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Top Ranked California Colleges


The Best Colleges in California Ranked for 2019

These are the best four year colleges in California as ranked by CollegeSimply. This California ranking is a subset of our national ranking of the best colleges in America. Our ranking methodology is purely statistical and not subjective in nature. Measuring factors include but are not limited to: student body intellect as indicated by admission scores, graduation rate and admission selectivity. In order to be considered for the ranking, a school must offer four year undergraduate degrees, selectively admit students and be a non-profit institution. Leading the 2019 ranking as the best college in California is Stanford University.

List of The Best Colleges & Universities in California
Rank College National Academic Rank1 National Selectivity Rank2 National Graduation Rank3
1 Stanford University 25 2 9
2 Pomona College 26 9 11
3 California Institute of Technology 1 8 69
4 Claremont McKenna College 31 15 39
5 Harvey Mudd College 6 29 99
6 University of Southern California 41 37 53
7 University of California Berkeley 57 43 51
8 University of California Los Angeles 73 35 52
9 Scripps College 66 103 62
10 University of California San Diego 101 110 89
11 University of California Santa Barbara 115 101 140
12 Occidental College 80 182 106
13 University of California Irvine 173 134 88
14 Soka University of America 132 140 80
15 Pepperdine University 122 157 127
16 University of California Davis 149 194 114
17 California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo 133 119 211
18 Santa Clara University 81 376 90
19 Loyola Marymount University 151 327 177
20 University of San Diego 174 300 212
21 University of California Santa Cruz 191 315 238
22 Chapman University 150 442 256
23 San Diego State University 291 120 385
24 University of California Riverside 267 441 355
25 University of the Pacific 204 653 306
26 Thomas Aquinas College 134 871 307
27 University of San Francisco 292 688 285
28 Biola University 266 869 266
29 California State University Long Beach 456 78 716
30 Westmont College 135 1,285 178
31 Azusa Pacific University 502 499 452
32 Point Loma Nazarene University 290 1,007 257
33 University of Redlands 397 973 284
34 California State Polytechnic University Pomona 455 406 850
35 University of La Verne 629 255 594
36 California Lutheran University 454 903 432
37 Concordia University Irvine 582 463 811
38 The Master's College and Seminary 396 687 409
39 William Jessup University 542 689 717
40 Saint Marys College of California 398 1,181 510
41 Whittier College 504 933 678
42 California State University Fullerton 672 229 851
43 Vanguard University of Southern California 909 244 677
44 California State University Chico 714 744 567
45 University of California Merced 751 833 620
46 Pitzer College 1,253 36 128
47 San Jose State University 543 712 997
48 Woodbury University 630 558 776
49 King's University 1,018 344 892
50 Pacific Union College 794 299 1,030

Ranking Methodology

Overall Rank is calculated based on the following school characteristics.

1National Academic Rank is calculated using standardized test admission data as well as GPA data for admitted freshman.
2National Selectivity Rank is based on admission selectivity for incoming students starting the 2016-2017 academic year.
3National Graduation Rank is based on the percentage of students graduating with bachelor's degrees within six years.