Top Universities in California

By | April 20, 2019

For those interested in studying in California, we have a very useful list. We selected the best California institutions for prospective students. Please know that rankings are based on academic research, alumni reviews, graduation rates, as well as assessment from peer colleges. On the page, you will find major admissions stats such as acceptance rate, tuition fees, average SAT scores for each ranked college or university.

  • Visit AllCityCodes for all area codes in the state of California.
Rankings Schools
1 Stanford University (Stanford, CA)
Tuition: $41,787
Total enrollment: 19,945
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 7.1%
Average freshman retention rate: 98%
6-year graduation rate: 96%
Classes with under 20 students: 68.9%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 1360-1550
2 California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA)
Tuition: $39,588
Total enrollment: 2,231
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 12.8%
Average freshman retention rate: 98%
6-year graduation rate: 87%
Classes with under 20 students: 63.4%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 1460-1590
3 University of California: Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
Tuition: N/A
Total enrollment: 36,142
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 21.6%
Average freshman retention rate: 97%
6-year graduation rate: 90%
Classes with under 20 students: 64.2%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 1250-1490
4 University of California: Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
Tuition: in-state: $12,692, out-of-state: $35,570
Total enrollment: 40,675
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 25.5%
Average freshman retention rate: 97%
6-year graduation rate: 90%
Classes with under 20 students: 50.9%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 1180-1440
5 University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
Tuition: $44,463
Total enrollment: 38,010
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 23.0%
Average freshman retention rate: 97%
6-year graduation rate: 90%
Classes with under 20 students: 60.8%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 1280-1490
6 University of California: Davis (Davis, CA)
Tuition: in-state: $13,877, out-of-state: $36,755
Total enrollment: 31,732
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 46.0%
Average freshman retention rate: 92%
6-year graduation rate: 86%
Classes with under 20 students: 32.6%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 1090-1340
7 University of California: San Diego (La Jolla, CA)
Tuition: N/A
Total enrollment: 28,593
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 35.5%
Average freshman retention rate: 95%
6-year graduation rate: 85%
Classes with under 20 students: 37.3%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 1110-1360
8 University of California: Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, CA)
Tuition: in-state: $13,671, out-of-state: $36,549
Total enrollment: 21,685
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 45.7%
Average freshman retention rate: 91%
6-year graduation rate: 86%
Classes with under 20 students: 46.8%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 1120-1360
9 University of California: Irvine (Irvine, CA)
Tuition: N/A
Total enrollment: 27,189
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 47.5%
Average freshman retention rate: 94%
6-year graduation rate: 85%
Classes with under 20 students: 47.0%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 1060-1310
10 Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA)
Tuition: $42,772
Total enrollment: 7,539
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 31.6%
Average freshman retention rate: 90%
6-year graduation rate: 81%
Classes with under 20 students: 67.7%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 1100-1330
11 University of California: Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA)
Tuition: in-state: $13,416, out-of-state: $36,294
Total enrollment: 17,454
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 67.4%
Average freshman retention rate: 90%
6-year graduation rate: 77%
Classes with under 20 students: 44.1%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 1020-1270
12 University of San Diego (San Diego, CA)
Tuition: $39,970
Total enrollment: 8,317
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 47.5%
Average freshman retention rate: 86%
6-year graduation rate: 75%
Classes with under 20 students: 39.5%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 1130-1320
13 University of California: Riverside (Riverside, CA)
Tuition: in-state: $12,923, out-of-state: $35,801
Total enrollment: 20,901
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 69.0%
Average freshman retention rate: 86%
6-year graduation rate: 70%
Classes with under 20 students: 31.4%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 950-1210
14 University of San Francisco (San Francisco, CA)
Tuition: $38,884
Total enrollment: 9,734
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 58.0%
Average freshman retention rate: 84%
6-year graduation rate: 70%
Classes with under 20 students: 52.9%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 1030-1250
15 University of the Pacific (Stockton, CA)
Tuition: $38,320
Total enrollment: 6,710
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 35.8%
Average freshman retention rate: 84%
6-year graduation rate: 69%
Classes with under 20 students: 54.0%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 1050-1318
16 San Diego State University (San Diego, CA)
Tuition: in-state: $7,076, out-of-state: $18,236
Total enrollment: 31,303
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 32.9%
Average freshman retention rate: 84%
6-year graduation rate: 66%
Classes with under 20 students: 27.7%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 980-1190
17 University of La Verne (La Verne, CA)
Tuition: $33,350
Total enrollment: 4,692
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 39.9%
Average freshman retention rate: 82%
6-year graduation rate: 58%
Classes with under 20 students: 62.1%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 920-1100
18 Biola University (La Mirada, CA)
Tuition: $31,004
Total enrollment: 6,250
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 76.4%
Average freshman retention rate: 85%
6-year graduation rate: 66%
Classes with under 20 students: 45.7%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 1000-1250
19 Azusa Pacific University (Azusa, CA)
Tuition: $31,076
Total enrollment: 9,929
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: 49.2%
Average freshman retention rate: 85%
6-year graduation rate: 63%
Classes with under 20 students: 68.6%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: 980-1210
20 Alliant International University (San Diego, CA)
Tuition: $16,810
Total enrollment: 4,330
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: N/A
Average freshman retention rate: N/A
6-year graduation rate: 29%
Classes with under 20 students: 93.5%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: N/A
21 California Institute of Integral Studies (San Francisco, CA)
Tuition: N/A
Total enrollment: 1,428
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: N/A
Average freshman retention rate: N/A
6-year graduation rate: N/A
Classes with under 20 students: 100.0%
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: N/A
22 Trident University International (Cypress, CA)
Tuition: N/A
Total enrollment: N/A
Fall 2011 acceptance rate: N/A
Average freshman retention rate: N/A
6-year graduation rate: N/A
Classes with under 20 students: N/A
SAT/ACT 25th-75th percentile: N/A

