Colleges and Universities of California

California  (CA)

View of the main quadrangle of Stanford University with Memorial Church in the center background from across the grass covered Oval.

California's Public Postsecondary Education Offers Three Separate Systems

  • The research university system in the state is the University of California (UC), a public university system. As of fall 2011, the University of California had a combined student body of 234,464 students. There are ten general UC campuses, and a number of specialized campuses in the UC system, as the UC San Francisco, which is entirely dedicated to graduate education in health care, and is home to the UCSF Medical Center, the highest ranked hospital in California. The system was originally intended to accept the top one-eighth of California high school students, but several of the schools have become even more selective. The UC system was originally given exclusive
  • authority in awarding Ph.Ds, but this has since changed and the CSU is also able to award several Doctoral degrees.
  • The California State University (CSU) system has almost 430,000 students. The CSU was originally intended to accept the top one-third of California high school students, but several of the schools have become much more selective. The CSU was originally set up to award only bachelor's and master's degrees, but has since been granted the authority to award several Doctoral degrees.
  • The California Community Colleges System provides lower division coursework as well as basic skills and workforce training. It is the largest network of higher education in the US, composed of 112 colleges serving a student population of over 2.6 million.
California is also home to such notable private universities as Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the California Institute of Technology, and the Claremont Colleges. California has hundreds of other private colleges and universities, including many religious and special-purpose institutions.

Alliant International University • Alliant is a private, independent university offering a wide variety of programs, degrees, and certifications through our five schools: the California School of Professional Psychology, the California School of Education, the California School of Management and Leadership, the California School of Forensic Studies, and the San Francisco Law School. Alliant is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).


Antioch University • With more than 8,000 distinguished alumni, Antioch University Los Angeles (AULA) has been honored to serve the diverse communities of the greater Los Angeles area since 1972. The University remains the legacy of Horace Mann’s original vision, and an example of the success of educational experimentation, innovation, and diversity of thought. Antioch University continues to break down educational barriers and rebuild them as educational opportunities, providing students with the tools to explore, empower, and transform the world around them.
Art Center College of Design • Edward A. “Tink” Adams was an advertising man with a radical idea in education: to teach real-world skills to artists and designers and prepare them for leadership roles in advertising, publishing and industrial design. To achieve that, he would create a faculty of working professionals from those fields. ArtCenter opened in 1930 with Adams serving as its director.
Azusa Pacific University • Azusa Pacific University, one of the largest Christian universities in the nation today, began on March 3, 1899, when a group of men and women passionate about creating a place for Christian education gathered to form the Training School for Christian Workers. It became the first Bible college on the West Coast geared toward preparing men and women for ministry and service. Meeting in a modest home in Whittier, California, and led by President Mary A. Hill, the school grew to an enrollment of 12 in its first term.
Biola University • Biola University traces its origins to the Bible Institute of Los Angeles established in 1908 by Lyman Stewart, founder and president of the Union Oil Company, and the Rev. T.C. Horton, two men of extraordinary vision and commitment to Christian higher education.
California Coast University • California Coast University was founded in 1973 as California Western University, with administration and library facilities located in downtown Santa Ana, California. The name was changed to California Coast University in 1981. In 2010, CCU moved to larger headquarters to accommodate its continued growth.
California College of Arts and Crafts • Founded in 1907 by Frederick Meyer, a German cabinetmaker, whose vision was shaped by the Arts and Crafts movement, California College of the Arts (CCA) is noted for the interdisciplinarity and breadth of its programs. California College of the Arts educates students to shape culture and society through the practice and critical study of art, architecture, design, and writing. Benefitting from its San Francisco Bay Area location, the college prepares students for lifelong creative work by cultivating innovation, community engagement, and social and environmental responsibility.
California Institute of Technology • Although founded as a preparatory and vocational school by Amos G. Throop in 1891, the college attracted influential scientists such as George Ellery Hale, Arthur Amos Noyes and Robert Andrews Millikan in the early 20th century. The vocational and preparatory schools were disbanded and spun off in 1910 and the college assumed its present name in 1921. In 1934, Caltech was elected to the Association of American Universities and the antecedents of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which Caltech continues to manage and operate, were established between 1936 and 1943 under Theodore von Kármán. The university is one among a small group of institutes of technology in the United States which is primarily devoted to the instruction of pure and applied sciences.
California Institute of the Arts • Deep into his fabled career, Walt Disney conceived of a new school for nurturing future generations of creative talent: a multidisciplinary “community of the arts” built around the real-life experience of working artists instead of the conventions of the academy. Moreover, the school would remove the walls separating the creative disciplines and encourage artists from different branches to mix and collaborate as a way of sparking new ideas and methods.

Walt and his brother Roy started making this vision a reality in 1961 when they formed California Institute of the Arts through the merger of two existing L.A. schools for art and music.

A decade later, in 1970, the new college, CalArts, opened its doors to offer programs in art, design, film, music, theater and dance. It turned out to be a fiercely countercultural version of Walt’s utopian concept, and yet the Institute immediately became a hotbed of artistic originality.


