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

  • Campus Locations:
    1. Universal Technical Institute

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Collision Repair and Refinish Technology
      • Marine Technician Specialist
      • Diesel Technology
      • Motorcycle Technician Specialist
      • Automotive Technology
      • NASCAR Technology
  • Campus and Online Programs
    2. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science - Film Production
      • MS - Entertainment Business (Campus)
      • MS - Game Design (Campus)
      • M.S. - Entertainment Business
      • M.S. - New Media Journalism
      • Master of Fine Arts - Creative Writing
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Sportscasting (Campus)
      • Bachelor of Science - Software Development
      • BS - Creative Writing for Entertainment (Campus)
      • BS - Film (Campus)
      • BS - Media Communications (Campus)
      • BS - Computer Animation (Campus)
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Florida Tech

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master's in Business Administration/Management
      • MA in Organizational Leadership
      • MS in Information Technology/Database Administration
      • Master's in Business Administration
      • Master's in Business Administration/Accounting & Finance
      • Master's in Business Administration/Finance
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Colorado State University Global

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Project Management
      • Master of Finance
      • Master of Professional Accounting
      • Master - Information Technology Management
      • Master - Human Resource Management
      • MS - Healthcare Admin and Management
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Human Services
      • BS - Accounting
      • BS - Project Management
      • BS - Marketing
      • BS - Healthcare Admin and Management
      • BS - Business Management
    Certificate
      • Graduate Certificate - Human Resource Management
      • Undergraduate Certificate - Project Management
      • Graduate Specialization - Accounting
      • Graduate Certificate - Cyber Security
  • Campus and Online Programs
    5. The Chicago School

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Psy.D. Applied Clinical Psychology
      • Ph.D. Organizational Leadership
      • Psy.D. Clinical Forensic Psychology
      • Psy.D. Clinical Psychology
      • Ed.D. Educational Psychology and Technology
      • Ph.D. Business Psychology, Consulting Track
    Master's
      • M.A. Clinical Psychology, Marital and Family Therapy Specialization
      • M.A. Industrial and Organizational Psychology
      • 2 Year M.A. Clinical Psychology, MFT Specialization
      • M.A. Psychology
      • Dual Enrollment: Master of Health Service Administration and Master of Public Health
      • M.A. Behavioral Economics
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Independence University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Information Systems (MS)
      • Nursing Administration (MS)
      • Nursing Education (MS)
    Bachelor's
      • Accounting (BS)
      • Business Administration (BS)
      • Business Administration - Human Resources Emphasis (BS)
      • Business Administration - Marketing Emphasis (BS)
      • Business Administration - Technology Emphasis (BS)
      • Health Services Management (BS)
    Associate's
      • Medical Assisting (AOS)
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration
      • Doctor of Education in Teaching and Learning with an Emphasis in Adult Learning
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership
      • Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision
    Master's
      • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
      • MS in Criminal Justice: Legal Studies
      • M.A. in Reading with an Emphasis in Secondary Education
      • M.Ed. in Early Childhood
      • M.Ed. in Special Education: Cross-Categorical
      • MS in Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
    Bachelor's
      • BS in Psychology
      • B.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Performance and Sports Psychology
      • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
      • BS in Early Childhood
      • BS in Elementary Education / Special Education (Dual Major)
      • BS in Health Care Administration
  • Campus Locations:
    8. San Joaquin Valley College

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Certificate - Medical Office Administration
      • Certificate - Dental Assisting
      • Certificate - Pharmacy Technician
      • Certificate - Business Administration
      • Degree - Diagnostic Medical Sonography
      • Degree - Respiratory Therapy
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Liberty University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor Of Education - Leadership
      • Doctor of Education - Curriculum and Instruction
      • DBA: Healthcare Management
      • DBA: Marketing
      • DBA: Project Management
      • DBA: Human Resources
    Master's
      • MA: Communication
      • MA: Professional Counseling
      • Master of Arts in Public Policy - Public Administration
      • MA: Applied Psychology: Developmental Psychology
      • MA: Applied Psychology: Industrial Organizational Psychology
      • MA: Human Services Counseling: Criminal Justice
  • Campus Locations:
    10. Carrington College

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Dental Assisting
      • Medical Assisting
      • Pharmacy Technology
      • Medical Administrative Assistant
      • Medical Billing and Coding
      • Veterinary Technology
    Certificate
      • Criminal Justice: Corrections

Featured Schools

Universal Technical Institute

  • Collision Repair and Refinish Technology
  • Marine Technician Specialist
  • Diesel Technology

What is your highest level of education completed?

Full Sail University

  • Master of Science - Film Production
  • MS - Entertainment Business (Campus)
  • BS - Sportscasting (Campus)
  • Bachelor of Science - Software Development

What is your highest level of education?

Florida Tech

  • Master's in Business Administration/Management
  • MA in Organizational Leadership
  • MS in Information Technology/Database Administration

What is your highest level of education completed?

Colorado State University Global

  • Master of Project Management
  • BS - Human Services
  • Graduate Certificate - Human Resource Management

What is your highest level of education?

The Chicago School

  • Psy.D. Applied Clinical Psychology
  • Ph.D. Organizational Leadership
  • M.A. Clinical Psychology, Marital and Family Therapy Specialization
  • M.A. Industrial and Organizational Psychology

What is your highest level of education completed?

Independence University

  • Information Systems (MS)
  • Accounting (BS)
  • Medical Assisting (AOS)

What is your highest level of education completed?

Grand Canyon University

  • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration
  • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
  • BS in Psychology

What is your highest level of education?

San Joaquin Valley College

  • Certificate - Medical Office Administration
  • Certificate - Dental Assisting
  • Certificate - Pharmacy Technician

What is your highest level of education?