2022 Best Colleges in California

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Stanford University

#2 CALIFORNIA

Stanford University is a large private university located in Stanford, CA ranked 2nd in the nation. It has a total of 8,290 full-time undergraduate students and is highly competitive, accepting 4.34% of applicants. Stanford University offers 227 different majors and is best known for its Human Biology, Industrial Management, and Earth Sciences programs, which are all nationally ranked 1st. With an annual tuition of $52,857 per year, Stanford University is exceptionally pricey. 89.2% of students graduate moving on to the next phase of their lives, employment. After college, alumni go on to make roughly $94,000 per year, which is 126% above the national median.

Stanford, CA

www.stanford.edu/

A+

Rating

4%

Acceptance

20,993

Students

#2

Ranking

$52,857

Tuition

California Institute of Technology is a small private university located in Pasadena, CA ranked 19th in the United States. It has a total of 989 full-time undergraduate students and is highly competitive, accepting slightly north of 1 in 20 applicants. California Institute of Technology offers 93 different majors and is best known for its Computational Mathematics, Astrophysics, and Physics programs (nationally ranked 1st, 1st, and 2nd respectively). With an annual tuition of $52,506 per year, California Institute of Technology is very expensive. After college, alumni go on to take home near $85,900 per year, which is 107% over the national median.

Pasadena, CA

www.caltech.edu

A+

Rating

6%

Acceptance

2,334

Students

#19

Ranking

$52,506

Tuition

Pomona College

#20 CALIFORNIA

Pomona College is a small private liberal arts college located in Claremont, CA ranked 20th in the United States. It has a total of 1,680 full-time undergraduate students and is highly competitive, with a 7.4% acceptance rate. Pomona College offers 52 different majors and is best known for its Molecular Biology, Public Policy Analysis, and Environmental Science programs (nationally ranked 3rd, 7th, and 8th respectively). With an annual tuition of $54,380 per year, Pomona College is very high-priced. 89.39% of students graduate moving on to the next stage of their lives, employment. After finishing their studies, alumni go on to earn roughly $58,100 per year, which is 40% above the national median.

Claremont, CA

www.pomona.edu

A+

Rating

7%

Acceptance

1,680

Students

#20

Ranking

$54,380

Tuition

University of Southern California is a very large private university located in Los Angeles, CA ranked 24th in the United States. It has a total of 21,909 full-time undergraduate students and is quite competitive, accepting 11.42% of applicants. University of Southern California offers 527 different majors and is best known for its Communication and Media Studies, Film, and Gerontology programs, which are all nationally ranked 1st. With an annual tuition of $57,256 per year, University of Southern California is very high-priced. 87.78% of students graduate moving on to the next chapter of their lives, entering the labor market. After college, alumni go on to take home around $74,000 per year, which is 78% over the national median.

Los Angeles, CA

www.usc.edu/

A+

Rating

11%

Acceptance

53,186

Students

#24

Ranking

$57,256

Tuition

University of California-Los Angeles is a very large public university located in Los Angeles, CA ranked 33rd in America. It has a total of 33,703 full-time undergraduate students and is quite competitive, accepting 12.32% of applicants. University of California-Los Angeles offers 333 different majors and is best known for its Psychology, Sociology, and Political Science and Government programs, which are all nationally ranked 1st. With an annual tuition of $11,442 for students from California and $41,196 for those from out-of-state, University of California-Los Angeles is quite expensive. 80.62% of students graduate starting the next chapter of their lives, working. After finishing their studies, alumni go on to earn more or less $60,700 per year, which is 46% above the national median.

Los Angeles, CA

www.ucla.edu/

A+

Rating

12%

Acceptance

47,103

Students

#33

Ranking

$41,196

Tuition

Claremont McKenna College is a small private liberal arts college located in Claremont, CA ranked 55th in the nation. It has a total of 1,355 full-time undergraduate students and is quite competitive, accepting just about 10% of applicants. Claremont McKenna College offers 56 different majors and is best known for its Systems Science and Theory, Experimental Psychology, and Industrial Management programs (nationally ranked 4th, 9th, and 11th respectively). With an annual tuition of $56,190 per year, Claremont McKenna College is exceptionally costly. After graduation, alumni go on to take home more or less $72,900 per year, which is 76% over the national median.

Claremont, CA

www.cmc.edu

A+

Rating

10%

Acceptance

1,358

Students

#55

Ranking

$56,190

Tuition

Harvey Mudd College

#56 CALIFORNIA

Harvey Mudd College is a very small private liberal arts college located in Claremont, CA ranked 56th in the nation. It has a total of 923 full-time undergraduate students and is quite competitive, accepting barely greater than one in every eight applicants. Harvey Mudd College offers 18 different majors and is best known for its Mathematics and Computer Science and Physics programs, which are respectively ranked 2nd and 20th in the US. With an annual tuition of $58,359 per year, Harvey Mudd College is very expensive. After graduation, alumni go on to make approximately $88,800 per year, which is 114% over the national median.

