Colleges in San Francisco

Colleges in San Francisco

The City and County of San Francisco in California is the second-most densely populated city in the entire US and also functions as the cultural, commercial, and financial center for the northern half of the state. Within San Francisco’s less than 50 square miles of space, there are more than 20 colleges and universities that call the Golden Gate City home.

The oldest in the city is the Jesuit-run University of San Francisco. Other private institutions include Alliant International University, Devry University, Saybrook University, Golden Gate University, Hult International Business School, Heald College, and Minerva Schools at KGI. The Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, a part of the University of the Pacific, offers the only 3-year accredited program in the nation that leads to a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree.

Founded in 1935, the City College of San Francisco is the only community college in the city, as well as one of the largest community colleges in the country. The only other public institution besides CCSF that’s geared towards undergraduates in the city is the San Francisco State University, a member of the 23-campus California State University system.

The majority of the institutions in The City of Brotherly Love are private, with a handful devoted to the fine arts. The largest art and design institute in the nation, the Academy of Art University, as well as the oldest art school west of the Mississippi, the San Francisco Art Institute, can both be found in Bay City. The California College of the Arts, the San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking, and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising are also at home in SF’s neighborhoods, as well as the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, which is also the only independent music school on the entire West Coast.

San Francisco is home to a number of graduate schools, including the University of California in San Francisco, which is dedicated entirely to health science. UCSF is also home to the UCSF School of Medicine, the oldest school of its kind in the Western US. The 415 also hosts the UC Hastings College of Law, Presidio Graduate School, California Institute of Integral Studies, and the San Francisco Law School.

The San Francisco Municipal Railway, the Muni, is a common way to get around the city, while bicycling and walking have grown more popular, especially with San Fran being labeled the second-most walkable city.

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Stanford University is a research institution located in the California town of the same name. The more than 8,000-acre campus features seven schools, the largest of which is the School of Humanities and Sciences, and 80 residential facilities. With...

“…The college experience is more than just classes. Academics are just one part of Stanford life. The real difficult part is balancing your classes with all your extracurricular and social life. Yes, classes are difficult, but classes at any...” – Vivian

Founded by Jesuits in the mid-nineteenth century, the University of San Francisco is a private Catholic university and the first university established in the city. The 55-acre urban campus located near Golden Gate Park is home to 49 academic majors...

“…The University of San Francisco is a great place to learn and explore San Francisco at the same time. This University is extremely costly to attend so look at your financial aid first. Also, the dorms are not the best but you only have to spend the...” – Dean from Fernley, NV

Originally founded as a teacher training college, San Francisco State University is a 4-year public institution and a Bay Area-based campus of the California State University System. SF State offers bachelor’s degrees in 77 fields of study and...

“…I've only been here a semester, but I'm learning a lot. All the teachers I've had are committed to helping you learn something. But really, your education is what you make of it, so of course... go to class. :)” – Eva from Santa Clara, CA

The University of California-San Francisco is a health science research institution and part of the Cal system. UCSF is home to schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Nursing. To provide a hands-on education, the university utilizes facilities...

Mills College is a private, liberal arts college located in Oakland, California. The college’s undergraduate program is exclusively open to women, though its graduate program is open to students of all genders. Mills has a unique core curriculum,...

“…Mills College combines beautiful scenery, with progressive thinking and social justice. This all women college reminds us of the importance of having goals and an action plan. All the staff and teachers are supportive and as eager as the students.” – Charity from Daly City, CA

Originally founded as The State College for Alameda County, California State University East Bay is a 4-year public university and a Bay Area-based campus in the Cal State system. Cal State East Bay is home to four colleges of Business, Science,...

“…They are a good school so far from what I've seen. They don't return phone calls that much, so you will have to just keep calling them. Last, but not least they have a very positive attitude on campus.” – Laurice from Rialto, CA

The City College of San Francisco is a public, 2-year institution with campuses located throughout San Francisco, California. The college offers a wide variety of unique programs of study, such as Floristry, Maker Studies, and Genetics. Free tuition...

“…There's a huge variety of majors to choose from and if you're not sure what career you want, then there are counselors who can help you find what you're looking for.” – Brittani from Oakland, CA

Founded in 1890 by the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael, the Dominican University of California is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the state. The private university is located at the base of San Pedro Mountain and operates a...

“…Dominican staff is very helpful and nice and offer a lot of assistance to students. The low teacher to student ratio allows the students to maintain contact and support from teachers. This school offers a great environment to study with many calming...” – Angelina

Founded in 1868 by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, Holy Names University is a 4-year Catholic school in Oakland. Holy Names grants undergraduate degrees in 15 academic programs. As a Catholic university, Holy Names celebrates mass on...

“…My professors know me by name and they make sure to be available when needed.” – Janisa from Los Angeles, CA

Chabot College is a public, 2-year institution located in Hayward, California, that offers majors in six areas of study. The college features over 14 student support programs, such as the ASPIRE TRiO program and the Striving Black Brothers Coalition....

