Best colleges in San Francisco

The Golden Gate to Your Education

People have flocked here for more than gold

The gold rush brought people to San Francisco searching for an opportunity, and there are still treasures for those looking now. There are over 25 colleges and universities that’ll prepare you for careers from accounting or counseling to fashion and game design.* San Francisco has the second leading percentage of residents with a degree, so you’ll fit right in after graduation. With headquarters for over 30 financial institutions, 6 Fortune 500 Companies, and growing biotechnology/research fields,* you’re sure to find a job within your degree.

Each part of the city has a unique character: from the counterculture of Haight-Ashbury to fresh seafood at the Wharf to business in the Financial District. San Francisco houses over 220 parks, including Golden Gate Park and Golden Gate National Recreation Area, providing space for activities like tennis, skateboarding, windsurfing, and sailing. Two professional teams call the Bay home: The 2010 and 2012 World Series Champions, the Giants, and NFL’s 49ers. Classical performing arts companies and music venues provide diverse entertainment, including The Fillmore, where Led Zepplin first performed.* With these opportunities and so many more, San Francisco is still the Golden Gate-so rush out here and find your treasure.

*National Center for Education Statistics *Wikipedia, “San Francisco”

Best Four Year Universities in San Francisco

The University of California Berkeley or UC Berkeley is a public institution that was founded in 1868. Located in Berkeley, California, this school was the first campus that was built in the University of California System and offers over 130 academic departments and 80 interdisciplinary research groups with the business school, computer engineering, and biological sciences programs ranking in the top nationally. UC Berkeley has a total undergraduate enrollment of around 32,000 students that take classes according to a semester-based academic calendar. Prospective students should note that California residents receive in-state tuition at a much lower rate than applicants from out-of-state. 

UC Berkeley has a history of student-based political action and discussion and was the center of the Free Speech Movement, which began in 1964 and fueled opposition to segregation and the Vietnam War. The graduation rate at UC Berkeley is an impressive 91.9%, thanks in part to the student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1.

UC Berkeley is known for its campus architecture, but the University Botanical Garden also draws international attention with over 10,000 types of plant species. Beyond academics, UC Berkeley athletic teams, represented by their campus mascot Oski the Bear, compete in the PAC-12 with an annual football rivalry with Stanford. Notable alumni include U.S. women’s soccer star Alex Morgan, actor Gregory Peck, and the legendary queen of Americana cuisine, Alice Waters.

University of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA

University of San Francisco offers 125 degree programs. It's a large, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 3,319 students graduated with students earning 1,579 Bachelor's degrees, 1,574 Master's degrees, 165 Doctoral degrees, and 1 Certificate.

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San Francisco Conservatory of Music offers 26 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 147 students graduated with students earning 70 Master's degrees, 39 Certificates, and 38 Bachelor's degrees.

Saint Mary's College of California offers 113 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large suburb. In 2019, 1,153 students graduated with students earning 650 Bachelor's degrees, 362 Master's degrees, 136 Certificates, and 5 Doctoral degrees.

Dominican University of California offers 40 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a small city. In 2019, 463 students graduated with students earning 315 Bachelor's degrees, and 148 Master's degrees.

Mills College
Oakland, CA

Mills College offers 78 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 404 students graduated with students earning 184 Master's degrees, 161 Bachelor's degrees, 42 Certificates, and 17 Doctoral degrees.

San Francisco State University
San Francisco, CA

San Francisco State University offers 173 degree programs. It's a very large, public, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 7,504 students graduated with students earning 6,355 Bachelor's degrees, 1,003 Master's degrees, 91 Certificates, and 55 Doctoral degrees.

California College of the Arts
San Francisco, CA

California College of the Arts offers 33 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 483 students graduated with students earning 294 Bachelor's degrees, and 189 Master's degrees.

Lincoln University
Oakland, CA

Lincoln University offers 7 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 123 students graduated with students earning 110 Master's degrees, 12 Bachelor's degrees, and 1 Certificate.

Holy Names University
Oakland, CA

Holy Names University offers 82 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 246 students graduated with students earning 141 Bachelor's degrees, 82 Master's degrees, and 23 Certificates.