Claremont, CA

https://www.hmc.edu

A+

Rating

14%

Acceptance

923

Students

#56

Ranking

$58,359

Tuition

University of California-San Diego is a very large public university located in La Jolla, CA ranked 66th in America. It has a total of 31,840 full-time undergraduate students and is somewhat competitive, with a 31.48% acceptance rate. University of California-San Diego offers 228 different majors and is best known for its Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Global Studies, and Cognitive Science programs, which are all nationally ranked 1st. With an annual tuition of $11,442 for students from California and $41,196 for those from out-of-state, University of California-San Diego is quite pricey. 78.44% of students graduate starting the next chapter of their lives, entering the workforce. After graduation, alumni go on to bring home about $59,900 per year, which is 44% above the national median.

La Jolla, CA

www.ucsd.edu

A+

Rating

31%

Acceptance

39,811

Students

#66

Ranking

$41,196

Tuition

University of California-Berkeley is a very large public university located in Berkeley, CA ranked 68th in the United States. It has a total of 32,700 full-time undergraduate students and is quite competitive, accepting 16.25% of applicants. University of California-Berkeley offers 315 different majors and is best known for its Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences, Natural Resources and Conservation, and Environmental Studies programs, which are all nationally ranked 1st. With an annual tuition of $11,442 for students from California and $41,196 for those from out-of-state, University of California-Berkeley is rather costly. 58.68% of students graduate ready to the next phase of their lives, entering the workforce. After finishing college, alumni go on to take home roughly $64,700 per year, which is 56% above the national median.

Berkeley, CA

www.berkeley.edu

A+

Rating

16%

Acceptance

45,183

Students

#68

Ranking

$41,196

Tuition

Scripps College

#71 CALIFORNIA

Scripps College is a small private liberal arts college located in Claremont, CA ranked 71st in the nation. It has a total of 1,104 full-time undergraduate students and is somewhat competitive, accepting 32% of applicants. Scripps College offers 68 different majors and is best known for its Human Biology, Environmental Science, and Fine Art programs (nationally ranked 10th, 26th, and 34th respectively). With an annual tuition of $56,970 per year, Scripps College is very costly. 85.45% of students graduate beginning the next chapter of their lives, working. After college, alumni go on to earn roughly $54,100 per year, which is 30% over the national median.

Claremont, CA

www.scrippscollege.edu

A+

Rating

32%

Acceptance

1,140

Students

#71

Ranking

$56,970

Tuition

Pitzer College

#83 CALIFORNIA

Pitzer College is a small private liberal arts college located in Claremont, CA ranked 83rd in the US. It has a total of 1,089 full-time undergraduate students and is quite competitive, accepting barely greater than 1 out of every 8 applicants. Pitzer College offers 71 different majors and is best known for its Organizational Behavior Studies, Human Resources, and Environmental Science programs (nationally ranked 3rd, 6th, and 7th respectively). With an annual tuition of $55,734 per year, Pitzer College is very expensive. 82.3% of students graduate ready to the next chapter of their lives, working. After college, alumni go on to take home around $48,700 per year, which is 17% greater than the national median.

Claremont, CA

https://www.pitzer.edu

A+

Rating

14%

Acceptance

1,089

Students

#83

Ranking

$55,734

Tuition

University of California-Davis is a very large public university located in Davis, CA ranked 86th in the nation. It has a total of 32,863 full-time undergraduate students and is somewhat competitive, with a 38.87% acceptance rate. University of California-Davis offers 311 different majors and is best known for its Design and Visual Communications, Nutrition Sciences, and Biotechnology programs, which are all nationally ranked 1st. With an annual tuition of $11,442 for in-state students and $41,196 for those from out-of-state, University of California-Davis is rather costly. 80.59% of students graduate moving on to the next chapter of their lives, working. Open graduating, alumni go on to draw more or less $58,200 per year, which is 40% over the national median.

Davis, CA

ucdavis.edu

A+

Rating

39%

Acceptance

40,623

Students

#86

Ranking

$41,196

Tuition

Santa Clara University is a mid-sized private institution located in Santa Clara, CA ranked 87th in America. It has a total of 5,797 full-time undergraduate students and is not very competitive, accepting 48.82% of applicants. Santa Clara University offers 93 different majors and is best known for its Accounting and Business Management, Web Design, and Ethnic Studies programs (nationally ranked 4th, 4th, and 5th respectively). With an annual tuition of $52,998 per year, Santa Clara University is very high-priced. 82.27% of students graduate moving on to the next phase of their lives, working. After finishing their studies, alumni go on to draw about $72,600 per year, which is 75% above the national median.