“…Before I went to Chabot I didn't think I was very smart and didn't have my true academic ability exposed. When I started classes here I realized my true intelligence and now I am excelling in all my classes.” – Liv from Bay Area, CA

Cañada College is a public institution located in San Mateo, California, that offers day, evening, and weekend classes. The college is home to an award-winning STEM Center, which serves as a valuable resource for students seeking additional...

“… The professors on campus are some of the best you'll find at any community college and in many cases they're nationally rated. Well compensated for their time, professors here are there to stay, and they really care deeply for their students. It...” – Drew from Redwood City, CA

Founded by the local archbishop, Saint Mary’s College of California is a Catholic liberal arts college in the Bay Area administered by the De La Salle Christian Brothers. Saint Mary’s is home to schools of Economics, Liberal Arts, and Science...

“…I learn so much in each class that it amazes me sometimes. I can't believe how much professors can teach me in a small amount of time, and I love the interaction between students and their professors on different topics and information. ” – Chelsea from Clovis, CA

Founded in 1871, the San Francisco Art Institute is a college of contemporary art and the oldest art school in the western United States. SFAI confers undergraduate degrees in eight artistic fields of study such as Printmaking and Sculpture. All...

“…This college has incredibly talented teachers that are still working in their field. There has also been many famous artists that have graduated from this school.” – Gail from SF, CA

Founded by two nuns, Notre Dame de Namur University is a Catholic school in Silicon Valley and the third oldest college in California. NDNU is home to schools of Arts & Sciences, Business, and Education granting bachelor’s degrees in 15 areas of...

“…It is a great institution that is focused on helping the students. There are many programs that aid in the students' academic success. The faculty and staff are always have an open door for their students.” – Cyril from Daly City, CA

Menlo College is a private, 4-year institution established in Atherton, California. Academics at Menlo are business-centric, focusing on economic studies and entrepreneurship. The campus features a new facility, the Innovation Center, which is home...

“…The education here is awesome. The teachers are always willing to help you out with any problems you may have whether it be with school work or personal problems. The faculty is really dedicated to the students and making sure that they are happy....” – Alyssa from Aiea, HI

The College of San Mateo is a public, 2-year institution established on a hillside, 153-acre campus nearby the San Francisco Bay. CSU offers over 70 career-related academic programs, as well as programs for transfer to California State University and...

“…I am learning as much as a communituy college would have to offer” – Vincent from San Mateo, CA

Located in the northern edge of the Bay Area, Contra Costa College is the oldest campus in the Contra Costa Community College District. CCC is also the district’s most diverse college and has been designated an Hispanic Serving Institution. Among CCC...

“…Contra Costa often gets overlooked because it is a community college, but I have a different opinion about this school. Contra Costa is a great school! In my two years that I've been here I have learned so much. I feel like I have been prepared with...” – Mia Janay from San Pablo, CA

Skyline College is a 2-year community college that groups a number of related fields of study into four concentrations called Meta Majors—the equivalent of academic departments. Skyline employs counselors specializing in each Meta Major and several...

“…i am leanring alot about myself at skyline beacuse it gives me the chance to get to know myself and what type of course i can handle and i also teaches me how to be indepent.i learned how to transition from a high schol student to a productive...” – jalisa from daly city , CA

The College of Marin is a public, 2-year institution established in California, with two facilities located in Kentfield and Novato. COM offers more than 40 associate’s degrees and certificates, many of which include courses that are available online...

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music is a music school in the heart of the Bay Area. In addition to departments specializing in voice and instrumental instruction, SFCM also features classes on conducting, music theory, humanities, and sciences....

Merritt College is a 2-year community college in Oakland. Among Merritt’s more than 60 academic disciplines, its African American, Native American, Ethnic, and Mexican & Latin American Studies programs provide an exploration of the diverse cultures...

“…I love Merritt College in Oakland, CA. It is very calm and the teachers really care about their students. It is a great school to go to if you are a motivated student. ” – Jordan from Berkeley, CA

Samuel Merritt University is a school of health science with three campuses in northern California and the largest provider of physical and occupational therapists in the East Bay. SMU is home to five undergraduate degree programs and four doctorate...

The College of Alameda is a 2-year community college in the San Francisco Bay Area. Alameda offers degrees and certificates in 48 academic programs as well as career technical education courses. To provide hands-on demonstrations of classroom lessons...

As part of the largest theater company in San Francisco, the American Conservatory Theater features an actor training conservatory program. ACT’s conservatory offers a 3-year immersive MFA program in acting that culminates in a showcase for casting...

California State University Maritime Academy is located on a waterfront campus in Vallejo, one of seven degree-granting maritime academies in the US and the only one on the west coast. All students are part of the Corp of Cadets and are required to...

“…I think the school deserves at least a nine for two main reasons. One being that the campus is beautiful and enjoyable, especially considering it is right on the water but also close to other cities such as San Francisco. The other reason is that...”

The California Institute of Integral Studies fuses new age concepts such as consciousness and spirituality into all of its academic offerings. The Institute’s San Francisco campus is made up of three schools and also houses a branch of the American...

