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List of Top Universities in California for International Students in 2024

Apr 26, 2024

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The United States of America is a jigsaw of 50 states, among which California is the third largest. But why are we talking about California? Well, this state is synonymous with sunshine, innovation and academic excellence. It is home to numerous top-tier universities for international students. 

These universities cater to a diverse range of students, offering exceptional programs that span humanities, science and many other professional fields. California covers 155,812.8 square miles of land area with around 1,700 universities, picking one among so many can be quite challenging, right?

Take a sigh of relief, because in our article we have covered some of the top universities just for you to study in USASo let us explore the rich history, unique characteristics, and academic pathways that universities in California offer.


University of California, Riverside (UCR)


  • Founded in 1907, it is a member of the University of California system, with a rich history of 150 years.
  • Located amidst the beautiful citrus groves of Riverside, the university has grown into a comprehensive research institution ranking among the top 15 best public universities in the USA.  
  • The university hosts 26,000 students and 1,100 faculty in which few include Nobel laureates and researchers at the forefront of their fields.

Popular Programs 

  • Talking about its academic excellence, the university is particularly renowned for its Computer Science, Engineering and Business Programs. 
  • The College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences is a national leader in citrus research, while the Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering are at the lead of advancements in robotics and sustainable energy solutions. 
  • In addition to these, the university is home to the School of Medicine, College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, the School of Education, the School of Business and the School of Public Health. 

Certainly, among so many options students can find their academic niche.

San Jose State University (SJSU)


  • Hopping to the next University among the top universities in USA, the San Jose State University was established in the year 1862 and is the oldest public university in California. 
  • Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, SJSU has become a breeding ground for future tech innovators and entrepreneurs.
  • The university is home to around 3000 students from 100 different nationalities around the world. 

Popular Programs 

  • SJSU offers a comprehensive curriculum encompassing a wide range of disciplines, hosting 9 colleges. 
  • The Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering is a powerhouse, renowned for its programs in Electrical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering and more.
  • The Lucas College and Graduate School of Business is another jewel in SJSU's crown, consistently ranked among the nation's top business schools. 
  • Beyond this, the university has colleges for Health and Human Science, Humanities and Arts, Science, and Social Sciences. 

San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California (SFSU)


  • Here comes our third university, the San Francisco State University, which was established in the year 1899, and is a vibrant public university located in the centre of San Franciso.
  • The university embraces diversity which is reflected in its number of students which is around 29,000. 
  • What makes it exceptional is its Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies, a unique research facility situated on the shores of the San Francisco Bay, which provides students with unparalleled opportunities for hands-on environmental research.

Popular Programs 

  • SFSU excels in a variety of study areas. It has seven different colleges, the College of Liberal & Creative Arts is a paradise for students interested in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.
  • The College of Science & Engineering offers a strong foundation in the Natural Sciences, Computer Science, and Engineering.
  • Moreover, there are other colleges as well, such as Lam Family College of Business, College of Ethnic Studies, College of Health and Social Sciences, College of Professional and Global Education and Graduate College of Education. 

California State University, East Bay (CSUEB)


  • Let us now talk about our last institution from the list of top universities in California for bachelors and masters in USA
  • The California State University, East Bay was founded in the year 1957 with its location across three campuses in Hayward, Concord and Oakland. 
  • CSUEB offers a student-centered learning environment with a focus on social justice, cultural awareness, and global citizenship. 
  • Its location in the East Bay provides students with access to vibrant cultural centers and internship opportunities in various industries, enhancing their academic experience.
  • The university has a diverse student body with over 15,000 students, encouraging a rich learning environment. 

Popular Programs 

  • CSUEB offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs across various disciplines.
  • The College of Business and Economics stands tall in business education. The College of Science offers an excellent foundation and cutting-edge skills. 
  • The College of Education and Allied Studies is renowned for its innovative teacher training programs, while the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences provides a strong foundation in the Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Final Insights 

The universities explored here represent just a fraction of the incredible education California offers. So, take time to research these and other US universities, explore their unique offerings, and find the perfect place to launch your exciting academic journey in the Golden State. 

But wait, this can be time and energy consuming right? What if we tell you we can save a lot of your research? Yes, KC Overseas Education has your back. We are one of the top study abroad education consultants worldwide, offering end-to-end assistance from choosing the right university to ensuring that you land in your dream university. And guess what, all of this is absolutely free of cost. You just need to connect to our US Experts virtually or in person and get all the details that you are looking for. KC has branches all over India and even in Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka so you can check out for our branch as per your place of residence. We are just a call away. 

So, what are you waiting for, reach out to us now and apply for the upcoming intakes!

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