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2023 Top Public Universities in California

1-25 of 43 results

  1. #1 Top Public Universities in California.

    University of California - Los Angeles

    Blue checkmark.

    4 Year,

    LOS ANGELES, CA,

    5369 Niche users give it an average review of 4 stars.

    Featured Review: Senior says If you can attend in-person classes, UCLA is a great school! The student dorms are on the expensive side, but well worth the price. There are several dining halls right next to the dorms that each....

    Read 5369 reviews.

    Overall Niche Grade: A+,

    Acceptance Rate: 14%,

    Net Price: $16,474,

  2. #2 Top Public Universities in California.

    University of California - Berkeley

    4 Year,

    BERKELEY, CA,

    4273 Niche users give it an average review of 3.7 stars.

    Featured Review: Freshman says UC Berkeley has a variety of student experiences academic opportunities. In terms of common/popular majors, seeing from my first year, many students study Computer Science/EECS, Data Science,...However, one of the biggest disadvantages of the Berkeley/Bay Area area is the high cost of living. In addition, UC Berkeley only guarantees dorm housing for first-years, so figuring out arrangements...Overall, the key to success at UC Berkeley is awareness. Be grounded in your goals and taking the initiative to reach them!.

    Read 4273 reviews.

    Overall Niche Grade: A+,

    Acceptance Rate: 17%,

    Net Price: $19,329,

    SAT Range: 1310-1530,

  3. #3 Top Public Universities in California.

    University of California - Irvine

    Blue checkmark.

    4 Year,

    IRVINE, CA,

    4109 Niche users give it an average review of 3.7 stars.

    Featured Review: Freshman says My college experience as a first year at the University of California Irvine was an overall great novel experience especially because I'm not very familiar with Irvine and it was a culture shock to....

    Read 4109 reviews.

    Overall Niche Grade: A+,

    Acceptance Rate: 30%,

    Net Price: $13,106,

    SAT Range: 1230-1430,

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  5. #4 Top Public Universities in California.

    University of California - San Diego

    4 Year,

    LA JOLLA, CA,

    3797 Niche users give it an average review of 3.6 stars.

    Featured Review: Alum says Overall, my experience at UCSD was very positive. The academics can be intense at times, however I never felt helpless in my courses. There are many opportunities to seek guidance, but it is up to....

    Read 3797 reviews.

    Overall Niche Grade: A+,

    Acceptance Rate: 37%,

    Net Price: $15,222,

    SAT Range: 1270-1480,

  6. #5 Top Public Universities in California.

    University of California - Davis

    Blue checkmark.

    4 Year,

    DAVIS, CA,

    4854 Niche users give it an average review of 3.8 stars.

    Featured Review: Junior says I love UC Davis! The teachers are mostly amazing, teach all of their own classes and are very approachable. Although students are highly motivated, no one is out to get you; it’s a very supportive....

    Read 4854 reviews.

    Overall Niche Grade: A,

    Acceptance Rate: 46%,

    Net Price: $17,026,

    SAT Range: 1160-1400,

  7. #6 Top Public Universities in California.

    University of California - Santa Barbara

    Blue checkmark.

    4 Year,

    SANTA BARBARA, CA,

    4613 Niche users give it an average review of 3.8 stars.

    Featured Review: Sophomore says A unique thing that UCSB provides, besides an amazing location on the beach with great weather year-round, is a community for people from all walks of life. Whether that's religious, social,....

    Read 4613 reviews.

    Overall Niche Grade: A,

    Acceptance Rate: 37%,

    Net Price: $17,223,

    SAT Range: 1230-1460,

  8. Understand your chances of getting accepted into any college in the country, and it's completely free
  9. #7 Top Public Universities in California.

    California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) - San Luis Obispo

    Blue checkmark.

    4 Year,

    SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA,

    3849 Niche users give it an average review of 3.7 stars.

    Featured Review: Junior says My time at Cal Poly has been amazing! The people, the weather, the quarterly-system (soon to be semester in 2026), the delicious food; all of it amounts to the perfect campus.The weather here is not too cold nor too hot. It almost never rains, but when it does, expect a huge shower.The students are nice. They even have a Discord server (”Cal Poly Friendos”) to hang out in. The staff and faculty are always patient and helpful.I don’t understand why the food is a D+. I’ve eaten many meals, and never felt the food, as school food, deserves a B or less. I’m guessing students have too high expectations, thinking it should be...I wouldn't ask to be in another school. Consider applying..

    Read 3849 reviews.

    Overall Niche Grade: A minus,

    Acceptance Rate: 38%,

    Net Price: $20,491,

    SAT Range: 1240-1440,

  10. #8 Top Public Universities in California.

    California State University - Long Beach

    4 Year,

    LONG BEACH, CA,

    4694 Niche users give it an average review of 3.8 stars.

    Featured Review: Senior says I love this school! There are so much diversity that one can interact with, along with the numerous clubs that is offered by students themselves on campus. Even if it may be a commuter school, as....

    Read 4694 reviews.

    Overall Niche Grade: A minus,

    Acceptance Rate: 42%,

    Net Price: $10,568,

    SAT Range: 1020-1240,

  11. #9 Top Public Universities in California.

    San Diego State University

    Blue checkmark.

