California is probably one of the most famous of the fifty states, mainly due to the fact that the town of Hollywood is the home of the film industry. California is also the most populated state, and its education system thus serves hundreds of thousands of students. Looking beyond the theme parks and the redwoods, California also has some of the best universities in the nation. It has dozens of private and specialized schools, and two public university systems: the University of California system and the California State University system.

 University of California Berkeley

Often just called UC Berkeley, located on the eastern side of the San Francisco Bay in the city of Berkeley, is the oldest school in the UC system and has some of the top-ranked academic programs in the nation. In the current academic year (2012) they count 8 Nobel Laureates, 32 MacArthur Fellows, and 4 Pulitzer Prize winners among their current faculty. They have over 350 degree programs and more students graduate with doctoral degrees each year from UC Berkeley than from any other university in the U.S. UC Berkeley has also sent more than 3,000 students to the Peace Corps in the past fifty years. This university also possesses nearly 30 sports teams and students and alumni have won over 91 U.S. Olympic gold medals. Check out their website for more:

University of California Los Angeles

The University of California Los Angeles, or UCLA, has been named one of the best universities not only in the states, but in the world. With nearly 40,000 students the university is more like a small town. In Southern California, UCLA can help you have one of the best campus living experiences, and “SoCal” has one of the most diverse and unique cultures anywhere. Sporting some of the best academics, their faculty, like UC Berkeley’s, includes Nobel Laureates, MacArthur Fellows and Pulitzer Prize winners. UCLA won 100 NCAA championships before any other university. Go look at to find out more.

California State University Long Beach

California State University in Long Beach, abbreviated CSULB, is a diversely-populated public university in Southern California, situated less than a two hours drive from Los Angeles. The university has 18 men’s and women’s sports teams and over 200 other campus organizations including a number number of organized interest clubs, religious associations, and political groups, as well as fraternities and sororities. CSULB has been named in the top 20 universities in the nation for diversity, and in the top five best public universities in the western United States. You can learn more by going to

California State University Sacramento

California State University Sacramento is situated in the state’s capital city. Their campus boasts a vibrant student life and amazing academic environment with 58 undergraduate majors to choose from and 41 master’s degrees. Sac State has one of the greenest campuses in California with its many buildings set on 300 acres with at least 3,000 trees. They have over 250 student organizations, including sports teams with the school’s colors: green and gold. Sac State also boasts one of the lowest tuition rates anywhere in the nation. Sac State is also, like most California universities, extremely diverse in student population. Go to to learn more about this school.

 San Jose State University

Located only an hour and a half south from the city of San Francisco, San Jose State University sits on the lovely southern end of San Francisco Bay. SJSU offers 134 different master’s and bachelor’s degrees with 110 different degree concentrations. SJSU was rated in the top 15 best master’s degree-level universities in the U.S and is the only university in the CSU system that has undergraduate and graduate programs devoted to nuclear science. This school also is the only place in the nation with a research facility specifically designed to study the work and life of Beethoven. 11 Olympic medal winners are SJSU alumni. Go to to check them out.

Stanford University

Stanford University is probably a school you’ve already heard about. If you haven’t, you just need to know that both genome sequencing and Google were dreamed up at this university, which is one of the most prestigious in the nation. Stanford has seven schools of concentration: Business, Earth Sciences, Education, Law, Medicine, Engineering, and Humanities and Sciences. This university is a private school with only a 7.1% admittance rate. The tuition is also higher than at public schools, with the  annual tuition for an undergraduate estimated at around $40,000. However, the money is well worth the education at one of the country’s greatest universities. Visit their website at

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