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California Graduate Schools with Program Descriptions

There are 206 graduate schools in California. Learn more about some of the schools in the state in order to find the college or university where you want to pursue an advanced degree.

When faced with over two hundred California colleges and universities, it can be tough for prospective graduate students to select the right fit. Information from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) about some of the non-specialty schools in the state can help with the decision.

Graduate Schools in California Near Large Cities

California is the nation's most populous state and home to a number of major cities, including Los Angeles, the second-largest in the nation. If you want to go to school in a major metropolitan area, consider one of these five universities, each of which is located in one of California's five largest cities.

  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles)
  • University of San Diego (San Diego)
  • San Jose State University (San Jose)
  • San Francisco State University (San Francisco)
  • California State University-Sacramento (Sacramento)

Largest Graduate Schools in California

If you want to attend a large graduate school in California, there is no shortage of options. There are four schools with more combined graduate and undergraduate student populations of over forty thousand students. Although the two schools with the highest student populations are private institutions, the next 19 largest graduate schools in the state are public universities. Here are the top five.

  • University of Southern California (43,401 students)
  • Ashford University (42,452 students)
  • University of California-Los Angeles (41,908 students)
  • California State University-Northridge (41,548 students)
  • California State University-Fullerton (38,948 students)

Lowest Average Graduate Tuition

The cost of getting an advanced degree is a major concern for many aspiring graduate students. The NCES provides the average graduate tuition for each school, to help students determine what the most affordable option may be for them. Here are the five least expensive schools in California that offer advanced degrees, as of the 2014-2015 school year.

  • Trident University International ($6,120 in-state per year)
  • California Intercontinental University ($7,110 in-state per year)
  • California University of Management and Sciences ($7,800 in-state per year)
  • Concordia University-Irvine ($7,998 in-state per year)
  • Bethesda University ($8,000 in-state per year)

Highest Graduation Rate

Graduation rate is the percentage of full-time undergraduate students who finish their degrees within 150% of the expected time. If a school has a high graduation rate, it likely promotes a learning environment that fosters student success for graduates and undergraduates alike. Based on data from students who started in fall 2009, the five non-specialty California graduate schools with the highest rates all boasted rates above ninety percent.

  • Stanford University (94%)
  • University of California-Berkeley (92%)
  • Claremont McKenna College (92%)
  • University of Southern California (92%)
  • Scripps College (92%)

In summary, the state of California offers aspiring graduate students a plethora of educational opportunities.


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