    4 Year,

    SAN DIEGO, CA,

    5197 Niche users give it an average review of 3.7 stars.

    Featured Review: Junior says San Diego State University provides a beautiful and growing campus filled with a diverse community. As an aerospace engineering major at SDSU, I could definitely say that the university does provide....

    Read 5197 reviews.

    Overall Niche Grade: A minus,

    Acceptance Rate: 37%,

    Net Price: $13,192,

    SAT Range: 1090-1300,

  12. #11 Top Public Universities in California.

    California State University - Fullerton

    Blue checkmark.

    4 Year,

    FULLERTON, CA,

    5075 Niche users give it an average review of 3.7 stars.

    Featured Review: Freshman says I very much enjoyed how all my courses were interactive and fun! The general education advisors really helped me considering I am a first-year and first-gen college student. I enjoyed the kind and....

    Read 5075 reviews.

    Overall Niche Grade: B,

    Acceptance Rate: 68%,

    Net Price: $8,322,

    SAT Range: 1000-1180,

  13. #12 Top Public Universities in California.

    University of California - Santa Cruz

    Blue checkmark.

    4 Year,

    SANTA CRUZ, CA,

    3917 Niche users give it an average review of 3.5 stars.

    Featured Review: Freshman says My experience so far the UCSC has been fantastic! The campus is gorgeous, set right in the middle of a gigantic forest and only a short bus ride from the beach, which is perfect if you have a....

    Read 3917 reviews.

    Overall Niche Grade: B,

    Acceptance Rate: 65%,

    Net Price: $17,842,

    SAT Range: 1160-1360,

  14. #13 Top Public Universities in California.

    California State University - Northridge

    Blue checkmark.

    4 Year,

    NORTHRIDGE, CA,

    4857 Niche users give it an average review of 3.7 stars.

    Featured Review: Alum says CSUN is super relaxed & academic oriented. It’s truly diverse and has a welcoming environment with a LOT of resources & outreach programs that help all types of students succeed! Our professors are...Despite this, however, csun is a very mixed bag. Since we’re a commuter school there isn’t much school spirit and many people only come to class and go home. Plus, the admin and bureaucracy is super....

    Read 4857 reviews.

    Overall Niche Grade: B,

    Acceptance Rate: 66%,

    Net Price: $8,882,

    SAT Range: 900-1110,

  15. #14 Top Public Universities in California.

    University of California - Merced

    Blue checkmark.

    4 Year,

    MERCED, CA,

    2159 Niche users give it an average review of 3.6 stars.

    Featured Review: Sophomore says I love the environment that the University of California, Merced, creates. It's such a vibrant and lively experience. Along with its knit tight community, there are plenty of things you are able to...Other than that, Merced, as I said before, is a lively school. Everybody is friendly and nice, including the professors!.

    Read 2159 reviews.

    Overall Niche Grade: B,

    Acceptance Rate: 85%,

    Net Price: $13,578,

    SAT Range: 960-1140,

  16. #17 Top Public Universities in California.

    California State Polytechnic University - Pomona

    Blue checkmark.

    4 Year,

    POMONA, CA,

    3141 Niche users give it an average review of 3.6 stars.

    Featured Review: Freshman says Really great architecture program! Class registration and schedules are a bit difficult, lots of people I know deal with waitlists. Advisors don’t seem to be much help.Commuter campus so the dorms aren’t super full of life.I’ve had great experiences with all the professors I’ve encountered so far, all have been very supportive! Would 100% recommend CPP to anyone looking tinto it! Beautiful campus with lots of nature and animals throughout to visit :).

    Read 3141 reviews.

    Overall Niche Grade: B,

    Acceptance Rate: 65%,

    Net Price: $14,457,

    SAT Range: 1010-1250,

  17. #22 Top Public Universities in California.

    California State University - Channel Islands

    4 Year,

    CAMARILLO, CA,

    1066 Niche users give it an average review of 3.6 stars.

    Featured Review: Graduate Student says CSU-CI exceeded my expectations! The school supports students of all walks. My professors provided me with content. I never had an issue or fear to ask questions because all of my professors are....

    Read 1066 reviews.

    Overall Niche Grade: B,

    Acceptance Rate: 79%,

    Net Price: $15,059,

    SAT Range: 850-1060,

  18. California State University - San Bernardino

    Blue checkmark.

    4 Year,

    SAN BERNARDINO, CA,

    2696 Niche users give it an average review of 3.7 stars.

    Featured Review: Sophomore says When I started at CSUSB, I really loved it! It is an amazing school that I completely fell in love with the moment I step foot on it. It is very calm and since it is by the mountains, there is always....

    Read 2696 reviews.

    Overall Niche Grade: B minus,

    Acceptance Rate: 78%,

    Net Price: $8,492,

    SAT Range: 910-1080,

  19. San Francisco State University

    Blue checkmark.

    4 Year,

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA,

    3616 Niche users give it an average review of 3.5 stars.

    Featured Review: Freshman says Something that I looked for when looking for colleges is diversity which sfsu offers greatly. Every culture, belief, gender, etc. is welcome with open arms! Not to mention the great academics and....

    Read 3616 reviews.

    Overall Niche Grade: B minus,

    Acceptance Rate: 84%,

    Net Price: $14,757,

    SAT Range: 930-1130,

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