Types of Colleges

  • There are four main college systems (or types of Colleges) in California: Community College (CCC), California State University (CSU), the University of California (UC) and Independent Private College and Universities. Students begin their pathway into any one of these college systems after receiving their High School Diploma or GED.

    Types of Degrees

    Within each college system students may earn degrees and/or certifications by following a set load of coursework as outlined by the college.  There are five types of degrees associated with higher education.

  • California Community College (CCC)

    There are 109 Community Colleges in California.
    All of them prepare students to transfer to a 4 year institution.
    They offer Associate Degrees and Certificate Programs.
    They offer technical training in specific occupations (bookkeeping, culinary arts, cosmetology, etc.).
    Most are non-residential, meaning that students live off-campus.
    Students may attend part-time or full-time.
    In order to enroll, students must be 18+ OR have a High School Diploma/GED.

    California State University (CSU)

    There are 23 California State Universities.
    Each campus offers Bachelor of Arts/Sciences and Master’s of Arts/Sciences degrees.
    They accept high school seniors and community college transfers.
    They provide a broad liberal education and prepares students for professional goals.

    University of California (UC)

    There are 10 University of California campuses—Berkeley, Davis, Hastings (Law School only), Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco (Medical and Graduate School only), Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz.
    Each campus offers Bachelor of Arts/Sciences degrees , Master’s of Arts/Sciences degrees, J.D, M.D., and Ph.D degrees.
    Undergraduate schools accept high school seniors and community college transfers.
    The mission of UC is research and teaching.
    UCs also have Professional Schools for Law, Medicine, Education, Engineering, Journalism, Social Welfare, among others.

    Independent and Private Colleges/Universities

    There are 77 Private Colleges/Universities in CA
    Each college/university varies in size, prestige, and cost.
    They offer Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate, and Professional degrees.
    They accept high school graduates and Community College transfers.
    Campuses have Professional schools in law, medicine, education, engineering, journalism, and social welfare, among others.