The Hardest Colleges To Get Into In California

January 14, 2023
By AdmissionSight

The Hardest Colleges To Get Into In California

California holds a position in the cultural landscape of the United States thanks to the state’s incomparable combination of sunny skies, sandy shores, and enormous metropolises. Even though the state is better known for Hollywood and Silicon Valley, California is home to several institutions consistently ranked among the top in the United States. In this article, we have compiled a list of the hardest colleges to get into in California.

The state of California is a prime location for finding work thanks to its robust tech industry, thriving entertainment business, and burgeoning green economy. Those who choose to pursue their education in California will have access to a plethora of professional and academic prospects, yet, selecting the appropriate college will still take a diligent investigation.

What are the hardest colleges to get into in California?

What are the hardest colleges to get into in California? The following is a list of the most selective institutions in California, along with an explanation of what makes them so prestigious despite the high levels of competition for admissions.

Stanford University

The prestigious private institution, Stanford, may be found in California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. There have been many scientific and technological advancements made at Stanford University, which is why it is often regarded as one of the best research universities in the world.

center plaza of Stanford University

The atmosphere at Stanford is noted for its emphasis on entrepreneurship, and the university has a long tradition of encouraging the formation of new firms.

It is considered a school of moderate size and now has a total enrollment of 5,752 undergraduate students. The acceptance rate at Stanford is barely 5%, which means that the application process is exceedingly challenging.

Popular majors include:

    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • Cognitive Science
    • Economics
    • Political Science and Government
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Research and Experimental Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • English

California Institute of Technology

The city of Pasadena in California is the prestigious and privately funded California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Because of its long history of patents, Nobel Prizes, and CEOs of IT businesses, Caltech has a well-deserved reputation in the scientific community, which is reflected in the millions of dollars in annual research funding it receives from the federal government.

California Institute of Technology front view

The California Institute of Technology, better known simply as Caltech, is consistently hailed as one of the most prestigious educational establishments on the planet. The institute only admits a small fraction of the applicants who apply to study there each year (2,400 in total). There is just a 7% chance of being accepted. Thus, it is one of the hardest colleges to get into in California.

Many students concentrate on computer science, physics, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, biology, chemical engineering, mathematics, astronomy and astrophysics, computational and applied mathematics, bioengineering and biomedical engineering, and mechanical engineering.

Pomona College

Pomona College is located in Claremont, California, and is a private liberal arts institution. In 1887, it was founded by a group of Congregationalists who envisioned establishing a “college of the New England kind” in Southern California.

Pomona College building

Pomona College is a select group of educational establishments that adheres to the principle of need-blind admissions and fulfills the demonstrated financial need of every student who enrolls at the university. Pomona College has a meager admission rate of only nine percent; therefore, getting in is challenging. Here are some examples of popular majors:

  • Computer Science
  • Physics
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Biology
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Computational and Applied Mathematics
  • Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering

Claremont McKenna College

A highly regarded private institution, Claremont McKenna College may be found in the city of Claremont, California, in the Greater Los Angeles Area. In 1946, the CMC was established. A total of 1,240 undergraduate students are enrolled at this modest educational facility. Due to the extremely low acceptance rate of 13%, the admissions process at Claremont McKenna is exceedingly difficult.

Claremont McKenna College signage

Popular majors include:

  • Economics
  • Mathematics
  • Computer Science
  • International Relations
  • Neuroscience and Neurobiology
  • Communications
  • Political Science and Government
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • History

University of California – Los Angeles

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a public institution that consistently ranks well. The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is one of the few “Public Ivies,” which refers to public universities with academic standings and outcomes comparable to those of the prominent colleges that make up the Ivy League.

UCLA at night

The faculty and graduates of UCLA include a long list of illustrious names. It is a vast educational establishment, with a total undergraduate enrollment of 31,068 students. Due to its low acceptance rate of 14%, UCLA is among the hardest colleges to get into in California.

Some of the most common undergraduate concentrations are as follows: economics, sociology, biology, political science and government, psychology, physiological psychology, computational and applied mathematics, English, history, and computer science.

Harvey Mudd College

Harvey Mudd College may be a highly regarded private institution in Claremont, California, in the Greater Los Angeles Area. The curriculum at Harvey Mudd College is designed to educate talented scientists, engineers, and mathematicians and to inspire them to become passionate problem solvers who understand their work’s impact on society.

