California Top Universities

Best Colleges and Universities in California

California is located on the Pacific coast of the United States and is bordered by Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona. It is the most populous state in the country with a population of 39.5 million people as of 2019. California is known for its diverse geography, with deserts, forests, beaches, mountains, and other landmarks that make it a popular tourist destination. It has a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot summers, making it ideal for outdoor activities like surfing and camping. California is also home to many major cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco. The economy of California is the largest in the US and is powered by industries such as entertainment, agriculture, technology, finance, tourism, manufacturing, and more.

List of Top Colleges in the State of California

Are you planning to attend a California college? Then, you have come to the right place! We have carefully reviewed each of 4-year colleges and universities in the state of California and the following are the top-ranked public and private programs listed in alphabetical order. You can keep reading to see best CA colleges. Please note that you will be directed to a different website.

The extraordinary array of 146 public-supported degree granting institutions, with the University of California at Berkeley (North) and UCLA (South) usually the top ranked examples, and a similarly extensive group of private-supported universities, with Stanford (North) and Southern California (South) seen as the best examples, have served both as facilitators and generators of the California dream.

California is a state of superlatives. Some have come to California for its special climate; it’s one of the few places in the world that enjoys the Mediterranean-type weather. Especially in Southern California, the dry warmth permits lightweight clothing and outdoor recreation almost all the year round, and palm trees can be seen as far north as the San Francisco Bay area. Rainfall is primarily confined to the November to March period.

California’s superlatives have drawn others because of its amazing geographic variety. The film industry, originally centered in Hollywood (LA), was drawn by the possiblity of representing most of the world’s geography without leaving the state. Geographically and culturally, California can be viewed as three regions: Southern from Santa Barbara to the Mexico border, Northern from Monterey to San Francisco – and north to Oregon – and Central to include the central shore to Sierra Nevada, and the great central valley from Bakersfield to Sacramento and Redding. These regions all exhibit rather dramatic differences.

The North has jagged shorelines, more rain, and rugged terrain, rushing rivers and many lakes. Here are the great forests and sparse population north of the Bay Area. North of Redding is the Shasta area of snow-capped mountains, and even some glaciers and bald eagles, the country’s national bird. It’s an area that we sometimes call California’s Shangri-La. Nearer the Bay Area is Napa country, with its sophisticated restaurants and numerous wineries. The Bay Area itself is home to more than 6,000,000 people, whose diversity has expanded from gold miners to computer programmers, who, coached by numerous local universities including Stanford and Berkeley, have created the entrepreneurial paradise commonly called Silicon Valley, centering from San Jose to the Golden Gate.

Southern California has a climate that exhibits sunshine and ideal temperatures most of the year, and encourages a recreation life-style that has brought many to California. The Los Angeles (LA) area is home to the entertainment industry, major technological and business enterprises as well as land development, tourism, and professional sports. Immediately south of LA is Orange County, which is famous for its beaches, amusement parks (the original Disneyland), residential developments, top higher education institutions and a decidedly less urban atmosphere than Los Angeles.

Within the northern sector of Orange County is North Orange County, where two of the region’s finest community colleges are located. Cypress College is highly respected for its programs in the health sciences, automotive and transportation technology, and the liberal arts. The college recently initiated an innovative Geographic Information Systems curriculum with grants from the National Science Foundation. It also offers such specialized programs as aviation and mortuary science. Fullerton College is the oldest continuously-operating community college in California, and it offers to its more than 19,000 students strong programs in business, science and the fine arts – particularly in music and theatre. Fullerton College is one of the largest in the nation in transferring students to the university. South of Orange County is San Diego, which has a streetcar ride direct to the Mexican border! San Diego is home to America’s cup, has a world-class zoo, and 90 museums – need we say more?

The Central region is dominated by the San Joaquin Valley, an enormous 500 mile long example of rich, irrigated farmland, with a north/south string of cities in the forth, half, and one million population range. It is the fastest growing region in California, as people leave the more crowded shore cities. Central west is Monterey/Carmel (very internationally oriented), Big Sur ( a northern Italy type of coastline), and Santa Cruz with its boardwalk amusement park and university. Further south on the coast, we find a castle (Hearst) sitting on a hill overlooking the ocean, and further inland a charming town (Solvang) straight out of Denmark.

