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As the largest state by population, California is rife with top-tier private colleges and universities. From the northern stretches of the California coastline to the southernmost reaches of San Diego, the state has dozens of top ranked private colleges for students to research. Some of the most noteworthy private colleges in California include Azusa Pacific, Saint Marys, The Academy of Art, Southern California Institute of Technology, West Coast University, Pomona College, Golden Gate University, Loyola Marymount University, USC, and Stanford University. Dozens of private universities dot the coastline and inland empire across a state that stretches 997 miles from Oregon to Mexico. A list of top ranked colleges in California along with other highly regarded programs are listed below to help you discover your perfect college match today.

2021 Best Private Colleges in California

AJU is a liberal arts college that offers an undergraduate education and assists students in developing important skills useful in pursuit of graduate education or employment. A liberal arts curriculum exposes students to a variety of topics and subjects. The school is located in Los Angeles, California, which is a predominantly urban area. The Jewish affiliation of this school is an important part of the history, education and curriculum that defines the school. The school's smaller size in terms of enrollment, around 200 students, offers students a more hands on education due to the number of students per class and easier access to faculty.

Areas of study offered at AJU include but are not limited to:

  • Business, Management, Marketing and Related Support Services
  • Rabbinical Studies
  • Education
  • Psychology
  • Literature
  • Jewish Studies

Students applying for admission are usually required to submit an application, school records, test scores and any requested personal statements, which will then be reviewed by the school. A SAT or ACT exam is required prior to applying, with scores within the range of 1408 to 1766 for the SAT exam and between 20 to 22 on the ACT is typical among students admitted to this school. This school has an admissions rate of 95 percent of which only 30 percent decided to enroll.

The cost of tuition is close to $28,000, but may change per year. Students are encouraged to visit the school's tuition calculator to better understand their cost of attendance. AJU may provide financial aid for students who qualify as grants and loans.

Students can visit the AJU website to see a complete list of areas of study, programs, financial aid details, and more that is available at this school.

Enrollment

168

Student to Faculty Ratio

7:1

Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering is located in Needham, Massachusetts and is a nonprofit private institution that assists students to meet their goals. The higher teacher/student ratio and access to faculty and teachers are due primarily to the smaller enrollment, about 350 students, maintained by Olin College.

Areas of study available at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering include but are not limited to:

  • Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Students applying for admission are usually asked to submit an application, transcripts, records, standardized test scores and any requested letters of recommendations, which will then be reviewed by the school. Most common exam scores among applicants admitted to this school are within the range of 32 to 34 on the ACT, or 2078 to 2296 on the SAT exam. Only 16 percent of applicants are admitted to the school due to the large number of applicants for the limited enrollment spaces available. More information regarding admissions can be found at olin.edu.

The cost of undergraduate tuition is approximately $44,000, but may change per year. Students are encouraged to visit the school's tuition calculator to better understand their cost of attending this school. Housing may be available for students that want to live on-campus at an estimated cost of $9,700 each year. Some students at Olin College may be eligible for financial aid, which is typically provided as grants or student loans.

Students may visit the school's http://www.olin.edu to view additional information.

Enrollment

390

Student to Faculty Ratio

7:1

SCI-Arc is a center of innovation and one of the nation's few independent architecture schools, offering undergraduate and graduate programs. We are dedicated to educating architects who will imagine and shape the future.

Located in a quarter-mile long former freight depot in the artist's district in the heart of Los Angeles, SCI-Arc is distinguished by the vibrant atmosphere of its studios, providing students with a uniquely inspiring environment in which to study Architecture.

An integral part of the emerging cultural hub of a city with a tradition of architectural experimentation, the school is devoted to finding radically new responses to the real needs and aspirations of today's world.

We offer students a unique experience as they pursue undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate degrees. Our approximately 500 students and 80 faculty members—most of whom are practicing architects—work together in a fluid, nonhierarchical manner to re-think assumptions, create, explore and test the limits of architecture.

The professional degrees awarded by SCI-Arc—the B.Arch degree and M.Arch degree offered through the M.Arch1 and M.Arch2 programs—are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) and by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Enrollment

506

Student to Faculty Ratio

11:1

California Institute of Technology is a nonprofit private university that has a large selection of majors and degree programs available for students to choose from. The school is located in Pasadena, CA, in a predominantly urban area. Enrollment at California Institute of Technology exceeds 2,200 yearly. Areas of study offered at Caltech include but are not limited to:

  • Physical Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Computer And Information Sciences
  • Biological And Biomedical Sciences
Students applying for admission are generally required to submit an application, transcripts, standardized test scores and any requested application essays, which will then be reviewed by the admissions staff. Either the ACT or SAT exam can be taken in order to be able to apply to this school. Scores in a range of 33 to 35 on the ACT or 2160 to 2380 on the SAT are required to greatly increase the chance of admission. Only 13 percent of applicants are admitted to the school due to the high volume of applicants for the limited enrollment spots. More information from the admissions office can be found at admissions.caltech.edu. The cost of tuition is close to $41,000 for the year. Tuition prices may change for a variety of reasons, and that is why students should use the school's price of attendance calculator to understand their personalized cost estimate of attendance. Housing is available for students and costs about $7,200 each year. This school may offer financial aid for students who qualify in the form of scholarships, grants, and loans. The California Institute of Technology Beavers participate in several intercollegiate athletic programs, with competitions managed and overseen by the NCAA. Athletic programs available:
  • Baseball (NCAA Division III)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division III)
  • Fencing (NCAA Division III)
Contact information, financial aid information, areas of study, and much more may be accessed on school's website at http://www.caltech.edu.

Enrollment

2,233

Student to Faculty Ratio

3:1

Pomona College, located in Claremont, California, was founded in 1887 to bring northeastern style education to the American southwest. The school prides itself on its low student to teacher ratio, which allows for more personal educational opportunities and allows students to approach professors and instructors with ease.