Harvey Mudd College signage

This is accomplished through the integration of rigorous STEM courses and liberal arts courses. A total of 821 first-year students are enrolled at this modest educational establishment. The admittance rate at Harvey Mudd is only 18%, so getting in is a lot of work.

Included on the list of popular majors are the following: engineering, computational and applied mathematics, computer science, physics, bioinformatics, mathematics, biology, chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology, drama and theatre production, and molecular biology.

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California (USC) is a prestigious private institution that may be found in Los Angeles, California. It is considered California’s first and oldest private research institution. Since then, the institution has witnessed the development of DNA computing, antiviral software, and image compression on its campus, making it a central hub of technological and engineering innovation.

USC main entrance

It is a vast educational establishment, with 18,560 undergraduate students enrolled there. Due to the relatively low admission percentage of 16%, getting into USC can take time and effort. Hence, USC is one of the hardest colleges to get into in California.

Many students concentrate on business, communications, biology, computer science, international relations, accounting, economics, political science and government, real estate, and psychology.

University of California – Berkeley

A highly regarded public institution of higher education, the University of California, Berkeley, may be found in Berkeley, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The University of California at Berkeley was one of the first campuses that were part of what would later become the University of California system.

UC Berkeley campus

It is a vast educational establishment, with a total undergraduate enrollment of 29,300 students. The admittance rate at UC Berkeley is only 17%, so getting in will take much work.

The following are examples of popular majors: computer science, economics, cellular biology, political science and government, electrical engineering, computer and information sciences, business, environmental science, cognitive science, computational and applied mathematics, and electrical engineering.

Pitzer College

Pitzer College is a prestigious private institution that may be found in Claremont, California, in the Greater Los Angeles Area. Studies in the social sciences and behavioral sciences, as well as foreign programs and media studies, are given special priority at this educational institution.

Pitzer College

Eight hundred two first-year students are enrolled at this very modest educational establishment. Pitzer College has a meager acceptance rate of 17%; thus, it is among the hardest colleges to get into in California.

There are several popular majors to choose from: environmental science, psychology, economics, communications, political science and government, sociology, mathematics, biology, organizational behavior studies, studio arts, and organizational behavior studies.

How many colleges are in California?

How many colleges are in California? California not only has one of the most significant populations of any state in the US, but it also has the most options available regarding higher education, including both public and private institutions.

The Golden State is home to nearly 750 different types of higher education institutions, such as public and private colleges and universities with four-year programs, community colleges with two-year programs, and vocational schools.

Ensure that the appropriate accrediting body recognizes the college or university you plan to attend in California before enrolling there. Accreditation at the national level is acceptable, but accreditation at the regional level is desirable.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges/Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (WASC-Sr.) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges/Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges are the two most important accrediting bodies in the state of California. Both of these organizations were founded in 1888. (WASC-Jr.) Additionally, California is home to several national accrediting bodies.

Is studying in California worth it?

Is it worthwhile to pursue an education in California? College-bound students interested in California should consider the state’s climate, cultural offerings, and distinguished educational institutions. On the other hand, those who wish to attend school in California have several considerations. Students who still need to live in California may face significant financial challenges due to the high cost of living in the state and the higher tuition rates for out-of-state students.

Indeed, California is home to a disproportionately large number of public colleges that are ranked highly, and some of the UC System’s institutions are considered to be Public Ivies. The presence of private universities such as USC and Stanford, listed among the hardest colleges to get into in California, further enhances the academic prominence of the state.

However, students from other states must consider the costs of living and attending college in California before deciding whether or not to pursue further education there.

There is no denying the allure that the state of California holds for students considering a career in specific industries, such as cinema or technology. The availability of professional opportunities in the film business or the technology industry in the Bay Area or Los Angeles may justify the cost. On the other hand, students who live outside of California should look into educational possibilities closer to home.

AdmissionSight provides several different counseling and tutorial programs that could assist you in selecting and enrolling in the school that is the ideal fit for you. Because the professionals at AdmissionSight have worked in the field of college admissions for the past ten years, we can guarantee that the service we provide will be of the highest possible standard. Book a free initial consultation to learn more.



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