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Graduate Schools in Southern California

Southern California is home to about 100 public and private non-profit graduate schools. Compare some of these universities to determine which schools might be right for you.

Students interested in pursuing graduate study in Los Angeles, San Diego, Irvine or other cities through the region of Southern California have numerous schools to choose from. These include large public universities, smaller private colleges and specialty schools devoted to the study of law, the arts or healthcare. To aid prospective students with their school research and decisions, this article compares a few of the region's public and private non-for-profit universities using information from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Southern California Graduate Schools Near Large Cities

There are many opportunities you can find in larger urban areas, that you won't find in less populated areas. If this is a concern of yours then Southern California is the place for you. Here are only a few of the graduate school located near or in the major cities in the area.

  • Bethesda University (Anaheim, CA)
  • La Sierra University (Riverside, CA)
  • California State University-Long Beach (Long Beach, CA)
  • California Baptist University (Riverside, CA)
  • University of California-Riverside (Riverside, CA)

Largest Schools in Southern California

Another indicator of a variety of opportunities is the size of a school. You can usually find greater networking opportunities and extracurricular activities at larger populated schools. Here are the five largest schools in southern California with graduate programs.

  • University of Southern California (43,401 enrolled students)
  • University of California-Los Angeles (41,908 enrolled students)
  • California State University-Northridge (41,548 enrolled students)
  • California State University-Fullerton (38,948 enrolled students)
  • California State University-Long Beach (37,446 enrolled students)

Lowest Tuition

Tuition costs are a common concern for students when it comes to selecting a grad school. According to the NCES, some of the lowest in-state graduate tuition rates for 2015 could be found in 12 schools of the California State University System in Southern California, at $6,738. Below are next five lowest in-state graduate tuition rates in Southern California for 2015.

  • California State Polytechnic University - Pomona ($6,738)
  • Concordia University - Irvine ($7,998)
  • Bethesda University ($8,000)
  • Touro University Worldwide ($9,000)
  • Pacific States University ($9,120)

Highest Graduation Rate

The following institutions have the highest undergraduate-graduation rates of the profiled schools, according to the NCES. These stats were determined from data on full-time undergrads who enrolled in programs during the fall of 2009 and completed them within 150% of normal time, which is considered six years for bachelor's degree students. While these rates are not directly connected to graduate-graduation rates they do provide a quick way of gauging a school's educational quality and effectiveness.

  • University of Southern California (92% undergraduate graduation rate)
  • Claremont McKenna College (92% undergraduate graduation rate)
  • Scripps College (92% undergraduate graduation rate)
  • University of California-Los Angeles (91% undergraduate graduation rate)
  • University of California-Irvine (88% undergraduate graduation rate)

There are a number of factors you need to consider when deciding which graduate programs to apply to. Here we explore four; proximity to urban centers, student population, tuition rate, and undergraduate-graduation rate. Use this information to help you make an informed decision.


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