50 Best Colleges on the West Coast

With thousands of colleges and universities in the United States, narrowing down the field can seem impossible for prospective students. The West Coast alone has a bevy of highly rated state schools and excellent private universities, ranging in student-body size from a few hundred to tens of thousands.

50 best colleges on the West Coast
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Stacker rounded up the top 50 schools on the West Coast, based on Niche's 2021 Best Colleges in America list (updated February 2021). These institutions in Oregon, Washington, and California are ranked based on rigorous analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Education; categories examined include academics, admissions, financial costs, student life, and other factors.

Whether you dream of spending the next four years lolling on a Southern California beach, spending weekends in trendy Seattle, or exploring nature around Portland, this list will provide a wealth of options. You can pick your best fit based on categories like location, net price, and median earnings range. College search: handled.

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William Jessup
Google Maps

50. William Jessup University

- Location: Rocklin, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 1,030
- Student to faculty ratio: 12:1
- Acceptance rate: 65%
- Graduation rate: 64%
- Six-year median earnings: $37,300
- Two-year employment rate: 88%
- Overall rank: #336

49. University of La Verne

- Location: La Verne, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 3,744
- Student to faculty ratio: 14:1
- Acceptance rate: 55%
- Graduation rate: 73%
- Six-year median earnings: $49,200
- Two-year employment rate: 92%
- Overall rank: #334

48. Westmont College

- Location: Santa Barbara, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 1,266
- Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
- Acceptance rate: 65%
- Graduation rate: 79%
- Six-year median earnings: $51,400
- Two-year employment rate: 89%
- Overall rank: #327

47. California State University, Fullerton

- Location: Fullerton, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 27,936
- Student to faculty ratio: 1:1
- Acceptance rate: 53%
- Graduation rate: 69%
- Six-year median earnings: $47,200
- Two-year employment rate: 92%
- Overall rank: #323

46. DigiPen Institute of Technology

- Location: Redmond, WA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 831
- Student to faculty ratio: 13:1
- Acceptance rate: 34%
- Graduation rate: 56%
- Six-year median earnings: $80,200
- Two-year employment rate: 91%
- Overall rank: #321

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45. Willamette University

- Location: Salem, OR
- Undergraduate enrollment: 1,759
- Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
- Acceptance rate: 78%
- Graduation rate: 69%
- Six-year median earnings: $51,100
- Two-year employment rate: 91%
- Overall rank: #315

44. University of Puget Sound

- Location: Tacoma, WA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 2,348
- Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
- Acceptance rate: 84%
- Graduation rate: 76%
- Six-year median earnings: $52,700
- Two-year employment rate: 92%
- Overall rank: #313

43. Seattle University

- Location: Seattle, Wa
- Undergraduate enrollment: 4,469
- Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
- Acceptance rate: 78%
- Graduation rate: 74%
- Six-year median earnings: $56,500
- Two-year employment rate: 92%
- Overall rank: #309

42. Pacific Lutheran University

- Location: Tacoma, Wa
- Undergraduate enrollment: 2,730
- Student to faculty ratio: 12:1
- Acceptance rate: 86%
- Graduation rate: 69%
- Six-year median earnings: $49,400
- Two-year employment rate: 94%
- Overall rank: #300

41. University of California, Santa Cruz

- Location: Santa Cruz, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 17,255
- Student to faculty ratio: 19:1
- Acceptance rate: 51%
- Graduation rate: 75%
- Six-year median earnings: $46,900
- Two-year employment rate: 91%
- Overall rank: #298

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Seattle Pacific University
Google Maps

40. Seattle Pacific University

- Location: Seattle, WA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 2,781
- Student to faculty ratio: 13:1
- Acceptance rate: 91%
- Graduation rate: 68%
- Six-year median earnings: $49,100
- Two-year employment rate: 94%
- Overall rank: #296

39. Whitworth University

- Location: Spokane, WA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 2,304
- Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
- Acceptance rate: 91%
- Graduation rate: 75%
- Six-year median earnings: $42,100
- Two-year employment rate: 93%
- Overall rank: #280

38. University of California, Riverside

- Location: Riverside, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 20,210
- Student to faculty ratio: 23:1
- Acceptance rate: 57%
- Graduation rate: 76%
- Six-year median earnings: $49,700
- Two-year employment rate: 91%
- Overall rank: #275

37. The Master's University

- Location: Santa Clarita, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 953
- Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
- Acceptance rate: 67%
- Graduation rate: 70%
- Six-year median earnings: $41,700
- Two-year employment rate: 89%
- Overall rank: #270

36. Biola University

- Location: La Mirada, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 3,779
- Student to faculty ratio: 14:1
- Acceptance rate: 70%
- Graduation rate: 74%
- Six-year median earnings: $44,500
- Two-year employment rate: 92%
- Overall rank: #235

