Overview of California Colleges & Schools
California is home to a large number of private and public institutions. California’s public schools operate under one of three college and university systems, the University of California System, That California State University System, and the California Community College System. California is one of the largest states in population and territory. The college systems in place are available in order to serve the whole of California.
The California State University System operates 23 colleges throughout the state and distributes half of all the bachelor degrees given within the state. The system has over 400,000 students per year and 47,000 faculty members. Overall it is the largest system of its kind in the United States.
CSU System Schools Include:
- California State University Chico (Chico)
- California State University East Bay (Hayward)
- California State University Fresno (Fresno)
- California State University Los Angeles (Los Angeles)
- California State University Monterey Bay (Seaside)
- California State University Northridge (Northridge)
- San Diego State University (San Diego)
The University of California System has approximately 240,000 students per year and a faculty of around 18,000. The UC system has several school considered as being among the best in the country. The school’s boast a large number of distinguished faculty members. The UC System currently operates 11 schools, with 2 specializing in graduate studies only.
UC System Schools include:
- University of California Berkeley (Berkeley)
- University of California Irvine (Irvine)
- University of California Los Angeles (Los Angeles)
- University of California San Diego (La Jolla, San Diego)
- University of California Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz)
In addition to the public institutions in place, California is host to a large number of private institutions. Of these private institutions, many rank among the best in the United States. Private institutions run the gamut of educational opportunities, and are located throughout the state, in small towns to large urban centers. Private schools in California are varied enough that one will suit most needs of an individual.
Private Schools in California Include:
- University of Southern California (Los Angeles)
- Stanford University (Palo Alto)
- California Institute of Technology (Pasadena)
- Harvey Mudd College (Claremont)
- California Institute of the Arts (Valencia)
In addition the large number of public and private four year institutions California has a large community college system that run throughout the state as well as vocational and technical schools both publicly and privately operated. In terms of numbers educational opportunities in California are incredibly high.
The most populous city in California is Los Angeles, followed by San Diego and San Jose. While the most populous county in California is Los Angeles County with San Diego County and Orange County close to one another. If you are interested in visiting the state of California, consider visiting their state page or the state chapter of the Chamber of Commerce.
Public Universities & Colleges
There are thirty-two public 4-year state universities and colleges in California. These four-year institutions predominantly offer bachelor's or higher level programs and some may even include research facilities. See a state-wide list of the state universities and colleges in California.
Private Universities & Colleges
In California there are 134 accredited private four-year colleges. Similar to public schools, private colleges and universities offer bachelor's or higher level programs and research opportunities, although they usually have smaller classes and higher tuition. Compare admission requirements and tuition details for private colleges in California.
Community colleges are public institutions that offer low cost, high quality education for residents throughout the state. These schools offer 2-year programs that grant associate degrees or offer training courses in specialized trades. California" Community colleges also are the number one transfer-out programs available for four-year colleges and universities. Learn more and compare community colleges in California.
Liberal Arts Colleges
California has thirteen accredited liberal arts colleges. These schools primarily focus on undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences through comprehensive and flexible curriculums. Compare all the liberal arts colleges in California.
Bible & Christian Colleges
Bible and Christian colleges generally provide specialized undergraduate education with a focus on religious or biblical study. There are approximately fifty such colleges in California located throughout the state. See a full list of Christian colleges in California along with program and tuition information.
Browse Schools by Career in California
Follow the links below to get information on accredited schools in our database that offer programs or degrees.
Medicine & Healthcare
- Medical Schools in California (M.D.) (8 Schools)
- Pharmacy Schools in California (Pharm. D.) (7 Schools)
- Physical Therapy Schools in California (DPT, MPT) (17 Schools)
- Veterinary Schools in California (D.V.M.) (2 Schools)
- Nursing Schools in California (BSN, RN, LPN, ...) (239 Schools)
Law & Criminal Justice
- Law Schools in California (J.D.) (28 Schools)