Pomona College enrolls approximately 1500 students a year, evenly divided between males and females, and offers a large number of resources to those students through modern facilities, a 2 million volume library, sports and recreation center, an aquatics center and more. The school provides quality education and service, and is constantly updating programs and facilities to meet modern student needs.

Academics

Pomona College offers a number of majors that allow students to choose the one that best reflects their goals. Programs typically take four years to complete and result in a bachelor's degree, which may b e used to pursue employment or to further one's education at the graduate level. Minor degrees are also available, allowing students to study a second area of interest. Major courses are taken alongside general education requirements, with additional courses filled out through electives as part of the liberal arts tradition of the school.

Programs offered include:

Admissions and Financial Aid

Admissions to Pomona College require students to submit a completed application, along with letters of recommendation, transcripts and test scores. Applications are reviewed on a case by case basis, and as such there is no standard set of admissions requirements, though academic excellence is highly valued by the admissions committee. Once the material is reviewed a decision will be rendered and the student notified. If accepted, documentation will be provided to prepare the student for enrollment at Pomona College.

Financial aid is available to eligible students in the form of loans, grants and scholarships. Students in need of aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), as well as provide tax information and submit CalGrant GPA forms (if a California resident) to the school. The information provided will be used to determine financial need and program eligibility. Once the aid packet is developed funds will be disbursed.

Enrollment

1,573

Student to Faculty Ratio

7:1

About
Harvey Mudd College, located in Claremont California, was founded in 1955, and is one of the five colleges that make up the Claremont Colleges, a group of schools that share resources and common areas of campus though operate their school's independently of one another, though students may choose to take courses at the other colleges as part of their curriculum. Harvey Mudd College is a private liberal arts college that places an emphasis on engineering, science and mathematics programs, fields that it has become well known for over it history. The school is named after Harvey Seeley Mudd, an investor who died prior to the opening of the school, with funds supplied by friends and family to complete its construction.

Academics
Harvey Mudd College offers student a number undergraduate degrees in science, math and engineering allowing students to choose the one that best reflect their desired goals and future plans. Undergraduate programs provide students with a bachelor's degree and typically take four years to complete through a mixture of major related courses and general education requirements. Harvey Mudd College specializes in a specific area of study, though students are encouraged to take additional courses that may interest them through partner schools in the Claremont Colleges.

Programs offered include:

Admissions and Financial Aid
Applicants to Harvey Mudd College must supply a completed application along with having completed the prerequisite high school courses necessary for admission. Through transcripts and the information provided by the application, students will be reviewed by the school and a decision rendered regarding admission. Once the review is complete, students will be notified if they are admitted, with those who are receiving information to begin their college career.

Financial aid is available in the form of loans, grants, scholarships and work study programs. Students in need of financial assistance must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the information from which will be used by the financial aid department to determine a student's financial need, aid program eligibility and monetary awards. Aid must be reapplied for each academic year.

Enrollment

902

Student to Faculty Ratio

8:1

The University of Southern California (USC) has two main campuses, both located in Los Angeles, CA.  USC's University Park campus is near downtown-metro Los Angeles, near the city's major museums.  The University Park campus is home to most of USC's professional schools and the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School and the School of Dentistry.  USC's Health Sciences campus is northeast of downtown Los Angeles and is home to the School of Pharmacy, the Keck School of Medicine and three teaching hospitals.  Many other USC programs are conducted at different locations in the Southern California area.

USC is the oldest research university in the West and continues to be a leader in this area with an award-winning faculty and strong medical-health and science programs that have given rise to many new ideas and new technology over the years. USC receives top ranking and federal funding for its research activity.

USC attracts many international students and also offers many study abroad programs and internships.  The university encourages collaboration, interdisciplinary studies, public service and professional education.  Through its flexible programs like "Renaissance Ideal," "Thematic Option," and many interdisciplinary majors and minors, USC encourages entering students to create their own major/minor study programs to further interdisciplinary endeavors and new ideas.

One of the great attractions of USC for many students is its distinguished faculty.  The university boasts many renowned innovators and award-winners including members of the National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.  In 2011, USC Professor and historian Dr. Kevin Starr was inducted into the California Hall of Fame.

History

Founded in 1880, the University of Southern California opened its doors with 10 teachers and 53 students.   In 1885, USC established its College of Medicine, which was the first in Southern California.  In 1888, USC Trojans played their first football game.

Academics

The University of Southern California's academic calendar follows the semester format, with a fall, spring and summer semester.

The University of Southern California (USC) offers bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, doctoral degrees as well as continuing and professional education.  USC also offers a Progressive Degree option to high-achieving undergraduates who wish to begin work on a master's degree while completing their requirements for a bachelor's degree.

USC offers hundreds of options for majors, minors and degree programs to undergraduates and graduates through many flexible study options.  Students can choose from several areas and departments to pursue a major or program of study including arts and humanities, social studies, natural sciences, engineering, computer quantitative, and technical sciences.

For students pursuing research, there are many research centers and institutes, as well as laboratories and research units to choose from at USC that include arts and humanities, social and natural sciences, engineering and technology.  Some key areas for research at USC include genomics, biomedical imaging, nanoscience, digital media and high-performance computing.

Colleges and Schools

The colleges and schools of the University of Southern California are located at its two primary campuses: University Park Campus and Health Sciences Campus.  The colleges and schools of USC are:

  • USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
  • USC Leventhal School of Accounting
  • USC School of Architecture
  • USC Marshall School of Business
  • USC School of Cinematic Arts
  • USC Annenberg School for Communication, Journalism
  • Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC
  • USC Rossier School of Education
  • USC Viterbi School of Engineering
  • USC Roski School of Fine Arts
  • USC Davis School of Gerontology
  • USC Gould School of Law
  • Keck School of Medicine of USC
  • USC Thornton School of Music
  • Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
  • USC School of Pharmacy
  • Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy
  • USC School of Policy, Planning and Development
  • USC School of Social Work
  • USC School of Theatre

Student Life

USC is a large university and there are a host of student services available to help students navigate campus life. There are "Academic Services" that include online resources, academic support, libraries and computing.  Through "Campus Life" USC offers countless campus activities and programs, groups and organizations for students to become involved in.  Other student resources include Career Services, Financial Services, Student Health Services, International Students and New Students services, as well as the many programs and services offered through Student Affairs.  Intramural sports and spirit groups are a popular way to get involved in campus life and meet other students.

