Kimberly Martinez

Top California Colleges and Universities

California has it all: glorious sunshine, perfect beaches, bustling cities, rugged mountains and some of the most prestigious universities in the world. From the showbiz whirl of Hollywood to the cutting-edge innovation of Silicon Valley, California has been the birthplace of culture and technology that has spread around the globe.

Known as “the golden state”, California University has attracted people from across the globe with its promise of freedom and riches ever since the gold rush in the mid-1800s. The state’s relaxed, welcoming reputation and powerhouse tech sector make it a prime destination for foreign students.

California has a beautiful and diverse range of landscapes, from the rugged peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains in the east to the Pacific coastline in the west, and from the mighty northern redwood forests in the north to the majestic Mojave Desert in the south.

These are the best universities in California, based on the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education US College Rankings 2019.

Caltech (California Institute of Technology)

Location: Pasadena, California

Enrollment: 2,240 (979 undergraduates)

Type of Institution: private engineering university

Distinctions: one of the top engineering schools; amazing 3 to 1 student/faculty ratio; member of the Association of American Universities for strong research programs

Harvey Mudd College

Location: Claremont, California

Enrollment: 842 (all undergraduate)

Type of Institution: undergraduate engineering college

Distinctions: one of the top undergraduate engineering colleges; engineering curriculum grounded in the liberal arts; member of the Claremont Colleges with Scripps College, Pitzer College, Claremont McKenna College, and Pomona College

Pepperdine University

Location: Malibu, California

Enrollment: 7,826 (3,542 undergraduates)

Type of Institution: private research university

Distinctions: 830-acre campus overlooks the Pacific Ocean in Malibu; strong programs in business and communications; member of the NCAA Division I West Coast Conference; affiliated with the Churches of Christ

Scripps College

Location: Claremont, California

Enrollment: 1,057 (1,039 undergrads)

Type of Institution: private women's liberal arts college

Distinctions: one of the top women's colleges in the country; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for its strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; member of the Claremont Colleges

UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles)

Location: Los Angeles, California

Enrollment: 43,548 (30,873 undergraduates)

Type of Institution: public research university

Distinctions: chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; membership in the Association of American Universities for research strengths; part of the University of California system; one of the top-ranked public universities in the country; member of the NCAA Division I Pacific 10 Conference

Pomona College

Location: Claremont, California

Enrollment: 1,563 (all undergraduate)

Type of Institution: private liberal arts college

Distinctions: one of the 10 top liberal arts colleges in the country; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa; member of the Claremont Colleges; 7 to 1 student/faculty ratio; average class size of 14

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