The Best U.S. Colleges in California for Launching Careers
The Golden State may be the best place to head to college as several of the best California colleges rank among the nation’s elite. Discover the best schools in California to help start your new career or help you switch careers.
The U.S. News & World Report and Forbes are responsible for the most famous sets of rankings, and they mostly agree on which are the best colleges in California. These schools can be placed in two categories. Seven are public and private institutions located throughout the state. The city of Claremont is home to the Claremont Colleges, a group of five primarily undergraduate private universities.
Stanford University is situated 35 miles south of San Francisco. The weather here, however, is much sunnier and warmer than what
the City by the Bay experiences. Its enrollment is 7,000, and tuition and fees cost $43,000 per year. Forbes places it atop its rankings, and U.S. News & World Report has it fifth in its national universities category. ACT plus writing or SAT (critical reading, math and writing) scores are required for applicants.
The California Institute of Technology is situated in Pasadena, 10 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Forbes ranks it 18th, and U.S. News places it 10th. The school is known for its practical jokes, including several that have been performed at the Rose Bowl. About 1,000 students pay $42,000 to attend the school. Applicants are required to take the SAT or ACT writing test, the SAT mathematics level 2 test and an SAT subject test in biology (ecological or molecular), chemistry or physics.
The University of California-Berkeley overlooks San Francisco Bay. Its 27,000 students study 15 miles east of the city. The school’s athletics department has a heated rivalry with Stanford. Cal-Berkeley is 20th in U.S. News’ ratings, and Forbes places it 22nd. In-state tuition and fees cost $14,000, and out-of-state costs are $26,000. The ACT plus writing or SAT reasoning test is required for applicants.
The University of California-Los Angeles, another in this list of the top colleges in California, has identical application requirements. This school of 28,000 students is located 15 miles west of downtown Los Angeles near upscale communities such as Bel Air and Beverly Hills. In-state tuition and fees total $13,000, and out-of-state students pay $36,000. U.S. News ranks it 23rd, and Forbes has it 34th on its list.
Los Angeles is also home to the University of Southern California, a school with 18,000 students that is ranked 23rd by U.S. News and 63rd by Forbes. Tuition at this private school is $46,000. Either an ACT or SAT score is necessary to be considered. Several television shows and movies have been filmed here, including “Forrest Gump.”
Santa Clara University is a private school that is the oldest in California; it was founded in 1851. The college is 15 miles southeast of Stanford, and its enrollment is 5,000. Tuition and fees are $42,000, and an SAT or ACT score is required to apply. Forbes ranks it 72nd, and U.S. News places it second on its list of regional universities located in the West.
Loyola Marymount is 149th and third on those respective lists. This private school is home to 6,000 students who pay $40,000 in tuition and fees. An ACT or SAT score is required to apply. The school is in Los Angeles 10 miles south of UCLA. LMU’s baseball stadium has a Blue Monster in left field that is similar to Fenway Park’s Green Monster in Boston.
U.S. News places each of the Claremont Colleges in its liberal arts colleges category. These institutions are all small in size as the total enrollment of this group of schools is 6,000. Tuition and fees range from $43,000 to $47,000. U.S. News rates Pomona College fourth, Claremont McKenna College ninth, Harvey Mudd College 16th, Scripps College 25th and Pitzer College 35th. All of the schools are situated 35 miles east of Los Angeles.