“…CIIS offers progressive educational practices, formats, and courses of study that suit both traditional and non-traditional students. Faculty expertise coupled with honoring student experience allows the learner to be an explorer as meaningful...” – Kristen from Harrisonburg, VA

John F. Kennedy University is a nonprofit private university dedicated to training its students to serve their community and country. JFKU offers programs in five departments on its Pleasant Hill, California, campus with several programs also...

From its campus in downtown Oakland, California, Lincoln University is a private institution with an emphasis on education for working adults. Lincoln offers two bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Diagnostic Imaging as well as two...

With campus a short walk from the Napa River and San Pablo Bay, Touro University California is a graduate school of health science in the San Francisco Bay Area with an emphasis on Jewish values and culture. Touro offers Doctor of Osteopathic...

Established in 1878, the University of California, Hastings College of the Law is a public law institution located in San Francisco. Hastings offers a three-year Juris Doctor program, as well as two multiple-degree programs in collaboration with UC...

Golden Gate University is a 4-year private university in San Francisco. GGU’s 13 departments of academic programs are focused on business and management, with many programs available entirely online. GGU provides tutors with master’s degrees in their...

Saybrook University is a progressive graduate school that combines online learning with low-residency study. Saybrook is comprised of two colleges in Social Sciences and Integrative Medicine & Health Sciences, with offer master’s degrees and PhDs in...

Diablo Valley College is a 2-year public institution located in Pleasant Hill and San Ramon, California. DVC boasts high transfer rates, with many of its students continuing their college careers at CSU and UC. The campus features a number of...

“…Diablo Valley College has a variety of great professors that know what they are teaching. If you are focusing on a certain subject, DVC has the professors that you are looking for.” – Shawn Steven from Antioch, CA

Life Chiropractic College West is a chiropractic training school with a campus on the east side of the Bay Area. Life West confers a postgraduate Doctor of Chiropractic degree featuring training in 13 techniques and the program can be completed in 12...

“…A true community environment in which learning is an enjoyable process. The commitment is high for a minimum of 3 and half years but the time flies by and you have a career for life. I have never been at school that implemented so many of my...” – James from Hayward, CA

With a campus located in Berkeley, Zaytuna College is a Muslim liberal arts college and the first Islamic undergraduate institution of higher learning in the United States. Zaytuna confers a Bachelor’s Degree in Islamic Law and Theology featuring...

Headquartered in a Bay Area English Tudor-style mansion, The Wright Institute is a graduate school of psychology in Berkeley. The Wright Institute offers a 2-year master’s degree program in Counseling and a 3-year doctorate in Clinical Psychology. To...

The Graduate Theological Union is a non-denominational graduate center for the study of religion comprised of eight member schools, five academic centers, and four affiliates. GTU is home to four interdisciplinary departments of Sacred Texts, Ethics,...

Affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, San Francisco Theological Seminary is a Christian graduate school with a focus on social justice ministry and a founding member of the Graduate Theological Union. SFTS offers two master’s degree programs in...

Established in 1866, Pacific School of Religion is a private, Christ-centered institution located in Berkeley, California. The college offers 15 graduate degree and certificate programs, featuring a curriculum that combines traditional, theological...

A member of the Graduate Theological Union, Starr King School for the Ministry is a Christian seminary in Berkeley affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Church. Starr King offers three master’s degree programs in Divinity, Arts, and Social...

One of the first colleges founded in the state of California, American Baptist Seminary of the West is a Christian graduate school in Berkeley and a charter member of the Graduate Theological Union. Affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA,...

Utilizing an academic foundation in traditional Chinese medicine, the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College is a school of healthcare in Berkeley. AIMC offers a 3-year master’s degree and a 4-year doctorate in Acupuncture & Integrative...

A member of the Graduate Theological Union, the Church Divinity School of the Pacific is a Christian graduate school in Berkeley and the west coast’s only Episcopal seminary. CDS offers master’s degree programs in Divinity, Arts, and Theological...

From its campus in the Berkeley Arts District, the California Jazz Conservatory is the only institution of higher education in the United States dedicated entirely to jazz. The conservatory offers a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies with...

Part of the Graduate Theological Union, the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology is a Roman Catholic graduate school dedicated to preparing students for apostolic and academic vocations. Grounded in the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas, DSPT...

Founded in 1949, the Institute of Buddhist Studies is a Buddhist seminary and graduate school in Berkeley and a member of the Graduate Theological Union. IBS confers master’s degrees in Arts, Buddhist Studies, and Divinity. In addition, the institute...

With a campus near San Francisco Bay and the Hayward Executive Airport, Unitek College-Hayward is a for-profit nursing school in northern California’s East Bay region. Unitek Hayward offers programs in Medical Assisting and Vocational Nursing. In...

Make School
San Francisco, CA

Make School is a unique 2-year institution located in the Silicon Valley’s own San Francisco, CA. The school focuses entirely on a single degree that runs coursework all year round, a Bachelor’s in Applied Computer Science, which teaches students to...