Best Universities in California: List of Top 10 Universities in California


Best Universities in California

Stanford University


  • Undergraduates: 6,999
  • Graduates: 8,871


  • 8,180 contiguous acres in six governmental jurisdictions
  • Nearly 700 major buildings
  • 96% of undergraduates live on campus

ENDOWMENT: $17 billion


  • 5,100 externally sponsored projects
  • $1.27 billion total budget


  • 1,995 faculty members
  • 19 Nobel laureates are currently members of the Stanford community
  • 5:1 student to faculty ratio


University of California

  • The UC system includes more than 220,000 students and more than 170,000 faculty and staff, with more than 1.5 million alumni living and working around the world.
  • UC researchers are pioneers in agriculture, medicine, technology and the environment. Thousands of California jobs, billions of dollars in revenues, and countless everyday household items – from more plentiful fruits and vegetables to compact fluorescent light bulbs – can be traced back to UC discoveries.
  • UC’s ten campuses at Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara provide exciting environments that foster world-class educational and research opportunities and generate a wide range of benefits and services that touch the lives of Californians every day.
  • Besides world-class classrooms and labs, UC has dozens of museums, concert halls, art galleries, botanical gardens, observatories and marine centers – academic resources but also exciting gathering places for the community.
  • Established: 1868
  • Endowment: US$10.274 billion
  • Academic staff: 13,335
  • Admin. staff: 90,296


California Institute of Technology

  • The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is a private research university located in Pasadena, California, United States.
  • Caltech has six academic divisions with strong emphases on science and engineering. Its 124-acre (50 ha) primary campus.
  • Established: 1891
  • Endowment: $1.747 billion (2012)
  • Academic staff: 294 professorial faculty and 1207 other faculty


San Diego State University

  • San Diego State University is the oldest and largest higher education institution in the San Diego region.
  • San Diego State University can take pride in more than a century of achievement in education, research and service.
  • With an enrollment of more than 34,000 students, SDSU is increasingly becoming a top choice for undergraduates as evidenced by the record number of applications received each year.
  • Renowned for its academic excellence, the university is home to top-ranked graduate programs in business; engineering; public health; psychology; fine arts; biological sciences; public affairs; education; and speech, language, and hearing sciences.
  • Increasingly recognized for innovative research, SDSU is establishing itself as one of the leading public research universities.Since 2000, SDSU faculty and staff have attracted more than $1 billion in grants and contracts for research and program administration.
  • Academic staff: 1,394
  • Admin. staff: 1,573
  • Campus: 283 acres


San Francisco State University

  • San Francisco State University (San Francisco State/SF State/ SFSU) is a public university located in San Francisco, California.
  • San Francisco State University consistently ranks among the top 50 master’s–granting universities in the west by U.S. News & World Report.
  • SFSU has one of the top ranked Engineering Schools in the world by Business Insider.
  • Established: 1899
  • Endowment: $51.2 million
  • Academic staff: 1,506
  • Admin. staff: 2,010
  • Campus: 141.61 acres


California State University

  • The CSU is a leader in high-quality, accessible, student-focused higher education. With 23 campuses, almost 437,000 students, and 44,000 faculty and staff, we are the largest, the most diverse, and one of the most affordable university systems in the country.
  • The California State University system headquarters are at 401 Golden Shore in downtown Long Beach
  • Established: 1857
  • Endowment: US$ 1.03 billion


San José State University

  • San Jose State University (San Jose State/SJSU) is a public university located in San Jose, California, United States.
  • Founded in 1857, San José State is the oldest public institution of higher education on the West Coast.
  • Located in downtown San Jose, the SJSU main campus is situated on 154 acres (62 ha), or roughly 19 square blocks. SJSU offers 134 bachelor’s and master’s degrees with 110 concentrations.
  • Endowment: US$74.8 million
  • According to U.S. News and World Report’s 2013 college rankings, San Jose State ranks 38th among regional universities in the western United States and 9th among western regional public institutions.
  • The 2013 rankings represent a slight improvement since 2012, in which SJSU ranked 39th overall and 10th among western regional public institutions


Santa Clara University

  • Santa Clara University is a private non-profit Jesuit university located in Silicon Valley in Santa Clara, California.
  • It has 5,250 full-time undergraduate students, and 3,270 graduate students.
  • Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University is the oldest operating institution of higher learning in California,and has remained in its original location for 162 years.
  • The University’s campus surrounds the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asis, which traces its founding to 1776.
  • Endowment: US $688.1 million
  • Campus : 106 acres


University of San Francisco

  • The University of San Francisco (USF) is a Jesuit Catholic university located in San Francisco, California, United States.
  • Founded in 1855, USF was established as the first university in San Francisco.
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
  • It is the second oldest institution for higher learning in California, the tenth-oldest university of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, and the eighth largest Jesuit university in the United States.
  • In 2011, San Francisco topped New York, Washington, D.C., and Boston to be named best college town by the American Institute for Economic Research.
  • The University of San Francisco is among the country’s top 50 universities, according to Washington Monthly magazine.

University of San Diego

  • The University of San Diego (USD) is a private Roman Catholic research university in San Diego, California, United States.
  • The university offers 40 baccalaureate degrees, and several degrees in law, masters, and doctorate programs.
  • 180 acres perched on a pristine canyon – easily navigable, pedestrian-friendly
  • Faculty: 400 full time, 475 part time – 875 total headcount (576 FTE)


Pepperdine University

  • Pepperdine University is an independent, private, medium-sized research university affiliated with the Churches of Christ.
  • The university’s 830-acre (340 ha) campus overlooking the Pacific Ocean in unincorporated Los Angeles County, California, United States.
  • For the first 30 years of its life, the institution was a small, mostly undergraduate college. University status was achieved in 1970 as the institution added graduate and professional schools. In 1972, the University opened its new campus in Malibu.


Humboldt State University

  • Humboldt State University (HSU) is the northernmost campus of the 23 school California State University (CSU) system, located hillside in Arcata within Humboldt County, California, USA.
  • Established: June 16, 1913
  • Academic staff: 551
  • Campus: Main campus- 144 acres and Total- 733 acres


Sonoma State University

  • Sonoma State University is a public comprehensive university which is part of the 23 campus California State University (CSU) system.
  • Established: 1960
  • Academic staff: 542
  • Campus: 269 acres
  • One of the most requested campuses in the CSU system and regularly named a “Best Regional University” by U.S. News & World Report.
  • SSU has also been named one of the “most wired” campuses in the nation by Princeton Review.
  • It is the only California university invited to be a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges, the prestigious group of 25 universities and colleges across the nation committed to providing superior liberal arts and sciences education to their students.


Academy of Art University

  • Academy of Art University transforms aspiring students into professional artists and designers.
  • The Academy of Art University, a for-profit university owned by the Stephens Institute, was founded in San Francisco, California in 1929.
  • With an enrollment of over 18,000 students, the academy is reportedly the largest art and design school in the United States.


Biola University

  • Biola University is a private Christian university located in Southern California.
  • For over 100 years, Biola, a community where all faculty, staff and students are professing Christians, has been committed to biblically centered education, intentional spiritual development and vocational preparation.
  • Academic staff: 900
  • With more than 145 academic programs through its six schools, Biola offers degrees ranging from B.A. to Ph.D.
  • For over 20 years, Biola University has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a “National University,” which they consider “the major leagues of higher education.”