Top 10 Colleges for International Students in California

Top 10 Colleges for International Students in CaliforniaStudy abroad programs, such as those at the schools listed below, involve substantial academic work – a year or a semester, or an intensive experience equal to a course – and considerable interaction between the student and the culture. In spring and summer 2021, we invited college presidents, chief academic officers, deans of students and deans of admissions from more than 1,500 schools to nominate up to 15 institutions with stellar examples of study abroad programs. Colleges and universities that received 10 or more nominations are ranked here.

Stanford University

Stanford is an elite private university located in Stanford, California in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is a mid-size institution with an enrollment of 6,996 undergraduate students. Admissions is extremely competitive as the Stanford acceptance rate is only 5%. Popular majors include Computer Science, Engineering, and Biology. Graduating 95% of students, Stanford alumni go on to earn a starting salary of $70,400.

Top 10 Colleges for International Students in California

University of Southern California

USC is a highly rated private university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a large institution with an enrollment of 19,622 undergraduate students. Admissions is extremely competitive as the USC acceptance rate is 11%. Popular majors include Business, Biology, and Communications. Graduating 92% of students, USC alumni go on to earn a starting salary of $53,800.

Pomona College

Pomona College has everything you might expect from one of the nation’s finest liberal arts colleges. But before you assume we're generic, consider that we are within an hour of mountains, deserts, beaches and the country’s second largest city. Our Los Angeles-adjacent location is as stellar a launching pad for those in the arts as those interested in tech.


Pomona is also one of the 5 Claremont Colleges, a consortium enabling its students to cross-register for 2,700 classes and mingle with over 6,000 peers across our campuses. So even though our small classes (averaging 15), strength across the curriculum (with 48 majors) and tight-knit residential life (4 years guaranteed housing) might seem common, Pomona College is unique.

Pomona College is one of a handful of institutions committed to need-blind admissions and meeting the full demonstrated financial need of all students who enroll. We do not include loans in our aid packages. Estimate your aid today.

Los Angeles College of Music

The Los Angeles College of Music (LACM) prepares students to be leaders in the music industry, offering higher education degrees in contemporary Music Performance, Production, Composition and Industry Studies. LACM's award winning faculty (GRAMMY, EMMY, PEOPLE'S CHOICE) teach with a passion for inspiring the next generation, providing our students with the resources and opportunity to work one-on-one with some of the industry's best. The student body is comprised of talented students who partner together in an intimate and supportive environment to learn to create, record, and perform groundbreaking music in today's competitive music industry.

University of California - Los Angeles

UCLA is a highly rated public university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a large institution with an enrollment of 30,969 undergraduate students. Admissions is extremely competitive as the UCLA acceptance rate is 14%. Popular majors include Economics, Sociology, and Political Science and Government. Graduating 91% of students, UCLA alumni go on to earn a starting salary of $44,500.


University of California - Berkeley

UC Berkeley is a highly rated public university located in Berkeley, California in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is a large institution with an enrollment of 29,991 undergraduate students. Admissions is competitive as the UC Berkeley acceptance rate is 17%. Popular majors include Economics, Computer Science, and Cellular Biology. Graduating 92% of students, UC Berkeley alumni go on to earn a starting salary of $48,700 

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