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35. University of Oregon

- Location: Eugene, OR
- Undergraduate enrollment: 17,550
- Student to faculty ratio: 17:1
- Acceptance rate: 82%
- Graduation rate: 74%
- Six-year median earnings: $44,800
- Two-year employment rate: 91%
- Overall rank: #225

34. Oregon State University

- Location: Corvallis, OR
- Undergraduate enrollment: 18,591
- Student to faculty ratio: 17:1
- Acceptance rate: 82%
- Graduation rate: 67%
- Six-year median earnings: $49,600
- Two-year employment rate: 92%
- Overall rank: #221

33. University of the Pacific

- Location: Stockton, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 3,584
- Student to faculty ratio: 13:1
- Acceptance rate: 66%
- Graduation rate: 71%
- Six-year median earnings: $71,700
- Two-year employment rate: 93%
- Overall rank: #220

32. San Diego State University

- Location: San Diego, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 27,453
- Student to faculty ratio: 27:1
- Acceptance rate: 34%
- Graduation rate: 73%
- Six-year median earnings: $51,000
- Two-year employment rate: 92%
- Overall rank: #218

31. University of San Francisco

- Location: San Francisco, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 6,435
- Student to faculty ratio: 13:1
- Acceptance rate: 64%
- Graduation rate: 75%
- Six-year median earnings: $62,300
- Two-year employment rate: 91%
- Overall rank: #209

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Gonzaga
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30. Gonzaga University

- Location: Spokane, WA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 5,237
- Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
- Acceptance rate: 62%
- Graduation rate: 85%
- Six-year median earnings: $56,100
- Two-year employment rate: 94%
- Overall rank: #205

29. California State University, Long Beach

- Location: Long Beach, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 27,617
- Student to faculty ratio: 23:1
- Acceptance rate: 39%
- Graduation rate: 74%
- Six-year median earnings: $48,100
- Two-year employment rate: 92%
- Overall rank: #194

28. Point Loma Nazarene University

- Location: San Diego, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 2,595
- Student to faculty ratio: 14:1
- Acceptance rate: 74%
- Graduation rate: 75%
- Six-year median earnings: $50,900
- Two-year employment rate: 91%
- Overall rank: #192

27. Lewis & Clark College

- Location: Portland, OR
- Undergraduate enrollment: 2,058
- Student to faculty ratio: 12:1
- Acceptance rate: 72%
- Graduation rate: 77%
- Six-year median earnings: $46,200
- Two-year employment rate: 92%
- Overall rank: #185

26. Washington State University

- Location: Pullman, WA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 22,877
- Student to faculty ratio: 15:1
- Acceptance rate: 76%
- Graduation rate: 60%
- Six-year median earnings: $50,600
- Two-year employment rate: 92%
- Overall rank: #178

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25. University of Portland

- Location: Portland, OR
- Undergraduate enrollment: 3,702
- Student to faculty ratio: 12:1
- Acceptance rate: 77%
- Graduation rate: 81%
- Six-year median earnings: $58,800
- Two-year employment rate: 96%
- Overall rank: #174

24. Chapman University

- Location: Orange, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 6,785
- Student to faculty ratio: 13:1
- Acceptance rate: 56%
- Graduation rate: 81%
- Six-year median earnings: $54,500
- Two-year employment rate: 91%
- Overall rank: #169

23. California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), San Luis Obispo

- Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 20,333
- Student to faculty ratio: 21:1
- Acceptance rate: 28%
- Graduation rate: 82%
- Six-year median earnings: $66,900
- Two-year employment rate: 95%
- Overall rank: #141

22. University of San Diego

- Location: San Diego, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 5,678
- Student to faculty ratio: 14:1
- Acceptance rate: 49%
- Graduation rate: 81%
- Six-year median earnings: $60,000
- Two-year employment rate: 92%
- Overall rank: #133

21. Pepperdine University

- Location: Malibu, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 3,336
- Student to faculty ratio: 14:1
- Acceptance rate: 32%
- Graduation rate: 86%
- Six-year median earnings: $65,500
- Two-year employment rate: 92%
- Overall rank: #129

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Loyola Marymount
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20. Loyola Marymount University

- Location: Los Angeles, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 6,466
- Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
- Acceptance rate: 44%
- Graduation rate: 80%
- Six-year median earnings: $61,300
- Two-year employment rate: 93%
- Overall rank: #125

19. Whitman College

- Location: Walla Walla, WA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 1,436
- Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
- Acceptance rate: 56%
- Graduation rate: 90%
- Six-year median earnings: $51,300
- Two-year employment rate: 86%
- Overall rank: #114