There are at least 12 residence halls on the USC campuses and many more USC-owned properties nearby that provide housing to students.  USC has three main restaurants on campus that have a selection of menu plans and are conveniently located near the residence halls.

Athletics

Athletics are an important part of the college experience at USC.  The USC Trojans teams compete in the following intercollegiate sports:

Men's Sports:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Swimming & Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball
  • Water Polo

Women's Sports:

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Swimming & Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball
  • Water Polo

Satellite Campuses

In addition to its two main campuses, USC runs programs at several locations throughout Southern California (Marina del Rey, Orange County, among others) as well as educational centers in Sacramento, California and Washington, D.C.

Community Life

USC is located in the heart of Los Angeles with many important museums close by and a host of recreational facilities and attractions in the area.  The USC Arts & Events Calendar offers an award-winning selection of art exhibits, public lectures, music, theatre, and film.  Additionally, there are many cultural events and activities in the Los Angeles area, as well as the many tourist attractions offered by Hollywood and the entertainment industry.

USC has many partnerships with organizations and groups in its surrounding neighborhoods and communities, offering students many opportunities to get involved in community programs, campaigns and initiatives that benefit local children, families and community members.

Enrollment

47,310

Student to Faculty Ratio

9:1

SCU is a nonprofit private institution that has many majors available for students to choose from. The school is located in Santa Clara, California, in a predominantly urban area. The school maintains a Roman Catholic affiliation, which is evident in the role it plays in program curriculums and daily life at the school. Nearly 8,700 students enroll at SCU per year.

Here is a list of some of the popular programs Santa Clara University offers:

  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Legal Professions And Studies
  • Engineering Technology
  • Communications And Journalism

To be considered for admissions, you may be required to complete an application, provide letters of recommendations, and submit high school records and test scores, which are then reviewed by admissions staff. The majority of students accepted to SCU earn an SAT score within the range of 1150 to 1350, or an ACT score within the range of 26 to 30. An estimated 60 percent of all applicant were admitted at Santa Clara University, with 19 percent of those admitted choosing to attend.

The cost of undergraduate tuition is nearly $43,000, but may change yearly. Students are encouraged to visit the school's price of attendance calculator to better understand their cost of attendance. Santa Clara University may help with costs by offering financial aid for students that are eligible in the form of loans, grants, scholarships and work study programs.

The SCU "Broncos" compete in a number of intercollegiate sports through participation in the NCAA. Available athletic programs offered may include the following:

  • Baseball (NCAA Division I-AAA)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division I-AAA)
  • Golf (NCAA Division I-AAA)
  • Rowing (NCAA Division I-AAA)

Students should take a look at the school's http://www.scu.edu to see additional information.

Enrollment

8,642

Student to Faculty Ratio

10:1

Claremont McKenna College is a liberal arts college that offers an undergraduate education and helps students in developing important skills useful in pursuit of graduate education or employment. A liberal arts curriculum exposes students to a variety of topics and subjects. The school is located in Claremont, CA, which is a predominantly suburban area. Claremont McKenna College has a yearly student enrollment of about 1,300. A list of some of the more popular programs offered are:

  • Social Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Natural Resources And Conservation
The admissions process begins with the submission of an application, transcripts, and test scores, which are then evaluated by admissions officials. The majority of students admitted to this school have an SAT score in a range of 1940 to 2210, or an ACT score between 29 to 32. Competition runs high for admissions, given that only 10 percent of students who applied are admitted to the school. More information regarding admissions can be found through the school's portal or by requesting information here. The cost of undergraduate tuition is nearly $46,000, but may change each year. Students are encouraged to use the school's tuition calculator to better understand their personal tuition costs. School housing is available on-campus for students. The annual cost of housing is approximately $8,000. Financial aid may be offered to students that meet the required requirements in the form of loans, grants, scholarships and work study programs. Athletic programs are available at Claremont McKenna College through the NCAA, allowing students to participate in intercollegiate sports. Athletic programs available:
  • Baseball (NCAA Division III)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division III)
  • Track & Field (NCAA Division III)
For a complete list of areas of study, programs, enrollment information, student services, and more, please take a look at the school's website.

Enrollment

1,327

Student to Faculty Ratio

8:1

Scripps College is a liberal arts college that offers an undergraduate education and assists students in developing important skills useful in pursuit of graduate education or employment. A liberal arts curriculum exposes students to a variety of topics and subjects. The school is located in Claremont, California, which is a predominantly suburban area. The school enrolls 970 students annually, allowing for greater access to faculty. Areas of study offered at Scripps College include but are not limited to:

  • English Language And Literature
  • Psychology
  • Ethnic Cultural And Gender Studies
  • Social Sciences
  • Biological And Biomedical Sciences
To be considered for admissions, applicants may be required to fill out an application, provide letters of recommendations, and submit test scores or other school records, which are then evaluated by the admissions office. Students may provide either the ACT or SAT exam scores to be considered for admissions at this school. A score between 1940 - 2190 on the SAT, or 29 - 32 for the ACT is usually submitted among admitted students. An estimated 40% of all applicant were accepted at this school, with 33% of those accepted choosing to enroll. More information from the admissions office can be found at scrippscollege.edu. Undergraduate tuition is approximately $46,000 annually, though it may change based on different types of circumstances. Students may visit the school's tuition calculator to see the personalize cost of attendance. School housing is available on-campus for students. The annual cost of housing is estimated to be $7,700. Students attending Scripps College may be eligible for aid which is generally scholarships, grants, and loans. Scripps College has a variety of athletic programs overseen by the NCAA. Contact information, academics information, programs offered, and more may be viewed on school's website at http://www.scrippscollege.edu.

