of the 25 New Ivies by Kaplan. Among its many distinguished academic programs are the life sciences and medical departments, which are world leaders in stem cell and other medical research. UCLA is currently ranked #25 by U.S. News and World Report.

University of Southern California

Founded in 1880, the University of Southern California is the state's oldest private research institution. Its campus sits in the University Park Neighborhood in Los Angeles, and the college's diversity closely mirrors that of the surrounding urban community. USC enrolls 16,729 undergraduate students and is ranked 27th in U.S. News and World Report's Guide to America's Best Undergraduate Colleges. One of the aspects that makes USC unique is its film school, which lies in the heart of the entertainment industry and is widely considered the top-rated film school in the nation.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Seton Hall University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Accounting
      • Master of Public Administration in Non-Profit Management
      • Master of Business Administration
      • Master of Business Administration - Accounting
      • Master of Business Administration - Finance
      • Master of Business Administration - Marketing
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • DBA - Management
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
      • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration
      • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Special Education
      • Ph.D. in General Psychology - Cognition and Instruction
      • Ph.D. in General Psychology - Industrial and Organizational Psychology
    Master's
      • M.S. Psychology with an Emphasis in Gerontology
      • M.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Human Factors
      • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
      • MS in Criminal Justice: Legal Studies
      • MS in Psychology: General Psychology
      • M.A. in Communication with an Emphasis in Education
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
      • BS in Applied Management
      • BS in Psychology
      • B.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Performance and Sports Psychology
      • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
      • BS in Accounting
  • Campus and Online Programs
    3. The Art Institutes

