Best Colleges in California by Salary Potential

California has more colleges and universities than any other state. Find out which schools are the state’s best four-year colleges by earning potential.

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Bachelor's Only
All Alumni
RankSchool NameSchool TypeEarly Career Pay
Mid-Career Pay
% High Meaning
% STEM Degrees
Rank:76School Name:Marymount California UniversitySchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$48,600Mid-Career Pay:$89,300% High Meaning:33%% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:77School Name:Holy Names UniversitySchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$53,900Mid-Career Pay:$88,900% High Meaning:68%% STEM Degrees:2%
Rank:78School Name:California Institute of the ArtsSchool Type:Art, Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$56,600Mid-Career Pay:$88,500% High Meaning:56%% STEM Degrees:2%
Rank:79School Name:California State University-Dominguez HillsSchool Type:State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$48,800Mid-Career Pay:$86,700% High Meaning:56%% STEM Degrees:6%
Rank:80School Name:Azusa Pacific UniversitySchool Type:Private School, Religious, Research UniversityEarly Career Pay:$51,500Mid-Career Pay:$86,300% High Meaning:56%% STEM Degrees:3%
Rank:81School Name:The Master's University and SeminarySchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$50,100Mid-Career Pay:$85,500% High Meaning:61%% STEM Degrees:7%
Rank:82School Name:Vanguard University of Southern CaliforniaSchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$48,500Mid-Career Pay:$84,700% High Meaning:60%% STEM Degrees:3%
Rank:83School Name:La Sierra UniversitySchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$52,100Mid-Career Pay:$83,800% High Meaning:57%% STEM Degrees:8%
Rank:84School Name:San Diego Christian CollegeSchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$47,700Mid-Career Pay:$80,700% High Meaning:71%% STEM Degrees:3%
Rank:85School Name:Hope International UniversitySchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$44,400Mid-Career Pay:$80,400% High Meaning:56%% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:86School Name:Antioch University-Los AngelesSchool Type:Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$48,100Mid-Career Pay:$78,700% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:8%
Rank:87School Name:California Baptist UniversitySchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$49,300Mid-Career Pay:$77,900% High Meaning:57%% STEM Degrees:9%
Rank:88School Name:Fresno Pacific UniversitySchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$46,100Mid-Career Pay:$77,500% High Meaning:58%% STEM Degrees:2%
Rank:89School Name:Humphreys University-Stockton and Modesto CampusesSchool Type:Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$44,400Mid-Career Pay:$77,200% High Meaning:69%% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:90School Name:Northcentral UniversitySchool Type:Private School, Research UniversityEarly Career Pay:$46,900Mid-Career Pay:$77,000% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:91School Name:William Jessup UniversitySchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$43,700Mid-Career Pay:$74,400% High Meaning:68%% STEM Degrees:5%
Rank:92School Name:Brandman UniversitySchool Type:Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$45,800Mid-Career Pay:$72,100% High Meaning:43%% STEM Degrees:1%
Rank:93School Name:Simpson UniversitySchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$44,700Mid-Career Pay:$71,000% High Meaning:68%% STEM Degrees:3%
Rank:94School Name:Los Angeles Pacific UniversitySchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$46,200Mid-Career Pay:$70,600% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:95School Name:Life Pacific UniversitySchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$41,500Mid-Career Pay:$68,400% High Meaning:83%% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:96School Name:Pacific Oaks CollegeSchool Type:Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$36,200Mid-Career Pay:$59,900% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:0%

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College Student

Wondering how to choose the best colleges in California by alumni salary? This list provides data on several of the best four-year colleges by earning potential in California. Selecting a school in the Golden State means plenty of options, as there are nearly 200 colleges to choose from.

Almost every year, alumni of Harvey Mudd College are among the highest-paid college graduates in the state. (Harvey Mudd has had bragging rights to the highest alumni salaries in the country for the past several years, too.) Another California tech powerhouse for early and mid-career salaries is the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

When ranking by early career salary, you might be surprised to find out that Loma Linda University beats some more well-known schools on our list. Loma Linda grants mostly medical degrees and produces lots of nurses, so those who graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Loma Linda are popular hires and see high salaries right away.

The two colleges with the most STEM degrees granted are the mostly-male Coleman University and Caltech, both with roughly 90 percent STEM degrees. For students looking for mentorship and personal attention, both Caltech and Loma Linda University boast extraordinarily low student-to-faculty ratios of one faculty member to every three students. Each of these schools have very specific focuses – Loma Linda offers hands-on medical training to students interested in becoming medical professionals, while CalTech is famous for its scientific and engineering pursuits.

The University of California, San Diego grants the largest share of STEM degrees of any public school. About fifty percent of UCSD students major in a science, technology, engineering or math subject.

California is home to some of the most famous and well-regarded public universities in the nation. The University of California, Berkeley; UC San Diego; and California State University San Louis Obispo. California State University, Northridge is the biggest school in California.

California has one of the most famous coastlines in the United States, and is home to plenty of colleges with easy beach access. But that doesn’t mean that students surf more than they study — alumni of UCSD, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, Pepperdine University and San Diego State University all earn a comfortable median mid-career salary and have beautiful, beachside campuses.