Types of California Colleges & Universities

California has three public college systems and private campuses to choose from. It is important to find a college that meets your educational needs and fits your lifestyle.

California Colleges & Universities


  • The CCC system is composed of 113 campuses.
  • Must be 18 years of age, a high school graduate or equivalent to attend.
  • CCC offers associate degrees and a wide range of program certificates.
  • Students may attend for two years then transfer to a college or university.


  • The CSU system has 23 campuses.
  • CSU usually admits the top third of high school graduates.
  • CSU is the largest four-year system of higher education in the nation.
  • Each campus reflects its own personality, academic focus and strengths.
  • CSU offers an applied hands-on education that prepares students for either graduate school or the job market.


  • The UC system has 10 campuses.
  • UC usually admits the top 12.5 percent of high school graduates.
  • UC has nationally ranked academic and athletic programs.
  • UC provides an education based in research and theory that prepares many students for graduate or advanced degree programs.


  • The AICCU has 75 colleges and universities throughout the state.
  • AICCU offers a number of different degree programs.

Costs vary depending on the school. Financial aid is available to qualifying students.

Website Resources


Find information about higher education in California for students, counselors and parents.


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