Best California Colleges

Ranked list of Colleges and Universities in California for 2024

With its desirable climate, dynamic cities, huge economy and reputation the global leader in technology, California is a highly desirable state for students to choose to attend college. The state is home to world-renowned research universities like Stanford in Silicon Valley and CalTech in Pasadena. The University of California (UC) system has ten campuses serving over a quarter of a million students. The UC system is home to the extremely competitive and rival colleges UCLA and UC Berkeley. The 23 campuses of the CSU system comprise the largest public four-year university system in the US and enroll nearly a half million students per year. Also significant is the California Community Colleges system, the largest of its kind, which serves 2.1 million students through its 2-year programs at 116 colleges. Notable highly rated small liberal arts schools like Pomona, Harvey Mudd and Claremont McKenna also call the Golden State home.

There are 278 colleges and universities in California enrolling 2,298,396 students. Explore the list of top colleges in California below to begin your college search. The CollegeSimply rankings are objective and data-driven in order to help you find good matches for you. Learn how the Best Colleges rankings are calculated on our ranking methodology page. Whether you're searching for a good public, private or community college, this guide to universities in California offers a comprehensive view to the state's higher education options.

 California is home to nationally ranked institutions like Stanford University, California Institute of Technology, Claremont McKenna College and Pomona College. The highest ranked college in California is Stanford University and the top rated public state college is University of California Los Angeles.

Local college options can be explored in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco or other cities.


278 results

List of the Best California Colleges

California State University San Bernardino
C
San Bernardino, CA

California State University San Bernardino

Public 4 Year

0 reviews

#55 Best Colleges in California

  • 19,514enrollment
  • $8,492net price
  • 91%acceptance rate
  • 910-1080SAT range
  • 15-20ACT range
  • 3.41Avg GPA

Applications Due Nov 30

Hope International University
H
Fullerton, CA

Hope International University

Private 4 Year

0 reviews

#56 Best Colleges in California

  • 1,138enrollment
  • $20,470net price
  • 40%acceptance rate
  • 1000-1180SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • 3.26Avg GPA

Applications Due Aug 20

California State University Los Angeles
C
Los Angeles, CA

California State University Los Angeles

Public 4 Year

0 reviews

#57 Best Colleges in California

  • 27,513enrollment
  • $3,859net price
  • 91%acceptance rate
  • 870-1060SAT range
  • 15-20ACT range
  • 3.31Avg GPA

Applications Due Jan 19

College of Alameda
A
Alameda, CA
 

College of Alameda

Public 2 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 4,983enrollment
  • $11,693net price
  • 100%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

Allan Hancock College
A
Santa Maria, CA
 

Allan Hancock College

Public 2 Year

1 reviews

 

  • 9,836enrollment
  • $5,520net price
  • 100%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

American Academy of Dramatic Arts Los Angeles
A
Los Angeles, CA
 

American Academy of Dramatic Arts Los Angeles

Private 2 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 217enrollment
  • $41,975net price
  • 90%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

American Conservatory Theater
A
San Francisco, CA
 

American Conservatory Theater

Private 4 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 24enrollment
  • -net price
  • 100%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

American River College
A
Sacramento, CA

American River College

Public 2 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 25,849enrollment
  • $7,523net price
  • 100%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

Antelope Valley College
A
Lancaster, CA

Antelope Valley College

Public 2 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 11,105enrollment
  • $10,567net price
  • 100%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

Art Center College of Design
A
Pasadena, CA

Art Center College of Design

Private 4 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 2,319enrollment
  • $47,878net price
  • 76%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

Bakersfield College
B
Bakersfield, CA

Bakersfield College

Public 2 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 24,479enrollment
  • $6,930net price
  • 100%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

Barstow Community College
B
Barstow, CA
 

Barstow Community College

Public 2 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 2,341enrollment
  • $9,915net price
  • 100%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

Bethesda University of California
B
Anaheim, CA
 

Bethesda University of California

Private 4 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 366enrollment
  • $16,912net price
  • 100%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

Applications Due Aug 11

Bryan University
B
Los Angeles, CA
 

Bryan University

Private 2 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 1,361enrollment
  • $15,009net price
  • 100%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

Butte College
B
Oroville, CA

Butte College

Public 2 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 9,470enrollment
  • $9,396net price
  • 100%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

Cabrillo College
C
Aptos, CA
 

Cabrillo College

Public 2 Year

1 reviews

 

  • 9,075enrollment
  • $16,103net price
  • 100%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

Applications Due Apr 9

California College of the Arts
C
Oakland, CA

California College of the Arts

Private 4 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 1,630enrollment
  • $43,687net price
  • 78%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • 3.34Avg GPA

California State University Bakersfield
C
Bakersfield, CA

California State University Bakersfield

Public 4 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 10,972enrollment
  • $7,697net price
  • 85%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

Applications Due Dec 15