Santa Clara, CA

www.scu.edu

A+

Rating

49%

Acceptance

9,423

Students

#87

Ranking

$52,998

Tuition

Occidental College

#90 CALIFORNIA

Occidental College is a small private liberal arts college located in Los Angeles, CA ranked 90th in the nation. It has a total of 2,109 full-time undergraduate students and is somewhat competitive, accepting 36.69% of applicants. Occidental College offers 37 different majors and is best known for its Critical Theory and Analysis, Comparative Literature, and Cognitive Science programs (nationally ranked 2nd, 15th, and 19th respectively). With an annual tuition of $55,980 per year, Occidental College is exceptionally costly. 79.62% of students graduate beginning the next chapter of their lives, employment. Open graduating, alumni go on to make approximately $50,600 per year, which is 22% above the national median.

Los Angeles, CA

https://www.oxy.edu

A+

Rating

37%

Acceptance

2,110

Students

#90

Ranking

$55,980

Tuition

University of California-Santa Barbara is a very large public university located in Santa Barbara, CA ranked 97th in the US. It has a total of 24,638 full-time undergraduate students and is relatively competitive, accepting 29.56% of applicants. University of California-Santa Barbara offers 182 different majors and is best known for its Actuarial Science, Sociology, and Experimental Psychology programs (nationally ranked 1st, 2nd, and 2nd respectively). With an annual tuition of $11,442 for in-state students and $41,196 for those from out-of-state, University of California-Santa Barbara is quite expensive. 64.93% of students graduate moving on to the next phase of their lives, employment. After college, alumni go on to take in roughly $55,300 per year, which is 33% greater than the national median.

Santa Barbara, CA

www.ucsb.edu

A

Rating

30%

Acceptance

27,685

Students

#97

Ranking

$41,196

Tuition

Pepperdine University

#99 CALIFORNIA

Pepperdine University is a mid-sized private university located in Malibu, CA ranked 99th in the US. It has a total of 3,931 full-time undergraduate students and is somewhat competitive, with a 31.72% acceptance rate. Pepperdine University offers 107 different majors and is best known for its Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication, Organizational Communication, and Hispanic-American Studies programs (nationally ranked 6th, 7th, and 8th respectively). With an annual tuition of $55,640 per year, Pepperdine University is extremely pricey. 78.89% of students graduate moving on to the next stage of their lives, working. After finishing their studies, alumni go on to make more or less $65,500 per year, which is 58% above the national median.

Malibu, CA

www.pepperdine.edu/

A

Rating

32%

Acceptance

9,814

Students

#99

Ranking

$55,640

Tuition

California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo is a very large public institution located in San Luis Obispo, CA ranked 112th in the nation. It has a total of 22,130 full-time undergraduate students and is relatively competitive, with a 28.42% acceptance rate. California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo offers 123 different majors and is best known for its Natural Resources Management and Policy, Agricultural Mechanization, and Construction Management programs (nationally ranked 2nd, 2nd, and 3rd respectively). With an annual tuition of $5,742 for in-state students and $17,622 for those from out-of-state, California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo is moderately priced. 73.19% of students graduate moving on to the next stage of their lives, working. After graduation, alumni go on to earn roughly $66,900 per year, which is 61% above the national median.

San Luis Obispo, CA

calpoly.edu

A

Rating

28%

Acceptance

23,278

Students

#112

Ranking

$17,622

Tuition

University of California-Irvine is a very large public university located in Irvine, CA ranked 116th in the nation. It has a total of 31,386 full-time undergraduate students and is relatively competitive, with a 26.54% acceptance rate. University of California-Irvine offers 291 different majors and is best known for its Managerial Economics, Social Psychology, and Criminology programs (nationally ranked 1st, 1st, and 2nd respectively). With an annual tuition of $11,442 for students from California and $41,196 for those from out-of-state, University of California-Irvine is rather high-priced. 46.45% of students graduate moving on to the next stage of their lives, joining the workforce. After finishing college, alumni go on to bring home near $58,400 per year, which is 41% above the national median.

Irvine, CA

www.uci.edu/

A

Rating

27%

Acceptance

38,105

Students

#116

Ranking

$41,196

Tuition

Loyola Marymount University is a mid-sized private institution located in Los Angeles, CA ranked 121st in the United States. It has a total of 6,978 full-time undergraduate students and is not very competitive, accepting just above three sevenths of applicants. Loyola Marymount University offers 118 different majors and is best known for its Playwriting and Screenwriting, Natural Sciences, and Recording Arts Technology programs (nationally ranked 3rd, 3rd, and 5th respectively). With an annual tuition of $49,550 per year, Loyola Marymount University is very pricey. 75.59% of students graduate moving on to the next stage of their lives, working. After finishing college, alumni go on to make more or less $61,300 per year, which is 48% over the national median.