18. Occidental College

- Location: Los Angeles, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 1,907
- Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
- Acceptance rate: 37%
- Graduation rate: 86%
- Six-year median earnings: $50,600
- Two-year employment rate: 89%
- Overall rank: #113

17. University of California, San Diego

- Location: La Jolla, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 29,491
- Student to faculty ratio: 19:1
- Acceptance rate: 31%
- Graduation rate: 87%
- Six-year median earnings: $59,900
- Two-year employment rate: 89%
- Overall rank: #106

16. University of California, Davis

- Location: Davis, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 29,967
- Student to faculty ratio: 20:1
- Acceptance rate: 39%
- Graduation rate: 87%
- Six-year median earnings: $58,200
- Two-year employment rate: 91%
- Overall rank: #104

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15. Pitzer College

- Location: Claremont, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 1,050
- Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
- Acceptance rate: 14%
- Graduation rate: 85%
- Six-year median earnings: $48,700
- Two-year employment rate: 86%
- Overall rank: #102

14. University of California, Irvine

- Location: Irvine, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 29,251
- Student to faculty ratio: 18:1
- Acceptance rate: 27%
- Graduation rate: 84%
- Six-year median earnings: $58,400
- Two-year employment rate: 90%
- Overall rank: #100

13. University of Washington

- Location: Seattle, WA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 29,496
- Student to faculty ratio: 19:1
- Acceptance rate: 52%
- Graduation rate: 84%
- Six-year median earnings: $57,700
- Two-year employment rate: 91%
- Overall rank: #93

12. Scripps College

- Location: Claremont, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 1,046
- Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
- Acceptance rate: 32%
- Graduation rate: 90%
- Six-year median earnings: $54,100
- Two-year employment rate: 90%
- Overall rank: #85

11. University of California, Santa Barbara

- Location: Santa Barbara, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 22,601
- Student to faculty ratio: 22:1
- Acceptance rate: 30%
- Graduation rate: 83%
- Six-year median earnings: $55,300
- Two-year employment rate: 91%
- Overall rank: #84

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Santa Clara
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10. Santa Clara University

- Location: Santa Clara, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 5,440
- Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
- Acceptance rate: 49%
- Graduation rate: 91%
- Six-year median earnings: $72,600
- Two-year employment rate: 94%
- Overall rank: #83

9. Reed College

- Location: Portland, OR
- Undergraduate enrollment: 1,453
- Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
- Acceptance rate: 39%
- Graduation rate: 76%
- Six-year median earnings: $42,200
- Two-year employment rate: 88%
- Overall rank: #81

8. University of California, Berkeley

- Location: Berkeley, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 29,570
- Student to faculty ratio: 20:1
- Acceptance rate: 16%
- Graduation rate: 93%
- Six-year median earnings: $64,700
- Two-year employment rate: 88%
- Overall rank: #46

7. Claremont McKenna College

- Location: Claremont, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 1,321
- Student to faculty ratio: 8:1
- Acceptance rate: 10%
- Graduation rate: 91%
- Six-year median earnings: $72,900
- Two-year employment rate: 92%
- Overall rank: #39

6. Harvey Mudd College

- Location: Claremont, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 887
- Student to faculty ratio: 8:1
- Acceptance rate: 14%
- Graduation rate: 92%
- Six-year median earnings: $88,800
- Two-year employment rate: 89%
- Overall rank: #28

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5. University of California, Los Angeles

- Location: Los Angeles, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 31,009
- Student to faculty ratio: 18:1
- Acceptance rate: 12%
- Graduation rate: 92%
- Six-year median earnings: $60,700
- Two-year employment rate: 89%
- Overall rank: #24

4. Pomona College

- Location: Claremont, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 1,559
- Student to faculty ratio: 7:1
- Acceptance rate: 7%
- Graduation rate: 93%
- Six-year median earnings: $58,100
- Two-year employment rate: 90%
- Overall rank: #20

3. University of Southern California

- Location: Los Angeles, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 19,194
- Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
- Acceptance rate: 11%
- Graduation rate: 92%
- Six-year median earnings: $74,000
- Two-year employment rate: 92%
- Overall rank: #19

2. California Institute of Technology

- Location: Pasadena, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 948
- Student to faculty ratio: 3:1
- Acceptance rate: 6%
- Graduation rate: 94%
- Six-year median earnings: $85,900
- Two-year employment rate: 89%
- Overall rank: #8

Stanford
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1. Stanford University

- Location: Stanford, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 7,087
- Student to faculty ratio: 5:1
- Acceptance rate: 4%
- Graduation rate: 94%
- Six-year median earnings: $94,000
- Two-year employment rate: 94%
- Overall rank: #3

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