To identify the Best Colleges in California for 2019 we averaged the results from the most respected college ranking systems (Niche.com + US News & World Report) from around the web to produce an entirely unique CollegeReviews Score for each school. And then ordered the schools based on that ranking. You won’t find a more exhaustive ranking of the best colleges and universities in California anywhere.

About The Best Colleges In California

In addition to ample sun and shoreline spaces, California has over 700 schools to choose from for students throughout California.

The state has a college or university that suits each type of student, although the highly competitive Stanford University is located here.

No shortage of state schools are to be found: the University of California, Fullerton and the State University of California, Long Beach, have 23 campuses from Humboldt State University to San Diego State University.

The California Institute of Technology, Claremont McKenna College, Pomona College, and Mount St Mary’s College are among other top private schools.

Also, there are nine universities at the University of California, including the University of California, Berkeley and Los Angeles. Other renowned colleges in California, including the UCLA, complete the field.

You might first choose your ideal metropolitan destination to reduce your search of prospective colleges in California. Imagine the thrill of Los Angeles, Sacramento’s very active political climate, San Francisco’s picturesque urban life or the possibly the laid back San Diego ambiance.

Regional Information about California

Major Cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento
Attractions: Yosemite National Park, Disney Land, San Francisco
Cost of Living: Best Places California Cost of Living
Popular Schools: Stanford, USC, University of California–Berkeley.

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About Our Methodology

Our methodology for determining the best colleges in California takes both editorial rankings from US News & World Report, Times Higher Education and combines it with student rankings from Niche.com. We weight student rankings higher giving them about a 80% weighted score vs editorial rankings. Thus creating a more accurate viewpoint of the best colleges in any given state.

  1. Stanford University
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  2. California Institute of Technology
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  3. Pomona College
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  4. University of Southern California
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  5. University of California - Los Angeles
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  6. University of California - Berkeley
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  7. Claremont McKenna College
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  8. Harvey Mudd College
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  9. University of California - Santa Barbara
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  10. Pitzer College
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  11. Santa Clara University
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  12. Scripps College
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  13. University of California - Davis
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  14. University of California - Irvine
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  15. Occidental College
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  16. University of California - San Diego
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  17. Loyola Marymount University
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  18. California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo
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  19. Pepperdine University
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  20. University of San Diego
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