#22 Best Private Colleges in California

California Lutheran University

Thousand Oaks, California

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California Lutheran University overview
Location Thousand Oaks, California
Online callutheran.edu
School Type Private 4 Year
Setting Midsize City
Religious Affiliation Evangelical Lutheran Church
California Lutheran University overview
Size Mid-size
Status Non-profit
On Campus Housing Yes
Level of Study Undergrad/Graduate
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California Lutheran University (CLU) is a private liberal arts university located in Thousand Oaks, California, less than 20 miles from the Pacific Coast and within an hour's drive from Los Angeles. Established in 1959 by the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the university offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs through its College of Arts and Sciences, School of Management, Graduate School of Education, and Graduate School of Psychology. Encompassing a 225-acre campus marked by Mediterranean-style architecture, CLU provides a picturesque setting for its diverse student body. The campus's residential options include traditional dormitories, suites, and apartment-style living, accommodating the majority of its undergraduate students. The institution maintains a moderately selective admissions process. CLU is known for its programs in business, education, psychology, and the liberal arts. While not primarily recognized for athletics, the university competes in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) with its teams known as the Kingsmen and Regals.

In the most recent statistical year 5,150 prospective students applied, and 4,490 were granted admission.  Of those admitted 602 enrolled in the school.  3,363 students are enrolled on a full time basis, and 252 attend part time. In-state tuition for 2022/2023, excluding room and board, is $47,500 plus fees of $512. California Lutheran University is ranked 347 nationally in the CollegeSimply.com 2024 U.S. Colleges Ranking.












California Lutheran University is rated within the top 38% of four-year colleges nationally and earns a CollegeSimply grade of 7 out of 10. Learn how ratings are calculated


Rankings for California Lutheran University within the 2024 CollegeSimply Best Colleges Lists.

View the CollegeSimply ranking methodology.

Getting In

Admission Standards

California Lutheran University overview
SAT 1150/1320
ACT 26/30
GPA 3.73

Applications Accepted

California Lutheran University overview
Applications Due Jan 1, 2024
Applicant Competition Very Low
Application Fee $25

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Annual Cost to Attend


Costs for California Lutheran University
Fee Cost
Books and Supplies$1,152
Other Fees$512
Room and Board $15,490
Budget for Other Expenses$3,151
Total One Year Cost$67,805

Tuition and financial aid details


Average Salary After 10 Years

$57,900 per year

Bachelor's Degree Graduation Rate

64% within 6 years

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Popular Areas of Study

Popular subjects studied by California Lutheran University students
Subject Percent of Class
Business 27%
Communication 13%
Social Sciences 11%
Psychology 9%
Liberal Arts and Humanities 8%

View All 35 Majors

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Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=110413 IPEDS survey data for California Lutheran University.

Current students may use the California Lutheran University GPA calculator to determine their current college GPA.