2023 Best Colleges and Universities in California

Known for its Pacific Ocean coastline, urban metropolises and variety of scenic beauty, California has always been the epitome of the good life.

If you’re dreaming of California living – and studying – these are the 2022 best colleges and universities in the Golden State.

Stanford University – Ranked #7 in the nation and #1 in California, Stanford is well known for programs in education, engineering, law, medicine, and business. First-year students are required to live on campus, but most Stanford students choose campus housing for their entire educational careers. Annual tuition and fees at this school are just under $51,354.

California Institute of Technology –  Those interested in science and technology degrees attend the California Institute of Technology. Students can expect to have hands-on learning experiences because of this school’s grants from organizations like NASA and the National Science Foundation, and several prominent entrepreneurs are Caltech grads. Annual tuition is $52,362.

Tied for 21st position across the United States are these three schools:

University of California – Berkeley  – Well-known for activism and the Free Speech Movement, this school is a thriving hub of not only academics but also social interest groups, with over 1,000 student clubs and organizations. The university is considered one of the top 25 in the nation, a superior undergraduate teaching school, and a best-value school. In-state tuition is less than $15,000 annually.

University of California – Los Angeles –  Undergrads especially prefer UCLA, likely because of well-known schools in engineering, law, and medicine. The David Geffen School of Medicine is affiliated with the highly acclaimed Ronald Reagan School of Medicine. The competition for acceptance is fierce; UCLA turns away 82% of all applicants. In-state tuition is $13,820.

University of Southern California –  Also known as the University Park campus, this school is home to the famous Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, but it is also home to other programs of distinction like the Marshall School of Business and the Gould School of Law. The tuition and fees at this private school are $54,259 annually.

Other schools of note include:

Claremont McKenna College – One of the top ten liberal arts schools in America, Claremont McKenna is known for its undergraduate programs focusing on leadership skills. Students enjoy small class sizes and hands-on experiences that lead to research projects and internships. The annual tuition and fees are $54,405.

Harvey Mudd College – Harvey Mudd ranks #18 across the nation in liberal arts colleges, and with good reason. The private, liberal arts school is an incubator for leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It is part of the Claremont College system, and annual tuition and fees are just under $56,876.

With choices like these, who wouldn’t want to study in California?

 Click here to learn more about the ranking methodology that we used to compile this list.

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