California Lutheran University • Founded in 1959, California Lutheran University is home to more than 2,963 undergraduate and 1,273 graduate students who come from more than 45 countries and represent a wide variety of faiths.
California Maritime Academy • The California Nautical School was established in 1929, when California State Assembly Bill No. 253 was signed into law by Governor C. C. Young. The bill authorized the creation of the school, the appointment of a Board of Governors to manage the school and the acquisition of a training vessel. The school's mission was "to give practical and theoretical instruction in navigation, seamanship, steam engines, gas engines, and electricity in order to prepare young men to serve as officers in the American Merchant Marine." By 1930, a training vessel and a school site was acquired; the original location of what would become California Maritime Academy was California City (now Tiburon, California) in the San Francisco Bay Area.
California Polytechnic State University • California Polytechnic State University (also known as California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, or Cal Poly, is a public university located in San Luis Obispo, California. It is one of two polytechnics in the California State University system.

The university is organized into six colleges offering 64 bachelor's and 32 master's degrees. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo primarily focuses on undergraduate education with 20,425 undergraduate and 881 graduate students. The university is located in San Luis Obispo, California often noted as one of the happiest cities in the United States, with many alumni in Silicon Valley


California State Polytechnic University - Pomona • Cal Poly Pomona began as the southern campus of the California Polytechnic School (today known as Cal Poly San Luis Obispo) in 1938 when a completely equipped school and farm in the city of San Dimas were donated by Charles Voorhis and his son Jerry Voorhis. The satellite campus grew further in 1949 when a horse ranch in the neighboring city of Pomona, which had belonged to Will Keith Kellogg, was acquired from the University of California. Cal Poly Pomona, then known as Cal Poly Kellogg-Voorhis, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo continued operations under a unified administrative control until they became independent from one another in 1966.
California State University SystemAdmission • California State University (Cal State or CSU) is a public university system in California. With 23 campuses and eight off-campus centers enrolling 478,638 students with 24,405 faculty and 23,012 staff, CSU is the largest four-year public university system in the United States. It is one of three public higher education systems in the state, with the other two being the University of California system and the California Community Colleges System. The CSU System is incorporated as The Trustees of the California State University. The California State University system headquarters are at 401 Golden Shore in Long Beach, California.

The California State University was created in 1960 under the California Master Plan for Higher Education, and it is a direct descendant of the system of California State Normal Schools. With nearly 100,000 graduates annually, the CSU is the country's greatest producer of bachelor's degrees. The university system collectively sustains more than 150,000 jobs within the state, and its related expenditures reach more than $17 billion annually


California State University - Bakersfield • California State University, Bakersfield (often abbreviated CSUB or shortened to CSU Bakersfield) is a public university located in Bakersfield, California, United States, and was founded in 1965. CSUB opened in 1970 on a 375-acre (152 ha) campus, becoming the 19th school in the 23-campus California State University system. The university offers 91 different Bachelor's degrees, 20 types of Master's degrees, and 12 teaching credentials. The university does not confer Doctoral degrees
California State University - Channel Islands • California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI, CSU Channel Islands, known informally as CI) is a four-year public comprehensive university and Hispanic Serving Institution located outside Camarillo, California in Ventura County. CI opened in 2002, as the 23rd campus in the California State University system, succeeding the Ventura County branch campus of CSU Northridge. CI is located midway between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles in Camarillo, at the intersection of the Oxnard Plain and northern most edge of the Santa Monica Mountain range. The Channel Islands are nearby where the university operates a scientific research station on Santa Rosa Island.
California State University - Chico • California State University, Chico (also known as CSU Chico or Chico State), is the second oldest campus in the 23-campus California State University system. It is located in Chico, California, about 90 miles north of Sacramento. As of the Fall 2016 semester, the university had a total enrollment of 17,557 students. The university offers 126 types of bachelor's degrees, 35 types of master's degrees, and four types of teaching credentials. The university does not confer doctoral degrees.
California State University - Dominguez Hills • The campus sits on the historic Rancho San Pedro, the oldest land grant in the Los Angeles area. The land was in the continuous possession of the Dominguez family through seven generations - from its concession to Juan Jose Dominguez in 1784 to its acquisition by the people of the state of California for the university. The campus mascot is the Toro, Spanish for bul
California State University - Fresno • California State University, Fresno (commonly referred to as Fresno State) is a public research university in Fresno, California. It is one of 23 campuses within the California State University system. The university had a Fall 2016 enrollment of 24,405 students. It offers bachelor's degrees in 60 areas of study, 45 master's degrees, 3 doctoral degrees, 12 certificates of advanced study, and 2 different teaching credentials. Cal State Fresno Fan Gear
California State University - Fullerton • Cal State Fullerton is a leading campus of the CSU, serving as an intellectual and cultural center for Southern California and driver of workforce and economic development. We are an emerging national model for supporting student success through innovative high-impact educational and co-curricular experiences, including faculty-student collaborative research.
California State University - Hayward • Founded in 1957, California State University, East Bay has a student body of almost 16,000. In Fall of 2013, it had 752 faculty, of which 275 (or 37%) were on the tenure track. The university's largest and oldest college campus is located in Hayward, with additional campus-sites in the nearby cities of Oakland and Concord. The university operates on the quarter system and is scheduled to convert to the semester system Fall of 2018
California State University - Long Beach • California State University Long Beach is a diverse, student-centered, globally-engaged public university committed to providing highly-valued undergraduate and graduate educational opportunities through superior teaching, research, creative activity and service for the people of California and the world.
California State University - Los Angeles • Cal State LA transforms lives and fosters thriving communities across greater Los Angeles. We cultivate and amplify our students' unique talents, diverse life experiences, and intellect through engaged teaching, learning, scholarship, research, and public service that support their overall success, well-being, and the greater good.
California State University - Maritime • The California Nautical School was established in 1929, when California State Assembly Bill No. 253 was signed into law by Governor C. C. Young. The bill authorized the creation of the school, the appointment of a Board of Governors to manage the school and the acquisition of a training vessel. The school's mission was "to give practical and theoretical instruction in navigation, seamanship, steam engines, gas engines, and electricity in order to prepare young men to serve as officers in the American Merchant Marine." By 1930, a training vessel and a school site was acquired; the original location of what would become California Maritime Academy was California City (now Tiburon, California) in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Due to the Great Depression, the early days of the Academy were full of financial uncertainty. As early as 1933, some state legislators were calling for the school's abolition. In order to save money, the cadets and instructors alike lived and held classes aboard the training vessel, the T.S. California State. Only after the passage of the Merchant Marine Act of 1936 did the funding for the Academy stabilize. For the Collegiate Wind Competition 2014, California Maritime Academy developed a small-scale wind turbine. TS Golden Bear after it was hauled out and painted a navy blue. In 1939 the California Nautical School adopted the name, the California Maritime Academy. By 1940, the Academy was granting Bachelor of Science degrees and Naval Reserve commissions to its graduates; this step marked the beginning of the transition from the status of trade school to college. In 1943, the Academy moved to its present location in Vallejo, California.


