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:

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:

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:

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.

College Degree Breakdown for the State of California

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, NCES, O*NET Online

Doctoral or professional degree398,9702.5
Master's degree247,6401.6
Bachelor's degree3,794,21023.8
Associate's degree381,8502.4
Postsecondary nondegree award813,3805.1
Some college, no degree434,5902.7
High school diploma or equivalent5,333,86033.4
No formal educational credential4,562,08028.6

Public Universities & Colleges

Image of Public College Campus

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

Image of Private College Campus

In California there are 123 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

Community College 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

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

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.

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