Enrollment

1,071

Student to Faculty Ratio

10:1

Soka University of America is located in Aliso Viejo, California and is a nonprofit private institution that provides opportunities for students to meet their goals. The lower student/teacher ratio and access to teachers is due primarily to the limited enrollment, about 440 students, maintained by Soka University of America.

The school offers two programs of study in the areas of Liberal Arts and Foreign Language Teacher Education. Students applying for admission are asked to submit an application, school records, test scores and any requested application essays, which will then be reviewed by the school. An ACT or SAT exam may be required prior to applying, with scores in a range of 1543 - 1910 on the SAT and within the range of 23 - 27 for the ACT exam is common among students admitted to this school. 34% of those students that apply are accepted to Soka University of America, of which 61% choose to attend. More information on admissions can be found at soka.edu.

Undergraduate tuition is approximately $30,000 annually, though it may vary based on any number of circumstances. Students should visit the school's tuition calculator to determine cost. This school may help with costs by offering financial aid for students that are eligible in the form of loans, grants, scholarships and work study programs.

Soka University of America participates in intercollegiate sports through the NAIA's Division I Independents in Cross Country or Track & Field.

To see a full list of areas of study, programs, enrollment information, student services, and more, please take a look at the school's website at http://www.soka.edu.

Enrollment

442

Student to Faculty Ratio

8:1

Pepperdine University, a nonprofit private institution, offers an assortment of educational opportunities, allowing students to choose which major is right for them. Located in Malibu, CA, it resides in a rural setting for students to study in. The Churches of Christ affiliation at the school is an important part of the history, education and mission that defines the school. Enrollment at Pepperdine University exceeds 7,600 annually. Students may select from many areas of study, including:

  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Legal Professions And Studies
  • Psychology
  • Education
Students applying for admission are generally asked to submit an application, transcripts, records, test scores and any requested personal statements, which will then be reviewed by admissions staff. The majority of students at this school scored in a range of 1660 to 1990 on the SAT exam. 32% of those students that apply are admitted to Pepperdine University, of which 23 percent choose to enroll. More information regarding admissions can be found at pepperdine.edu. Tuition is approximately $45,000 annually, though it may change based on any number of circumstances. Students should check the school's the Pepperdine University tuition calculator to find what your personalized cost of attendance would be. School housing is available on-campus for students. The annual cost of housing is around $10,000. This school may offer financial aid for students that are eligible as scholarships, grants, and loans. The mascot for Pepperdine University is the "Waves", and they participate in intercollegiate sports through oversight by the NCAA. Athletic programs offered may include:
  • Baseball (NCAA Division I-AAA)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division I-AAA)
  • Golf (NCAA Division I-AAA)
  • Soccer (NCAA Division I-AAA)
  • Swimming (NCAA Division I-AAA)

Enrollment

7,961

Student to Faculty Ratio

14:1

OXY is a liberal arts college that offers an undergraduate education and assists students in developing important skills useful in pursuit of graduate education or employment. A liberal arts curriculum exposes students to a variety of topics and subjects. The school is located in Los Angeles, CA, which is a predominantly urban area. Enrollment at Occidental College exceeds 2,100 annually.

A list of some of the more popular programs offered are:

  • Social Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Natural Resources And Conservation
  • English Language And Literature
  • Visual And Performing Arts
  • Biological And Biomedical Sciences

The admissions process starts with the submission of an application, transcripts, and standardized test scores, which are then reviewed by admissions staff. Most common scores among applicants admitted to this school are between 27 to 31 on the ACT, or 1810 to 2090 on the SAT. Approximately 40 percent of all applicant were accepted at OXY, with 23 percent of those admitted choosing to enroll. More information regarding admissions can be found here.

Undergraduate tuition is approximately $47,000 per year, though it may vary based on any number of circumstances. Students should check the school's net price calculator to see the personalize cost of attendance. Housing may be available for students that want to live on-campus at an estimated cost of $7,500 each year. OXY may offer financial aid for students that qualify in the form of grants and loans.

The OXY Tigers participate in a number of athletic programs, as part of the NCAA organization. Available athletic programs offered:

  • Baseball (NCAA Division III)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division III)
  • Track & Field (NCAA Division III)
  • Football (NCAA Division III)
  • Golf (NCAA Division III)

Contact information, admission forms, areas of study, and much more can be accessed on school's website at http://www.oxy.edu.

Enrollment

1,930

Student to Faculty Ratio

9:1

Pitzer College, located in Claremont California, was founded in 1963 and is one of the institutions that comprise the Claremont Colleges. The school was the first independent women's college to open in the United States since Bennington College had done so in 1932. The school became co-educational in 1970, and at the time maintained an enrollment of 550 students. Today that number has nearly doubled, with students able to study in over forty programs available to them in a variety of concentrations.  The small number of students allows for a more personal education and easier access to teachers and faculty.

Academics

Students at Pitzer College work alongside academic advisors and faculty to create personalized curriculum that best reflect the student's desired areas of study.  Students will choose a major and develop their course load around the area of study in conjunction with advisor, developing a list of classes that must be completed in order to graduate. Students may also choose a minor, which requires a second set of courses to be completed in order to earn. Earning a bachelor's degree typically takes four years, and students at Pitzer College have access to additional courses at other Claremont Colleges member schools.

