The Best California Colleges

The Best Colleges in California for 2022

These are the top ranked public and private four-year colleges in California as ranked by CollegeSimply. Leading the list for 2022 as the best overall college in California is Stanford University. The top rated public state college is University of California Los Angeles. Learn how the Best Colleges rankings are calculated on our ranking methodology page.


52 results

Stanford University
S
Stanford, CA
Stanford University

Private 4 Year

6 reviews

#3 Best Colleges in America

  • 15,953enrollment
  • $20,023net price
  • 5%acceptance rate
  • 1420-1570SAT range
  • 31-35ACT range
  • 3.96Avg GPA

Applications Due Jan 3

California Institute of Technology
C
Pasadena, CA
California Institute of Technology

Private 4 Year

1 reviews

#7 Best Colleges in America

  • 2,240enrollment
  • $26,591net price
  • 7%acceptance rate
  • 1530-1580SAT range
  • 35-36ACT range
  • 3.97Estimated Avg GPA

Applications Due Jan 1

Claremont McKenna College
C
Claremont, CA
Claremont McKenna College

Private 4 Year

0 reviews

#19 Best Colleges in America

  • 1,264enrollment
  • $22,004net price
  • 13%acceptance rate
  • 1330-1500SAT range
  • 31-34ACT range
  • 3.89Estimated Avg GPA

Applications Due Jan 2

University of Southern California
S
Los Angeles, CA
University of Southern California

Private 4 Year

5 reviews

#4 Best Private Colleges in California

  • 46,287enrollment
  • $39,759net price
  • 16%acceptance rate
  • 1340-1530SAT range
  • 30-34ACT range
  • 3.83Avg GPA

Applications Due Jan 10

Santa Clara University
S
Santa Clara, CA
Santa Clara University

Private 4 Year

14 reviews

#5 Best Private Colleges in California

  • 8,616enrollment
  • $48,284net price
  • 51%acceptance rate
  • 1270-1450SAT range
  • 28-32ACT range
  • 3.68Avg GPA

Applications Due Jan 7

University of California Los Angeles
C
Los Angeles, CA
University of California Los Angeles

Public 4 Year

3 reviews

#4 Best Public Universities in America

  • 44,589enrollment
  • $16,474net price
  • 14%acceptance rate
  • 1300-1530SAT range
  • 29-35ACT range
  • 3.9Avg GPA

Applications Due Nov 30

Loyola Marymount University
L
Los Angeles, CA
Loyola Marymount University

Private 4 Year

0 reviews

#6 Best Private Colleges in California

  • 9,686enrollment
  • $48,758net price
  • 50%acceptance rate
  • 1210-1390SAT range
  • 27-31ACT range
  • 3.85Avg Weighted GPA

Applications Due Jan 15

University of California Berkeley
C
Berkeley, CA
University of California Berkeley

Public 4 Year

1 reviews

#6 Best Public Universities in America

  • 42,327enrollment
  • $19,329net price
  • 17%acceptance rate
  • 1310-1530SAT range
  • 30-35ACT range
  • 3.86Avg GPA

Applications Due Nov 30

Occidental College
O
Los Angeles, CA
Occidental College

Private 4 Year

2 reviews

#7 Best Private Colleges in California

  • 1,839enrollment
  • $41,102net price
  • 41%acceptance rate
  • 1270-1460SAT range
  • 28-33ACT range
  • 3.62Avg GPA

Applications Due Jan 15

University of California San Diego
C
La Jolla, CA
University of California San Diego

Public 4 Year

0 reviews

#9 Best Public Universities in America

  • 39,576enrollment
  • $15,222net price
  • 37%acceptance rate
  • 1270-1480SAT range
  • 28-34ACT range
  • 4.09Avg Weighted GPA

Applications Due Nov 30

University of California Irvine
C
Irvine, CA
University of California Irvine

Public 4 Year

2 reviews

#10 Best Public Universities in America

  • 36,303enrollment
  • $13,106net price
  • 30%acceptance rate
  • 1230-1430SAT range
  • 26-33ACT range
  • 3.75Estimated Avg Weighted GPA

Applications Due Nov 30

University of California Davis
C
Davis, CA
University of California Davis

Public 4 Year

1 reviews

#13 Best Public Universities in America

  • 39,074enrollment
  • $17,026net price
  • 46%acceptance rate
  • 1160-1400SAT range
  • 25-33ACT range
  • 4.0Avg GPA

Applications Due Nov 30

Chapman University
C
Orange, CA
Chapman University

Private 4 Year

4 reviews

#8 Best Private Colleges in California

  • 9,761enrollment
  • $44,327net price
  • 58%acceptance rate
  • 1170-1350SAT range
  • 25-30ACT range
  • 3.8Avg Weighted GPA

Applications Due Mar 1

University of California Santa Barbara
C
Santa Barbara, CA
University of California Santa Barbara

Public 4 Year

3 reviews

#19 Best Public Universities in America

  • 26,179enrollment
  • $17,223net price
  • 37%acceptance rate
  • 1230-1460SAT range
  • 28-34ACT range
  • 4.17Avg Weighted GPA

Applications Due Nov 30

Pepperdine University
P
Malibu, CA
Pepperdine University

Private 4 Year

3 reviews

#9 Best Private Colleges in California

  • 9,554enrollment
  • $46,550net price
  • 42%acceptance rate
  • 1200-1410SAT range
  • 26-31ACT range
  • 3.69Avg GPA

Applications Due Jan 5

University of San Francisco
S
San Francisco, CA
University of San Francisco

Private 4 Year

0 reviews

#10 Best Private Colleges in California

  • 10,068enrollment
  • $42,801net price
  • 70%acceptance rate
  • 1140-1330SAT range
  • 24-30ACT range
  • 3.54Avg GPA

Applications Due Jan 15

California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo
C
San Luis Obispo, CA
California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo

Public 4 Year

2 reviews

#7 Best Public Universities in California

  • 22,440enrollment
  • $20,491net price
  • 38%acceptance rate
  • 1220-1410SAT range
  • 26-32ACT range
  • 3.99Avg GPA

Applications Due Nov 30

University of the Pacific
T
Stockton, CA
University of the Pacific

Private 4 Year

2 reviews

#11 Best Private Colleges in California

  • 6,263enrollment
  • $32,780net price
  • 71%acceptance rate
  • 1080-1340SAT range
  • 22-30ACT range
  • 3.55Avg GPA