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Schools Offering Certificate Programs in California

California is home to nearly 200 public and private not-for-profit schools offering certificate programs. Compare some of the colleges in California to determine which schools might be right for you.

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), the state of California has a vast amount of school options for those interested in earning certificates. Many of the institutions are two-year schools, while four-year colleges and universities may also offer certificate programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. This article centers on four categories: schools near large cities, the largest schools in the state, the lowest net price, and the highest graduate rate.

California Schools Near Large Cities

California is home to some fairly large cities, like San Francisco, Sacramento, and L.A. These areas, among others, host a number of the state's higher-learning institutions. Certificate programs can be found all over California, but students can take advantage of big city opportunities at the following schools.

  • City College of San Francisco (San Francisco)
  • American River College (Sacramento)
  • Riverside City College (Riverside)
  • East Los Angeles College (Monterey Park)

Largest Schools in California

The largest schools in California that offer certificate programs are found in Southern California. However, there are a few others scattered around the state. The top three are located in cities, while the next two are located in suburban areas.

  • East Los Angeles College (36,012)
  • Santa Monica College (30,158)
  • Santa Ana College (29,590)
  • American River College (29,133)
  • Mt. San Antonio College (29,045)

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Lowest Net Price

Per the NCES, the 2014-2015 lowest net price for certificate programs at schools in California was calculated based on undergraduate students who were given grant or scholarship aid from local, state or federal governments, or from the school itself. The top five schools are all public schools.

  • College of the Sequoias ($1,354)
  • Grossmont College ($2,296)
  • Imperial Valley College ($3,402)
  • Cuyamaca College ($3,576)
  • Porterville College ($3,724)

Highest Graduation Rate

Offering insight into the quality of their educational offerings, schools' graduation rates are stats worth checking out. Here are California's top five schools, based on their graduation rate at schools offering certificate programs.

  • Santa Clara University (84% graduation rate)
  • Westmont College (77% graduation rate)
  • Bethesda College (77% graduation rate)
  • University of Redlands (72% graduation rate)
  • Saint Mary's College of California (71% graduation rate)

California offers students the chance to learn about myriad areas of study, in places that are conveniently located to their needs.


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