Programs offered include:

Admissions and Financial Aid

Admission to Pitzer College is accomplished through the submission of a completed application that provides all the necessary information for the school to review. This includes a personal essay, standardized test scores and transcripts. The student is also required to interview with a representative either in person on campus or online, which will also be taken into consideration when determining admissions. Once all information is compiled, it will be reviewed by several admissions board members, and final decision made. The student will be notified as soon as possible, and if admitted, be provided with additional information to begin their college career.

Financial aid must be applied for prior to the start of each academic year and is available in the form of loans, grants and scholarships. Students in need of financial assistance must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which will be used to determine the student's financial aid packet.

Enrollment

1,072

Student to Faculty Ratio

10:1

Thomas Aquinas College is a liberal arts college that offers an undergraduate education and assists students in developing important skills useful in pursuit of graduate education or employment. A liberal arts curriculum exposes students to a variety of topics and subjects. The school is located in Santa Paula, CA, which is a predominantly rural area. The school's Roman Catholic affiliation is one of its defining characteristics and plays an important role within the school's vision. The school enrolls 400 students yearly, allowing for greater access to faculty.

The school offers a degree program in Liberal Arts. The admissions process starts with the submission of an application, school records, and test scores, which are then evaluated by admissions staff. Most common exam scores among students accepted to Thomas Aquinas College are between 25 - 29 for the ACT exam, or 1740 - 2060 on the SAT exam. This school has an acceptance rate of around 79% of which only 68% decided to enroll. More information regarding admissions can be found here.

The cost of tuition is approximately $25,000 for the year. Tuition prices may change for a variety of reasons, and that is why students should use the school's tuition calculator to identify their personalized cost estimate of attendance. Students enrolled at Thomas Aquinas College may be eligible for aid which is generally grants and loans.

To see a full list of areas of study, programs, enrollment information, student services, and more, please visit the school's website at http://www.thomasaquinas.edu.

Enrollment

407

Student to Faculty Ratio

11:1

About
The University of San Diego, located in San Diego, California, was established in 1952 as the San Diego College for Women. The current university was established in 1972 through the merger of the San Diego College for Women and the San Diego College for Men and School of Law. These two institutions had shared facilities and campus, but the resulting merger allowed for university status and growth for the school. Since the merger, the school has seen the addition of facilities and significant increase in enrollment. The University of San Diego is  private institution founded upon Catholic principles with financial assistance from the church and private donors. The school is nationally ranked, and provides a quality education and services in order for its students to achieve their goals.

Academics
The University of San Diego offers a large number of majors in order for enrolled students to choose the educational path that will best assist the fulfillment of future plans. Bachelor degree programs typically takes four years to complete and requires the student to take courses for their major and nationally required general education classes. Students may also choose to pursue a minor degree. Minor degrees allow students to obtain extra education in a second area of study, though not quite as intensively as a major, either for personal interest or to augment one's major. Graduate programs have separate requirements for admission, including having earned the necessary prerequisite degree and the necessary GRE or LSAT scores, to be considered for admissions.

Programs offered include:

Admissions and Financial Aid
Students interested in enrollment at the University of San Diego must submit an application for enrollment along with transcripts, test scores, recommendations and the admissions essay. The information provided by these documents will be reviewed and a decision rendered regarding entry into a bachelor degree program. Applicants must have completed a high school core curriculum or equivalent to be considered for admission.

Financial aid is available in the form of loans, grants and scholarships. Students in need of financial assistance must complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is used to determine financial need, program eligibility and monetary awards. Students may be randomly selected to provide additional information to ensure the accuracy of the FAFSA prior to the disbursement of funds. Financial aid must be applied for prior to the start of each academic year due to changing financial circumstances of the student and his or her family from year to year.

Athletics
The University of San Diego Toreros participate in a number of intercollegiate athletic programs through the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) through the Great Western Conference. Students participating in intercollegiate athletics will be able to develop useful skills, such as leadership, teamwork and discipline that may be applied to one's personal, professional and academic life. Additionally, the successes and failures associated with the struggle to achieve team goals allows for the development of camaraderie among players. Students may contact the athletic department to obtain tryout dates, times and forms.

Athletic programs at USD:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Rowing
  • Softball
  • Spirit Team
  • Swimming and Diving
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball

Enrollment

9,073

Student to Faculty Ratio

14:1

Chapman University, located in Orange, California, was founded in 1861 as what was then known as Hesperian College. The school was established by members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and since its first day of operations admitted men, women and people of color.

In 1934 the school changed its name to Chapman University to commemorate Charles Clarke Chapman, the Valencia orange magnate, due to his endowment of the school. In 1954 the school moved, taking over the former Orange Union High School campus. By 1965, Chapman began operating World Campus Afloat, a ship that allows Chapman Students to take a semester at sea, travelling to a variety of locations, participating in research and philanthropic activities. Chapman is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in California.

Academics

Chapman provides undergraduate and graduate programs in a variety of fields. The undergraduate programs are based in a liberal arts and sciences foundation that encourages cross discipline activity. Such activities allow for students to pursue and create their own educational opportunities in conjunction faculty and staff.

Study abroad programs, research projects, and attention to the arts are all part of the Chapman University experience. By encouraging students to pursue practical experience building opportunities, the school hopes to develop young minds and widen their field of opportunity and possibility.

Programs offered include:

Admissions and Financial Aid

Individuals seeking admission to Chapman University must submit a completed application with the application fee, all applicable transcripts, SAT and/or ACT scores and a letter of recommendation. Some programs may have additional requirements that must be fulfilled for the application process to proceed. Individuals should research their major of choice to ensure that all requirements are met. Once the application and all supplemental material are received, the admissions office will review the application and provide an answer in a timely fashion.

Financial aid is available in the form of grants, loans, scholarships and work study programs. Students must determine eligibility for aid through the Student Aid Report provided by a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Financial aid awards are based on need, and will disbursed as such. Scholarships may be awarded to students based on criterion other than need. Additional information is available through the school website and the financial aid office.