California State University - Monterey Bay • The campus grew out of Fort Ord, a decommisioned Army base with a rich history going back to 1917. Throughout the '50s, '60s and '70s, Fort Ord was a major location for basic training, reaching its heyday during the Vietnam War. Even celebs like Jimi Hendrix and Clint Eastwood completed basic training here. In all, more that 1.5 million men and women received basic training at Fort Ord.

Monterey Bay Fan Gear When Congress decided to shut down Fort Ord, the local community proposed the base be converted into a university. In June 1994, that plan was approved and Cal State Monterey Bay began. Hank Hendrickson, then Executive Dean of CSUMB, signed the deed on August 29, 1994.


California State University - Northridge • First founded as the Valley satellite campus of Cal State Los Angeles. It then became an independent college in 1958 as San Fernando Valley State College, with major campus master planning and construction. The University adopted its current name of California State University, Northridge in 1972
California State University - Sacramento • Students choose Sacramento State because they want something special in a college experience. They come to receive an excellent education from top faculty at our seven colleges offering 58 undergraduate majors – all in a vibrant urban oasis just a few miles from California's Capitol. They come to the state's political, economic, and cultural center to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others. They come to our 3,500-tree urban forest along the American River to find and develop their passions, and to live those passions beyond the classroom. Sac State Fan Gear

At Sacramento State, students see the world around them with fresh eyes, and discover the tools and opportunities to scale heights and reach goals they never imagined.


California State University - San Bernardino • Cal State San Bernardino is listed among the best colleges and universities in the western United States, according to The Princeton Review, Forbes and U.S. News and World Report, in their respective annual rankings. It also is part of the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, With Distinction – the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. In addition, it is a "Military Friendly School" according to G.I. Jobs. CSUSB's College of Business and Public Administration was named by European CEO Magazine as one of the four most innovative business schools in the U.S. and among the top 18 in the world. The Sierra Club named CSUSB one of "America's Coolest Schools."
California State University - San Jose • San Jose State University was founded in 1857 as Minns' Evening Normal School, and is the oldest public school of higher education in the state. The university now offers more than 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations.
California State University - San Marcos • Building on an innovative 27-year history, California State University San Marcos is a forward-focused institution, dedicated to preparing future leaders, building great communities and solving critical issues. Located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the city of San Marcos, the University is just a short distance from some of Southern California’s best beaches and an hour from the US-Mexico border. CSUSM enrollment is over 17,000 and the university is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

California State University is located in northern San Diego County and offers beautiful beaches, an hour drive to the mountains and desert, a down town nightlife, world class shopping, and more all within a short trip from campus!


California State University - Stanislaus • California State University, Stanislaus serves a diverse student body of more than 9,000 at two locations in the Central Valley — a beautiful 228-acre campus in Turlock and the Stockton Center, located in the city’s historic Magnolia District. Widely recognized for its dedicated faculty and high-quality academic programs, the University offers 43 majors, 41 minors and more than 100 areas of concentration, along with 15 master's degree programs, seven credential programs and a doctorate in educational leadership. Cal State Stanislaus Fan Gear

The University opened as Stanislaus State College in 1960, with a faculty of 15 and fewer than 800 students, at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in Turlock. The institution moved to its current location in 1965, gained university status and its present name in 1986, and opened its Stockton Center in 1998.


Chapman University • Founded as Hesperian College in 1861 in Woodland, California by members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we admitted men and women and people of color from the earliest days. Endowed by the Valencia orange magnate Charles Clarke Chapman, the institution changed its name to Chapman College in 1934, and by 1954 had moved to the former campus of Orange Union High School in Orange, California. The college again extended higher educational access when it began offering classes to military personnel at \ El Toro Marine Base.

