Important factors to consider when choosing where to complete your Ph.D. in California include the location, size, affordability and graduation rates of the school. Here, we compile lists of California schools offering Ph.D. programs according to each of these criteria. These lists contain a mixture of public and private non-profit schools, but with public schools commanding the majority of references.
California Schools Near Large Cities Offering Ph.D. Programs
If living in a major city is important to you, here are some California schools based in the state's four largest cities. These schools are all within 10 miles of the city center, offering students the many benefits of an urban lifestyle, such as diverse job opportunities and cultural life.
- California State University (Los Angeles)
- University of Southern California (Los Angeles)
- University of San Diego (San Diego)
- San Francisco State University (San Francisco)
- International Technological University (San Jose)
Largest Schools in California
Larger institutions may offer greater opportunities, so you might prefer the schools with the highest student populations. The school with the most students in California is the University of Southern California, with 42,453 students as of 2014.
The next largest schools in the state are:
- University of California - Los Angeles (41,845 students)
- California State University - Northridge (40,131 students)
- California State University - Fullerton (38,128 students)
- University of California - Berkeley (37,565 students)
- California State University - Long Beach (36,809 students)
Lowest Net Price
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) offers school-specific information about average tuition costs for undergraduate students, so while this data is not specific to doctorate students, it is indicative of the average tuition fees for each institution. The following data accounts for the 2014-2015 academic year. In this category, one university stands out: the 13 cheapest schools in California were all campuses of California State University.
- California State University - Los Angeles ($3,160)
- California State University - Fresno ($6,846)
- California State University - San Bernardino ($6,984)
- California State University - Northridge ($7,075)
- California State University - Stanislaus ($7,387)
Schools with Highest Graduation Rates
While the NCES does not offer graduation information for doctoral students, it does compile details for undergraduates. It offers data specific to each school regarding the percentage of bachelor degree seekers who earn their degree within 150% of normal time, which is considered to be six years or less. The following rankings can provide insight into the overall attitude on campus toward timely completion.
- Stanford University - Stanford (94%)
- University of California - Berkeley (92%)
- University of Southern California - Los Angeles (92%)
- University of California - Los Angeles (91%)
- California Institute of Technology - Pasadena (91%)
This guide can assist students considering undertaking their Ph.D. in California, who have specific requirements about their school's location, course fees, student population sizes, and graduation rates.