Athletics

The Chapman University Jaguars are a Nation Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III school and a member of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). The school understands the value of maintaining active sports programs, as it helps students develop skill that will be useful in their professional careers as well as provides a distraction and morale boost for students as a whole. As a result, Chapman offers a wide variety of sports programs for both men and women.

Sports programs:

  • Basketball
  • Baseball (Men Only)
  • Crew
  • Cross Country
  • Soccer
  • Softball (Women Only)
  • Football (Men Only)
  • Swimming and Diving
  • Tennis
  • Water Polo
  • Track and Field (Women Only)
  • Volleyball
  • Lacrosse
  • Golf (Men Only)
  • Sailing
  • Ice Hockey (Men Only)
  • Cheerleading

Clubs and Organizations

Chapman University is home to over 90 clubs and organizations that offer students opportunities to pursue interests and meet likeminded individuals. Some clubs may promote civic activity, while others may focus on games and tournaments, while others still may choose to focus attention to specific field of study.

Students may engage in activities on and off campus, promote events, and develop programs. Clubs and organizations exist to provide social aspects to the college experience that may be lacking in dorms or classrooms and may augment the education one pursues.

Some clubs and organizations at Chapman University:

  • Anime Escape
  • Chapman on Broadway
  • Improv Inc.
  • Anyone Can Cook
  • Panther Vision

Students may also begin clubs to encourage growth in topics and fields that have not been met by other clubs or organizations. The university provides guidelines and forms online, and interested students may work together to establish a new Chapman University tradition.

Enrollment

9,608

Student to Faculty Ratio

13:1

About
Loyola Marymount University, located in Los Angeles, California, traces its origins to Catholic educational traditions dating as far back as 1548. The school in Los Angeles is the oldest such institution in southern California, having been originally established in 1865. The school was unable to remain open, though found new life as a high school which prompted new growth and interest in the establishment of a college in 1917, relocating in to its permanent home in 1929 and achieving university status in 1930. The school was joined by Marymount College originally through shared facilities in 1968, and finally through merger in 1973. The merger of the schools resulted in the blending of two Catholic educational traditions, unique among such universities. Loyola Marymount University's history of educational excellence is reflected in its dedication to working with students in order to ensure they meet their academic goals through long held academic and educational traditions dating centuries.


Academics
Loyola Marymount University offers student a number of undergraduate and graduate programs, allowing students to choose the one that best reflect their desired goals and future plans. Undergraduate programs provide students with a bachelor's degree, typically taking four years to complete through a mixture of major related courses and general education requirements. Students may also pursue minor degrees in a second area of study, allowing for the pursuit of additional interests.

Graduate programs have separate requirements for admission, including GRE or LSAT scores, the appropriate degree earned, and a separate admissions application. In addition, specific programs will have their own requirements and standards. Graduate programs are offered through one of the many schools and colleges that control individual programs.

Programs offered include:

Admissions and Financial Aid
Applicants to Loyola Marymount University are reviewed on a case by case basis, utilizing the information provided by the application, transcripts, essays and recommendations to make a determination regarding whether or not a student will be admitted. Factors such as extracurricular activities, academic achievements, volunteer work and so on are taken into consideration when reviewing the application. Students must also meet certain high school prerequisites for given programs. Once reviewed the applicant will be notified and if admitted, he or she will be supplied with information regarding transition and enrollment to the university.

Financial aid is available in the form of loans, grants, scholarships and work study programs. Students in need of financial assistance must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the information from which will be used by the financial aid department to determine a student's financial need, aid program eligibility and monetary awards. Federal law requires the school to select random students for review. These students will be asked to provide additional financial information the ensure the FAFSA's accuracy. Financial aid must be reapplied for prior to the start of each academic year due to changing financial situations for individual student's and their families.

Athletics
The Loyola Marymount University Lions participate in intercollegiate athletics through the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Great Western Conference. Participating students will experience a health atmosphere of competition, allowing for the development of skills and abilities, including good health, discipline, sportsmanship and teamwork. Students will also experience the camaraderie that comes with experiencing the successes and failures of pursuing a single goal with teammates. Athletic programs having varying start schedules, as such interested students should contact the athletic department to obtain tryout dates, times, schedules, and forms.

Athletic programs at Loyola Marymount University:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross Country
  • Rowing
  • Golf
  • Sand Volleyball
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball
  • Water Polo

Enrollment

9,838

Student to Faculty Ratio

10:1

Westmont College is a liberal arts college that offers an undergraduate education and assists students in developing important skills useful in pursuit of graduate education or employment. A liberal arts curriculum exposes students to a variety of topics and subjects. The school is located in Santa Barbara, CA, which is a predominantly suburban area. Approximately a thousand students are enrolled yearly at Westmont College. Areas of study available at Westmont College include but are not limited to:

  • Recreation And Fitness Studies
  • English Language And Literature
  • Communications And Journalism
  • Business And Marketing Studies
The admissions process will begin with the submission of an application, transcripts, and test scores, which are then reviewed by the admissions committee. Very common test scores among students accepted to this school are within the range of 23 to 29 for the ACT exam, or 1620 to 1960 on the SAT. This school has an acceptance rate of 61% of which only 23% decided to enroll. More information from the admissions office can be found here. The cost of undergraduate tuition is close to $39,000 per year. Tuition prices may change for any number of reasons, and therefore students should use the school's net price calculator to identify their costs. The cost of on-campus housing is around $7,800 for the year. This school may help with costs by offering financial aid for students that qualify as grants and loans. The Westmont College Warriors participate in a number of athletic programs, overseen by the NAIA. Athletic programs offered may include:
  • Baseball (NAIA Division I)
  • Basketball (NAIA Division I)
  • Track & Field (NAIA Division I)
  • Soccer (NAIA Division I)
Contact information, academics information, areas of study offered, and much more can be accessed on school's website at http://www.westmont.edu.