In 1965, Chapman took undergraduate education to the high seas when it began running World Campus Afloat, the program that would eventually become Semester at Sea, a tradition that continues at Chapman through our world-wide study abroad programs


Claremont McKenna College • In September 1946, 86 students and seven faculty members opened a new “undergraduate school for men” in Claremont, California. Classes began even before a name was chosen; the school was incorporated as Claremont Men’s College in the spring of 1947. CMC was the third Claremont College, following Pomona College and Scripps College.

Many of the first students, as well as the College’s president George Benson, were returning World War II GIs. The new college’s purpose was clear: to prepare future leaders of private and public enterprise through a distinctive liberal arts curriculum. Rather than train students for particular jobs in government and industry, CMC sought to produce graduates able to apply lessons from not only business and government courses, but the study of history, philosophy, literature, the arts, and sciences as well.


Concordia University • Concordia University is welcoming, engaged, and committed to innovation and excellence in education, research, creative activity and community partnerships. It dares to be different and draws on its diversity to transform the individual, strengthen society and enrich the world. Concordia’s core values stem from those long prized by its founding institutions, Loyola College and Sir George Williams University. Concordia adopted the motto of the city of Montreal, Concordia salus, which speaks to well-being through harmony. The union of two very different institutions of higher education has led to an exceptionally successful synthesis of compatible and timely values.
Dominican University • Throughout its years of growth, Dominican achieved professional recognition. The State Board of Education in 1924 empowered the institution to recommend candidates for public school teaching credentials, thus enabling Dominican students to teach in the public schools in California on elementary and secondary levels.

Two years later the college was placed on the approved list of the Association of American Universities. In 1931 Dominican College of San Rafael was recognized by the American Association of University Women and in 1932, established the Marin County Chapter of that group


Fresno Pacific University • In 1944 Pacific Bible Institute opened in a large residence on Van Ness Avenue in Fresno with twenty-eight students. Soon outgrowing its original campus, the school moved in 1946 to a former YWCA building in downtown Fresno. The student body reached a peak of 178 students in 1948-1949.

By the 1950s enrollment at PBI was declining. In response, the school developed a broader junior college curriculum in 1956 and moved to a new campus on Chestnut Avenue in southeast Fresno in 1959. The following year the Bible institute's name was changed to Pacific College. In 1963, a four-year liberal arts program with biblical studies at its core was added. In 1965, Pacific College earned full accreditation as a four-year liberal arts institution


Golden Gate University • From their origins in the mid-19th century to present, GGU has committed itself to helping working professionals further their education with practical knowledge, flexible course times, and contemporary skill training. We have built our curriculum around the knowledge of working professionals' hectic schedules, allowing our graduates to excel in and out of the classroom without affecting their professional lives.
Harvey Mudd College • Harvey Mudd College, the nation’s top liberal arts college of engineering, science and mathematics, was chartered in December 1955. Two years later, in 1957, when the Space Race made technical education a priority in the United States, the College opened its doors. The founders’ vision—to attract the nation’s brightest students and offer them a rigorous scientific and technological education coupled with a strong curricular emphasis in the humanities and social sciences—has been successfully realized and expanded. In 1963, the College initiated the nationally recognized Clinic Program, which allows student teams to solve problems posed by sponsoring industry, government and nonprofit organizations. The emphasis on undergraduate research for all students has led to Harvey Mudd graduates earning PhD degrees in science and engineering at one of the highest rates in the nation.
Holy Names College • Holy Names University was founded in 1868 when six Sisters of the Holy Names arrived in California from Montreal, Canada. The teaching order, founded to provide education to the poor, had been invited to Oakland by Father Michael King to establish a school for girls and to train future teachers.

The six sisters who made the trek from Montreal to San Francisco by trains and ships, including traversing the rugged Isthmus of Panama on shaky rails, were Sisters Salome, Celestine, Marceline, Seraphine, Cyrille, and Anthony, the oldest at age 31. Sister Salome had made her final vows on the day of departure from Canada. They arrived in San Francisco on the morning of May 10, acknowledged as Founders’ Day by the University and celebrated annually with the Sisters serving strawberries and shortcake on campus. The Sisters of Mercy and Father King served the Sisters fresh strawberries and cream upon their arrival in San Francisco.


Hope International University • Hope International University is a private Christian university identified with non-denominational Christian Churches/Churches of Christ and founded on October 9, 1928, as Pacific Bible Seminary.

The school purchased campus property in Long Beach in 1936, and construction started in 1940. In 1962, the school achieved regional accreditation and changed its name to Pacific Christian College. When the Long Beach campus was no longer adequate to house the growth of the college, they relocated to Fullerton in 1973. In 1997 the institution achieved university status and took the name Hope International University.


