What are the best universities in California?
I would suggest 3 criteria for choosing
Your career needs (including the reputation/rank of the school). You might also check out the out of the classroom activities associated with your area of interest/major as well as how many professors teach in your major, and perhaps even ho many people are involved with your major.
Your finances. This is less important given financial aid, but I would apply to at least 2 to 3 great academic private and 2 to 3 great academic state schools to give yourself options. Specifically UCLA and Berkeley are great state schools in California (the University of San Diego less so, but certainly well respected as a state institution). I know Stanford is quite good (although quite difficult to get into–I think they only take the top 15 to 20% of applicants) The University of Southern California is in LA and is surprisingly a private institution. You might want to check out how these schools do in your desired major….but its hard to go wrong with those 4 to 5 universities.
Your passion and personality. Where you fit culturally, etc…?
I suggest choosing a highly ranked university in the discipline you are seeking out. As someone who didn’t choose that option at 18, I look back and wish I had at least picked a state school who had an academic reputation. The payoff would have been:
1. classroom learning (ideally more knowledgable and more driven)
2. socially handing out with smart and interesting people. you learn both inside the classroom environment and outside from these communities.
3. brand value associated with a great school
4. supported career network & career services center
For more on your good universities in California (all 10 are considered Tier One universities): http://www.usnews.com/education/…