Enrollment

1,277

Student to Faculty Ratio

11:1

Lincoln University is located in Oakland, CA and is a nonprofit private institution that provides opportunities for students to meet their educational goals. The low student to teacher ratio and access to faculty is due primarily to the smaller enrollment, approximately 470 students, maintained by Lincoln University. Here is a list of some of the popular programs Lincoln University offers:

  • Business Administration
  • English
  • Ultrasound Technician
  • Medical Assistant
The school maintains an open enrollment policy, accepting any applicants that meet the minimum requirements for admission. Submission of transcripts, test scores, and letters of recommendations may be requested for certain programs. Undergraduate tuition is approximately $10,000 annually, though it may change based on different types of circumstances. Students should check the school's tuition calculator to determine a more personalized cost estimate. Financial aid may be offered to students that meet the necessary requirements by way of grants or student loans. Students may visit the website to obtain a complete list of areas of study, financial aid details, and more.

Enrollment

573

Student to Faculty Ratio

18:1

Saint Marys College of California is a nonprofit private institution located in Moraga, CA and provides a large number of educational opportunities for students. The Roman Catholic affiliation at the school is an important part of the history, education and mission that defines the school. Over 3,900 students enroll at Saint Marys College of California per year.

Here is a list of some of the popular programs Saint Marys College of California offers:

  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Education
  • Liberal Arts And Sciences
  • Communications And Journalism
  • Social Sciences

Students applying for admission are generally required to submit an application, school records, test scores and any requested letters of recommendations, which will then be reviewed by admissions officials. Most common test scores among applicants accepted to SMC are between 22 to 27 for the ACT exam, or 1000 to 1210 for the SAT exam. This school has an admissions rate of around 69 percent of which only 19 percent chose to enroll. More information on admissions can be found here.

Tuition is approximately $41,000 for the year, though it may vary based on different types of circumstances. Students may visit the school's tuition calculator to determine a more personalized cost estimate. School housing is available on-campus for students. The annual cost of housing is approximately $7,700. Some students at SMC may be eligible for financial aid, which is generally provided as scholarships, grants, and loans.

This school has several athletic programs overseen by the NCAA. Athletic programs that are available may include:

  • Baseball (NCAA Division I-AAA)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division I-AAA)
  • Golf (NCAA Division I-AAA)
  • Lacrosse (NCAA Division I-AAA)

Students can visit the school's http://www.stmarys-ca.edu to see additional information.

Enrollment

3,881

Student to Faculty Ratio

11:1

University of Redlands is a nonprofit private institution located in Redlands, CA and provides a large number of educational opportunities for students. University of Redlands has an annual student enrollment of over four thousand. A list of some of the more popular programs offered are:

  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Education
  • Health And Clinical Professions
  • Psychology
Students applying for admission are most often required to submit an application, school records, test scores and any requested personal statements, which will then be reviewed by the admissions staff. A SAT or ACT exam may be required prior to applying, with scores between 1040 - 1240 for the SAT exam and within the range of 22 - 27 for the ACT exam is common among students admitted to this school. This school has an acceptance rate of 67 percent of which only 27 percent decided to attend. More information regarding admissions can be found here. Tuition is approximately $41,000 per year, though it may change based on different types of circumstances. Students should visit the school's price of attendance calculator to determine cost. On-campus housing is available for students, and generally costs about $6,800 each year. Students enrolled at University of Redlands may qualify for aid which is usually loans, grants, scholarships and work study programs. The University of Redlands Bulldogs participate in a number of athletic programs, overseen by the NCAA. Available sports offered may include but not limited to:
  • Baseball (NCAA Division III)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division III)
  • Track & Field (NCAA Division III)
  • Football (NCAA Division III)

Enrollment

4,598

Student to Faculty Ratio

12:1

University of San Francisco provides a variety of degree programs for students to guide them in their growth and development. The school is located in San Francisco, California and operated as a private institution. The school's Roman Catholic affiliation is one of its defining characteristics and plays an important role within the school's mission. USF has a yearly student enrollment of approximately 9,600.

Students can choose from several areas of study, including:

  • Legal Professions And Studies
  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Psychology
  • Health And Clinical Professions
  • Recreation And Fitness Studies

To be considered for admissions, students may be asked to fill out an application, write a personal statement, and submit school records, which are then evaluated by the admissions committee. Either the ACT or SAT exam can be taken to apply to USF. Scores in a range of 23 to 27 on the ACT or 1550 to 1880 on the SAT are required to greatly increase your chances for getting accepted. This school accepts around 60 percent of applicants. Of those students accepted, about 17 percent registered for enrollment. More information regarding admissions can be found at usfca.edu.

The cost of undergraduate tuition is nearly $41,000 per year. Tuition prices may change for any number of reasons, and therefore students should visit the school's price of attendance calculator to identify their personalized cost estimate of attendance. Student housing is available for students, and generally costs around $9,100 for the year. Some students at this school may qualify for financial aid, which is typically provided in the form of loans, grants, scholarships and work study programs.

The University of San Francisco "Dons" have a number of intercollegiate athletic programs through participation in the NCAA. Available athletic programs offered:

  • Baseball (NCAA Division I-AAA)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division I-AAA)
  • Track & Field (NCAA Division I-AAA)
  • Golf (NCAA Division I-AAA)

Students can take a look at the school's http://www.usfca.edu/ to see additional information.