Humboldt State University • Founded as a teacher's college in 1913. Over the last century, they have grown from an institution focused solely on teacher education to an accredited university with extensive research facilities. There have been plenty of name changes over the years: We have been called Humboldt State Normal School, Humboldt State Teacher's College, Humboldt State College, CSU Humboldt and, since 1974, Humboldt State University.
John F. Kennedy University • John F. Kennedy University is an accredited nonprofit institution that has been preparing working adults to advance their careers and communities since 1965. Offering a variety of innovative, affordable degree programs, we make it possible for lifelong learners from various walks of life to realize personal and professional growth.
La Sierra University • The Seventh-day Adventist denomination established La Sierra University in 1922 on acreage formerly part of the Rancho La Sierra Mexican land grant. Today the institution provides more than 120 bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees for about 2,300 students. “To Seek, To Know, and To Serve” is the key to the mission that drives La Sierra University, with all areas of campus encouraging students to develop a deeper relationship with God.
Loma Linda University • Loma Linda University is a Seventh-day Adventist organization with more than 4,400 students located in Southern California. Eight schools comprise the University organization. We share our campus with six hospitals where students receive hands-on training. More than 100 programs are offered by the schools of Allied Health Professions, Behavioral Health, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health and Religion. Curricula offered range from certificates of completion and associate in science degrees to doctor of philosophy and professional doctoral degrees.
Loyola Marymount University • The present University is the successor to the pioneer Catholic college and first institution of higher learning in Southern California. In 1865, the Vincentian Fathers inaugurated St. Vincent's College for boys in Los Angeles. When this school closed in 1911, members of the Society of Jesus opened the high school division of their newly founded Los Angeles College. Rapid growth prompted the Jesuits to seek a new campus in 1917 and incorporate as Loyola College of Los Angeles in 1918. Relocating to the present Westchester campus in 1929, the school achieved university status one year later.
The Master's College • Since 1927, The Master’s University has had the privilege of training and developing professionals around the world. With highly qualified faculty, genuine staff, and an unwavering commitment to Christ and the Word of God, The Master’s University has matured and flourished as a nationally-ranked institution dedicated to educating for lifetime of influence. With over 10 majors, including the new, one-of-a-kind Marketing Media major, 150+ in-demand careers paths, a 10:1 student-teacher ratio, and 94% of our student’s receiving financial aid, Master’s sets each graduate on the path to succeed wherever they’re placed.
Menlo College • In 1927, Menlo College was founded as a two-year program for young men to complete their lower division coursework before transferring to an upper division college or university. When Stanford University considered dropping its freshman and sophomore classes, it was imagined that Menlo College might become the junior college division of Stanford University. Menlo’s fate rested with the Stanford Board of Trustees, until 1932, when Stanford decided to remain a four-year undergraduate university with graduate schools.

In 1949, Menlo introduced its four-year School of Business Administration (SBA), offering a top ranked undergraduate bachelor’s degree in business. It was Menlo’s first and only four-year program.


Mills College • Mills was founded in 1852 as the Young Ladies' Seminary in Benicia, California—two years after California became a state. In 1865, missionaries Susan and Cyrus Mills (champions for equal education for women) bought the seminary and renamed it Mills College
Mt. Sierra College • Mt Sierra College was founded in 1990. For more than 25 years, the College has been known for its focus on effective use of technology, which has always been at the core of its educational mission. Mt Sierra College laid the foundation for its Bachelor of Science degree programs in 1994 and earned its accreditation in 1996. Leading edge programs in Media Arts, Network Communications and Information Technology prepare students for life-long careers. They acquire the cutting edge knowledge and skills that today’s industry demands, while learning in a caring and supportive environment.
National University • National University is a San Diego-based nonprofit founded in 1971 by retired U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. David Chigos. As the largest private nonprofit university in San Diego, our mission is to provide accessible, achievable higher education to adult learners. A pioneer in the digital space, we’ve offered online classes for more than 20 years.
Notre Dame de Namur University • The university was founded by two Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur who came from Namur, Belgium, to start schools on the West Coast of the United States in the mid-nineteenth century. The sisters had the mission of expanding access to education, initially to female students. Notre Dame de Namur University’s commitment to providing instruction has now grown to encompass many types of students with many goals. The Hallmarks of a Notre Dame de Namur education continue to guide the university as it meets the needs of students in the present and the future.
Occidental College • In 1887, the year a group of knowledge-thirsty Presbyterians founded "The Occidental University of Los Angeles, California," a Kansas prohibitionist named Harvey Wilcox purchased a ranch just west of the city, naming it Hollywood.

Tuition in 1888, the year Oxy opened its doors, was $50. The new college wasn't exactly swamped with applicants: 40 students enrolled that fall.


Otis College of Art and Design • ON December 23, 1916 The Otis Art Institute of the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science, and Art General Harrison Gray Otis, L.A.Times publisher, donates his spacious Wilshire Boulevard home, known as the Bivouac, to Los Angeles County to be used “continuously and perpetually for the Arts and advancement of the Arts.”

September 1918 Otis opens its doors as the first independent professional school of art in Southern California, with a three-year course in drawing and painting, a two-year course in illustration, and another two-year course in design and applied arts. Tuition is $80 a year. Life drawing classes are separate for men and women but by 1919, they study together. E. Roscoe Shrader was with the school from 1918 until he retired in 1949 as Director.