 

Top Universities in California

San Francisco, California

  • State – California
  • US Region – US Pacific States
  • San Francisco was founded in 1776
  • San Francisco area – 600 km 2 (including land – 121 km 2)
  • The population of San Francisco is more than 880,000 people (16th place in the USA)
  • The population density in San Francisco is about 7,255 people / km 2 (2nd place among large US cities)
  • Included in the metropolis of San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward with a population of about 4,730,000 people (12th place in the US)
  • San Francisco Time Zone – US Pacific Time Zone (UTC-08)
  • Nicknames of San Francisco – “City by the Bay”, “City of Mists”, “Frisco”, “Paris of the West”

San Francisco is the largest economic and cultural center of Northern California, one of the most famous cities in the United States.

“City by the Bay” is located on the west coast of the United States of America, in the northern part of the San Francisco Peninsula, which separates the bay of the same name from the Pacific Ocean. The mainland of the city is close in shape to a square with a side of seven miles, in addition, small islands of Alcatraz, Treasure, Yerba Buena and some others are part of San Francisco.

San Francisco is located in a zone of increased seismic activity, very close to it are the San Andreas faults (along the San Francisco Peninsula) and Hayward (on the eastern side of the bay). Small tremors occur here quite often, and twice during its history (in 1906 and 1989) the city was badly damaged by earthquakes.

The territory of San Francisco is characterized by a complex relief, there are about fifty hills in it, the highest of which is Mount Davidson (283 meters above sea level). The so-called “seven hills” on which, according to legend, the city was founded, are widely known: the “twins” Twin Peaks, Telegraph Hill, Knob Hill, Russian Hill, Rincon Hill and Mount Sutro.

The climate of San Francisco is considered one of the coolest (and most comfortable) among major cities in the United States of America. The city is surrounded by water on three sides, the weather conditions in it are significantly influenced by cold Pacific currents. The complex relief of San Francisco causes a wide variety of microclimates in its territory (the eastern regions of the city are less affected by cold ocean winds), but in general, the city is characterized by a mild Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters, warm, dry summers, and with little seasonal temperature fluctuations.

In the coldest month, January, the average temperature in San Francisco is between 8°C and 14°C, while in the hottest month, September, it usually ranges from 13°C to 21°C. There is almost no precipitation in summer, it rains from November to April, and snow falls (and immediately melts) every few decades.

A characteristic feature of the city (thanks to which it received one of its most famous nicknames) is heavy fogs. They usually hit the city in the summer, when hot air masses from central California and cold winds blowing from the Pacific Ocean collide in the Gulf region.

San Francisco ranks sixteenth in the United States in terms of population (over 880,000) and second (after New York) among major cities in the United States in terms of population density. The San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward metropolis has grown up around the “City of Mists”, in which about 4,730,000 people live (the twelfth largest in the United States). Frisco is also part of an even larger agglomeration of about 9,700,000 residents (second in California and fifth in the US). This vast collection of communities is known as the “Bay Area” and includes twelve counties and several cities, the largest of which is San Jose.

The racial composition of the population of San Francisco:

  • Whites – about 45%
  • Blacks (African Americans) – about 5%
  • Asians – about 34%
  • Native Americans (Indians or Eskimos of Alaska) – less than 1%
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander less than 1%
  • Other races – about 8%
  • Two or more races – about 7%
  • Hispanic or Latino (of any race) – about 15%
  • Non-Hispanic whites – about 40%

In San Francisco, non-Hispanic whites are a minority (as are the general population of California). Another characteristic feature of the city’s population is a very high percentage of Asians (high both for California and compared to averages for the US as a whole).