Enrollment

10,713

Student to Faculty Ratio

13:1

PLNU provides a variety of educational opportunities for students to assist them in their growth and development. The school is located in San Diego, California and operated as a private institution. The school's Church of the Nazarene affiliation is one of its defining characteristics and plays an important role within the school's mission. Enrollment at Point Loma Nazarene University is nearly three thousand per year. Here is a list of some of the popular programs PLNU offers:

  • Education
  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Health And Clinical Professions
  • Psychology
The admissions process begins with the submission of an application, school records, and standardized test scores, which are then evaluated by the admissions staff. A SAT or ACT exam may be required prior to applying, with scores within the range of 1470 - 1780 for the SAT exam and within the range of 23 - 28 on the ACT is common among students admitted to PLNU. PLNU has an acceptance rate of around 52% of which only 28% chose to enroll. More information from the admissions office can be found here. Tuition is approximately $31,000 for the year, though it may vary based on different types of circumstances. Students should check the school's tuition calculator to determine cost. Some students at Point Loma Nazarene University may qualify for financial aid, which is typically provided as scholarships, grants, and loans. This school has a variety of athletic programs overseen by the NAIA. Available athletic programs offered may include but not limited to:
  • Baseball (NAIA Division I)
  • Basketball (NAIA Division I)
  • Track & Field (NAIA Division I)
For a complete list of areas of study, enrollment information, admissions information, and more, please take a look at the school's website at http://www.pointloma.edu/home.htm.

Enrollment

4,592

Student to Faculty Ratio

14:1

Biola University provides a variety of educational opportunities for students to assist them in their growth and development. The school is located in La Mirada, California and operated as a private institution. The school's Nondenominational Christian affiliation is one of its defining characteristics and plays an important role within the school's vision. Nearly 6,100 students enroll at Biola University annually. A list of some of the more popular programs offered are:

  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Psychology
  • Theology And Religious Vocations
  • Philosophy And Religious Studies
  • Visual And Performing Arts
To be considered for admissions, applicants may be asked to fill out an application, provide letters of recommendations, and submit school transcripts, which are then reviewed by the admissions committee. Most students admitted to this school have an SAT score between 1500 - 1860, or an ACT composite score between 21 - 27. This school has an admissions rate of 77% of which only 37% decided to attend. More information from the admissions office can be found here. The cost of tuition is close to $33,000 for the year. Tuition prices may change for any number of reasons, and as such students should use the school's price of attendance calculator to understand their costs. Housing is available on-campus for students. The yearly cost of housing is approximately $5,400. Some students at Biola University may qualify for financial aid, which is typically offered in the form of loans, grants, scholarships and work study programs. The Biola University Eagles participate in several athletic programs, within the NAIA organization. Available sports offered may include but not limited to:
  • Baseball (NAIA Division I)
  • Basketball (NAIA Division I)
  • Golf (NAIA Division I)
  • Soccer (NAIA Division I)
For a complete list of programs offered, enrollment information, financial aid details, and more, please visit the school's website at http://www.biola.edu.

Enrollment

6,109

Student to Faculty Ratio

14:1

Best California Private School Majors and Online Degrees

With the vast diversity in private colleges in California, you will surely find a degree program and area of interest that suits you. In fact, you can pursue less traditional degree programs such astoxicology,entomology,sonography,robotics,dietetics,surgical technologist,forensic science,cognitive science,playwriting,marine biologyandsolar energy technology. Likewise, you can elect to follow a more traditional degree path likecommunications,economics,teaching,math,computer science,sociology, andcriminal justiceto grow a career in an associated field.

List of Large 4-Year Private Universities in California

There are 16 large private universities in our database for California. Follow the links below to get more details about each school.

Large Universities with Research Facilities or Faculty

The universities listed below offer many diverse academic programs, have a large student body, and usually have research facilities or faculty involved with research. These schools very often have graduate and professional programs as well.

Bakersfield College in Azusa, CA

Visit the website for Bakersfield College at bakersfieldcollege.edu

Program Details

  • 5,000 to 9,999 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Estimated tuition & fees: $1,000 per year

Cabrillo College (CIIS) in San Francisco, CA

Visit the website for Cabrillo College at cabrillo.edu

Program Details

  • 1,000 to 4,999 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Estimated tuition & fees: $1,000 per year

California Lutheran University (Caltech) in Pasadena, CA

Visit the website for California Lutheran University at callutheran.edu

Program Details

  • 1,000 to 4,999 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Estimated tuition & fees: $47,000 per year

California State University - Bakersfield in San Diego, CA

Visit the website for California State University - Bakersfield at csub.edu

Program Details

  • 1,000 to 4,999 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Estimated tuition & fees: $8,000 per year

Humboldt State University in Carpinteria, CA

Visit the website for Humboldt State University at humboldt.edu

Program Details

  • Less Than 1,000 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Estimated tuition & fees: $8,000 per year

Palo Verde College (Pacific) in Stockton, CA

Visit the website for Palo Verde College at paloverde.edu

Program Details

  • 5,000 to 9,999 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Estimated tuition & fees: $1,000 per year

Virtual Campus Tour of

Purdue University in Stanford, CA

Visit the website for Purdue University at purdue.edu

Program Details

  • 10,000 to 19,999 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Estimated tuition & fees: $10,000 per year

Large Primarily Academic Universities

Each university listed below offers a diverse set of degrees and programs, unlike the research universities listed above, these schools contain little to no research activity on campus and are primarily academic.

Small to Medium Sized 4-Year Universities

The 4-year schools listed below have a small to medium sized student body and may offer a wide range of associate and bachelor's degrees. Get more information about each school by clicking the links below.

4-Year Colleges with a Special Focus on an Area of Study

The schools below are grouped by their special area of focus. To learn about admissions, tuition & fees, programs offered, and more click on the school names below.

Schools of Art, Music, and Design

Theological Seminaries, Bible Colleges, and Other Faith-Related Institutions

Schools of Law

Medical Schools and Medical Centers

Health Professions Schools

Schools of Business and Management

Notes: Tuition & fee amounts are for both California in-state residents and out of state students, unless noted otherwise. The tuition information displayed is an estimate, which we calculated based on historical data and should be solely used for informational purposes only. Please contact the respective school for information about the current school year.

Source: IPEDS Survey 2012-2020: Data obtained from the US Dept. of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Data may vary depending on school and academic year.

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