Pepperdine University • On September 21, 1937, the new campus of George Pepperdine College hosted 2,000 attendees gathered to witness the opening of the school. Speakers that day included California governor Frank Merriam, Los Angeles mayor Frank L. Shaw, the college's first president Batsell Baxter, and founder George Pepperdine. Among the crowd were the college's first students, 167 young men and women from 22 states and two foreign countries. Mr. Pepperdine clearly stated his intentions for the school on that day: "Our college is dedicated to a twofold objective: First, academic training in the liberal arts. Pepperdine Fan Gear. . . Secondly, we are especially dedicated to a greater goal—that of building in the student a Christ-like life, a love for the church, and a passion for the souls of mankind."
Pitzer College • Founded in 1963, Pitzer College is a top-ranked liberal arts and sciences college. The College emphasizes environmental and interdisciplinary studies, the arts, humanities and social, behavioral and natural sciences. With approximately 1,000 students, Pitzer College is part of The Claremont Colleges – a unique consortium of five undergraduate colleges and two graduate institutions. The contiguous campuses share numerous programs and facilities. At Pitzer, students have access to all the resources of a major university while enjoying all the benefits of a liberal arts college experience and its personalized approach to education.
Platt College • Platt College San Diego seeks to teach students both traditional and contemporary skills within a supportive environment that stimulates the incubation of new ideas and stretches the minds and student talents. Because the instruction fields are in a constant state of development, emphasis is on providing a foundation in problem solving skills to meet future challenges and the needs of a changing and constantly evolving job market.

Platt College is an accredited Post-secondary and Vocational Educational institution. For more information on Platt College San Diego’s courses, download our course catalog.


Point Loma Nazarene University • Dr. Phineas F. Bresee founded and became the first president of Pacific Bible College, which would become Pasadena College and later Point Loma Nazarene University. The women had envisioned a Bible college, but Bresee’s vision was for a liberal arts institution. He believed spiritual and academic learning went hand-in-hand. That legacy is still with us today, as PLNU remains committed to the liberal arts and to whole-person education.

Pacific Bible College began with 41 students. In 1910, Bresee purchased the Hugus Ranch land in Pasadena and fulfilled his dream of creating not just a Bible college but a holiness university. Nazarene University opened in 1910 and from its beginning included male and female students.


Pomona College • Pomona College was incorporated on October 14, 1887, by a group of Congregationalists who wanted to recreate “a college of the New England type” on the West Coast. Instruction began the next year in a small, rented house in the city of Pomona.

The following January, an unfinished hotel in nearby Claremont, along with the adjacent land, was given to the College. The College relocated there, but the name "Pomona College" stuck. Pomona awarded its first diplomas to the Class of 1894.


Saint Mary's College of California • Saint Mary's College of California is a private, coeducational college located in Moraga, California, United States, a small suburban community about 10 miles east of Oakland and 20 miles east of San Francisco. It has a 420-acre campus in the Moraga hills. It is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church and administered by the De La Salle Christian Brothers. The college was ranked tied for 9th in the U.S. News & World Report's 'Regional Universities' (West) rankings for 2017
San Diego State University • The history of San Diego State University began in the late 19th century with the establishment of a normal school in San Diego, California. Founded on March 13, 1897, the school opened on November 1, 1898 with a class of 135 students. By 1921, the school had become San Diego State Teachers College, allowing it to grant certificates and degrees. Due to the increased student enrollment, the college was relocated to its current location at the east side of Mission Valley, with classes beginning in February 1931. The government works programs during the Great Depression assisted in construction of numerous buildings on the new campus.
San Francisco Art Institute • Encompassing some of the most significant art movements of the last century, SFAI has historically embodied a spirit of experimentation, risk-taking, and innovation.

Since 1871, SFAI has attracted individuals who push beyond boundaries to discover uncharted artistic terrain. With an ever-expanding roster of esteemed faculty and alumni, robust exhibitions and public programs, and a mission dedicated to the intrinsic value of art, SFAI is poised to expand upon the West Coast legacy of radical innovation that grounds SFAI’s philosophy for another century.


San Francisco Conservatory of Music • In the fall of 1917, pianists Ada Clement and Lillian Hodghead opened the doors to the Ada Clement Piano School at 3435 Sacramento Street, in the remodeled home of Lillian’s parents. A school newsletter from 1924 described that first semester of 1917: “The faculty numbered five. The school had four pupils. Four studios were used and only two were equipped with blackboards. Three pianos were donated by the Misses Ada Clement and Lillian Hodghead.”

Recognizing the need for a music conservatory on the West Coast, the school incorporated in 1923 as the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, offering classes in many orchestral instruments as well as theory, composition, and voice.


San Francisco State University • SF State is a major public urban university, situated in one of the world's great cities. Building on a century-long history of commitment to quality teaching and broad access to undergraduate and graduate education, the University offers comprehensive, rigorous, and integrated academic programs that require students to engage in open-minded inquiry and reflection. SF State encourages its students, faculty, and staff to engage fully with the community and develop and share knowledge.
San Jose State University • San Jose State University was founded in 1857 as Minns' Evening Normal School, and is the oldest public school of higher education in the state. The university now offers more than 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations.
Santa Clara University • Santa Clara University is California’s oldest operating institution of higher learning. Since opening our doors in 1851, SCU has evolved and grown in ways that would have been unimaginable to our founders. Through the years, however, we’ve remained faithful to the 475-year-old Jesuit tradition and to our core values. Established in 1777 by Father Junipero Serra, the Mission Santa Clara de Asís was the 8th of the 21 original California missions. The campus was built around the Mission, and to this day it remains our anchor and spiritual center.
Scripps College • Ellen Browning Scripps, a reporter, global adventurer, suffragist, businesswoman, and philanthropist—a woman ahead of her time. She would have been an exceptional woman in any era—her lifetime achievements were truly remarkable.