Los Angeles, CA

https://www.lmu.edu

A

Rating

44%

Acceptance

10,698

Students

#121

Ranking

$49,550

Tuition

Chapman University

#131 CALIFORNIA

Chapman University is a mid-sized private institution located in Orange, CA ranked 131st in the nation. It has a total of 7,626 full-time undergraduate students and is not very competitive, accepting 55.65% of applicants. Chapman University offers 96 different majors and is best known for its Playwriting and Screenwriting, Cinematography, and Broadcast Journalism programs (nationally ranked 2nd, 6th, and 7th respectively). With an annual tuition of $54,540 per year, Chapman University is very high-priced. 69.79% of students graduate moving on to the next stage of their lives, joining the labor market. After college, alumni go on to generate more or less $54,500 per year, which is 31% above the national median.

Orange, CA

https://www.chapman.edu

A

Rating

56%

Acceptance

10,286

Students

#131

Ranking

$54,540

Tuition

Soka University of America is a very small private university located in Aliso Viejo, CA ranked 135th in America. It has a total of 430 full-time undergraduate students and is not very competitive, accepting 40.08% of applicants. Soka University of America offers 2 different majors and is best known for its Liberal Arts and Sciences program, which is ranked 5th in America. With an annual tuition of $32,250 per year, Soka University of America is reasonably high-priced.

Aliso Viejo, CA

www.soka.edu

A

Rating

40%

Acceptance

444

Students

#135

Ranking

$32,250

Tuition

University of San Diego is a mid-sized private university located in San Diego, CA ranked 138th in the nation. It has a total of 6,279 full-time undergraduate students and is not very competitive, with a 48.69% acceptance rate. University of San Diego offers 92 different majors and is best known for its Real Estate, Finance, and International Business programs (nationally ranked 3rd, 18th, and 21st respectively). With an annual tuition of $50,450 per year, University of San Diego is exceptionally pricey. 77.61% of students graduate beginning the next phase of their lives, working. After college, alumni go on to earn close to $60,000 per year, which is 44% greater than the national median.

San Diego, CA

www.sandiego.edu

A

Rating

49%

Acceptance

10,126

Students

#138

Ranking

$50,450

Tuition

San Diego State University is a very large public university located in San Diego, CA ranked 168th in the nation. It has a total of 32,543 full-time undergraduate students and is somewhat competitive, accepting 34.13% of applicants. San Diego State University offers 232 different majors and is best known for its Speech-Language Pathology, Gerontology, and Health and Fitness programs (nationally ranked 2nd, 4th, and 5th respectively). With an annual tuition of $5,742 for students from California and $17,622 for those from out-of-state, San Diego State University is moderately priced. 72.69% of students graduate moving on to the next chapter of their lives, entering the labor force. After finishing their studies, alumni go on to earn around $51,000 per year, which is 23% over the national median.

San Diego, CA

www.sdsu.edu

A

Rating

34%

Acceptance

37,838

Students

#168

Ranking

$17,622

Tuition

Loma Linda University

#172 CALIFORNIA

Loma Linda University is a small private university located in Loma Linda, CA ranked 172nd in the US. It has a total of 1,750 full-time undergraduate students. Loma Linda University offers 183 different majors and is best known for its Clinical Nutrition Services, Speech-Language Pathology, and Respiratory Care Therapy programs (nationally ranked 2nd, 3rd, and 5th respectively). 86.17% of students graduate beginning the next stage of their lives, employment. After finishing their studies, alumni go on to earn around $80,600 per year, which is 94% above the national median.

Loma Linda, CA

www.llu.edu/index.html

A

Rating

100%

Acceptance

5,316

Students

#172

Ranking

$31,680

Tuition

University of San Francisco is a large private university located in San Francisco, CA ranked 173rd in the nation. It has a total of 7,393 full-time undergraduate students and is not very competitive, accepting 64.42% of applicants. University of San Francisco offers 120 different majors and is best known for its Entrepreneurship, Advertising, and Design and Visual Communications programs (nationally ranked 5th, 17th, and 23rd respectively). With an annual tuition of $49,740 per year, University of San Francisco is exceptionally pricey. 67.27% of students graduate starting the next chapter of their lives, working. After finishing their studies, alumni go on to earn about $62,300 per year, which is 50% above the national median.

San Francisco, CA

https://www.usfca.edu

A

Rating

64%

Acceptance

12,388

Students

#173

Ranking

$49,740

Tuition