The largest ethnic groups among the population of “Cities by the Bay”:

  • Chinese – about 23%
  • Mexicans – about 70%
  • Filipinos – about 4.5%
  • Salvadorans – about 2%
  • Vietnamese – about 1.6%
  • Japanese – about 1.3%
  • Indians – about 1.2%
  • Koreans – about 1.2%

San Francisco ranks second (after Seattle) among major US cities in terms of the number of people with higher education among residents, more than 44% of adults here have at least a bachelor’s degree.

San Francisco is traditionally considered one of the most gay-friendly cities in the United States, the “City of Mists” ranks first in the country in the number of same-sex married couples relative to the total population.

San Francisco is one of the largest economic centers in the United States of America. The city’s economy is well diversified, with its main industries being finance, tourism, services and high technology.

The gold rush in California contributed to the development of banks in the City of Fog, making San Francisco the largest financial center on the US West Coast by the beginning of the 20th century. It, like Manhattan, has its own “Financial District” and Montgomery Street is known as the “Wall Street of the West”. The city is home to one of the US Federal Reserve Banks, the country’s second largest in terms of assets (after New York) and serving the largest area and population area. Several Fortune 500 companies are also headquartered here, including Wells Fargo., one of the “Big Four” of the country’s largest banks, and at the beginning of the last century, it was in San Francisco that a bank was founded, which today has become another of the “four” – Bank of America. Modern San Francisco is one of the ten largest financial centers in the world.

Rich history and many attractions make the “City by the Bay” extremely attractive for tourism. San Francisco ranks fifth in the United States in terms of the number of foreigners visiting it (ahead of Las Vegas, Washington, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia, among others). Millions of tourists come to the city every year, maintaining a well-developed infrastructure of hotels, restaurants, conference halls, etc.

In recent decades, San Francisco has also attracted numerous high-tech companies, in particular those involved in medical research and biotechnology.

Since the days of the beatniks and the “Summer of Love” San Francisco has been one of the most famous cultural centers in the United States, distinguished by its loyalty to new trends. The city has several major museums, notably the Museum of Modern Art; the complex of the Museum of Fine Arts (which includes the Palace of the Legion of Honor and the De Young Museum); Asian Art Museum; Palace of Fine Arts; museum of science “Exploratorium”; Museum of Natural History “California Academy of Sciences”. In addition to the “traditional”, museums dedicated to cable cars, comics and animation, slot machines, tattoos, UFOs, Bigfoot and some other equally original museums await visitors in Frisco.

The San Francisco Memorial Center for the Performing Arts combines an opera house, a ballet company, and a symphony orchestra. Other theaters and concert halls in the city include the American Conservatory Theatre, the San Francisco Mime Troupe, the Magic Theatre, Fillmore Hall. Many theatrical performances after their premieres in the theaters of the “Paris of the West” move to the stage of Broadway.

The city also has a large zoo, an aquarium and a planetarium.

“City by the Bay” is famous for its parks and beaches, there are more than two hundred of them in San Francisco, some of which are part of the Golden Gate recreation area managed by the US National Park Service. The park of the same name (having a rectangular shape, like the famous Central Park in New York, but even slightly larger in area) ranks fifth in the country in terms of the number of visitors among city parks. Ocean Beach, located on the Pacific coast, is very popular with surfers.

The peculiarities of the geographical location of San Francisco (on a peninsula surrounded by water on three sides) made it extremely important for the normal life of the city to have reliable transport links with neighboring districts. Bridges play a huge role in Frisco’s infrastructure: the famous Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge connecting the City of Mists with Auckland.

Sports are very popular in San Francisco (as well as throughout America), among its residents there are a lot of fans of a healthy lifestyle. More than three hundred kilometers of bicycle paths are laid along the streets of the city, and favorable conditions for jogging have been created in the parks. Olympic Club Golf Club is considered the oldest sports club in the United States, sailing, windsurfing and kitesurfing are popular in the Bay Area.

Among the annual competitions held in San Francisco, the most famous are the marathon that gathers thousands of athletes; the traditional twelve-kilometer run from the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific coast called Bay to Breakers (“From the Bay to the Surf”), many of whose participants run in fancy dress; triathlon competition Escape from Alcatraz (“Escape from Alcatraz”), the route of which begins at the famous prison island.

Mist City is home to two “big four” professional sports teams: the MLB baseball San Francisco Giants and the NFL football San Francisco 49ers.

“Paris of the West” boasts numerous attractions, including architectural monuments, engineering structures, parks, restaurants, various cultural events. “City by the Bay”, according to some polls, is considered the best city in the United States of America.

San Francisco’s famous “cablecars” are the world’s only operating “hybrid” of trams and cable cars. Now three lines of this unusual transport operate in the city, the main passengers of which are numerous tourists.