With a small bequest from her late grandfather and savings from her wages as a schoolteacher, Ellen and her brothers founded one of the country’s leading newspaper and publishing enterprises. Her business acumen, on which her brothers depended, was a tremendous benefit to the venture, and her daily column was one of the nation’s best-read features in more than 1,000 newspapers.


Simpson University • Simpson University, California’s only Christian university north of Sacramento, has been educating and shaping world-influencers for nearly 100 years. Fully accredited, Simpson offers 25 liberal arts and professional studies degrees, an adult degree-completion program, graduate studies, and credential programs, serving more than 1,000 students a year.

One of four schools of higher education of The Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination, Simpson’s students come from all over the world – the majority from California. More than 30 percent of traditional undergraduates are first-generation college students, and ethnic diversity characterizes almost one-third of the population.


Sonoma State University • In 1960 legislation was signed establishing Sonoma State College. It first opened to 274 students in Fall 1961 in leased buildings in Rohnert Park. The move to its permanent site of 215 acres took place in 1966, upon completion of Stevenson and Darwin Halls for classrooms.

As enrollments increased, new facilities were built: Ives Hall for performing arts, a dining commons, a library, a physical education facility, and site development features including three lakes (reservoirs) that have since become important aesthetic features of the campus. The original architectural design during this period was urban in character, calling for smooth concrete buildings and formalized landscaped courts.


Stanford University • Stanford University was founded in 1885 by California senator Leland Stanford and his wife, Jane, “to promote the public welfare by exercising an influence in behalf of humanity and civilization.” When railroad magnate and former California Gov. Leland Stanford and his wife, Jane Lathrop Stanford, lost their only child, Leland, Jr., to typhoid in 1884, they decided to build a university as the most fitting memorial, and deeded to it a large fortune that included the 8,180-acre Palo Alto stock farm that became the campus. They made their plans just as the modern research university was taking form.

Leland Stanford Junior University – still its legal name – opened Oct. 1, 1891.


Thomas Aquinas College • Thomas Aquinas College came into being in the late 1960s and early 1970s, during a time of great tumult in the United States that deeply affected the country’s institutions and its mores. The College’s founders, a seasoned group of lay Catholic educators, were concerned about the declining condition of higher education and, in particular, Catholic higher education.
University of California - Berkeley • As we celebrate our 150th anniversary, we invite you to take a look back at Berkeley’s milestones and discoveries. Looking forward to the next 150 years.
University of California - Davis • UC Davis is the home of the Aggies — go-getters, change makers and problem solvers who make their mark at one of the top public universities in the United States.

Since we first opened in 1908, we’ve been known for standout academics, sustainability and Aggie Pride as well as valuing the Northern California lifestyle. These themes are woven into our 100-plus-year history and our reputation for solving problems related to food, health, the environment and society.


University of California - Irvine • Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy.
University of California - Los Angeles • Since our inception, every accomplishment, every breakthrough, every leap and bound has been fueled by our unwavering determination to make a difference. From our innovative academics and groundbreaking research to our record-breaking athletics and top-tier medical centers
University of California - Riverside • UC Riverside is a proud member of the prestigious University of California system, which this year marks its 150th anniversary. Our history of high-impact innovation began with the university's earliest days as a Citrus Experiment Station and continues through today's transformative research. As we celebrate our past, we prepare next-generation scientists, engineers, performers, entrepreneurs, and policy makers to tackle tomorrow's challenges.
University of California - San Diego • The founders of the University of California San Diego had one criterion for the campus: it must be distinctive. This timeline chronicles the development of UC San Diego from the site of a military training ground and a marine research station to the innovative institution that it is today. UC San Diego’s origins begin at the ocean at the turn of the 20th century with the creation of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, pictured here circa 1931. Hand-tinted photograph by Barber, L.D. Scripps Institution of Oceanography Archive, UC San Diego.
University of California - San Francisco • One of the world’s leading health sciences universities, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), dates its founding to 1864, when South Carolina surgeon Hugh Toland founded a private medical school in San Francisco.

Toland had come west in 1849 to seek his fortune in the California Gold Rush, but after a few discouraging months as a miner, he set up a surgical practice in booming San Francisco. As his wealth and influence grew, he purchased land in North Beach and opened Toland Medical College.


University of California - Santa Barbara • Continuing its evolution from an 1880s-born manual training school, the renamed Santa Barbara State Teachers College begins to grow its curriculum toward liberal arts education and to award four-year degrees. In 1954 The college relocates from its longtime Riviera Campus in downtown Santa Barbara to Goleta, taking up residence on a site previously used as a World War II Marine Air Station base. The campus remains on the same spot today. In 1969 Campus leaders dedicate Storke Tower, a 175-foot campanile with 61 bells, the tallest steel/cement structure in Santa Barbara County. It is affectionately named for Thomas Storke, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and U.S. senator who was integral to the institution’s founding.
University of California - Santa Cruz • Since its founding in 1965, the University of California, Santa Cruz, has earned international distinction as a university with high-impact research and an uncommon commitment to teaching and public service.

A campus with world-class facilities and one of the most visually spectacular settings in higher education, UC Santa Cruz offers rigorous academic programs and cutting-edge research opportunities that teach students how to think, not what to think.A commitment to environmental stewardship and community engagement are central to UCSC's core values.


