What is the Difference?

There are four different types of colleges in California.  Each has their advantages and disadvantages.

Community College

Example: El Camino College, Cerritos College, Long Beach City College

There are 113 community colleges in California.  Community colleges typically offer a two-year degree called an Associate’s degree (AA).   They also offer certificates like Fire Science, Culinary Arts, Auto Mechanics, and Vocational Nursing just to name a few.  All students are accepted to community colleges.  Cost on average is around $1,200 a year, not including books, fees, etc.  Click here for a list of all community colleges and their costs here.  The intent of students attending a community college is varied, students will either transfer to a 4-year university or receive training to get a job.

Pros: Inexpensive, smaller classes, and more night and weekend classes
Cons:  Limited classes, no campus life, and uninvolved students

State Schools

Example: Long Beach State, Dominguez Hills, Cal State L.A.

There are 23 state universities in California.  Click here for a list of all 23.  State schools typically offer four-year degrees called Bachelors of Art or Bachelors of Science.  Most also offer 6-year degrees called Masters of Art or Masters of Science.  Students must apply to attend a state university on average state schools accept the top 33% of students in their class.  The cost to attend a state university is the same at all 23 schools.  In 2014-2015, it cost $5,472 a year, not including books, fees, housing (living on or near campus), etc.  The intent of a student going to a state university is to get a job after graduation.

Pros:  Affordable tuition, good instructors, campus life, lots of activities on campus, and challenging instructors
Cons:  Availability of classes, trouble meeting with professors, and students can easily get lost with so many students.

Universities

Example: U.C.L.A., U.C. Irvine, U.C. Riverside.

There are 10 universities in California.  Click here for a list of all 10.  All 10 of them are ranked in the top 26 public universities in the United States. Universities typically offer four-year degrees called Bachelor’s of Art or Bachelor’s of Science,  6-year degrees called Master’s of Art or Master’s of Science, and 8-year degrees called Doctorates.  Students must apply to attend a university on average universities accept the top 8% of students in their class.  The cost to attend a university is the same at all 10 schools.  In 2014-2015, it cost $12,240 a year, not including books, fees, housing (living on or near campus), etc.  The intent of a student going to a university is typically to get more schooling to eventually get a job.

Pros: Great instructors, quality education, campus life, lots of activities on campus, and challenging instructors
Cons:  Less affordable tuition, availability of classes, trouble meeting with professors, big campuses, and students can easily get lost with so many students.

Private Colleges

Example: Chapman University, U.S.C., Standford

There are 185 private universities in California.  Click here for a list of all 185.  Private colleges can offer many different types of degrees and specialties from certificates to Doctorates.  Students must apply to attend a private university.  The university can choose to take whom every they like based on any criteria.  The cost to attend a private university is varied.  School tuition can vary from around $8,000 to $50,000 a year, not including books, fees, housing (living on or near campus), etc.  The intent of a student going to a private university is typically to get more schooling to eventually get a job.

Pros: Great instructors, community feeling, small campuses, small class size, and a quality education.
Cons:  Less affordable tuition and tough classes.

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UC School Rankings

University of California, Berkely

Ranked #4 out of top 150 universities in the world

 

University of California, Davis

Ranked #55 out of top 150 universities in the world
School of Management: Ranked #42
School of Education: Ranked #36
College of Engineering: Ranked #34
School of Law: Ranked #39
School of Medicine: Ranked #45
Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing: Ranked #52

University of California, Irvine

Ranked #47 out of top 150 universities in the world
Paul Merage School of Business: Ranked #44
School of Education: Ranked #25
Henry Samueli School of Engineering: Ranked #37
School of Law: Ranked #28
School of Medicine: Ranked #48

University of California, Los Angeles

Ranked #12 out of top 150 universities in the world
Anderson School of Management: Ranked #15
School of Education and Information Studies: Ranked #3
Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science: Ranked #16
David Geffen School of Medicine: Ranked #11

University of California, Riverside

A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management: Ranked #93
Graduate School of Education: Ranked #72
Bourns College of Engineering: Ranked #67

University of California, San Diego

Ranked #14 out of top 150 universities in the world
Rady School of Management: Ranked #82
Department of Education Studies: Ranked #62
Jacobs School of Engineering: Ranked #13
School of Medicine: Ranked #18

University of California, San Francisco

Ranked #18 out of top 150 universities in the world
School of Medicine: #4
Note: UCSF school of nursing was in the top 10 for all nursing programs, but due to an administration “oversight” the school was not included in the ranking, according to the University of California.

University of California, Santa Barbara

Ranked #41 out of top 150 universities in the world

 

University of California, Santa Cruz

Ranked #93 out of top 150 universities in the world
Education Department: Ranked #101
Jack Baskin School of Engineering: Ranked #85