Sep 21, 2017


Thinking of attending college in California? Guess what! You are not alone! According to a recent report by the U.S. News Short List (2016), nine of the top ten colleges receiving the most applications nationwide are located in California. The University of California—Los Angeles (UCLA) tops the list with 86,58 applications. 

Often referred to as “The Golden State”, California is the most populous state in the United States, with an estimated 37,679,000 people. It has eight of the 50 most populated cities in America and is home to one in eight American residents. In addition to Sacramento, which is the capital, the other large cities in California include Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Long Beach and Oakland.


California has some of the most diverse terrain – from lush forests and spectacular valleys to sandy beaches, hot deserts and awe-inspiring mountains. Nearly half the state is covered by forest.

The state has two major university systems. The University of California (UC) system has about 230,000 students, while the California State University system has 430,000 students. The two systems offer a range of options for public college education. In addition, there are numerous options for private and non-profit higher education. Many of California’s colleges regularly rank at the top in various national rankings.

Top Reasons to Study in California

  • Range and Quality of College of Education: California’s huge and diverse economy has enabled the state to develop training options for nearly every field of study, making California’s education system one of the best in the nation.
  • Cultural Diversity: California is one of the most culturally diverse states in the country.
  • Employment Prospects: The state has one of the largest economies in the US. In fact, if California were a country, it would be the 8th largest economy in the world (2015 data/source: LA Times). The state is home to hundreds of blue-chip companies in aerospace, entertainment, information, technology, and many other sectors. California is home to 'Silicon Valley', which continues to be a hotbed for technology start-ups and home to  Yahoo, Google, Apple, Facebook, Netflix, Intel, Salesforce and a host of other major players in the tech  and media sectors. This in turn has created an ecosystem of research and technical facilities and a vibrant entrepreneurial culture. 

On the downside, California still has one of the highest unemployment rates in the United States at 5.7% (2015 BLS data) despite a strong recovery in the last few years. Only ten states reported a higher unemployment rate. California is also considered one of the most expensive states to live in.

Featured Colleges and Universities

Below are some of the popular colleges in the state. You can also use our college finder search tool  to find the right college for you based on your preferred area of study.


College Popular Majors Type of Institution Enrollment
Contra Costa College Liberal Arts,Psychology,Social Sciences Public >10,000 Request Info
San Francisco State University Business,Health,Liberal Arts Public >10,000 Request Info
Glendale Community College Business,Health,Liberal Arts Public >10,000 Request Info
San Diego State University Business,Social Sciences,Visual/Performance Arts Public >10,000 Request Info
Academy of Art University Communication Technologies,Communications,Visual/Performing Arts Private >10,000 Request Info
University of California: Los Angeles Biological/Life Sciences,Economics,Information/Computer Science Public >10,000 Request Info
California Institute of Technology Engineering/ Applied Science,Mathematics and Statistics,Physical Sciences Private >10,000 Request Info
California State University: San Bernadino Business,Liberal Arts,Psychology Public >10,000 Request Info
Santa Monica College Natural Sciences,Social Sciences,Visual/Performing Arts Public >10,000 Request Info
Hope International University Education,Social Sciences,Theological Studies Private >10,000 Request Info

For a full list of accredited colleges and universities in California, contact the California Department of Education.

References and Useful Links