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List of Private Universities & Colleges in California

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As the largest state by population, California is rife with top-tier private colleges and universities. From the northern stretches of the California coastline to the southernmost reaches of San Diego, the state has dozens of top ranked private colleges for students to research. Some of the most noteworthy private colleges in California include Azusa Pacific, Saint Mary’s, The Academy of Art, Southern California Institute of Technology, West Coast University, Pomona College, Golden Gate University, Loyola Marymount University, USC, and Stanford University. Dozens of private universities dot the coastline and inland empire across a state that stretches 997 miles from Oregon to Mexico. A list of top ranked colleges in California along with other highly regarded programs are listed below to help you discover your perfect college match today.

Best California Private School Majors and Online Degrees

With the vast diversity in private colleges in California, you will surely find a degree program and area of interest that suits you. In fact, you can pursue less traditional degree programs such as toxicology, entomology, sonography, robotics, dietetics, surgical technologist, forensic science, cognitive science, playwriting, marine biology and solar energy technology. Likewise, you can elect to follow a more traditional degree path like communications, economics, teaching, math, computer science, sociology, and criminal justice to grow a career in an associated field.

List of Large 4-Year Private Universities in California

There are 28 large private universities in our database for California. Follow the links below to get more details about each school.

Large Universities with Research Facilities or Faculty

The universities listed below offer many diverse academic programs, have a large student body, and usually have research facilities or faculty involved with research. These schools very often have graduate and professional programs as well.

Visit the website for Alliant International University at alliant.edu

Program Details

  • 1,000 to 4,999 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Estimated tuition & fees: $18,000 per year

Visit the website for Azusa Pacific University at apu.edu

Program Details

  • 5,000 to 9,999 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Estimated tuition & fees: $36,000 per year

Biola University in La Mirada, CA

Visit the website for Biola University at biola.edu

Program Details

  • 5,000 to 9,999 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Estimated tuition & fees: $36,000 per year

Visit the website for California Institute of Technology at caltech.edu

Program Details

  • 1,000 to 4,999 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Estimated tuition & fees: $48,000 per year

Visit the website for Pepperdine University at pepperdine.edu

Program Details

  • 5,000 to 9,999 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Estimated tuition & fees: $51,000 per year

Stanford University in Stanford, CA

Visit the website for Stanford University at stanford.edu

Program Details

  • 10,000 to 19,999 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Estimated tuition & fees: $49,000 per year

Visit the website for University of La Verne at laverne.edu

Program Details

  • 5,000 to 9,999 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Estimated tuition & fees: $40,000 per year

Visit the website for University of San Diego at sandiego.edu

Program Details

  • 5,000 to 9,999 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Estimated tuition & fees: $47,000 per year

University of San Francisco in San Francisco, CA

Visit the website for University of San Francisco at usfca.edu

Program Details

  • 10,000 to 19,999 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Estimated tuition & fees: $45,000 per year

Visit the website for University of Southern California at usc.edu

Program Details

  • More Than 20,000 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Estimated tuition & fees: $53,000 per year

Visit the website for University of the Pacific at pacific.edu

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Program Details

  • 5,000 to 9,999 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Estimated tuition & fees: $45,000 per year

Large Primarily Academic Universities

Each university listed below offers a diverse set of degrees and programs, unlike the research universities listed above, these schools contain little to no research activity on campus and are primarily academic.

Small to Medium Sized 4-Year Universities

The 4-year schools listed below have a small to medium sized student body and may offer a wide range of associate and bachelor's degrees. Get more information about each school by clicking the links below.

4-Year Colleges with a Special Focus on an Area of Study

The schools below are grouped by their special area of focus. To learn about admissions, tuition & fees, programs offered, and more click on the school names below.

Health Professions Schools

Technology-Related Schools

Schools of Business and Management

Schools of Art, Music, and Design

Theological Seminaries, Bible Colleges, and Other Faith-Related Institutions

Schools of Engineering

Notes: Tuition & fee amounts are for both California in-state residents and out of state students, unless noted otherwise. The tuition information displayed is an estimate, which we calculated based on historical data and should be solely used for informational purposes only. Please contact the respective school for information about the current school year.

Source: IPEDS Survey 2012-2015: Data obtained from the US Dept. of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Data may vary depending on school and academic year.