Colleges in Los Angeles: A Complete List
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Renowned as America's entertainment hub, Los Angeles attracts millions of students from all over the world. In addition to plenty of sunshine and beaches, LA County has buoyant industries such as healthcare, tech, finance, and manufacturing.
The City of Angels also has a strong higher education system with some of the country's top institutions. LA colleges offer a rigorous education amidst a unique social, cultural, and economic backdrop.
Explore if Los Angeles' popular colleges, career opportunities, and quality of life are right for you.
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5 Popular LA Colleges
We've spotlighted what makes these five universities in LA and LA County some of the most popular colleges in the country.
The following school data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and is updated for 2022.
- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $13,401 (in-state), $43,473 (out-of-state)
- Acceptance Rate: 9%
- Total Student Enrollment: 46,430
Established in 1882, UCLA is an academic powerhouse with an enrollment of about 46,000 students.
The school's research has led to discoveries and breakthroughs in cancer treatment, robotics, and neuroscience. The UCLA Medical Center is home to the latest medical advancements and world-class patient care.
UCLA's excellence is evident in nonacademic areas, too. Alumni have earned about 30 Oscars, and a strong sports program has resulted in 120 NCAA championships and many Olympic medals.
- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $64,726
- Acceptance Rate: 12%
- Total Student Enrollment: 48,945
USC attracts high-achieving students from around the globe. Its vast medical system makes USC a leader in healthcare research and patient care. USC also manages a strong athletics program and tech startup hub.
The school's 48,000 students enjoy a rich campus life with over 1,000 student organizations and 3,000 events each year. Undergraduate students live, study, and play on the 15-acre USC Village — complete with its own Target and Trader Joe's.
- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $60,864
- Acceptance Rate: 3%
- Total Student Enrollment: 2,401
CalTech specializes in top-tier science and engineering programs. The school enrolls just 2,400 students, who enjoy a 3:1 student-to-faculty ratio, one of the lowest in the nation.
The institute is responsible for managing NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and owns a network of astronomical observatories.
CalTech's six academic divisions focus on engineering, applied science, biology, and biological engineering. The school celebrates forty-six Nobel Prize winners among faculty and alumni.
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- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $55,926
- Acceptance Rate: 41%
- Total Student Enrollment: 10,165
Founded in 1911, LMU is a private Catholic college in the Jesuit and Marymount traditions. Students study on three LA campuses in classes with an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
At LMU, you can pursue one of 55 undergraduate majors and 46 master’s programs. Popular majors include business, social sciences, and the visual and performing arts.
Once enrolled, you can participate in more than 200 student organizations offering diverse extracurricular activities to keep you engaged.
- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $63,142
- Acceptance Rate: 49%
- Total Student Enrollment: 10,030
Pepperdine is a Christian college in Malibu. Learners study on a scenic 830-acre campus 29 miles from downtown Los Angeles.
Popular majors include business, psychology, and biology. Pepperdine operates several campuses overseas and is one of the top schools for undergraduate study abroad programs.
Students at Pepperdine have many opportunities to engage in service in the community, compete on athletics teams, join student ministries, and create campus groups.
List of All Los Angeles Colleges
Here is a complete list of all four-year nonprofit universities in Los Angeles and the greater Los Angeles County. Use the table below to compare data on student population, average net cost, acceptance rate, and number of applicants.
All data comes from NCES. Note that colleges with less than 500 enrolled students were not included in this list.
|School||Total Student Enrollment||Avg. Annual Net Price||Acceptance Rate||Number of Applicants|
|Art Center College of Design||2,420||$53,617||71%||1,285|
|Azusa Pacific University||7,169||$26,666||87%||3,438|
|California Institute of Technology||2,401||$20,755||3%||16,626|
|California Lutheran University||3,615||$30,416||87%||5,150|
|California State Polytechnic University, Pomona||27,503||$12,480||55%||49,079|
|California State University, Long Beach||38,973||$9,346||40%||74,718|
|California State University, Los Angeles||26,460||$5,801||87%||33,939|
|Claremont McKenna College||1,389||$28,701||10%||5,709|
|Harvey Mudd College||922||$39,850||13%||4,440|
|Loyola Marymount University||10,165||$52,815||41%||21,695|
|Mount Saint Mary's University||2,440||$28,717||76%||2,405|
|Otis College of Art and Design||1,312||$48,198||83%||2,083|
|University of California, Los Angeles||46,430||$16,999||9%||149,801|
|University of Southern California||48,945||$36,808||12%||69,062|
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The 10 Fastest-Growing Careers in LA
LA's fastest-growing careers represent the diversity of industries in the city. Everything from entertainment to healthcare to tech is projected to grow.
We've compiled a list of the fastest-growing jobs that require a bachelor's degree based on data provided by the California Employment Development Department. Pursuing your degree at one of the many colleges in Los Angeles can set you up for a career in the city.
The fastest-growing job is logistician, with an $82,405 median annual wage and a 37.5% projected growth rate. Music directors and composers come in second, with a $79,693 median annual wage and a 36.5% projected growth rate.
Rounding out the top five are information security analysts, medical and health services managers, and meeting, convention, and event planners.
|Job||Projected Growth||Median Annual Wage|
|Music Directors and Composers||36.5%||$79,693|
|Information Security Analysts||36.3%||$124,625|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||35.1%||$123,314|
|Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners||34.8%||$62,159|
|Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists||33.4%||$70,354|
|Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes||32.7%||$102,957|
|Operations Research Analysts||28.1%||$101,426|
|Software Developers and Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers||28%||N/A|
|Coaches and Scouts||27.9%||$50,285|
Cost of Living in LA
Los Angeles offers many career opportunities, recreational activities, and pleasant weather. But life in LA isn't cheap.
According to Redfin, the cost of living in Los Angeles is 50% higher than the national average. Housing alone costs 140% more than the national average, and groceries will cost you 11% more.
Fortunately, students can reduce their costs by living with roommates and using some of the services that colleges typically provide. This includes free or subsidized transportation and healthcare and student discounts for insurance and travel.
|Cost of Living Category||Average Price|
|1 Dozen Eggs||$4.11|
Frequently Asked Questions About Colleges in LA
How many colleges are in LA?
Los Angeles is home to over 20 nonprofit four-year universities — more than some states have. The greater Los Angeles County area is also home to a large number of community colleges and trade schools.
Is UCLA or USC better?
UCLA and USC are both prestigious research institutions that enroll high-achieving students. While USC is a private college, UCLA is a publicly funded school that is a lot cheaper than USC because of its tuition and financial aid packages.
Both schools have an acceptance rate between 9%-12%, making them selective in admissions.
What Ivy League colleges are in Los Angeles?
There are no Ivy League colleges in Los Angeles. However, UCLA is considered one of the Public Ivies — colleges that provide an Ivy League education at a public school price. Public Ivies enjoy prestige because they match Ivy League schools in terms of strong academics and student outcomes.
USC has also been called a Hidden Ivy.
What is the biggest college in LA?
USC is the largest college in LA with approximately 48,000 students, followed by UCLA with 46,000 students. USC's student enrollment consists of about 21,000 undergraduates and 28,000 graduate and professional students. In comparison, UCLA has a much larger undergraduate population compared to graduate students.
What is the cheapest college in LA?
The cheapest four-year university in Los Angeles is Cal State Los Angeles. According to the NCES, Cal State LA has the lowest average annual net price. For the 2022-2023 school year, Cal State LA's in-state tuition was $6,805, and its out-of-state tuition was $18,685.