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 Stanislaus
C
Turlock, CA

California State University Stanislaus

Public 4 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 10,481enrollment
  • $7,418net price
  • 95%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • 3.47Avg GPA

Applications Due Nov 30

California State University Dominguez Hills
C
Carson, CA

California State University Dominguez Hills

Public 4 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 17,837enrollment
  • $4,683net price
  • 90%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • 3.16Avg GPA

Applications Due Dec 4

California State University East Bay
C
Hayward, CA

California State University East Bay

Public 4 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 15,189enrollment
  • $13,260net price
  • 82%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • 3.2Avg GPA

Applications Due Oct 1

California Christian College
C
Fresno, CA
 

California Christian College

Private 4 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 14enrollment
  • $6,560net price
  • 100%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

California College San Diego
C
San Diego, California
 

California College San Diego

Private 4 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 200enrollment
  • $22,848net price
  • 100%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

California Institute of the Arts
C
Valencia, CA

California Institute of the Arts

Private 4 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 1,444enrollment
  • $59,367net price
  • 29%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

Applications Due Jan 5

California Maritime Academy
C
Vallejo, CA

California Maritime Academy

Public 4 Year

1 reviews

 

  • 925enrollment
  • $21,069net price
  • 82%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • 3.43Avg GPA

Applications Due Dec 15

Canada College
C
Redwood City, CA
 

Canada College

Public 2 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 4,845enrollment
  • $6,062net price
  • 100%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

Applications Due Aug 31

College of the Canyons
C
Santa Clarita, CA

College of the Canyons

Public 2 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 15,443enrollment
  • $7,032net price
  • 100%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

Cerritos College
C
Norwalk, CA

Cerritos College

Public 2 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 18,656enrollment
  • $4,514net price
  • 100%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

Cerro Coso Community College
C
Ridgecrest, CA
 

Cerro Coso Community College

Public 2 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 4,862enrollment
  • $11,592net price
  • 100%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

Applications Due Aug 20

Chabot College
C
Hayward, CA

Chabot College

Public 2 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 11,071enrollment
  • $7,307net price
  • 100%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

Applications Due Jul 30

Chaffey College
C
Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Chaffey College

Public 2 Year

3 reviews

 

  • 18,688enrollment
  • $13,765net price
  • 100%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science
C
Los Angeles, CA
 

Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science

Private 4 Year

1 reviews

 

  • 895enrollment
  • $23,746net price
  • 63%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • 3.26Estimated Avg GPA

Applications Due Jul 30

San Diego Christian College
S
El Cajon, CA
 

San Diego Christian College

Private 4 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 462enrollment
  • $27,919net price
  • 53%acceptance rate
  • 900-1098SAT range
  • 18-24ACT range
  • 3.26Avg GPA

Citrus College
C
Glendora, CA

Citrus College

Public 2 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 9,982enrollment
  • $6,394net price
  • 100%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

City College of San Francisco
C
San Francisco, CA

City College of San Francisco

Public 2 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 17,447enrollment
  • $8,648net price
  • 100%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

Coastline Community College
C
Fountain Valley, CA
 

Coastline Community College

Public 2 Year

0 reviews

 

  • 6,792enrollment
  • $9,105net price
  • 100%acceptance rate
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA