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Overview of California Colleges & Schools

Top Colleges in California

Discovering what public or private colleges exist in the State of California has never been easier or quicker with MatchCollege.  We have created an exclusive portal for California schools that includes all types of accredited colleges that include: public universities, private colleges, trade schools, liberal arts schools, and community colleges throughout the California state college system.  We have compiled a full list of accredited colleges in California along with the associated online degrees offered by private and public higher education institutions.  A list of the top ranked colleges is listed in an easy to read format that includes degree programs, enrollment trends, acceptance rates, 3D campus tours, courses, attendance trends, career guides, and matriculation information for prospective higher education students.

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.

Finding the Best College in California

Proprietary search tools created over the past decade at MatchCollege will help students looking to apply to schools in the state quickly find information about specific two-year California colleges and four-year California universities.  We have compiled the latest published information on enrollment, financial aid, student to teacher ratios, sports programs, and degree programs for top ranked California colleges.   Finding out more about California college majors and degrees is just a click away.  Discover today what colleges exist in California, how much tuition is for a private and public college in California, and the college degrees that are the best fit for you.

A quick request from any number of accredited colleges in California will generate admissions information directly to you, quickly and securely with MatchCollege.  Learn if you qualify for an application waiver, financial aid, scholarship, grant, tuition discount, or application fee discount before applying to a college.  Find specific information about admission qualifications for a specific college degree program or online degree by talking directly with an admission’s officer at the California college of your choice.

College Degree Breakdown for the State of California

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

Doctoral or professional degree 398,970 2.5
Master's degree 247,640 1.6
Bachelor's degree 3,794,210 23.8
Associate's degree 381,850 2.4
Postsecondary nondegree award 813,380 5.1
Some college, no degree 434,590 2.7
High school diploma or equivalent 5,333,860 33.4
No formal educational credential 4,562,080 28.6

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 122 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.

Medicine & Healthcare

Law & Criminal Justice

California College Student Resources

Thousands of free educational resources and extensive career guides exist for high school students and California college graduates. Our tools include exclusive research, insider tips, and unique resources to find the perfect college match for you based on your personal criteria. The key to finding your perfect college match is to utilize your personal criteria, learning style, career objectives, and vocational aspirations, and goals before selecting a school. Utilize our resources below to make the most of your educational experience.

California State Educational Resources