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Visual Arts (MFA)
      • Film (MFA)
      • Design & Media Management (MA)
      • Computer Animation (MFA)
      • Interior Design (MFA)
    Bachelor's
      • Visual Arts (BFA)
      • Culinary Arts Management (BS)
      • Culinary Management (BAS)
      • Culinary Management (BS)
      • Digital Film & Video (BFA)
      • Digital Filmmaking & Video Production (BFA)
    Associate's
      • Culinary Arts (AAS)
      • Culinary Arts (AS)
      • Culinary Arts (AA)
      • Culinary Arts (AAA)
      • Baking & Pastry (AAS)
      • Baking & Pastry (AS)
    Certificate
      • Culinary Arts (C)
      • Baking & Pastry (C)
      • Digital Image Management (C)
      • Food & Beverage Operations (C)
      • Professional Baking & Pastry (C)
      • Residential Interiors (C)
    High School Diploma
      • Culinary Arts (D)
      • Art of Cooking (D)
      • Baking & Pastry (D)
      • Digital Image Management (D)
      • Residential Planning (D)
      • Commercial Photography (D)
  • Campus and Online Programs
    4. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science - Film Production
      • M.S. - Entertainment Business
      • M.S. - New Media Journalism
      • Master of Fine Arts - Creative Writing
      • M.S. - Public Relations
      • M.S. - Internet Marketing
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Sportscasting (Campus)
      • Bachelor of Science - Software Development
      • BS - Cloud Technologies (Campus)
      • BS - Creative Writing for Entertainment (Campus)
      • BS - Film (Campus)
      • BS - Media Communications (Campus)
    Certificate
      • Cert - English As A Second Language (Campus)
      • Cert - Instructional Design and Technology
  • Online Programs Available
    5. ECPI University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor's - Electronics Engineering Technology
      • Software Development - Bachelor's
      • Bachelor's - Network Security
      • Bachelor's - Mechatronics
    Associate's
      • Associate's - Electronics Engineering Technology
      • Associate's - Network Security
    Certificate
      • Web Design & Dev
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Saint John's University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Ph.D. in Literacy
      • Ph.D. in Literacy: Educational Leadership
      • Ph.D. in Literacy: Special Education
      • Ph.D. in Literacy: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
      • Ph.D in Literacy: Literacy
    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration: Interdisciplinary Business
      • Master of Business Administration: Taxation
      • Master of Science in Accounting
      • Master of Science in Taxation
      • Master of Science in Library and Information Science
      • Master of Science in Library and Information Science: Academic Librarianship
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Argosy University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Teaching and Learning (EdD)
      • Advanced Educational Administration (EdD)
      • Clinical Psychology (PsyD)
      • Educational Leadership (EdD)
      • Business Administration (DBA)
      • Counseling Psychology (EdD)
    Master's
      • Clinical Psychology (MA)
      • Counseling Psychology (MA)
      • Health Services Management (MS)
      • Business Administration (MBA)
      • Business Administration (with Concentrations) (MBA)
      • Forensic Psychology (MA)
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor - Business Administration
      • Liberal Arts (BA)
      • Psychology (BA)
      • Bachelor - Business Administration
      • Information Technology (BS)
    Associate's
      • Psychology (AA)
      • Business Administration (AS)
      • Information Technology (AS)
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA
      • MBA Dual Concentration: HR & Project Mgmt.
      • MBA Dual Concentration: BS Mgmt. & HR
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Business Mgmt & Project Mgmt.
      • MBA: Technology Management
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Accounting and Project Management
    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
      • B.S. - Business Management: Entrepreneurial Studies Concentration
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Security Technology Concentration
      • Bachelor: Health Care Management
      • Bachelor: Accounting
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Network Management Concentration
    Associate's
      • Associate of Science - Business Management
      • Associate of Science - Business Studies
      • Associate: Health Information Management
      • Associate: Healthcare Management
      • Associate of Science - Information Technology Admin and Management
      • Associate of Science - Accounting
    Certificate
      • Diploma: Medical Office Admin
      • Diploma: Medical Assisting
      • Diploma: Bookkeeping and Payroll Accounting
      • Networking Systems Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
      • PhD in Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
      • Doctor of Business Admin - General Business
      • PhD-TIM - Computer Science
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Management
      • Ed.D. - Sports Management
    Master's
      • M.A. in Psychology - General Psychology
      • MBA - Applied Computer Science
      • Master of Business Admin - General Business
      • M.Ed. - General Education
      • Master of Business Admin - Accelerated General MBA
      • MS - Organizational Leadership: Criminal Justice
    Certificate
      • Education Specialist - Organizational Leadership
      • Education Specialist - Special Education
      • Education Specialist - International Education
      • Education Specialist - Early Childhood Education
      • Education Specialist - Curriculum and Teaching
      • Education Specialist - Instructional Leadership
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Purdue University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Communication
      • Master of Science in Education in Special Education
      • Master of Science in Engineering Technology
      • Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management
      • Master of Public Health
      • Master of Science in Education in Learning Design and Technology

Featured Schools

Seton Hall University

  • Master of Science in Accounting
  • Master of Public Administration in Non-Profit Management
  • Master of Business Administration

What is your highest level of education?

Grand Canyon University

  • DBA - Management
  • M.S. Psychology with an Emphasis in Gerontology
  • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education

What is your highest level of education?

The Art Institutes

  • Visual Arts (MFA)
  • Visual Arts (BFA)
  • Culinary Arts (AAS)
  • Culinary Arts (C)
  • Culinary Arts (D)

What is your highest level of education?

Full Sail University

  • Master of Science - Film Production
  • BS - Sportscasting (Campus)
  • Cert - English As A Second Language (Campus)

What is your highest level of education?

ECPI University

  • Bachelor's - Electronics Engineering Technology
  • Associate's - Electronics Engineering Technology
  • Web Design & Dev

What is your highest level of education?

Saint John's University

  • Ph.D. in Literacy
  • Ph.D. in Literacy: Educational Leadership
  • Master of Business Administration: Interdisciplinary Business
  • Master of Business Administration: Taxation

What is your highest level of education?

Argosy University

  • Teaching and Learning (EdD)
  • Clinical Psychology (MA)
  • Bachelor - Business Administration
  • Psychology (AA)

What is your highest level of education completed?

Herzing University

  • MBA
  • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
  • Associate of Science - Business Management
  • Diploma: Medical Office Admin

What is your highest level of education?