University of La Verne • The University of La Verne was founded in 1891 as Lordsburg College by members of the Church of the Brethren. Historically, the Brethren are considered a “peace church” like the Quakers or Mennonites, and slots on the Board of Trustees are still held for Brethren members. The baccalaureate ceremony is held at the local Church of the Brethren in La Verne and the holder of the post of campus minister must be a member of the Church of the Brethren.
University of the Pacific • University of the Pacific was established July 10, 1851, as California's first chartered institution of higher learning. It was founded by pioneering Methodist ministers and remains the only Methodist-related university in California. Originally located in Santa Clara, the university later moved to San Jose and, in 1924, moved to Stockton, making it the first private four-year university in the Central Valley. The university earns widespread recognition for its deep commitment to teaching and learning, its history of innovation and the accomplishments of its alumni.

An innovator and leader in higher education, Pacific provided California with its first chartered medical school in 1858, its first coeducational campus in 1871, and its first conservatory of music in 1878. It was the nation's first to offer an undergraduate teacher corps program, the first to send an entire class to an overseas campus, the first to establish a Spanish-speaking inter-American college, and the first to offer a four-year graduation guarantee.


University of Redlands • In 1926, university students and alumni rallied to save one of our most beloved symbols of pride—the R constructed by students high on a hillside of the nearby San Bernardino Mountains.

The R watched proudly over our valley and our university below until the U.S. Forest Service threatened to remove it because of an advertising ban.


University of San Diego • The original chapter of the University of San Diego was written on a brisk early winter afternoon in December of 1949, when local dignitaries joined Bishop Charles Francis Buddy and Mother Rosalie Clifton Hill for a groundbreaking ceremony atop a wind-swept mesa overlooking the burgeoning San Diego cityscape.

Mother Hill had a special reason for wanting the campus, which would come to be known as Alcalá Park, to be unrivaled in its exquisite beauty and intricate design.


University of San Francisco • The University of San Francisco, the city's first university, was established by the Jesuits in October 1855. USF’s founding president, Anthony Maraschi, S.J., arrived in San Francisco as an Italian immigrant in 1854. The next year, he borrowed $11,500 to build a Jesuit church and school on a few sand dunes on the south side of Market Street and proclaimed, “Here, in time, will be the heart of a great city.” Father Maraschi was right. Around the original site of USF, a dynamic, diverse, distinctive city has grown and thrives. And at each step of that city’s development, USF has provided leadership and service.
University of Southern California • Los Angeles was a rough-and-tumble frontier town in the early 1870s, when a group of public-spirited citizens led by Judge Robert Maclay Widney first dreamed of establishing a university in the region. It took nearly a decade for this vision to become a reality, but in 1879 Widney formed a board of trustees and secured a donation of 308 lots of land from three prominent members of the community – Ozro W. Childs, a Protestant horticulturist; former California governor John G. Downey, an Irish-Catholic pharmacist and businessman; and Isaias W. Hellman, a German-Jewish banker and philanthropist. The gift provided land for a campus as well as a source of endowment, the seeds of financial support for the nascent institution.

When USC first opened its doors to 53 students and 10 teachers in 1880, the “city” still lacked paved streets, electric lights, telephones and a reliable fire alarm system. Today, USC is home to more than 44,000 students and over 4,800 full-time faculty, and is located in the heart of one of the biggest metropolises in the world.


Vanguard University of Southern California • During the summer of 1920, Harold K. Needham, D. W. Kerr, and W. C. Peirce opened a school to prepare Christian workers for the various ministries of the church. The new institute, Southern California Bible School, moved from Los Angeles to Pasadena in 1927. In 1939 it was chartered by the State of California as a college eligible to grant degrees, and it became Southern California Bible College-the first four-year institution of the Assemblies of God. In 1943 the college received recognition by the government for the training of military chaplains. It moved to the present campus in 1950. The name was changed to Southern California College nine years later when majors in the liberal arts were added to the curriculum.
Westmont College • In 1937 Ruth Kerr founded a liberal arts college committed to the historic Christian faith. Wallace Emerson, the first president, envisioned an institution that rivaled the best colleges nationwide, and he set the standard for academic rigor and excellence that still applies.

By 1945, Westmont outgrew its facilities in Los Angeles and moved to the former Dwight Murphy estate in Santa Barbara with its 125 acres and Mediterranean house. Acquiring another property and the former Deane School for Boys completed the campus that features the pathways, stone bridges, and gardens of the former estate.


Whittier College • Whittier College grew from the academy and was chartered by the State of California in 1901 with a student body of 25.

Both the town and the College were named in honor of John Greenleaf Whittier, prominent Quaker, poet, and leader in the abolitionist movement. Although no longer affiliated with the Society of Friends, the College remains proud of its Quaker heritage and deeply committed to its enduring values, such as respect for the individual, fostering community and service, social justice, freedom of conscience, and respect for human differences. In its more than 100 year history, Whittier College has embraced and upheld these values as the foundation for its academic and social community.


Woodbury University • Founded in 1884 by educator and entrepreneur F.C. Woodbury, the University graduated its inaugural class in response to the needs of the city’s growing business community, and established the institutions’ reputation for degrees leading to the professions.

From the start, Woodbury believed in gender equity, as its first class was roughly 50% male and 50% female. This commitment to diversity was very unusual at the time and remains one of our core principles.

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