Central East is high Sierra country, with the gold country towns along foothills and strung like earls on north/south highway 49. Between Sierra and the sea are lush fields of grapes, and a cornucopia of other fruits and vegetables – the nation’s breadbasket. Merced County, centering the triangle including San Francisco, Monterey and Yosemite, has the world’s largest winery (Gallo). But industry and cutting edge telecommunications are moving into the farmlands; Merced also prints 80% of all the telephone books, and several national magazines, produces speedboats, etc, and has an International Trade Development Center with a Free Trade Zone.

The two-year colleges of California issue Associate Degrees that are transferable to the more advanced degree universities in the nation, and also provide vocational certificate programs, such as ESL, often of an intensive nature. The State University System provides Bachelor’s degrees (usually four years or so after the Associate), and Master’s Degrees (usually requiring a fifth or sixth year). The University of California issues Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees (the doctorate usually requiring two or more post-master’s work, plus an approved dissertation).

These university programs represent the combined experience of California and the world, and have brought California to the cutting edge of the world-wide revolution in telecommunications. For beginning university students, I recommend starting at the two year colleges, since they are much less expensive, have smaller classes taught by professors whose major interest is teaching rather than research, and provide a more flexible format for individual tutoring or counseling, while determining what major is desired. Fullerton and Merced have extensive international outreach, eg Fullerton receives a select group from the Beijing Institute of Management each year, and Merced has sister college agreements with universities in China, Japan, Vietnam and France, plus articulated programs with the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

California is an attitude as well as a place. It is vibrant, entrepreneurial, diverse and intellectually stimulating, because it’s always on the doorstep of the future. Everyone needs the California experience, just as everyone needs the Paris experience – to have a better sense of who you are and to touch base with your feelings. Only when you experience another culture do you better know your own culture.

Below we list all universities in the state of California.

  • Academy of Art University (CA)

Founded: 1929
Slogan: “Built by artists for artists”
Location: 79 New Montgomery, San Francisco, CA 94105
Tuition: $19,740 (2014)
Acceptance Rate: 100% (2015)
Total Enrollment: 11,071

  • Alliant International University (CA)

Founded: 1969
Location: 10455 Pomerado Road, San Diego, CA 92131
Tuition: $16,800 (2015)
Acceptance Rate: 38.550003% (2014)
Total Enrollment: 3,871

  • American Jewish University (CA)

Founded: 1947
Slogan: “Education demands innovation…”
Location: 15600 Mulholland Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90077
Tuition: $30,182 (2016)
Acceptance Rate: 58% (2015)

  • Antioch University at Los Angeles (CA)

Address: 400 Corporate Pointe, Culver City, CA 90230
Phone: (310) 578-1080

  • Antioch University at Santa Barbara (CA)

Founded: 1977
Location: 602 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

  • Art Center College of Design (CA)

Founded: 1930
Location: 1700 Lida St, Pasadena, CA 91103
Tuition: $44,932 (2019)
Acceptance Rate: 67.65% (2018)
Total Enrollment: 1,737

  • Azusa Pacific University (CA)

Founded: 1899
Slogan: “God First”
Location: 901 E Alosta, Azusa, CA 91702
Tuition: $41,410 (2021)
Acceptance Rate: 69.0% (2021)
Total Enrollment: 10,095

  • Biola University (CA)

Founded: 1908
Slogan: “Above All Give Glory to God”
Location: 13800 Biola Ave, La Mirada, CA 90639
Tuition: $41,976 (2020)
Acceptance Rate: 71.0% (2021)
Total Enrollment: 5,631

  • Brandman University (CA)
  • California Baptist University (CA)

Founded: 1950
Slogan: “Live Your Purpose”
Location: 8432 Magnolia Ave, Riverside, CA 92504
Tuition: $34,882 (2019)
Acceptance Rate: 78.0% (2021)
Total Enrollment: 11,491

  • California College of the Arts (CA)

Founded: 1907
Location: 1111 Eighth Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
Tuition: $51,092 (2019)
Acceptance Rate: 88.18% (2018)
Total Enrollment: 1,619

More on the Internet

  • COUNTRYAAH: How many counties are there in California? This website provides a full list of all counties, cities, towns and detailed information of each county in California.

California Top Universities