Best Community Colleges in San Francisco

Ohlone College
Fremont, CA

Ohlone College offers 114 degree programs. It's a medium sized, public, two-year college in a large suburb. In 2019, 1,161 students graduated with students earning 767 Associate's degrees, and 394 Certificates.

Las Positas College
Livermore, CA

Las Positas College offers 88 degree programs. It's a medium sized, public, two-year college in a small city. In 2019, 866 students graduated with students earning 665 Associate's degrees, and 201 Certificates.

Diablo Valley College
Pleasant Hill, CA

Diablo Valley College offers 156 degree programs. It's a large, public, two-year college in a large suburb. In 2019, 2,811 students graduated with students earning 1,651 Associate's degrees, and 1,160 Certificates.

College of San Mateo
San Mateo, CA

College of San Mateo offers 110 degree programs. It's a medium sized, public, two-year college in a midsize city. In 2019, 1,391 students graduated with students earning 708 Associate's degrees, and 683 Certificates.

City College of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA

City College of San Francisco offers 199 degree programs. It's a very large, public, two-year college in a large city. In 2019, 3,209 students graduated with students earning 1,911 Certificates, and 1,298 Associate's degrees.

College of Marin
Kentfield, CA

College of Marin offers 86 degree programs. It's a medium sized, public, two-year college in a large suburb. In 2019, 401 students graduated with students earning 331 Associate's degrees, and 70 Certificates.

Los Medanos College
Pittsburg, CA

Los Medanos College offers 80 degree programs. It's a medium sized, public, two-year college in a large suburb. In 2019, 1,930 students graduated with students earning 976 Associate's degrees, and 954 Certificates.

Contra Costa College
San Pablo, CA

Contra Costa College offers 85 degree programs. It's a medium sized, public, two-year college in a large suburb. In 2019, 973 students graduated with students earning 586 Associate's degrees, and 387 Certificates.

Berkeley City College
Berkeley, CA

Berkeley City College offers 78 degree programs. It's a medium sized, public, two-year college in a midsize city. In 2019, 643 students graduated with students earning 323 Certificates, and 320 Associate's degrees.

College of Alameda
Alameda, CA

College of Alameda offers 53 degree programs. It's a medium sized, public, two-year college in a large suburb. In 2019, 666 students graduated with students earning 384 Certificates, and 282 Associate's degrees.

List of all colleges in San Francisco

School Average Tuition Student Teacher Ratio Enrolled Students
University of California-Berkeley Logo University of California-Berkeley Berkeley, CA
3/5
24 : 1 43,185
University of San Francisco Logo University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
5/5
23 : 1 10,636
San Francisco Conservatory of Music Logo San Francisco Conservatory of Music San Francisco, CA
5/5
15 : 1 452
Saint Mary's College of California Logo Saint Mary's College of California Moraga, CA
5/5
17 : 1 3,692
Dominican University of California Logo Dominican University of California San Rafael, CA
5/5
18 : 1 1,878
Mills College Logo Mills College Oakland, CA
5/5
14 : 1 1,122
San Francisco State University Logo San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA
2/5
33 : 1 29,032
California College of the Arts Logo California College of the Arts San Francisco, CA
5/5
17 : 1 1,860
Lincoln University Logo Lincoln University Oakland, CA
3/5
22 : 1 475
Holy Names University Logo Holy Names University Oakland, CA
5/5
23 : 1 966
San Francisco Film School Logo San Francisco Film School San Francisco, CA     38
California State University-East Bay Logo California State University-East Bay Hayward, CA
2/5
42 : 1 16,064
Menlo College Logo Menlo College Atherton, CA
5/5
39 : 1 894
Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts Logo Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts San Mateo, CA   26 : 1 2,042
FIDM-Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising-San Francisco Logo FIDM-Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising-San Francisco San Francisco, CA
5/5
  188
Unitek College Logo Unitek College South San Francisco, CA     216
Northwestern Polytechnic University Logo Northwestern Polytechnic University Fremont, CA
3/5
8 : 1 30
Ohlone College Logo Ohlone College Fremont, CA
1/5
70 : 1 8,900
Hilltop Beauty School Logo Hilltop Beauty School Daly City, CA     111
Notre Dame de Namur University Logo Notre Dame de Namur University Belmont, CA
5/5
39 : 1 1,363